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2000-2001 Visiting Fellows

Stelios Zachariou
Ph.D. Candidate
Department of History and Archeology
University of Athens, Greece

My research focuses on the impact of the Marshall Plan economic aid program in Greece (1948 - 1952). The aid program in Greece was inaugurated by the Truman Doctrine only to be continued through the Marshall Plan, setting thus the basis of the economic, political and military bilateral relations between Greece and the United States throughout the Cold War period. Although there is an abundance of scholarly work that covers the early period of the Cold War noting the Truman Doctrine as the catalyst for American foreign policy globally, research has been scant in delineating the effect that the Marshall Plan had in Greece and the impact it had on bilateral relationship between Greece and the United States. The effect of the Marshall Plan has been overshadowed by the civil war which necessitated that respective Greek governments focus on deterring the communist threat before embarking on a reconstructive path that would remedy the socioeconomic devastation of a decade long conflict. Considering that the civil war did not end until the Fall of 1949, Greece was unable to benefit equally with the European nations from aid provided in the context of the Marshall Plan during the first two pivotal years (1948-1949) of the economic aid program. Consequently, Greece was unable to take advantage of the funding provided through the Marshall Plan in the same capacity that other countries engaged in the Marshall Plan aid program did, despite the fact that Greece was the overall 6th largest recipient of aid.

The collections of Political Papers held at the Seeley Mudd Library contributed significantly in understanding foreign policy strategy in the early years of the Cold War, as well as looking into the decision processes of implementing important foreign policy objectives such as the Marshall Plan. While State Department sources provide the decision making course of action on a government level, the private papers of government officials and diplomats, such as George Kennan, James Forestall, John Foster Dulles, Lincoln MacVeagh and Karl Rankin, provide for the thought process and justification of decision making. The personal papers of formidable figures in contemporary American history offer research historians an additional tool of understanding foreign policy as it was implemented during the first years of the Cold War. In addition, Arthur Krock's papers, also found in the Seeley Mudd Library provide for a journalistic approach to Washington's inner circle. The thoughts expressed in personal correspondence interpreted in the media by renown journalists such as Arthur Krock, offer a direct look at the thought processing of American decision making.

The Friends of the Princeton University Library Fellowship offered me the opportunity of better understanding the standpoint of American policy makers during pivotal moments for American foreign relations. By reading the papers of such formidable figures, I am better able to interpret and comprehend the communiqués, reports and memos composed by the State Department, the Department of Defense and the National Security Council with relation to policy in the region of the eastern Mediterranean in general, and Greece in particular. The fellowship allowed me to look at international relations from a personal point of view enhancing my study while stimulating my interest in the lives and accomplishments of the public figures of American policy making.


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