Since the beginning, when the founders created our country, America has had a vision of being the best nation on earth, through concepts such as manifest destiny. The federalization, and centralization of power following the Civil War would lead to the creation of a national identity. Combined with its rapidly industrializing and expanding economy, the US would soon seek to expand its values and beliefs beyond the continental US. Incidents such as the Spanish-American War, and later World War I would bring America to be viewed as an equal among the long established European powers, as it expanded its territory and influence
Columbia’s Easter bonnet, Puck Magazine 1901
Ultimately the US would emerge stronger militarily from both World Wars as the classic European powers weakened, as well as becoming the largest economy in the early 20th Century. After WWII, the Cold War would immediately begin, with America heading the Western alliance of democratic, capitalist countries, against the USSR. Throughout this period, the US would continue to support countries favorable to its interests in order to combat and contain communism, until the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Since then, the US has had to realign its focus from combating the 45 year enemy that was communism, with it left as the sole superpower. As it continues to be the largest economy and the largest military, America seems to still be at the center of world affairs. Only time will tell how the US continues its foreign policy, as other countries seem to be catching up to it, and the world continues on a trend of peace and cooperation for the time being.