- January – November 1950 (Creation)
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The U.S. State Department was established in 1789 to deal with the domestic affairs of a new United States. As the country became a world power around the turn of the last century, the State Department shifted its focus to the management of foreign affairs.
The many global conflicts of the twentieth century increased the Department's size and commitments. An act of Congress in 1924 created a unified and professional Foreign Service, and overseas embassies and consular buildings began construction in 1924.
The Department was again overhauled after WWII to accommodate the U.S.'s new role in the world, though it was no longer the sole agency responsible for foreign policy. Today, the mission of the State Department is to "create a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community."