Advertisement

The Marshall Plan and Cold War Political Discourse

  • James E. Cronin
Part of the Europe in Transition: The NYU European Studies Series book series (EIT)

Abstract

The Cold War was not only a geopolitical alignment of states, but also a confrontation of rival social systems. Within each bloc it structured economic systems and constrained politics. In closing off certain options, however, the Cold War opened up others and nurtured political cultures and rhetorics that fit within the framework of Cold War politics. This paper examines the way the framework of the Cold War affected political culture in the West by reviewing who and what were excluded and who and what were encouraged. The conclusion, though tentative, is that prior work has focused too narrowly on the exclusions imposed by the Cold War political order and neglected the opportunities opened up, particularly in the center and center/left of the political spectrum, and the creative political work done there. The Marshall Plan thus needs to be understood as a critical moment when the Cold War, its constraints and opportunities, became real to Europeans.

Keywords

Political Culture European Nation Social Market Economy Soviet Bloc Bretton Wood System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    Alan Milward, The Reconstruction of Western Europe, 1945–51 (London: Methuen, 1984), Chap. 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 3.
    For the country by country details, see the essays in Francesca Gori and Silvio Pons, eds., The Soviet Union and Europe in the Cold War, 1943—53 (New York: St. Martin’s, 1996).Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    See Donald Sassoon, One Hundred Years of Socialism: The West European Left in the Twentieth Century (New York: The New Press, 1996).Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    For a review of recent literature on the Cold War, see Melvyn P. Leffler, “The Cold War: What Do ‘We Now Know’,” American Historical Review, CIV, 2 (April, 1999), pp. 501–24. From that essay, it would appear that the historiography of the Cold War has advanced a great deal, but remains more focused on diplomacy, military rivalry, and blame than on the internal politics to which it gave rise.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 7.
    Fred Block, The Origins of International Economic Disorder (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977), Chap. 3;Google Scholar
  6. Harold James, “The IMF and the Creation of the Bretton Woods System, 1944–58,” in Barry Eichengreen, ed., Europe’s Post-War Recovery (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), pp. 93–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 9.
    Michael Hogan, The Marshall Plan: America, Britain and the Reconstruction of Western Europe, 1947–1952 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987). 10. SeeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Charles Maier and G. Bischof, eds., The Marshall Plan and Germany (Oxford: Berg, 1991); andGoogle Scholar
  9. Anthony Nicholls, Freedom with Responsibility: The Social Market Economy in Germany, 1918–1963 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1994). 11. The most comprehensive review of the impact of the Marshall Plan is contained in Hogan, The Marshall Plan. For the darker side, seeGoogle Scholar
  10. Sallie Pisani, The CIA and the Marshall Plan (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1991).Google Scholar
  11. 13.
    Test of agreement reproduced in Documents in American Foreign Relations (1948) (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1950), p. 235, and quoted in David Ellwood, “The Marshall Plan and the Politics of Growth,” in Peter Stirk & David Willis, Shaping Postwar Europe: European Unity and Disunity, 1945–1957 (New York: St. Martin’s, 1991), pp. 18–19.Google Scholar
  12. 14.
    Cited in David Ellwood, “The Marshall Plan and the Politics of Growth,” in Peter Stirk and David Willis, Shaping Postwar Europe: European Unity and Disunity, 1945–1957 (New York: St. Martin’s, 1991), pp. 18–19 and Alan Berding, note of 16 January 1950, and Lt. F. R. Shea to Berding, February 24, 1949, cite in Ellwood, p. 19.Google Scholar
  13. 15.
    See, in general, Lutz Niethammer, “Structural Reform and a Compact for Growth: Conditions for a United Labor Union Movement in Western Europe after the Collapse of Fascism,” in Charles Maier, ed., The Cold War in Europe (New York: Markus Wiener, 1991), pp. 273–311.Google Scholar
  14. 16.
    See Richard Pells, Not Like Us: How Europeans Have Loved, Hated, and Transformed American Culture since World War II (New York: Basic Books, 1997), pp. 52–58.Google Scholar
  15. 18.
    Anthony Carew, Labour under the Marshall Plan (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1987).Google Scholar
  16. 19.
    Nick Tiratsoo and Jim Tomlinson, Industrial Efficiency and State Intervention: Labour, 1939–51 (London: Routledge, 1993), Chap. 7.Google Scholar
  17. 20.
    Richard Kuisel, Seducing the French: The Dilemma of Americanization (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), p. 80; Pells, Not Like Us, p. 55.Google Scholar
  18. 21.
    On the trade-offs, see Nelson Lichtenstein, “From Corporatism to Collective Bargaining: Organized Labor and the Eclipse of Social Democracy in the Postwar Era,” in Steve Fraser and Gary Gerstle, eds., The Rise and Fall of the New Deal Order (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1989).Google Scholar
  19. 22.
    Despite the subtitle, this is the basic argument of Charles Kindleberger, Europe’s Postwar Growth: The Role of Labor Supply (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1967). For a discussion of growing competition and its consequences, see Robert Brenner, “The Economic of Global Turbulence,” New Left Review, 229 (May–June, 1998).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 23.
    See Harold Perkin’s The Third Revolution (London: Routledge, 1996), for an analysis and an argument about the virtues of professional society.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 25.
    See Alan Wolfe, Americas Impasse: The Rise and Fall of the Politics of Growth (New York: Pantheon, 1981).Google Scholar
  22. 28.
    The hope of reform nevertheless remained essential to intellectual and political life within the Soviet bloc. See James Cronin, The World the Cold War Made: Order, Chaos and the Return of History (New York: Routledge, 1996), pp. 9–11.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Martin Schain 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • James E. Cronin

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations