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HIS344Y1 Lecture Notes - Marshall Plan, Japanese Nationalism, Indian Independence Movement

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Ebba Kurt

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three main states (US, USSR, GB) were on a collision course – all were looking out for their
own national interests but were incompatible with others' national interests
Churchill saw Soviet actions as an attempt to take over the European continent, if not the
world; Kennan's Long Telegram indicated that Soviets wanted to expand and take over
British by this point were exhausted and almost broke, could not offer resistance to the
USSR – Churchill wanted to awaken the world to the threat of the USSR
Russians also misread US actions as an attempt to take over the world through economic
means through the capitalist economy
within the next two years, the beginning of the Cold War in 1947
Germany in economic collapse, reaching starvation – harsh winter in 1947, divided into two
hostile camps (Eastern and Western Germany)
no trade existed – USSR would be compensated for economic devastation by Eastern
Germany but in return would trade and feed the Western Germans
however, turned the territory over to the Poles to compensate them for the territory
gained by the USSR on their Western borders
could no longer feed the West Germans since there was not enough territory to produce
enough food
SOL (early 1947) of West Germany was so low that daily intake of population fell below
1000 calories – had to make a choice
in East Germany intake was 1500, West Germany would surely vote to join East
Germany so that they would not starve
united US, GB, France said that they had to do something to revive West Germany
by early 1947 the British voluntarily decided to pull out from Greece, unable to hold on to that
territory, ran out of money – would leave Greece for the communists to take over
informed Truman that they would pull out and that US would have to become the defender
of Western European democracies and liberal democracies in general
Americans had to do something, had to step up and hold up the Western system in Greece –
both helping Greece and preventing collapse of West Germany, only then would it be
ensured that West Europe remained democratic and liberal
this involved a lot of money!
but just about this time Republicans took over the Congress, who wanted to scale back
government intervention, smaller budget
the only way Truman could get the support from Congress is to present the problem in a very
extreme way – there would be a good chance that USSR would take over if West Germany fell
Truman doctrine – first shot in the Cold War, for the first time US were openly opposing the
cannot have small minority imposing its will on the majority – did not clarify that
minority is the small communist minority
Congress immediately opened up reserved, bailed out entire Western part of the continent –
$13 billion to salvage Western Europe
by doing so he also raised a number of expectations – the Americans would come to the
aid of any state anywhere in the world threatened by a minority
made sure that Americans would have to get involved in any civil war for every
president since that time
Marshall Plan added further flamed to the ongoing conflict, increased Cold War confrontation
between the two camps
conditions – any European state that wanted to apply must agree to open its borders, must

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allow free trade and movement of goods and US supervision of economic plan
built on the Bretton Woods system, economic system meant to prevent another
economic meltdown like the Great Depression
World Bank was used to lend money to rebuild destroyed infrastructure and the IMF
would give any state loans if they were in economic difficulties – dominated by the
Americans, in both cases Americans had 30% of voting rights
given the fact that Soviet Union was still an ally when Bretton Woods was instituted,
USSR could also have applied for the money
but the Russians also had to meet certain conditions – open economy to American
financial experts to make sure there were no hidden assets, would have to buy
American goods, open economy to American goods
there was no way that the Russians would ever agree for a foreigner to come and
check their financial situation
even though Eastern European states showed some interest in the money as well, no
way that Poles or Czechs would have permission to get the money
also fear that this was a US way to take the Poles and Czechs into the Western
sphere of influence
16 European states participated and did extremely well, turned economic course of Western
Europe around, laid foundations for EU, unprecedented levels of economic growth
European states would have also done this without Marshall Plan, there was an ulterior motive
for American goods and industry to do well by forcing the economies to open borders for
American goods
however, no matter what, this did save West Germany from communism
only after this that Stalin forced a wholesale Communization of the Eastern states
must tie Eastern European states closer to Moscow, all parties must follow Moscow's orders
so that Americans cannot take over the world through economic means
cannot have a non-Communist in government, could not compromise its own control of
these states
only after 1947 did USSR go around to all of these states and remove every non-Communist
from government, completely modelled after USSR
even in Asia the same pattern was happening, brought more conflict and exasperated the
the first issue was Japan – what happened in Japan was already happening in Germany
by 1946-7 clearly going through financial/economic crisis, faced starvation
cost US 1 billion to feed the Japanese people – financial burden on the US and more
importantly the Japanese may find salvation in communism
Douglas MacArthur – wanted to dismantle Japan and make sure Japan would never threaten
Asia and American interests ever again
wanted to make Japan true democratic state after the American image – removed all
nationalist elements but this ruined Japan economically, possible communist takeover
this was totally unacceptable for the Americans – Kennan realized that the same
situation was playing out in Japan, MacArthur would actually set up Japan for
communist takeover
travelled to Japan and undid all of MacArthur's efforts
Americans gave up plan of removing Japanese nationalists, gave another billion to Japan to
make them self-sufficient and pro-American
only this way was America able to hold onto Japan as a democracy
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