I've heard a lot of unofficial stories regarding various steps that were taken at the end of WW2 to prevent a WW3. What were these steps? Did they work? Or is America's status as a superpower a deterrent against warlike situations across the world?
There really is a whole list of things that were done to prevent WW3. So I would have to consider this question to be a bit of a laundry list question. However, one of the major things that the US did to prevent WWII is to not make the same mistake that it made after the end of WWI. It did not beat the losing side into the ground. In fact, the allied nations did quite a bit to help rebuild the axis nations. In this way, it prevented reemergence of the same resentment and desperation that instigated Germany's involvement in WWII.
The Marshall Plan (officially the European Recovery Program, ERP) was the American initiative to aid Europe, in which the United States gave $17 billion (approximately $160 billion in current dollar value) in economic support to help rebuild European economies after the end of World War II. (Wikipedia)