Policies of economic aid in Europe referred to as the Marshall Plan

Policies of economic aid in Europe referred to as the Marshall Plan, were formed with the intention of dividing eastern and western Europe into warring states. This movement of the U.S. was the primary action that the U.S. took against Soviet Communism in eastern Europe. Truman’s intention of employing the plan was to draw western countries away from the control of the U.S.S.R., which would undermine the Soviet powers within the region. The United States gained increasing control over domestic and foreign policies of western Europe by attaching “strings” to financial aid packages they provided to Europe. Many of those strings addressed the implantation of collective security within western Europe, as witnessed in the Mutual Security Program; after the Marshall Plan. By administering the policy, the US provoked the response of the Soviet Union; observed through the tightening control in the Soviet Union empire. Countries became annexed under the strict rule of the U.S.S.R. and the economic policies of the United States led to a poisoned environment that influenced the beginning of the Cold War. Moreover, the United States’ policies against Germany following World War II were agnostic towards Soviet territorial and economic development in the region. The Potsdam Conference resulted in the idea of separating Germany into four zones that were to be divided between the Great Britain, France, the United States, and the Soviet Union. In 1947, the fear of globalized communism lead the western powers to side with the United States’ proposal of merging the U.S., U.K., and France regions to collaboratively manufacture goods to combat communism. The initial intent of the plan was out of concern for the rising communist power of the U.S.S.R. but appeared bellicose because it was agreed upon without negotiation from the Soviets. The ignorant Allies provoked Stalin into engaging in the Berlin Blockade, as he felt threatened by the limiting of his borders, which would limit access to resources necessary for economic growth. By forcing the Soviet Union into a vulnerable status because of U.S.’ economic aid favoring European countries, the U.S. served as a catalyst to the rising tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States.
The economic inferiority of the Soviet Union had a powerful impact on its ability to sustain its defense expenditures and military investments. The difficulties of the economic system meant that the U.S.S.R. was lagging behind the advancements in weapons technology in the U.S. The Soviets were behind the US in terms of fundamental technologies that could be exercised through the west’s concept of the SDI, which threatened to make the USSR’s previous military technology inexistent. These areas of the Soviet Union would require heavy investment, in order to match the military strength of threatening world powers such as the United States, if the U.S.S.R. wished to continue to be the leading world power. However, the sacrifice that the military investiture would require would leave millions of Soviet-governed individuals without basic commodities such as food and shelter. The world began to experience the first indications of the Cold War, as western European countries began requesting assistance. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization committed the military aid of the U.S. to ensure security in Europe. This resulted in the linking of Europe’s and the United States’ security structures. Stalin responded to the U.S. through the collective defense treaty; the Warsaw Pact. The establishment of the two differing alliance systems accentuated the defining split among ideologies of democracy and communism. Though the U.S. acted in regards to their own security, the imprudence showed to the Soviet Union served to develop military differences between the United States and the Soviet Union that would limit the countries’ relationships.
The major concern that the U.S. had regarding the U.S.S.R. was their governmental system. Followers of the Domino Theory believed that nations suffering from political and economic difficulty would be drawn to the practice of communism. Furthermore, that communist supporters inspired by the Soviet Union would instigate a revolution against the nation. Politicians saw the Soviet Union as an expansionist state that thirsted for global domination, consequently employing the domino effect and its military power to extend across the globe. This philosophy inspired faith in the Truman Doctrine, a foreign policy that pledged U.S. support to anti-communist regimes to protect them from falling victim to the control of the communists. From this outlook, the interventionist foreign policy of the United States preventing the growth of communism was critical in the U.S. obtaining victory in the Cold War. The Truman Doctrine was established in March 1947 with President Harry S. Truman pledging that ‘it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures’, naming communism as the enemy, which he classified as ‘a way of life… based upon the will of a minority forcibly imposed upon the majority…that relies upon terror and oppression, a controlled press and radio, fixed elections, and the suppression of personal freedoms.’ The doctrine was used to justify the multitudinous interventions in the political affairs of other states in various methods, ranging from peaceful economic incentives used to coerce nations into adopting capitalism to assist the struggling European states in the aftermath of the Second World War. The incapacity to recognize diverse perspectives on their disagreement with the Soviet political system underlines the apparent theme of the United States’ aggressive interference that disrupted the security of the Soviet Union, and essentially, amplified the discrepancies that would lead towards the Cold War.


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