Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Robert Blobaum

Committee Co-Chair

Joseph Hodge

Committee Member

James Seikmeier


This thesis seeks to explore the relationship of the countries of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia (together known as the Visegrad Group or Visegrad 4 [V4]) with the US after the fall of communism, and how this relationship helped them to transform their political and economic systems. This study will primarily focus on the years between 1989-2000, as this was the period during which US-V4 relations were at their peak. After the conclusion of the Clinton presidency, US foreign policy refocused its priorities as the US saw Central Europe as finally part of the Atlantic world and therefore able to handle its affairs on its own. This close relationship between these Central European countries and the US can be defined in terms of Atlanticism, the idea that both Europe and North America prosper when working together to build stronger political and economic ties; a relationship which in many ways was integral to the success of the countries in the Visegrad group as it was earlier for Western Europe under the Marshall Plan. In this thesis, I argue that it is this relationship based on Atlanticism, in combination with the united regional front that these countries presented in coordinating their foreign policy approaches in the last decade of the twentieth century, which enabled them to successfully integrate into the economic and political structures of Europe, and in a broader sense, the Atlantic world.