Marshall Plan and Its Effectiveness
Many authors believe that if the U. S. aid wasn’t aplenty, there would have been an economic order collapse in Europe. The funds provided were used for investments as well as government expenditures. There was ease with which the European countries could import from the U. S. Any hold-ups in the economic growth forum were obliterated and an age of success was to follow soon. People were speculating that the Truman government would withdraw their aid soon as his government had a weak image.
Moreover, looking at Stalin’s government’s success, people had written off Western Europe relative to its Eastern counterparts. However, the U. S. stuck to their task year-on-year from 1948 to 1951 contributing $8 billion to food, fertilizers and the like. The remaining $5 billion was spent on fuel, vehicles, machinery and other commodities (De Long & Eichengreen, 1991). In fact, Charles Mee, a renowned author sung praised of how the American imports encouraged employment at the European end (Mee, 1984).
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Was the plan as effective as it has been brought out by the plethora of authors? An interesting fact is that completeness was achieved in most reconstruction efforts even before the plan embarked. In fact, in the beginning of 1948, “bottlenecks were scarce, and markets were good at alleviating their impact. ” Moreover, the magnitude of the plan has been questioned by a few critiques. As suggested by Alan Milwards, (Milwards, 1984) the economic growth of Western Europe could not have been drastically increased on just the basis of $13 billion.
These critiques believe that the predisposition of the Western European governments had a lot to do with the rebuilding of the economies: (a) an economy already existed in which both the private and the state had a role to play in directing the market and (b) people were of anti-communist sentiments as they didn’t want any other experience of WWII ever in their lives. Thus, my belief is that, though the Marshall Plan was one of the major factors through which Western Europe was able to stand on its own feet – it wasn’t the only reason because of which the rapid pace of the economic growth was achieved. Bibliography