The Spanish-American War of 1898 marked the entry of the United States into a new era of
global engagement, as it administered overseas territories, spread its liberal ideology and
socio-economic vision, and reframed its conceptions of national and international security.
Since then, it has become the leading global power, whose foreign policy not only
disproportionately impacts other nations, but shapes the very structure of the international
system. A grasp of American diplomatic history has become indispensable to anyone
wishing to understand contemporary international politics.
This course examines the evolution of American foreign policy through the twentieth
century, covering all the major events and debates of that time period, including the
American decision to intervene in World War I and its consequences; the impact of
America’s isolationist foreign policy during the interwar years; the causes and consequences
of World War II; the origins of the Cold War and American strategy; the creation and
collapse of the American-led postwar economic system; American relations with allies and
enemies in the Third World; and the United States in the post-Cold War World. We will also
explore a range of macro-themes, including the role of ideology, race, religion, domestic
politics, the institutional environment, and individual leaders in the making of American
foreign policy.The goal of the course is to introduce students to the study of American foreign policy after
1898. Students will become familiar with important events, personalities, and theoretical
perspectives. Students will be introduced to a range of opinions through secondary sources
and trained to properly evaluate and use primary sources. Students will be expected to
integrate these sources to produce two medium-length essays of five double-spaced pages
each, with clear structures, coherent arguments supported by evidence where appropriate,
and correct citation. Students will come away from the course with improved critical reading
and argumentative writing skills, which are highly valued in most careers in an information

offering time

Fall 22




Sean Fear



Course code


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