Krug Hall 210
Section Information for Fall 2017
Was America’s rise as a global superpower a force for good or for ill? How did America’s global relations shape the modern world, and how did they transform American politics and culture at home? Is America still a world power today? This course surveys America’s foreign relations from the late nineteenth century to the present in order to understand the complex and controversial history of America’s international role. We will cover traditional topics in the history of foreign relations – such as wars and diplomacy– as well as international cultural and economic relations. The aim of the course is to see America’s global role as a political and moral problem – ever present but constantly evolving – and to understand the creative and destructive ways in which Americans have made sense of their relations with the rest of the world. We will also endeavor to understand America and Americans as subject to global forces – what we would now call globalization – that were not always under their control. Through close readings of primary and secondary sources, we will explore such topics as the World Wars, the Cold War, the War on Terror, imperialism and decolonization, international law, cultural globalization, and transnational commerce.
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