U.S. Internationalism, 1865-1920


Historians frequently write about the 'global' United States of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. It was mostly open to flows of migrants, capital, ideas and goods and, as the century progressed, increasingly assertive about its place in world politics. This assertiveness reached an apotheosis in Woodrow Wilson's trip to Paris in 1919 to conclude the Treaty of Versailles. This course starts at that end point and works backwards to dissect different iterations of American international thought between the U.S. Civil War and Wilson's ultimate failure. We will look at various ideas about the way that the United States ought to engage with the wider world; examine different communities' deployment of those ideas; ask what exactly Americans knew about the wider world (and how they knew it); and interrogate what exactly was 'global' about the United States in this period. Seminars will involve discussions of a mix of primary and secondary sources.

Module type: Advanced Seminar

Level: 6

Credits: 15

Module code: HIST0295 (HIST7458A/B)

Timetable: Running in both term 1 and term 2

Assessment methods: 2 X 2,500-word essays