The United States Department Of State

1393 words - 6 pages

From the earliest times of recorded history and even long before that rudimentary
society and government have existed. When these separate governments encountered
one another, they realized that they would need to interact if they were to be able to get
along. Usually this “getting along” involved either bashing in someone’s head with a
rock, impaling your neighbor with a spear, or bombarding them will devastating long
range artillery. On rare occasions, however, these interactions were done through
dialogue and negotiation. States and nations realized that sometimes talking with their
neighbors could sometimes be more beneficial than simply raping and pillaging each
others villages. The leaders of theses nation-states also came to the obvious
conclusion that the average citizen or soldier that might interact with a foreigner more
than likely wouldn’t be qualified to negotiate carefully or delicately. As a result of this
conclusion, a class of government officials known as emissaries or ambassadors came
into creation. These ambassadors were generally highly trained officials that were
appointed by their leaders to navigate the treacherous and delicate waters of
international relations. The centuries and millennia passed and nations rose and fell in
prominence until the United States came into being. A part of the United States
government known as the United States Department of State, much more commonly
referred to as simply the State Department. was formed to deal with the young nation’s
powerful neighbors in a hostile and ever shrinking world. What follows will be a brief
discussion on the history of the State Department, its responsibilities, role in the
government, and a few anecdotes from the State Department’s history. Obviously, this
paper will be only a miniscule look at an organization that has spanned multiple
centuries, and been instrumental in momentous occurrences in history.
Ever since the United States was created the President has been authorized and tasked
with conducting the nation's foreign relations. The Department of State was the first
Federal agency to be created, and it’s original scope was much more vast than it is now.
Strangely enough many of these different tasks that were given to the State Department
were actually quite domestic in nature, which obviously stands in stark contrast to what
this organization became much more known for. Slowly, these vast responsibilities were
spun off into entirely different created governmental agencies. Eventually, the
Department of State’s true capacity would be established and codified into what it is
today. The United States Department of State is led by the Secretary of State, a Cabinet
member who is considered the most senior of the Cabinet members including in terms
of the Chain of Succession to the Presidency. The Secretary of State has generally
been considered to be an extremely important and prestigious position filled with
numerous well...

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