Since the beginning of the United States, Americans have been interested in the world around them. This study focuses on the development of U.S. global engagement, the myriad ways in which the country interacts with the rest of the world. In particular, it is interested in how the country rose to the status of a superpower. Global engagement has long been a subject of interest for scholars. However, when they examine the 20th century, one of the most important periods for the development of global engagement, they tend to focus on the impact of World War Two. In doing so, the scholars neglect to study World War One. I believe that World War One was an important moment both for the United States and the world as a whole. Thus, this study uses the First World War as a focal point to measure how global engagement has changed and remained the same. Using the metaphor of the United States travelling on a path of global engagement, I find that global engagement has largely been a process of continuity. The behaviors that characterize the United States today have their roots at the beginning of the country. World War One, however, was still important. It led to internal and external changes that accelerated the United States down the path to its current status as a superpower. This study draws a number of important conclusions. First, the United States had a complex relationship with Britain, fraught with both tension and cooperation. In the end, the Americans took the reins of a global system formed by the British. Finally, the concept of the United States existing in isolation in its early decades is largely a myth. Global engagement has long been important to Americans. It should remain important to them today as well.


Pozefsky, Peter




Diplomatic History | United States History

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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