Marshall Plan for postwar Europe

marshall collageEuropean nations were swept up in war for almost 10 years during World War II. After it was all over they needed some serious help to pull it all back together.

That’s when the US stepped in and became the most powerful country in the world.

George C. Marshall, US Secretary of State, laid out the immediate plan for post-war Europe in a Harvard speech, 1947.

In what amounts to 2 pages that changed the world, we have included a transcript of the speech as well as questions and answers for the document.

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thanks for posting the summary of the Marshall Plan, the enduring legacy of George C. Marshall. As the keepers of the flame, we at the Marshall Foundation in Lexington want to tell the world about this great man. Visit our library, archives and museum–all open to the public or our web site at

    Within a day or two we will bring the Marshall Plan to life with the recording of Marshall’s speech accompanied by period photographs following WWII in Europe. It’s on our web site.

  2. […] have an earlier post which includes a transcript of Marshall’s speech as well as questions and answers for […]

  3. As seasoned overseas traveler including Europe for the last decade, it has become apparent that there are two sides of the coin in terms of the United States as the most powerful nation in the world. Although the US rebuilt Post-World War II Europe through the Marshall Plan, even so, it did not stop animosity, that ever-increasing Anti-American feeling. Despite the smug attitude that contributed to it, Americans are also known to be compassionate and gracious. While many Europeans have attempted to forget about the Second World War (and let us not forget WWI), from an American viewpoint, it needs to be understood that these two recent world wars were “physically” fought in the European soil that we have not experienced. In fact, when one is to observe European history, there have been many wars since its earliest western civilization, e.g. War of the Roses, Wars of Religion. Reading about George C. Marshall, I highly commend his plan for Europe, the assurance where even a person that came out of the “military” was able to show that it is not about burning bridges, but rebuild them.

    • Well said and you touched upon some really important points. Everything is relative, even something that was clearly inspired by a great man who believed in great American ideals.

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