This chapter will provide a historical perspective to our study by arguing that the American grand strategy aimed at an “open door” for U.S. capital has a history stretching back to the final quarter of the nineteenth century. As such this chapter will underline the historical continuity in U.S. grand strategy, and seek to understand the content and form of that continuity. While this chapter will describe this continuity until the end of the Cold War, our later chapters analyzing the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations will show that this continuity – in terms of the global Open Door – persists today. At the same time, the historical continuity that we describe in this chapter will help us to make sense of the variation within this continuity that we will observe with respect to the last three U.S. administrations. 1