The European Recovery
The cartoon being analyzed in this paper titled “can he block it” by American cartoonist Marcus Edwin, (1885-1961) was created in mid-1947 and was published in the New York Times. Marcus Edwin’s cartoons were given a full page in the New York Times as they were important in shaping the attitudes of Americans. The cartoon consists of a basketball labeled “Marshall Plan”; a ring labeled “European Recovery” and Stalin as a USSR player. The cartoon implies that Stalin is blocking the Marshall Plan ball from entering the European Recovery ring. In the cartoon, not only did Stalin try to block the Marshall Plan ball, but he also did not want the Europeans to recover. The American cartoonist Edwin Marcus saw the cold war as “a competition between super powers.”1 The motive behind this cartoon was to show the views of America. This paper argues that the formation of the Marshall plan was as a result of the rapid spread of communism in Eastern Europe which was seen as a threat to the peace and well-being of the world. Why is communism a threat to the peace of the world? Communism is an economic and political system that was introduced by Karl Marx. Karl Marx believes history is a continuous clash between conflicting ideas and forces.2 Marx was more concerned with the economy. After observing the Industrial Revolution, Marx came to a conclusion that capitalism was responsible for the poverty that was going on. Marx believed that in order for a better society, class conflict should be a necessity. Class conflict can be defined as the struggle between the working class also known as the proletarians and the capitalist class.2 Marx believed that the capitalist class exploited the working class; workers received poor wages; and predicted that the working class will soon be aware of this exploitation , overthrow the capitalist and establish a free and classless society. Prior to Marx’s prediction, in the communist Manifesto, Karl Marx outlined that: “the proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains; they have a world to win. Working men of all countries, UNITE!”3 Marx believed that there will be no class struggle and decisions concerning workers will be democratically made.The government of proletarians was born when the Soviets established communism in 1917. This system was first led by Nicholas Lenin, followed by Leon Trotsky then Joseph Stalin. The communist system in The Soviet Union practiced the opposite of what Karl Marx had predicted; the people of Russia suffered under the dictatorship of Joseph Stalin who was a dictator from 1928 to 1952. He forced children to accept communism without question; he left no room for religion; there was no form of democracy; and anyone who was brave enough to oppose Stalin will be given a speedy trial which they were either executed or sent off to prison. The people of The Soviet Union gained little, but the elites gained power and hoped the flag of the Soviets Union will lift up to the entire world. During World War II, there was an alliance between the Soviet Union and the United states which ended after the defeat of Nazi Germany. After the war, Soviet troops occupied parts of Eastern and Central Europe. The Soviet Union soon developed communist systems and controlled Eastern Europe. On 5th March 1946, Winston Churchill delivered a speech at Westminster College, in Fulton, Missouri implying that Eastern Europe had been dominated by the soviets: “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of ancient states of central and eastern Europe… all these famous cities and the populations around them… are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence, but to a very high and increasing measure of control from Moscow.” 4 Prior to the conflicting ideologies between both powers, this led to the beginning of the cold...
Bibliography: Hopkins, Martha. “For European Recovery.” Library of Congress. June 23, 1997.
Edwin Marcus. "Can He Block It?" Library of Congress. 1947.
Edwin Marcus. "While The Shadow Lengthens." Library of Congress. March 14, 1948.
Hoffman, Stanley. The Marshall Plan, a retrospective. America: Westview Press Inc., 1984.
Halsall, Paul. “Modern History Sourcebook: Winston S. Churchill: “Iron Curtain Speech, March 5, 1946.”
Murray Jane Lothian and Linden Rick and Kendall Diana. Sociology in our Times: The Essentials. America:
Nelson Education Ltd., 2012
Marx Karl and Friedrich Engels. The Communist Manifesto. London: Penguin Books, 1985.
The Milwaukee Journal
Capitalism, n. Second edition, 1989; online version December 2011.
Martin, Michael and Gelber, Leonard. Dictionary of American History. America: Rowman and Littlefield
Publishers, Inc., 1978.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document