In “Miles to Go, From American Plan to European Union”, Helmut Schmidt argues that the Marshall Plan is the most instrumental policy in reviving Europe. Germany will always feel grateful for the American, but in the century after the Cold War, it is in the Germany’s interest not being isolated from the European Union. To be sufficiently enough to become a world power, the Europe should unite and integrate together. The passage begins by saying that after World war II, three speeches from Churchill in Zurich, George Marshall in 1947 and Robert Schuman in 1950 had significant influence on the economic and politics of Europe. Helmut Schmidt introduces how miserable life the German have after being defeated. With the dismantled economy and increasing employment, Germany is in agony. People do not have cloth or food, and they can only spend time on bed during winter because there is no coal. When the Marshall’s plan come into effect in German, a new monetary and economic system were introduced and people get access to the goods they want. Helmut Schmidt described that age as “Pax American”. While the author further explains that the success of the revival of Europe does not only come from some master plan, such as the Marshall plan and NATO. Multiple leaders contribute a lot in the process based on their own moral sense and personal judgement. Also, the success of Marshall Plan in Europe comes from the fact the “Europe has long standing entrepreneurship, a base of business acumen, a high level of general education”(Schmidt,1997). The plan could help Europe because self-help exits in it. The article proceeds by predicting the three world power in the next century, the United States, China and Russia. None of the European country could be sufficiently enough to become a world power. To be able to exert influence on the world affaire equal to the three country, Europe need to be united and integrated. In Cold War, Germany does have to rely more on United States, while now, it is in the Germany’s interest not being isolated from the European Union. A strong and Vital Union would serve each nation’s interest. Also, the bond of values, history, religious belief and democracy between Europe and American will last. Europe union is also an achievement of American.
Discussion questions: 1. what’s the benefit of American in initiating the Marshall plan?
- If the EU serve all nations’ interest, why would there be Brexit?
Schmidt, Helmut. “ From American Plan to European Union”. Foreign Affairs, Vol. 76, No. 3 (May – Jun., 1997), pp. 213-221. Council on Foreign Relations.