Chapter

The United States and the Cold War

Jeremi Suri

in International Relations Since the End of the Cold War

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199666430
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745607 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199666430.003.0006
The United States and the Cold War

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Despite the many misguided programs promoted by the United States, American foreign policy during the Cold War contributed to the spread of four basic ideas that, on the whole, enhanced global peace and prosperity. These ideas were collective security, free trade, solvency, and democracy. These ideas were not unique to the United States or the post-1945 years. They were empowered internationally, however, by an American government with global capabilities and commitments that knew few previous historical parallels. Presidents as diverse as Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and George H.W. Bush returned repeatedly to these ideas. Policy planners relied on them, and the “lessons” from their applications in the early Cold War. The ideas that shaped the years after 1945 acquired a staying power that they still have not lost. The Cold War was an ideological struggle with strong ideological legacies that are both positive and negative.

Keywords: collective security; free trade; solvency; democracy; ideology; economy; alliances

Chapter.  8416 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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