On June 5, 1947, in a commencement address at Harvard University, Secretary of State George C. Marshall first called for American assistance in restoring the economic infrastructure of Europe. Western Europe responded favorably, and the Truman administration proposed legislation. The resulting Economic Cooperation Act of 1948 restored European agricultural and industrial productivity. (Cold War Museum. Marshall Plan. N.D.).
With economic aid flowing and the U.S. In full support of a containment policy against the Soviet Union, the Cold War expanded its scope and breadth after the emergence of several events in the late 1940's and early 1950's. A communist coup in Czechoslovakia in 1948 saw "the last independent government in Eastern Europe" (Cold War Museum. The Czechoslovakia Coup. N.D.) fall; heightening the acuity of the Soviets, U.S., and the world to the seriousness of the conflict between the powers. A further demonstration of the degree of conflict between the Soviets and the West was the Berlin blockade and subsequent airlift in 1948 and 1949. In an attempt to gain greater control over the city of Berlin the Soviets "cut of surface traffic to and from the city of West Berlin; starving out the population and cutting off their business" (Giangreco, D.M. & Griffin, R.N.D.). In response the Truman administration conducted daily airlifts to the city, providing food and supplies to residents. The blockage and adrift lasted for over a year only to see the Soviets relent and drop the blockade as they "looked like an international bully that was trying to starve men, women, and children into submission" (History.com. N.D.). The incident while not violent is considered "one of the most dramatic standoffs in the history of the Cold War" (History.com. N.D.).
In the development of Cold War tension perhaps no two events had more lasting impact then the Chinese Revolution and the Korean War.
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