United States Diplomatic History Since 1914
HIUS 352
T, Th 2:00-3:15 | Chemistry 304


Course Description

This course will examine the rise of the United States as world's predominant military, economic, and geopolitical power. Though it will focus nominally on developments since 1914, it will also address dynamics which stretch back to the nation's founding. Class meetings will touch on America 's diplomatic, cultural, and economic interaction with the world, and will proceed in a chronological fashion. Among the questions we will try to answer are the following:

  1) How did the United States emerge as a global power?
2) How does the rest of the world view the practice of American foreign policy?
3) Is there an "American style" of foreign policy?
4) What accounts for the evolution of U.S. foreign policy?

Lectures and in-class discussions will also evaluate the ideological, moral, economic, and cultural dimensions of U.S. foreign relations. Students will have a chance to explore these themes in detail in a term paper due near the end of the course.


There are no formal prerequisites, but the course does assume a basic familiarity with U.S. history and world events since the first world war. Students wondering about their fitness for the course should contact the instructor for recommended background reading.

Required Texts
  Readings will average 100-150 pages per week and will draw on a range of materials including primary documents, scholarly articles, interpretive essays, and narrative texts. The following volumes will be required reading for the course:

  Gaddis, John Lewis. Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of American National Security Policy During the Cold War . rev. and exp. ed. New York : Oxford University Press, 2005, 1982.

Knock, Thomas J. To End All Wars: Woodrow Wilson and the Quest for a New World Order (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992.

Herring, George. America's Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 1950-1975 . 4th ed. New York : McGraw-Hill, 2002.

Mann, James. Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet. New York: Viking, 2004.

Paterson . Thomas G., et. al., American Foreign Relations, vol. II: A History Since 1895 , 6th ed. New York : Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005.

Class Listserve
  You may also participate in online discussions of class and related material via the class listserve. The address for the listserve is:


Please note that any message you send to this address will be delivered to everyone in the class. If you wish to contact the instructor directly, please use the instructor's individual email address listed on the homepage. Password/access information for both the website and the listserve will be provided in class. To send a message to the listserve, the listserve password must appear in the first non-blank line (only) of the message text.

Academic Misconduct
  Information regarding rules and regulations can be found on the university website at:


In addition, Please note that plagiarism is an honor code offense. A complete discussion of plagiarism and academic fraud can be found at: