The U.S. Congress approved Marshall's long-sighted proposal in 1948, and, by 1952, the United States had channeled some $13,000 million in economic aid and technical assistance to 16 European countries. During the program's four years, participating countries saw their aggregate gross national product rise more than 30 percent and industrial production increase by 40 percent over prewar levels.
But the Marshall Plan, as it came to be known, was not just an American program. It was a joint European-American venture, one in which American resources were complemented with local resources, one in which the participants worked cooperatively toward the common goals of freedom and prosperity.
Many have been generous in their praise of the Marshall Plan, but perhaps none more than Sir Winston Churchill, to whom it represented "the most unsordid act in history."
The Marshall Plan, Investment in Peace: