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Most Americans applauded Truman’s decision to help countries resisting communism. Others wanted to see a much larger American role in Europe in the postwar era. Several observers stated that Hitler was able to rise to power because of the lack of stability in both the German government and economy in the era following World War I, and that such a situation should never be allowed to develop again.

Many Belt that it was the duty of the United States to rebuild the devastated countries of Europe after World War II; it was felt that in the long run this would bring both political and economic benefits to the Western world.

By the terms of the Marshall Plan the United States provided nearly $12 billion in economic aid to help rebuild Europe. This assistance was of a strictly nonmilitary nature, and was designed, in large measure, to prevent Western Europe from falling into economic collapse. Seventeen Western European nations received aid under the Marshall Plan; several of them became valuable trading partners of the United States by the early part of the 1950s, The Soviet Union was invited to apply for aid from the Marshall Plan, Stalin refused and ordered the Soviet satellite countries to do so as well.

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