Since the start of U.S. hostilities against Iraq in 2003, International Relations scholars have begun to characterize the U.S. as potentially an empire. This is because the traditional notion of sovereignty under the Westphalian nation-state system is held as a constant in the prominent theories that govern how it is thought how nation-states interact with each other. The blatant violation of international laws and norms with impunity by the U.S. have led to a re-questioning of the true dynamics underlying this system. Some scholars have characterized the recent research as a popular fad, but most of the research is aimed at just attempting to show how the U.S. could be an empire. What the current research is missing is how the U.S. became an empire, with that analysis anchored in an historical comparison. A complete chronological review of each system in its entirety is required, with all of its components, to more fully understand these phenomena. This has required researchers to devise a new methodological process of qualitatively and quantitatively analyzing macro structures. We believe the implications of the insights that can be obtained with this new method could be of use to many fields and can generate many new hypotheses to test in the future.