1948 – 51) U.S.-sponsored program to provide economic aid to European countries after World War II. The idea of a European self-help plan financed by theU.S. was proposed by George Marshall in 1947 and was authorized by Congress as the European Recovery Program. It provided almost $13 billion in grants and loans to 17countries and was a key factor in reviving their economies and stabilizing their political structures.
Truman also left his mark on domestic affairs. He oversaw the conversion of the American economy from its World War II footing to one that emphasized bothconsumer and military production. While not without problems, this transition occurred about as smoothly as possible. Truman protected the New Deal and—with a rise inthe minimum wage in 1949 and the enlargement of Social Security in 1950—built upon its achievements. He pushed forward the cause of African-American civil rights bydesegregating the military, by banning discrimination in the civil service, and by commissioning a federal report on civil rights. Just as important, Truman spoke outpublicly on the matter.
expanded the welfare state and increased government intervention in the nation's economy for which a conservative polity had no appetite.