Courtesy of Vox:
The United States is the world's most powerful country by far, with a globe-spanning network of alliances and military bases. It's practically unrecognizable from the way the country began — and, indeed, what many early Americans thought it would be. The above video tells the story of how America changed from an insular former colony to a globe-spanning superpower.
Expansionism was always in America's DNA, as a country founded by the expulsion and slaughter of American Indians. But after America reached the Pacific coast, there was a real debate as to whether it should go further — whether the US should continue its growth as an imperial power beyond North America's shores.
Of course we know who won that argument.
Personally I really enjoy this kind of video which attempts to educate Americans about who and what we are, and how we may evolve in the future.
However I have to say that I felt some of this was a little whitewashed and did not accurately present some of the reasons for our interventionist attitude.
Still it was a little mind numbing to be reminded that many of our past decisions, including the creation of NATO, were directed solely by a desire to contain and deal with the Soviet Union, and that a product of the USSR, a former KGB agent, has now chosen America's next president for us.
At any minute I expect Rod Serling to step out of the shadows to say "Imagine if you will, a nation which spent decades attempting to control the actions of a foreign government, now led by a man chosen for them by that self same foreign government. An event which surely could only happen in.....the Twilight Zone."