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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: United States Foreign Policy 1880-1917 (HIST10253)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course probes the question of whether the specific time period can be suitably described as an era of US 'imperialism'. In addition to that, the course analyses the contemporary changes in US foreign policy.
Course description The period on which this course focuses has generally been described as the 'coming of age' of US foreign policy. Using theories on imperialism, this course focuses on the question of whether US foreign policy in this era, particularly in the wake of the Spanish-American War of 1898, can be justifiably described as 'imperialist' or whether the United States ultimately adhered to its anti-colonial and anti-imperialist heritage. In addition to addressing this pointed question, the course will more generally provide a detailed overview of US foreign policy at a time when the country first appeared as a major player on the world stage. Domestic debates and the cultural underpinnings of contemporary foreign policy also form an important part of this course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.
Before enrolling students on this course, Personal Tutors are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Administrator to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 50 3780).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate, by way of coursework, examination, classroom participation and oral presentation, as required, command of the body of knowledge in relation to US foreign policy around the turn of the 19th century;
  2. Demonstrate, by way of coursework, examination, classroom participation and oral presentation, as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. Demonstrate, by way of coursework, examination, classroom participation and oral presentation, as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material, including the application of contemporary theories on imperialism;
  4. Demonstrate, by way of coursework, examination, classroom participation and oral presentation, as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. Demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Bederman, Gail, Manliness & Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United States, 1880-1917 (Chicago and London : University of Chicago Press, 1995).
Fry, Joseph A. 'Phases of Empire: Late Nineteenth-Century U.S. Foreign Relations', in The Gilded Age: Essays on the Origins of Modern America, ed. Charles W. Calhoun (Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 1996), 261-88.
Hoganson, Kristin L., Fighting for American Manhood: How Gender Politics Provoked the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998).
Hunt, Michael H., Ideology and U.S. Foreign Policy (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1987).
Jacobson, Matthew Frye, Barbarian Virtues: The United States Encounters Foreign Peoples at Home and Abroad, 1876-1917 (New York: Hill and Wang, 2000).
Kaplan, Amy, and Donald Pease, eds., Cultures of United States Imperialism (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 1993).
Krenn, Michael L., The Color of Empire: Race and American Foreign Relations (Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books, 2006)
LaFeber, Walter, The American Search for Opportunity, 1865-1913 (=The Cambridge History of American Foreign Relations, Volume II), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
Love, Eric T., Race Over Empire: Racism and U.S. Imperialism, 1865-1900 (Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 2004).
McCallum, Jack, Leonard Wood: Rough Rider, Surgeon, Architect of American Imperialism (New York: New York University Press, 2006).
McCartney, Paul T., Power and Progress: American National Identity, the War of 1898, and the Rise of American Imperialism (Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, 2006).
Ninkovich, Frank, The United States and Imperialism (Malden, Mass. ; Oxford : Blackwell, 2001).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Fabian Hilfrich
Tel: (0131 6)51 3236
Course secretaryMiss Alexandra Adam
Tel: (0131 6)50 3767
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