The second economic depression of the European states was averted by the Marshall Plan. The years after WWII were devastating, Europe needed an economic stimulant to improve their stagnant financial system. The paper below goes into the history and consequences of the Marshall Plan. .
The Second World War left Europe in hunger, misery, unemployment and a housing crisis. The income for most people was largely destroyed, and a deep depression spread among the population. At the war's end, not only did the economy of the countries lie in ruins; the entire framework of the European economies had been upset by the war and its aftermath. As a result of a decline in production in Europe, and the disruption of normal trade relations, 1947 saw the threat of world-wide economic crisis (Hemmling, H D).
Destruction was particularly great in Germany. The surviving production plants were dismantled and removed as a part of reparations. Nearly all of Germany's cities had been destroyed; the transport system was in ruins; hunger was rampant everywhere. In addition, millions of refugees driven from areas in the East flooded into the Western part of Germany, whose economy was not capable of supplying day-to-day essentials (Hemmling, H D.).
Under international law, the occupying powers were responsible for preventing starvation, disease and internal uprisings that could be a danger to the occupying forces. This obligation was confirmed in the Potsdam Agreement in July, 1945 (Delong, J E.) To alleviate distress, the American and British Governments had decided immediately after the termination of hostilities to supply their Occupation Zones in Germany with food, seeds, fertilizer, medicines and fuel. In 1945-46, theses supplies were initially paid for out of military funds (Hemmling, H D.).
In 1947, the American Government for the first time included special funds in the War Department's budget for the financing of necessary funding.