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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Summer 2009

GOV F370L • United States as a Territorial Nation

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
84605 MTWThF
10:00 AM-11:30 AM
PAR 302

Course Description

"The United States as a Territorial Nation" explores how the United States became a continental and then overseas power. The course focuses on the territorial (or geographic) dimension of US political development and on both the causes and the implications (some intended, some not) of this expansion. The course considers several aspects of this territorial quality to the United States' political development: (1) the federalist philosophy of the founding era; (2) the acquisition of land and formation of territorial governments; (3) the establishment of the public domain land belonging to the U.S. government rather than to either the original thirteen colonies or later added states; (4) the effect of the expansion on American Indians; (5) the place of Chinese Americans in American political development; (6) the origin of the United States unincorporated territories, such as Puerto Rico and Guam, after the Spanish-American war, territories that lie outside the continental United States and that remain as territories up to the present; (7) the development and administration of U.S. public lands, and the political issues that derive from these lands.

As a writing class, students are asked to write short papers in which student may be asked to summarize readings, evaluate different arguments, and propose their own ideas. Students also play two games in the class. The games are role-playing scenarios in which students have to engage with each other in difficult situations for the purposes of achieving different ends. Each game lasts for several class periods.

Grading Policy

Grading Policy: multiple indicators • There will be 5 quizzes/small tests. • There will be 4 papers. • Performance in course games (see class description above). • Class participation (including attendance and tardiness).


• Patricia Nelson Limerick, The Legacy of Conquest (Norton 1988). • Iris Chang, The Chinese in America (Viking Penguin 2003). • Bartholomew H. Sparrow, The Insular Cases and the Emergence of American Empire (Kansas 2006). Other readings and the game packets will be available in a reading packet (P), to be purchased at IT Copy on MLK.


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