HIST 304 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Economy Of The Soviet Union, Iron Curtain, Andrei Zhdanov

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Published on 18 Apr 2013
School
McGill University
Department
History
Course
HIST 304
Lecture 4 Marshall Plan. Jan 22nd 4/17/2013 8:54:00 PM
Lecture 4: Marshall Plan
Terms: Konstantin Rokossovsky, Andrei Zhdanov, Cominform, Comintern,
Tito, ECSC, Nowa Huta, NATO, FRG, GDR, COMECON
Marshall Plan, 47
European recovery plan- Truman doctrine promised financial and
military support to Greek and Turkey- Stalin had seen it as a one
time thing. But it caused American policy makers to rethink their
strategy in Europe. Famine in Europe, had been a hard winter, this
threatened the underlying political and social stability. The UN
Relief Fund had been for this, but it turned out the Red Army had
been taking all aid. 47, people had payment imbalance. Radical left
was gaining power in western Europe. Communist parties in France
and Italy were either dominated by Moscow or lead by Stalinists. In
Eastern Europe, people had become disillusioned with the radical
left.
Economic recovery for all of Europe. Help struggling democracies in
Western Europe. Short term- provide region with psychological
boost. June 5th 47, Marshall announced the program. Within a few
days government in France felt confident enough to eject
communist party. Long term- provide economic security. Best way
of containing Stalin's expansionism was providing endangered
countries with support economic and politically.
Instead of simply offering aid to just West, left it to East. Either
Stalin would allow Eastern Europe to accept the aid or not. IF he
did, the Americans believed it would undermine his political grip on
Eastern Europe. If he refused, which they suspected, then SU would
have to assume the responsibility to helping Eastern Europe recover
which would drain their economic and it would create the
impression that Stalin had divided Europe into 2 blocks and that
Eastern Europe was dominated by SU but West was supported by
American.
Caught Stalin off guard. Sent a large party lead by Molotov to Paris
to discuss Marshall Plan aid. After a few days he recalled them
believing that a walk out would completely disrupt the conference,
but let the Eastern governments stay. Recalled them too and said
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they couldn't accept aid. But Czechoslovakia kept displaying an
interest in Marshall aid- it was a special case. At end of German
occupation had elected their own communist government without
Moscow. No official occupation there. They'd believed that the west
had sold them out to Hitler in 38. Thought of themselves as a
potential bridge between East and West. Offended officials in US.
Worried Stalin. He undertook actions to build up Stalinist faction
there, but still didn't have a firm grip, so the leaders didn't feel the
need to follow him in Paris. Constituted a capitol offense in Moscow.
Withdrew after threatened by Stalin.
Once they'd withdrawn US continued talking with Western Europe.
Roots of EU in the Marshall Plan negotiations- US wasn't going to
decide who gets what and how much. Truman had also told them
that they wouldn't get economic support if they could sit down with
each other and agree who needed what. Thinking was that if
Western Europe was to become economically sufficient and stand
up to SU was the encourage economic integration.
Program was 48-51. Countries' size played a role. Larger got more
aid. Relationships to emerging CW conflict played a role. Strong
communist movement got more aid to stop this. Proximity to iron
curtain. Indebtedness to US played a role and size of it's dollar
reserves. UK largest amount, France second, (W) Germany 3rd.
Italy 4th.
Spain didn't get any aid because of dictator Franco- Franco didn't
want to work them either. However, did provide aid to Portugal
which had an authoritarian regime.
Was the plan a success? Psychologically, yes. It also ignited
European integration. Repressed nationalistic rivalries that had
caused tensions in Europe for so long. Economically, not so clear.
We know economic growth increased by 35% within the 3 years it
was done. But it was more the result of hard work and
industrialness from the countries that received aid. We also know
that the growth wasn't equal across region. Britain spent large
sums on welfare programs which did little help economy. In France
used it to reasserted control of colonial possessions in Indo-China.
In Italy used to bribe officials. But in West Germany, it was used in
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all sorts of capital investments and economic projects around the
country. Huge success. Economic power house.
American empire by invitation, not by force. Why did Western want
US involved? Americans had behaved a lot better- soldiers friendly
with citizens. Knew that the presence of American power was the
best way to ensure that the Europeans wouldn't fight among
themselves. The 'Empire by Integration'. Integration kept them
from fighting one another- especially France and Germany.
Designed to rebuilt W.E- resist Stalinist expansion- wanted to also
increase American security and share defense burden in the long
run, but it wasn't to expand market reach.
Great blow to Stalin's Post WWII policy undermined his belief that
capitalists couldn't cooperate. Instead, it showed that they would
and could work together if they were faced with a threat. Surprised
how fast communist parties were voted out of power. He ordered
the parties to rise up in violent strikes. Alienated many of his
sympathizers in Europe. Stalin also had the cost of rebuilding
Eastern Europe. Realised people would see what was happening in
West and want that too and if it couldn't happen, it would
undermine them. In face of this enacted counter plan- ended all
reparations to the SU. Since 45 gov had removed all industrial
equipment from other states- terminated this. Began to subsidizes
fuel and raw materials, but this meant that the Soviet people had to
pa higher taxes and prices. Eliminated political independence. In
Poland they were somewhat under control, but not really. Defense
minister was Konstantin Rokossovsky and Stalin only trusted him.
Following 47 all independent parties in E Germany were put under
heavy pressure. Called parties to a conference and announced the
creation of the common party by Andrei Zhdanov. This pressure
lead Tito to express discontent to Stalin- his party was the only one
to come to power other than the Czech's without Stalin. This
hostility created tensions between Yugoslavia and the SU which
lead to a split in 48. Stalin tried to have him assassinated by failed.
So from 48 onward, they were an independent soviet state. US
tried to help him out, but Tito couldn't be lured into American camp
and set out in what's called the Third Way.
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Document Summary

Tito, ecsc, nowa huta, nato, frg, gdr, comecon. European recovery plan- truman doctrine promised financial and military support to greek and turkey- stalin had seen it as a one time thing. But it caused american policy makers to rethink their strategy in europe. Famine in europe, had been a hard winter, this threatened the underlying political and social stability. Relief fund had been for this, but it turned out the red army had been taking all aid. Radical left was gaining power in western europe. Communist parties in france and italy were either dominated by moscow or lead by stalinists. Eastern europe, people had become disillusioned with the radical left. Within a few days government in france felt confident enough to eject communist party. Best way of containing stalin"s expansionism was providing endangered countries with support economic and politically. Instead of simply offering aid to just west, left it to east.

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