Comparison of Two Opposing Authors and Their Theories


Comparisonof Two Opposing Authors and Their Theories

Comparison of Two Authors and Their Theories

In the article“New Evidence on the Soviet Rejection of the Marshall Plan” fromthe Woodrow Wilson Center for Cold War International project, itspeaks about two nations, the United States and the USSR opinions inregard to the Marshall Plan. Two different authors wrote the articleScott Parrish from Texas University in Austin and Mikhail Narinskyfrom Moscow’s Institute of University History. The two differenthistorians from two superpower nations both argue about differentopinions on the Marshall Plan implementation. The paper will examineboth the arguments, while contrasting and comparing their theories tounderstand further the reason behind US and USSR’s Marshall Planviewpoint and why it differs between the two nations.

To begin with,Scott Parrish section in the article starts off by stating that “TheUnited States government officials observe Moscow’s opinion on theMarshall Plan as extra additional evidences that have an inherentaggressiveness and Soviet hostility”. The US identified this as anaggression act, which could lead to war, especially when they attemptto repair European economy after the World War II (Parrish et al.,1994). The American ambassador to USSR, Walter Smith, during thistime, claimed that the USSR was “absolutely nothing less than a wardeclaration by the Soviet Union on the control of Europe’simmediate issue” (Parrish et al., 1994). The United States, on theother hand, stated that the USSR does not want to engage in thesesince they had wished to have had control over Europe. While GeorgeKennan, who was among authors that contributed to the Marshall Planobserved the USSR response as “an indicative of the Soviet’sdesire to grab substantial industrial and Europe’s human resources”(Parrish et al., 1994). Immediately after the USSR’s response, theUnited States saw that the Marshall Plan was a crucial defensivestate that was “taken to block expansion of the Soviet into theWestern Europe”. They also feared that “the economy deterioratingtoward Western Europe could result to communists demanding for powerin countries such as Italy and France” (Parrish et al., 1994). Fromthe United States point of view, the Marshall Plan implementation wasthe right to thing to do, not only due to their benefit but also forthe benefit of all of Europe.

On the otherhand, the USSR had an entirely different view on this matter, morethan the United States had. Mikhail Narinsky’s section of thearticle begin by stating that “The proposed Marshall Plan toexploit Eastern Europe raw materials for Western Europe’srehabilitation”, (Parrish et al., 1994), in sense, means that hepointed out that the they are taking out materials that are onlywithin the USSR sphere of influence, which were gained through theWorld War II, while using that to fix the Western Europe. The Sovietambassador to the US, Nikolai Novikov at the time, sent a telegram onJune 24 to Molotov that said “the democratization process that theEuropean countries stimulated has hostile forces to the USSR Union,which create buttressing conditions of American capital in Asian andEurope that forces them to remain without any change” (Parrish etal., 1994).

When botharguments from these two historians are examined, one can see thedifference the USSR and United States viewed the Marshall Plan. Whilethe US saw it fit as a huge foreign policy, which would be able tostrengthen Europe, it becomes hard to realize the much this plan canstrengthen the economy of the United States. The nation could then bein a position to be dependent on other nations that are involved init, including the US (Parrish et al., 1994). In contrast to ScottParrish argument, Mikhail Narinsky argues that the Soviet Union wasaware that that kind of plan would strengthen and improves theeconomy of the USSR, while at the same time, having their politicalpower with countries across Europe. From Mikhail Narinsky argument,the USSR did not want to be a part of the plan that benefits them, asthey were to other nations. The author cautions that at that time,the USSR were not receiving any reparations like what the othernations were getting, nor the need to see the Germans rise to a pointof assuming power following the last two World Wars.

From ScottParrish argument, he draws a slight similarity to Mikhail Narinskyargument, especially the point where the US are handed theopportunity to get involved in the Marshall Plan to assist in keepingan economy however, it was easy for one to withdraw from the chance.At the time, a document was written that showed the reason why theUSSR regards the incorporation of the Marshall Plan as a scrupulousidea. The then Soviet politician stated that “the Soviet moved outof participation of the Marshall Plan party since they viewed themotives of the Americans in the rebuilding of Europe, especially forGermany” (Parrish et al., 1994).

While observingthis historical event, both the historians revealed that it isimperative to study how the two sides revolved around the said event,and how they would react. It offers a firm understanding of the twosides and facilitates better understanding of the reason why theyexperienced the feeling towards it. The overall goal of the MarshallPlan was solely to revive the economy of Western Europe. However,when one compares and contrasts these thoughts, it is easy to realizethat they are opposite and that nothing good comes out from theSoviet Union and the United States. When studied from anotherperspective, the Marshall’s speech, Scott Parrish states that “thetruth behind this, is that requirements of Europe for the next 3 or 4years will only be foreign food and other vital foods that areprincipally from the United States” (Parrish et al., 1994). Theargument clearly disregards that it is different from the Soviet’sperspective. This is where Mikhail Narinsky differs from ScottParrish by arguing that the US is using the Marshall Plan like an“instrument of political pressures”, and that the US isimplementing this under the correct circumstance. The US feels thatthey are attempting to revive the economy of Western Europe, while ittries to get back on their feet even though it seems they are doingthis with good intentions.

In a contrastingperspective, the USSR believes that they are forcing Europe’scountries to be in need of a giveaway aid. Scott Parrish states “owninalienable rights to economic resources disposal and the plan ontheir nation’s economy, done their way … turning all thesecountries with direct dependency on their American monopolies’interests” (Parrish et al., 1994). Mikhail Narinsky in contrastargues that all these strive to avert approaching depression byaccelerated commodities’ exports and capital to Europe. This inshort, turns out that the Western Europe became dependent on the US.The Soviets, on the other hand, believes that “this kind of planattempts to separate Europe into two sections, and with the help ofUK and France, it would complete formation of European countries’bloc, which are hostile to interests of Eastern Europe’s democraticcountries, and in particular, the Soviet Union” (Parrish et al.,1994). Implementation of Marshall Plan led to the creation ofeverlasting tension between the US and the USSR, which still existuntil today.

In conclusion,both authors presented different views however, both views draw asimilarity on why both the nations stood with different opinions onthe Marshall Plan. The authors argued that the Marshall Planpresented an amazing idea, with positive intentions, but the MarshallPlan led to the World War II. This has until today developedconsiderable amount of anxiety and tension between the two superpowers.


Parrish, S. D., Narinsky, M. M., &amp Cold War International HistoryProject. (1994). New evidence on the Soviet rejection of theMarshall Plan, 1947: Two reports. Washington, D.C.: Cold WarInternational History Project.