Measuring the Marshall Plan

Courtesy Reuters

When on June 4, 1947, Secretary Marshall spoke at Harvard of the terms upon which the United States stood ready to aid European recovery, neither he nor his Commencement audience probably realized that his modest speech would lay the cornerstone of a major reconstruction of world political and economic policy.

Like all pronouncements of genuinely universal significance, the words of the Secretary of State crystallized aspirations already deeply rooted in the minds of men in many nations. After reviewing the wholesale disintegration of the fabric of Europe's economy resulting from the war, the Secretary stated that it was the purpose of the United States to contribute to "the revival of a working economy in the world, so as to permit the emergence of political and social conditions in which free institutions can exist." He made it clear that "the initiative must come from Europe," and that the aid of the United States

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