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History >> World War 2 for Kids

World War II

The Marshall Plan and Recovery

After World War II much of Europe was destroyed. Armies from both sides had bombed roads, bridges, supplies, and communication facilities throughout Europe. Europe needed to rebuild.

This was not easy however. Many governments were in debt or out of money because they had used all their resources in fighting the war. On top of this, their economies were devastated making it difficult to collect taxes in order to rebuild. Many people did not have enough food to eat let alone money to pay taxes.

Fear of Communism

The United States, as well as much of Europe, had allied with the Russians in order to defeat Hitler and the Germans. However, now they were worried about the Russians and the spread of communism. If Western Europe did not rebuild and grow strong quickly, it may soon fall to communism.

Fortunately, the land of the United States had been free of war and devastation. The US economy was doing well, making the United States the richest country in the world. They wanted to help Europe and their allies recover from the War.

Portrait of George Marshall
General George Marshall
Source: US Army


The Marshall Plan

In order to help Europe recover from the war, the United States came up with the Marshall Plan. It is named after Secretary of State George Marshall. The Marshall Plan offered help and finances to European countries in order to recover from World War II.

Marshall Plan Label
Label placed on items provided by the Marshall Plan
Source: US Government


Although the US had already been helping Europe to recover, the Marshall Plan made it official in 1948. Over the next four years the US gave $13 billion in assistance to Western European countries. The US also offered assistance to Russia and its allies, however, they turned it down.

Success

By the time the Marshall Plan funding ended, all of the countries that participated had larger economies and were stronger than before the war. The plan was successful in helping Western Europe recover economically from the war.

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  • Learn More about World War II:

    Overview:
    World War II Timeline
    Allied Powers and Leaders
    Axis Powers and Leaders
    Causes of WW2
    War in Europe
    War in the Pacific
    After the War

    Battles:
    Battle of Britain
    Battle of the Atlantic
    Pearl Harbor
    Battle of Stalingrad
    D-Day (Invasion of Normandy)
    Battle of the Bulge
    Battle of Berlin
    Battle of Midway
    Battle of Guadalcanal
    Battle of Iwo Jima

    Events:
    The Holocaust
    Japanese Internment Camps
    Bataan Death March
    Fireside Chats
    Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Atomic Bomb)
    War Crimes Trials
    Recovery and the Marshall Plan
    Leaders:
    Winston Churchill
    Charles de Gaulle
    Franklin D. Roosevelt
    Harry S. Truman
    Dwight D. Eisenhower
    Douglas MacArthur
    George Patton
    Adolf Hitler
    Joseph Stalin
    Benito Mussolini
    Hirohito
    Anne Frank
    Eleanor Roosevelt

    Other:
    The US Home Front
    Women of World War II
    African Americans in WW2
    Spies and Secret Agents
    Aircraft
    Aircraft Carriers
    Technology
    World War II Glossary and Terms

    Works Cited

    History >> World War 2 for Kids





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