About the Author: Priscilla Linn is the Senior Curator at the U.S. Diplomacy Center.
The Marshall Plan is one of the most effective examples of U.S. diplomacy in 20th century American history. To mark this accomplishment, the U.S. Diplomacy Center at the Department of State has created an online exhibit The Marshall Plan: The Vision of a Family of Nations to explore Marshall’s vision, the leadership and motivating forces behind the plan.
The exhibition examines the ingenuity of the Marshall Plan and how its implementation served as the genesis of peacetime cooperation among former enemies.
After living through a World War, no one understood the importance of diplomacy better than the great American statesman and former Secretary of State George C. Marshall. In a commencement address delivered at Harvard University on June 5, 1947, Secretary George Marshall laid a diplomatic vision in which he proposed U.S. assistance to aid Europe's failing economies after World War II and challenged war-torn nations to work together. The vision resulted in the European Recovery Act (ERA), otherwise known as the Marshall Plan.
Explore the different exhibition chapters to learn how the Marshall Plan projected a new vision of Europe -- one with open borders, free trade, freedom to travel and cooperation and peace among all European countries. Today, Europe’s ever increasing economic and political unity reflects the legacy of the Marshall Plan.