Greece, The Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan

You can find information about Greece here.

Issues in Greece: Monarchists v Communists

Greece was located in the USA’s sphere of influence. There were 2 sides involved in the Civil War in Greece: the Monarchists and the Communists. The West were convinced that there were ideas of Soviet expansion in Greece. Evidence to confirm were that the Communist Government of Yugoslavia and Albania sent aid to Greece.

However, Britain couldn’t maintain their solders at Greece as they were in a debt of £3000 million due to the war against Germany. Their state of economy was in ruin, therefore the British Government admitted that they could no longer sustain their commitment to help Greece overseas. In February 1947, Britain warned USA about their issues, so the US President made the idea of the Truman Doctrine. So the USA responded to aid Britain in order to prevent the Communist from succeeding to take over Greece.

The policy of the Truman Doctrine

The Truman Doctrine was a policy statement, made by the US Government in 1947, that would aid any country under the attack by armed minorities. The main aim of this policy was to prevent Communism from spreading. The way the USA did this was to aid the Monarchists in Greece by sending military advisors in order to prevent the pressure against the Communists. Because of this support the USA had provided, it succeeded in defeating the Communist, which would prevent Greece to falling to USSR. The Monarchists appeared victorious with the help of USA.

The Marshall Aid Plan

The Marshall Plan was a plan to provide US financial support to other countries in Europe that were on a breeding ground of Communism. George Marshall, the US secretary of States later served as US Secretary of Defense, had conjured this plan in 1947. All countries the Europe were eligible to gain help from this, but it was not possible for the Communist states to get help from this in eastern Europe.  This plan was to use over $17 million on the western Europe to allow all the countries to grow, in terms of economy growth. The purpose of the Marshall Aid was to prevent Communism from taking over the countries that had poor economy. In short, this was to recover the economy so that Europe would act as a market for US goods. According to Churchill, he considered this “the most unselfish act in history.”

As we all know, the Soviet Union responded by making the eastern Europe, by law, decline the aid of the Marshall Plan. They responded to the plan by the introduction to Cominform in 1947 and Comecon in 1949. Cominform was an organisation controlled by the USSR to coordinate the Communist parties throughout Europe. Whereas Comecon consists of an organisation that allows them to coordinate the economies of Communist countries. Molotov deemed this plan as “foreign interference” and called it the “dollar imperialism.”

We could sympathise with the USA as their plan was incapable of reaching the eastern Europe. However, it did help the countries that were in need of the economic recovery. That way, Communist would not be able to spread upon the countries that received help from the Marshall Aid.

The Truman Doctrine, along with the Marshall Aid, made the relationship between the Soviet and the USA worse. But in the end, the financial aid from USA was beneficial to the Western Europe, which fulfilled their doctrine of stopping the spread of Communism temporarily during this time in the development of the Cold War.

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