The marshall plan

Pages: 4 (765 mots) Publié le: 4 novembre 2009
The Marshall Plan

On 5h, June 1947, the fate of Europe was at stake. Indeed, on this day took place a speech delivered by the U.S. Secretary of State Georges Marshall to Congress in the UnitedStates of America, at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Two years after the defeat of Nazi Germany, George Marshall returned home from a visit to Europe and reported, “The recovery ofEurope is far slower than had been expected”. Much of Europe lay in ruins. People faced shortages of housing, food, raw materials such as coal, and also lacked the money to pay for imports. When asked todeliver the 1947 commencement address at Harvard University, Marshall accepted the invitation and used the opportunity to suggest an economic recovery plan to revitalize Europe. As the text in thespeech itself, meaning that it wasn’t retouched or commented by an historian for instance, it is then a primary source.
The text could be divided into two main parts, the first one where Marshallexplain the problems in Europe (from line 1st to the second paragraph), and the second one where he’s explaining what should be done (from the second paragraph to the end).

Right at the beginning of thetext, Marshall goes right to his point. Indeed, he talks about all the destructions that took place in Europe, but tells that this is minor comparing to the main problem, as he puts it “thedislocation of the entire fabric of European economy”. He justifies his idea by the facts that Europe lacks raw materials, fuel and machinery. He also talks about the farmers, as we know that once-fertilefields were scarred by bomb craters and tank tracks. Marshall was convinced that economic stability would provide political stability in Europe. He offered aid, but the European countries had to organisethe programme themselves. Nonetheless, Marshall never talks of the spreading of communism to justify his point. He never talks about the European governments replaced by force by communist one, and...
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