"As the war-torn nations of Europe faced famine and economic crisis in the wake of World War II, the United States proposed to rebuild the continent in the interest of political stability and a healthy world economy. On June 5, 1947, in a commencement address at Harvard University, Secretary of State George C. Marshall first called for American assistance in restoring the economic infrastructure of Europe. Western Europe responded favorably, and the Truman administration proposed legislation. The resulting Economic Cooperation Act of 1948 restored European agricultural and industrial productivity. Credited with preventing famine and political chaos, the plan later earned General Marshall a Nobel Peace Prize." Featured Document: The Marshall Plan Any thorough reading of history poses lots of 'what if' questions and even 'what if now' questions. Can one imagine in America today getting a consensus opinion on the Marshall Plan? After WWII some people in America recognized the need to help rebuild Europe. That success led to the European Union. Oddly where we interfered militarily after the War: Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan we have had less long term success. One piece of this interesting time that stuck me was how the Europeans eventually resented the help when it came with too much cultural and corporate influence in their affairs. Move to the present times and you wonder what will Iraq and Afghanistan eventually become. Help at some level works well, but invasion and occupation are another story. Note only the decline of Communist Russia and its satellites, nationalism is still a strong force for good and evil. "The war in Iraq had not even begun when public discussion began on the rebuilding of Iraq by the US. Is this to be another "not the Marshall plan"? David Ekbladh calls for rethinking the approach to so-called Marshall Plans." Peace and Conflict Monitor Some things never change? "The Marshall Plan abruptly ended in 1951 when the US became involved in the Korean conflict. As well, Republicans had gained control of the house and senate in 1950, and many of them disapproved of the plan. With fewer funds to allocate toward European recovery, the Marshall Plan was officially disbanded. There were efforts to extend the plan, but Republicans quickly voted down such efforts." What was the Marshall Plan?