Historians no longer argue that the Marshall Plan was essential for Europe's recovery, but rather that its political and psychological impact was decisive.
The Marshall Plan took its name from the Secretary of State George Marshall, but it was officially the European Recovery Program (ERP) which in turn was a US initiative to Europe´s economic and social recovery.
The labeling used on Marshall Plan aid packages
In fact, the Marshall Plan had an economic component and a market purposes including a foreign policy to stop the advance of Soviet Communism into Europe. The goal was to rebuild Europe, removing trade barriers, modernize European industry, in order to help Europe to return to prosperity.
|One of a number of posters created to promote the Marshall Plan in Europe. Note the pivotal position of the American flag.|
That is, USA had to help Europe to emerge to have money to buy American products, and vice versa. Establishing a huge market of growing sales helped to defend capitalism as a system of prosperity and private initiative.
Map from The Marshall Plan at the Mid-Mark, 1950. Averell Harriman Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress
From the political point of view, if Europe achieved those goals of industrial modernization with an assured market, the communists, and even the advance of communism would discouraged, I would feel anachronistic, as indeed happened.
The Marshall Plan really helped Europe to take-off economically, politically and socially speaking.