The Marshall Plan 1947
The Marshall Plan was divided into two parts of the strategy for dealing with communism:
- Containment through military force - this meant that they would try and strengthen weak countries to prevent them from giving into communism
- $13 billion of American money was committed to rebuilding shattered economies of Europe.
Communism appealed to countries under hardship because sharing resources had a great appeal. It did not appeal, however, to wealthy people.
In order for countries to qualify for Marshall Aid countries had to agree to trading freely with America. This helped the American economy.
Reactions to the Marshall Plan
In 1948 European leaders met at a conference in Paris to discuss the American offer. Although many countries were keen on the idea, the USSR walked out of the conference claiming the Americans were trying to split Europe into "two camps". They said Marshall Aid was the first step towards creating a military alliance that will wage war on the Soviet Union.
16 countries including Britain and France welcomed the idea as a way of rebuilding their countries and pushing communism out of them.
In defence to the plan, Stalin set up many satellite states to extend his control over Eastern Europe.
Cominform - The Communist Information Bureau - 194
Further extensions in Stalin's control included Cominform . It was an international organisation that represented Communist parties across Europe, and brought them under Soviet direction.
- To encourage Eastern countries to reject Marshall aid
- Ensure the loyalty of Eastern European governments
- Extend Stalin's control
This resulted in:
- 2 million french workers went on strike against Marshall aid
- Consolidated the power of the USSR throughout Eastern Europe
Comecon - The Council for Mutual Economic Assistan
Comecon was Stalin's answer to the Marshall Plan. Stalin was aware that the Marshall Plan was very attractive to some Eastern European governments.
- To boycott Marshall aid for the USSR's satelitte states
- To create the communist alternative of Marshall aid
- Encourage economic development of Eastern Europe
- Prevent trade with America and Western Europe
The Berlin Blockade - 1948-49
In order to prevent the establishment of a seperate state in western Germany, Stalin set up a military blockade around west Berlin in June 1948. His plan was to cut western Germany off from its capital (Berlin) so that the new government, based in Berlin, could not control its territory in western Germany.
- to prove that a divided Germany would not work in practice
- to prevent the new government from controlling its territory in Berlin.
The Berlin Airlift - 1948-49
President Truman responded to the blockade with the berlin airlift. Allied planes transported supplies to West Berlin. Initially America committed 70 large cargo planes to lift 600 to 700 tonnes of food and supplies a day but this increased within a couple of weeks to 1000 tonnes.
The airlift was effective because it was peaceful therefore it made Stalins military blocked appear highly aggresive
NATO - The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation - A
In April 1949 NATO was established between America and many other countries from Western Europe.
The partners of the Treaty believed that Russian Communism, had posed a new threat to the democratic world.
they stated that "an armed attack against one or more of them shall be considered an attack against them all." In the event of such an attack, for the preservation of peace and their civilized way of life, they promised to take whatever action deemed necessary, including the use of armed force.