Which brings us to Tillerson's legacy. In the broadest sense, the world we live in was created by the United States
. The architecture of international economic and political relations--the United Nations, NATO , the World Trade Organization, and so on--was largely drawn up by American diplomats at the end of the Second World War. The system they devised was meant to encourage the spread of free markets and liberal democracy, and it was premised, more than anything, on American leadership. It's easy to trash the idea of American global leadership, imperfect and unjust as it has been. But what would the world be without it? Thanks in no small part to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, we are about to find out.