Throughout history America has always been known as being one of the first countries to step in to help or fix a problem. This was the same case when it came to the Marshall Plan. Although many may say the Marshal Plan is another example of imperialism in the guise of help, this is not the case because was it fulfilling its moral responsibility to help those in need.
World War II was a devastating war that lasted from about 1939 to 1945. When many think of World War II, they think of the devastation until the end of the war, but the truth was that the aftermath of the war in Europe was tremendous; millions of people dead and thousands left homeless, hungry, and unemployed. Factories, ...view middle of the document...
The Marshall plan, also known as the European Recovery Program or ERA, began in April 1948 and lasted for three years. It was named the Marshall Plan after the current Secretary of State at the time, George Marshall (“Brooking’s Role”). General Marshall talked about the Marshall Plan and the need to help Europe in his speech at Harvard University in 1947. He said “It is logical that the United States should do whatever it is able to do to assist in the return of normal economic health in the world, without which there can be no political stability and no assured peace ("The Marshall Plan Speech”).
After the Marshall plan was passed, the United States would provide over 12 billion dollars to aid European countries, which would be well over $100 billion today due to inflation (“ Brooking’s Role”). This money helped provide the much needed food, medicine, and housing and helped in the rebuilding of factories, railroads, bridges. As a result of this rebuilding process the trade among the European nations and with the rest of the world was strengthen and expanded ("The Marshall Plan for Rebuilding”) .
It would be hard to imagine what Europe would have been if they had not received help from the Marshal Plan. By the time the Marshall Plan ended in 1951, industrial production in Western Europe had risen 40 percent above the prewar level ("The Marshall Plan for Rebuilding”). Trade and exports also increased far above what they were before the war, and today Europe is a thriving continent.
A common idea throughout the world is that America only helps others when there is something for them to gain, but there are many cases in which they didn’t benefit. For many years America has been the top country in giving foreign aid. In the year 2012 alone America gave approximately $38 billion in economic assistance and $15 billion in military assistance adding up to $53 billion (Eischen). Not only does America as a country give so much but also their citizens. The American online magazine says, “In 1995 Americans gave, per capita, three and a half times as much to causes and charities as the French, seven times as much as the Germans, and 14 times as much as the Italians. Similarly, in 1998, Americans were 15 percent more likely to volunteer their time than the Dutch, 21 percent more likely than the Swiss, and 32 percent more likely than the Germans (Brooks).” These finding shows that American people strongly value giving and helping others, which could be one of the reasons why our county as a whole wants to help other countries succeed.
One program that was created to help other countries, especially developing countries, is USAID. USAID stands for United States Agency for International Development, and was created in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy (“USAID History”). Its mission is to “Shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just, and democratic world and foster conditions for stability and progress for the benefit of the American people and...