Date of Completion

Spring 5-9-2010

Thesis Advisor(s)

Mark Boyer

Honors Major

Political Science


International Relations | Political Science


In my thesis I looked at Cold War interventionism by America. In the Post WWII period, many countries were searching for freedom from colonial rule, and many were attracted to the idea of communism or socialism. In this context of a destabilized world and power struggle between the U.S.A and the U.S.S.R., revolutions often became points of interests and parts of this larger power play. Any type of revolution was a destabilization, in a system that was unstable at best, and peace between the powers rested precariously on the idea of “Mutually Assured Destruction.” I would like to look more specifically, at the Latin American Region, which seemed full of upheaval, and was an area of much intervention, especially during the Reagan Administration. This administration had varying goals and conflicts about the region.

The large amount of interventionism in the 1980s was in part a response to the Vietnam War, which was seen as an American failure, since prevention of communism did not occur. Following this, American strength needed to be shown again in the international stage, especially in Latin America, due to its close proximity to America. I would like to explore the intervention in Grenada and see if it followed a pattern of intervention in the region. This will be contrasted with the case of Nicaragua, which seemed more typical of interventions in the region. The causes of intervention in the region as well as the reasons these interventions took such different courses will be explored and investigated.