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Foreign Policy
Guide: Foreign Aid

The aftermath of World War II forced the United States to take an active role in rebuilding nations devastated by war. This collection of articles, photos, and documents focuses on the expansion of U.S. foreign aid programs during the Cold War period, highlighting the shift from a policy of neutrality to one of strategic containment. Use the Export to My Lists button above to turn this into a research list for your students.

Theme Key Understandings

  • Governments' approaches to regulation change over time based on domestic and global circumstances
  • American domestic policies span a spectrum from a free-market approach to a highly regulatory approach
  • A citizen's opinion on the need for regulation generally depends on his or her role in society
  • Social and economic policies form the basis of domestic policy
  • Through social policy, government officials can provide programs and services to maintain and improve citizen welfare
  • Through economic policy, the government seeks to maintain stability for the national economy
  • Foreign policies are influenced by the accepted doctrine of a time period, which is often shaped in reaction to world events
  • The executive branch plays the leading role in directing foreign policy

Key Questions

  • Describe how the need to rebuild Europe in a friendly fashion lead to the Marshall Plan after World War II.
  • How did the Marshall Plan mark a shift in American foreign policy as the United States became a leading world power?


  1. Overview: Foreign Aid
  2. Outline: Outline
  3. Transcript: Transcript
  4. Lesson: Introduction
  5. Lesson: 1-The Marshall Plan
  6. Lesson: 2-Using Aid to Shape International Affairs
  7. Lesson: 3-Humanitarian Aid
  8. Lesson: 4-Military Aid
  9. Lesson: Closing
  10. Photos & Illustrations: Afghanistan: girl holds food relief
  11. Photos & Illustrations: Marshall Plan: rebuilding West Berlin
  12. Reference Articles: Berlin Airlift
  13. Reference Articles: Containment
  14. Reference Articles: Marshall Plan
  15. Reference Articles: Neutrality Policy, U.S. (1793–1917)
  16. Political, Government & Court Documents: Proclamation of Neutrality (1793)
  17. Speeches: Marshall, George C.: Marshall Plan speech (1947)
  18. Speeches: Truman Doctrine (1947)

MLA Citation

"Foreign Aid." History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2019, historyhub.abc-clio.com/Support/Content/2156160?cid=256. Accessed 6 Dec. 2019.

Entry ID: 2156160

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