This essay was supposed to be about the role Wilsonianism played in the development of the Atlantic community during the cold war. Apparently, this topic was prompted by conference organizers who harbored the widespread assumption, which exists in the United States and elsewhere, that US foreign policy in the twentieth and early twenty-fi rst centuries has been to a signifi cant degree driven by one variant or another of Wilsonian ideology. Specifi cally, it is taken for granted that the impulse to intervene for the purpose of spreading democracy nationally and federalism regionally somehow lies at the core not only of Wilsonianism, but of the American style of foreign policy more generally. In the case of Europe, this predisposition was presumably translated into a US desire to see created a United States of Europe as an expression of the Wilsonian impulse. If the United States is an exceptionalist nation, and if Wilsonianism is the expression par excellence of exceptionalism, then the creation of a united Europe owed much to the practical application of this exceptionalist creed.