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Chapter

Cover US Foreign Policy

4. American foreign policy during the Cold War  

Richard Saull

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

Cover International Relations Since 1945

2. Two Worlds East and West, 1945–8  

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.