The Marshall Plan as the Beginning of European Integration: How the Americans Steered the Europeans towards Integration

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The Marshall Plan was brought into life to rebuild Europe after World War II (WWII). It is, therefore, mostly known for its main goal: European recovery. However, the Americans had another goal besides stabilizing the European economy. They wanted to integrate Europe. In this thesis, I will be discussing the European integration process from 1947 till roughly 1950. It is well known that the Americans had a big influence on post-war Europe through the Marshall Plan and thus on Europe economically, but to what extent did they contribute to the European integration process? A large amount of literature has been written about the Marshall Plan and the American involvement, and many authors touch upon the subject of European integration. In this thesis, however, I will solely focus on this question by giving an analysis of how this post-war time frame has been significant for the European integration process. By discussing the main American ideas behind the Marshall Plan, but also through a proper analysis of the events and policy decisions, I hope to sketch a clear image of the American involvement in Europe at that time. I will try to determine how successful the Americans were in using the Marshall Plan to encourage European integration.
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