Marshall Plan (or European Recovery Program)
US aid programme. Passed by Congress in 1948 as the Foreign Assistance Act to aid European recovery after World War II, it was named after the Secretary of State, George Marshall. It invited the European nations to outline their requirements for economic recovery in order that material and financial aid could be used most effectively. The Soviet Union refused to participate and put pressure on its East European satellites to do likewise. To administer the plan, the Organization for European Economic Cooperation was set up, and between 1948 and 1951 some $13.5 billion was distributed.