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You're defining the "last century" pretty narrowly. There have been a number of times when Europe has looked to the U.S. The U.S. rendered aid and assistance during its post-WWII reconstruction. It served as the sword and shield of NATO against the Soviet Union. U.S. economic liberalization and deregulation in the 1970's and 1980's was a model that Europe followed in the 1980's and 1990's.

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