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Economic Cooperation Act of 1948 (Marshall Plan), April 3, 1948

The European Recovery Program pushed forward the economic reconstruction of post-war Europe and discouraged the spread of communism. Secretary of State George C. Marshall announced the proposal in a 1947 Harvard University commencement speech. Passed by Congress, the Marshall Plan was signed into law on April 3, 1948, and eventually distributed more than $13 billion in economic aid to 17 Western and Southern European countries. The Marshall Plan is credited with reviving the economies of Western Europe, solidifying American leadership in the post-war world, and fostering European integration through the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (EOOC), the predecessor of the European Union.

General Records of the U.S. Government, National Archives and Records Administration

Economic Cooperation Act of 1948 (Marshall Plan) - Image 1 Economic Cooperation Act of 1948 (Marshall Plan) - Image 2

Legislative Highlights

The U.S. Constitution states that “The Congress shall have Power…To make all Laws.” The original laws enacted by Congress are preserved at the National Archives. This page highlights some of the most historically significant laws Congress has passed throughout the nation’s history.