Why did the US introduce Marshall Aid? The main reason why the US introduced Marshall Aid was to prevent the spread of Communism. In 1946 almost the whole of Eastern Europe was Communist, this was due to the actions of Stalin, he wanted to build up a line of countries around Russia and use them as a “buffer zone” to protect the USSR from being attacked. Britain had troops in Greece and was fighting a Civil War against the Communists in fear that it too would fall under Stalin’s Communist rule.
The USA stepped in when the British announced that they could no longer afford to keep their troops in Greece, Truman feared that the whole of Eastern Europe would become Communist (the idea of Communism was very popular in times of hardship, the communists believed that the wealth of the richest people should be shared out among the poor) so he agreed to pay for military supplies, weapons, economic aid and British troops to be sent to Greece and Turkey.
The USA’s aid soon became known as The Truman Doctrine. This was the idea that communism should not be allowed to grow and gain territory, and that it was America’s ‘duty’ to fight for liberty. It was agreed that they would send resources to any Government that was threatened by communism. The Truman Doctrine was significant as it divided the world, showing that Capitalism and Communism were in opposition, which suggested that the East and the West could no longer co-operate.
This emphasised the many difference between them. The Marshall Plan started the Truman Doctrine in June 1947, when it was announced that $17 billion should be given to Europe to help rebuild their inefficient economy and prevent the spread of communism. For the USA, Marshall Aid was introduced to make the idea of Capitalism appear more appealing, it was also introduced to try and prevent communism spreading.
This now highlights how terrified they were of Communism and to what extent they would go to prevent it influencing the whole of Europe. For the countries in Europe that received aid through the Marshall Plan it was seen as a way of rebuilding their economies and preventing communism in their own country.
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