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This chapter offers a theoretically informed overview of American foreign policy during the Cold War. It covers the main historical developments in U.S. policy: from the breakdown of the wartime alliance with the USSR and the emergence of the US–Soviet diplomatic hostility and geopolitical confrontation,to U.S. military interventions in the third world and the U.S. role in the ending of the Cold War. The chapter begins with a discussion of three main theoretical approaches to American foreign policy during the Cold War: realism, ideational approaches, and socio-economic approaches. It then considers the origins of the Cold War and containment of the Soviet Union, focusing on the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan. It also examines the militarization of U.S. foreign policy with reference to the Korean War, Cold War in the third world, and the role of American foreign policy in the ending of the Cold War.

Chapter

This chapter examines how the world was divided into two opposing blocs, East and West, during the period 1945–8. It begins with a discussion of the Marshall Plan, focusing on its implementation and its Cold War consequences, and the Western economic system. It then considers the Soviet Union’s takeover of Eastern and Central Europe, with emphasis on the split between Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia. It also looks at the struggle for influence in East Asia and concludes with an assessment of the division of Germany. The chapter suggests that the Berlin crisis was in many ways a symbolic crisis in a city which came to epitomize Cold War tensions until 1989; the crisis has also been regarded as an important cause of the militarization of the Cold War and the formation of NATO.

Chapter

2. Dividing Europe  

The Cold War and European Integration

David A. Messenger

This chapter examines how the politics of the Cold War shaped integration and created and cemented the division of Europe in the immediate postwar era. It first provides an overview of the origins of the Cold War in Europe before discussing the Marshall Plan and the Schuman Plan. It then considers the Western Alliance and German rearmament, the Soviet Union's attitude towards European integration, and alternatives to integration including the Western European Union and NATO. The chapter shows that the outbreak of the Cold War not only enabled the United States to remain engaged in European affairs but also spurred the process of European integration while ensuring that it would be confined to the western part of the continent. Of great significance was the connection made by American and French officials, notably Jean Monnet, between economic development, national security, and the double containment of Germany and the Soviet Union.

Chapter

This chapter examines how European integration contributed to the so-called German Problem — the problem of managing Germany's political rehabilitation and economic resurgence after World War II. The achievement rested not only on the Schuman Plan and the ensuing European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), but also on cooperation among French and German coal and steel producers in the interwar period. The adoption by the new Federal Republic of homegrown economically liberal policies, which complemented and implemented the wartime vision of American postwar policy, was another decisive factor. The chapter first provides an overview of the postwar framework for Germany's economic recovery and political rehabilitation, focusing on the Marshall Plan, the German economic boom, and Jean Monnet's role in shaping postwar Europe. It also considers the evolution of French Ruhrpolitik, the Schuman Plan negotiations, and the eclipse of Monnetism and the founding of the European Economic Community.