HIS 240

United States and World Affairs

Course Objectives:

1) To emphasize the relationship between theory and fact in the interpretation of twentieth-century United States foreign policy;

2) To introduce students to the historiography of U.S. foreign relations, the similarities and distinctions among various schools, and the impact of changing historical conditions on their formation;

3) To provide a general introductory survey of the history of twentieth-century U.S. foreign policy, emphasizing the respective roles played by capitalism, imperialism, ultraimperialism, antiimperialism, and postimperialism in the development of U.S. relations with industrial, industrializing, and non-industrial countries;

4) To understand how U.S. foreign policy both affects, and is affected by, world historical events and the political organization of foreign peoples.

Course Requirements:

Grades will be based upon class participation (20%), a mid-term (25%), a journal (25%), and a final exam (30%). There are three strategies for demonstrating your effective class participation. You must attend class regularly, take notes on lectures and class discussions, and answer or raise thoughtful questions that reflect your comprehension of assigned readings. Notes will be collected and evaluated periodically during the semester.

The midterm and final exams will require you to identify and explain the significance of events, people, places, treaties, etc. in terms of shifting U.S. strategic, economic, and ideological objectives during the twentieth century. The journal will contain weekly summaries and analysis of the assigned readings and class lectures.

Required Readings:

Paterson, Thomas, et. al. American Foreign Policy. New York: Heath, 2000.

Various hand-outs, including primary source documents.

Course Outline: I. Nationalists, Realists, and Revisionists: The Debate on Sources, Strategies, and Objectives of U.S. Foreign Policy January 29

Excerpts from:

Walter LaFeber, Liberty and Power: U.S. Diplomatic History, 1750-1945, pp. 1-7 Samuel Flagg Bemis, A Diplomatic History of the United States, 963-970 George Kennan, American Diplomacy, 1900-1950, 439-446 William A. Williams, The Tragedy of American Diplomacy, 1-16

II. Corporate Capitalism, Overseas Expansion, and Imperialist Rivalries: The Struggle for World Capitalist Leadership, 1898-1945 February 5-March 5

Paterson, American Foreign Policy, chs. 1-6

III. The Cold War and the Containment of Revolution: The American Century and the Ultraimperialist Quest for a World Capitalist Order,1945-72 March 19-26

Paterson, American Foreign Policy, chs. 7-9

Review & Mid-Term Exam (April 2)

IV. Twilight of the American Century: Resurgence of International Capitalist Competition, Third World Revolutions, and Global Instability, 1972-1989 April 9-16

Paterson, American Foreign Policy, chs. 10-11

V. The Search for a New International Order: Imperialism, Ultraimperialism, Postimperialism, and the Expansion of World Capitalist Accumulation, 1989-2000 April 23

Paterson, American Foreign Policy, ch. 12

Review & Final Exam (April 30)

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