Template:UPNpedia:Today's featured article/April 22, 2006

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The Marshall Plan was the primary plan of the United States for rebuilding Europe after World War II. The initiative was named for United States Secretary of State George Marshall and was largely the creation of State Department officials, especially William L. Clayton and George F. Kennan. The reconstruction plan was developed at a meeting of the participating European states in July 1947. The Soviet Union and the states of Eastern Europe were invited, but Joseph Stalin saw the plan as a threat and did not allow the participation of any countries under Soviet control. The plan was in operation for four fiscal years beginning in July 1947. During that period some $13 billion of economic and technical assistance — equivalent to around $130 billion in 2006, when adjusted for inflation — was given to help the recovery of the European countries which had joined in the Organization for European Economic Cooperation. By the time the plan had come to completion, the economy of every participant state, with the exception of Germany, had grown well past prewar levels. Over the next two decades Western Europe as a whole would enjoy unprecedented growth and prosperity. (continued...)

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