SINCE World War II, the United States has faced the difficult task of finding policies which would be adequate for security and peace and at the same time compatible with its traditions. Never before has a great nation been called upon to adjust its thinking and its action so radically in so short a period.
During the nineteenth century the maintenance of peace and order depended largely on Great Britain, with its Navy and the system of naval bases which enabled it to operate with mobility and flexibility throughout the world. By suitable commercial, investment and monetary policies, Great Britain and other nations with surplus capital stimulated economic growth in underdeveloped areas. The French Revolution had aroused men to respect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms. The United States also made its contribution. Our people devoted their energies largely to domestic matters, not because they lacked concern for others but believing that what our founders called "the conduct and example" of freedom would exert a liberating influence everywhere. In fact, it did so. The "great American experiment" was a source of hope and inspiration to men everywhere, and especially to those living under despotism. Our dynamic example of freedom drew many to our shores and inspired others, in the old world and the new, to emulate our course.
All of these influences contributed to giving the world relative peace and security for the 100 years between the ending of the Napoleonic wars and the beginning of the First World War. During this period there were many advances in the practice of political liberty, and generally throughout the world there was a great advance in material and social well-being.
The events of the twentieth century, and especially the two World Wars and their aftermaths, have created an entirely new situation. In large measure the United States has inherited a responsibility for leadership which, in the past, has been shared by several nations. Today there rests upon us, to a unique degree, the
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