The Marshall Plan speech at 70 – and the lessons it can provide for today’s challenges

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the Marshall Plan speech given by US Secretary of State George Marshall on 5 June 1947. The speech outlined the principles of the Marshall Plan, under which the United States provided financial support to help rebuild Western Europe after the Second World War. Effie G. H. Pedaliu writes that while the conditions present in post-war Europe were unique, the Marshall Plan can provide lessons for many of the challenges currently facing the world.


Seventy years ago, on 5 June 1947, the US Foreign Secretary George Marshall delivered a speech at Harvard in which he explained why America ought to underwrite postwar European reconstruction. According to British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, in war-ravaged Europe Marshall’s words were ‘a lifeline to sinking men, bringing hope where there was none’.


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