Jean Monnet pp 86-113 | Cite as

Jean Monnet, the United States and the French Economic Plan

  • Irwin M. Wall


It would be difficult to overestimate the importance of Jean Monnet in the history of the postwar reconstruction of Western Europe. In many ways Monnet’s ideas shaped the structure of the economy of postwar Europe, and consequently, determined much of its political evolution as well. Monnet’s influence was not a reflection of any specific position he held. He was first, head of the French Supply Council, the economic purchasing mission that coordinated French imports from the United States to France under Lend-Lease. In January 1946 he became head of the Commissariat du Plan, a newly-created structure to oversee the rebuilding of the French economy, attached directly to the Prime Minister’s office. From that position he later went on to assume the presidency of the European Coal and Steel Community. During the actual work of constructing the European Common Market from 1955–7 he held no official position at all, rather leading a pressure group, the Action Committee for the United States of Europe. Monnet was neither politician nor technocrat, nor a charismatic leader of the masses.


French Government American Negotiator Marshall Plan American Pressure Petty Bourgeoisie 
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© Douglas Brinkley and Clifford Hackett 1991

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  • Irwin M. Wall

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