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The Reagan EraA History of the 1980s$
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Doug Rossinow

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231169882

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231169882.001.0001

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The Free World

The Free World

Chapter:
(p.261) Fourteen The Free World
Source:
The Reagan Era
Author(s):

Doug Rossinow

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231169882.003.0014

This chapter focuses on Washington’s foreign policy with the end of the Cold War. At the end of the 1980s, the United States became the world’s one and only superpower. America’s preeminence resulted not from Reagan’s military buildup but the fall of Soviet power. The buildup, however, put America in position to capitalize, at least militarily, on its now unchecked powers. The U.S. ascendancy coincided with dramatic breakthroughs toward peace and democracy all around the globe. But only in Eastern Europe was the march of freedom publicly and unambiguously urged forward by the United States, and only there were the two big shifts in power relations—between the United States and the rest of the world, and within nations in many regions—definitely linked.

Keywords:   United States, foreign policy, foreign affairs, foreign relations, freedom, Eastern Europe, superpower

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