US Foreign Relations Since 1898

New York University Abu Dhabi, Fall  2016
HIST-AD 184 (Asia-Pacific/Atlantic World)
Crosslisted with Political Science/International Relations, Social Research and Public Policy
Instructors: Eric Hamilton / Martin Klimke

This course will explore the central events, issues, and ideas driving US foreign policy throughout the 20th century, starting with the Spanish-American War in 1898 and closing with the “war on terror”.

We will take an interdisciplinary approach and define “foreign relations” broadly, analyzing the country’s ascent to become both an industrial and political global player by the end of the 19th century, its rise as an economic and financial power during the first half of the 20th century, its global military presence during and after World War II, its cultural diplomacy efforts and ‘grassroots Americanization’ of US popular culture and lifestyle, as well as its military and political conflicts abroad during and after the Cold War.

The course will examine notions of national power, territorial acquisition, modern warfare, racial discrimination, and class and gender hierarchies. It will also discuss the consequences of and resistance to US foreign policy at the receiving end, critically examining concepts such as “American exceptionalism,” “the American Century,” “imperialism,” the “free world,” “grand strategy” and global leadership, among others.

The course is designed for students interested in international relations and foreign policy, as well American history, politics, and culture.