Thursday, October 24, 2013

In 1947, two important events occured: firstly, President Truman warned the American Congress that it was America's job to contain Communism - this became known as the Truman Doctrine - and secondly, US General George Marshall came up with a plan to help Europe recover from the war using American money - this became known as the Marshall Plan

Truman Doctrine
  • By 1947, Greece was one of the few countries in Eastern Europe that hadn'tturned communist. The Communist rebels in Greece were prevented from taking over by the British Army.
  • America was becoming increasingly alarmed by the growth of Soviet power. 
  • So, when the British told Truman they could no longer afford to keep their soldiers in Greece, Truman stepped in to take over. 
  • In March 1947, he told the American Congress it was America's job to stop communism growing any stronger. 
  • This was called the Truman Doctrine. 
  • It is often said that Truman advocated containment (stopping the Soviet getting any more powerful), but Truman did not use this word and many Americans spoke of "rolling back" communism.

Marshall Plan
  • In June 1947, General George Marshall made a visit to Europe to see what was needed. 
  • He came away thinking Europe was so poor that the whole of Europe was about to turn Communist. 
  • Marshall and Truman asked Congress for $17 billion to fund the European Recovery Programme nicknamed the Marshall Plan - to get the economy of Europe going again. 
  • Congress at first hesitated, but agreed in March 1948 when Czechoslovakia turned Communist. 
  • The aid was given in the form of food, grants to buy equipment, improvements to transport systems, and everything "from medicine to mules". 
  • Most (70 per cent) of the money was used to buy commodities from US suppliers: $3.5 billion was spent on raw materials; $3.2 billion on food, feed and fertiliser; $1.9 billion on machinery and vehicles; and $1.6 billion on fuel.

Stalin forbade the Cominform countries to apply for Marshall Aid.

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