In Our Own Image: The Sources of American Conduct in World Affairs

In the long span of American history, two moments stand out for theircreative refashioning of the political order.

Issue: Winter 1997-1998

In the long span of American history, two moments stand out for their
creative refashioning of the political order. The first comprises the
framing, ratification, and amendment of the Federal Constitution from
1787 to 1790; the second, the creation of the system linking the
United States with the advanced industrial democracies after the
Second World War. The first incarnation of the American system lasted
from 1789 until 1861, when its tensions exploded in a great war that
brought it to an end. The second incarnation still endures; indeed,
we are now commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the institutions
and programs--Bretton Woods, the Marshall Plan, and the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization --most closely identified with it.

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