Rebuilding the Peace—United States Post World War II
Students investigate government philanthropy and the role the United States had in recovery after World War II through the Marshall Plan, the Berlin Airlift, the Truman Act, and the Displaced Person Act. Investigating these acts shows that philanthropy and self-interest can intersect.
On September 2, 1945 Japan surrendered, ending a global six-year war that saw the highest number of casualties in history. Much of the world was in shambles and many people were in the direst of circumstances. In the interest of global cooperation and recovery, the U.S. government performed sweeping acts of philanthropy that improved the conditions of people devastated or homeless from war. In this lesson we learn of the Truman Doctrine, Marshall Plan, Berlin Airlift, and the Displaced Persons Act. These historical events illustrate the broader point that there are benefits, both ethically and practically, in helping other people.