Study Guide

The Marshall Plan Timeline

By George C. Marshall

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World War II

You've probably heard of this one. It left behind it widespread unemployment, slow to nonexistent economic growth, and a shattered infrastructure.

August 1944

The Morgenthau Plan

If the Marshall Plan is the happy everyone wins plan, the Morgenthau Plan is the brutal Germany-has-to-suffer plan. By this time, the writing was on the wall for the war, and the U.S. needed a way to deal with a conquered Germany.

The most important part was JCS 1067. JCS (Joint Chiefs of Staff) Directive 1067 was a rule for the way the US would deal with a defeated Germany. Among other things, it stated that the U.S. wasn't going to help the German economy in any way.

January 21, 1947

George C. Marshall Appointed Secretary of State

Harry S. Truman needed a new Secretary of State. Marshall had previously served as the U.S. Army Chief of Staff.

June 5, 1947

Marshall Delivers The Speech

At a Harvard commencement, Marshall delivers the speech that announced the Marshall Plan.

July 1947

JCS 1067 out, JCS 1779 in

By 1947 the US decided that a healthy German economy was necessary for the recovery of Europe as a whole, and replace it with JCS Directive 1779, which basically said that a prosperous Europe needed a prosperous Germany. It was a big shift in how the defeated Germany was to be treated.

July 1947

Soviets Reject The Plan

After a meeting in Paris, Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov rejects the Marshall Plan and got to work in his decidedly more communist version later.

February, 1948

Communist Coup in Czechoslovakia

A big part of the Marshall Plan was predicting that, if economies didn't improve, communism was going to spread. When Czechoslovakia went communist in early 1948, they were like, "See?" And a lot of American resistance to the plan went away.

April 3, 1948

President Truman Signs the Marshall Plan Into Law

Truman signs the Economic Cooperation Plan (the official name for the Marshall Plan), which granted $5 billion to a total of sixteen European nations. The money was offered to more countries, but they were loyal to the Soviet Union and refused.


Marshall Plan Ends

A combination of the war in Korea and Republican opposition to the plan caused the Marshall Plan to end early, rather than in 1953 which was the original timetable. During the Marshall Plan, Europe's economic growth was the fastest in history.

December 10, 1953

Marshall wins the Nobel Peace Prize

He won it for the Marshall Plan. We hope he remembered to thank everybody.

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