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Jacqueline Jones, Chair 128 Inner Campus Dr., Stop B7000, GAR 1.104 Austin, TX 78712-1739 • 512-471-3261

Mark Atwood Lawrence

Associate Professor Ph.D., 1999, Yale University

Mark Atwood Lawrence

Contact

Biography

Mark Atwood Lawrence is Associate Professor of History and Senior Fellow at the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at The University of Texas at Austin. He received his B.A. from Stanford University in 1988 and his doctorate from Yale in 1999. After teaching as a lecturer in history at Yale, he joined the History Department at UT Austin in 2000. Since then, he has published two books, Assuming the Burden: Europe and the American Commitment to War in Vietnam (University of California Press, 2005) and The Vietnam War: A Concise International History (Oxford University Press, 2008).  

Lawrence is also co-editor of The First Indochina War: Colonial Conflict and Cold War Crisis (Harvard University Press, 2007), a collection of essays about the 1946-1954 conflict. He is now at work on a study of U.S. policymaking toward the developing world in the 1960s and early 1970s.

 

Research interests

Vietnam War, U.S. policy toward Third World nationalism during the 1960s, and nuclear history.

 

Courses taught

The United States since 1865, The Vietnam Wars, American Foreign Relations, The Cold War in the 1960s, The Nuclear Age.

 

Awards/Honors

Recipient of the American Historical Association's George Louis Beer Prize and Paul Birdsall Prize for his book, Assuming the Burden: Europe and the American Commitment to War in Vietnam
Winner of President's Associates Teaching Excellence Award, 2003-2004

HIS 365G • British Strategic Trad-Gbr

38830 • Spring 2015
Meets
show description

Great Britain’s rise and eventual decline on the world stage gave way to the emergence of the United States as a global power after World War II.  In the process, British thinking about diplomatic and military affairs exerted a strong influence on American strategy, embodied in what became known as the “Special Relationship” between the United States and United Kingdom.  This course, to be held in London as a Maymester, will explore the diplomatic and military history of the United Kingdom and how it historically shaped, and continues to shape, American national security policy today.  Classroom sessions will include faculty guest instructors from the renowned War Studies Department of Kings College London, and the course will be supplemented with regular field visits to historic sites in London and throughout the United Kingdom.

Texts:

Alan P. Dobson and Steve Marsh, editors, Anglo-American Relations:  Contemporary Perspectives (Routledge, 2013).

Jeffrey A. Engel, The Cold War at 30,000 Feet:  The Anglo-American Fight for Aviation Supremacy (Harvard University Press, 2007).

Walter Russell Mead, God and Gold:  Britain, America, and the Making of the Modern World (Vintage, 2008). 

David Reynolds, From World War to Cold War:  Churchill, Roosevelt, and the International History of the 1940s (Oxford University Press, 2007).

Jay Sexton, The Monroe Doctrine:  Empire and Nation in Nineteenth Century America (Hill and Wang, 2012). 

Mark A. Stoler, Allies and Adversaries:  The Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Grand Alliance, and U.S. Strategy in World War II (University of North Carolina Press, 2003).

Grading:

Active participation in seminar (40 percent of course grade)

Four paper of approximately 1,500 words each (40 percent)

Occasional quizzes (20 percent)

HIS 365G • Vietnam Wars

38840 • Spring 2015
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am MEZ 1.306
(also listed as AMS 321 )
show description

This course introduces undergraduates to the complex and controversial history of the wars fought in Vietnam from 1941 to the 1980s.  It will focus especially on American intervention, but students should be aware that the course will devote careful attention to Vietnamese history as well as the history of French, Japanese, British, and Chinese interventions in Indochina.  In this way, the course will attempt to place the American war in the broad context of colonialism, nationalism, communism, and cold war. 

The class will begin by considering the development of Vietnamese nationalism and communism during the period of French colonialism.  It will then examine the profound impact of the Second World War, which brought about, in succession, Japanese, Chinese, and British intervention before the country fell once again under French domination.  The French war (1946 to 1954) will receive careful attention before the class shifts its focus to the United States for the second half of the semester.  Lectures and readings will consider many of the major controversies associated with the American war:  Why did the United States intervene despite the lack of tangible American interests in Vietnam?  To what extent and why did American policymakers misunderstand the nature of the war?  Was the war “winnable” in any meaningful sense?  If so, why did the United States fail to achieve its objectives?  What social, cultural, and political legacies has the war produced in the United States and Vietnam?

Class time will consist of lecture, film clips, and discussion.  Students will be expected to read approximately 150 pages a week.

Texts:

Mark Philip Bradley, The Vietnamese War

Christian Appy, Working Class War

Robert S. McNamara, In Retrospect

George Herring, America’s Longest War

William Lederer and Eugene Burdick, The Ugly American

Grading:

Requirements will likely include a few reading quizzes (25%), a paper of approximately 5-6 pages (25 %), a midterm examination (25 %), and a final (25%).  Students will have the opportunity to improve their grades through class participation but not through extra credit assignments.

HIS 389 • Research In International Hist

39925 • Fall 2014
Meets W 100pm-400pm GAR 1.122
show description

This course provides students with the opportunity to write a substantial research paper on a topic in the broad field of international history.  Students are free to explore diplomatic relations between governments, but they are also encouraged to consider delving beyond state-to-state relations to consider the roles of non-governmental and international organizations, cultural interactions across national borders, the history of globalization, or other new approaches to the study of global affairs.

Over the first six weeks or so, the seminar will also consider a handful of readings selected to promote discussion of some of the major problems of doing research of this kind.  Most of the semester, however, will be devoted to working through the various stages of the research project:  selection of a topic, assembly of a bibliography, and then preparation of a prospectus, outline, rough draft, and final draft.  The seminar will meet as necessary to bring each other up to date on the projects and to discuss common problems.  In the last two weeks, the seminar will stage a mock conference in which each student will present her/his work as a 10-15-minute conference paper.  Ideally, each student will emerge from the course with a substantial piece of original research that, with additional polishing, can be submitted for publication in a scholarly journal.

Texts:

Possible readings include Matthew Connelly, Fatal Misconception:  The Struggle to Control World Population; Akira Iriye, Global Community:  The Role of International Organizations in the Making of the Contemporary World; Piero Gleijeses, Conflicting Missions:  Havana, Washington, and Africa, 1959-1976; Max Paul Friedman, Nazis & Good Neighbors:  The United States Campaign Against the Germans of Latin America in World War II; and Campbell Craig and Fredrik Logevall, America’s Cold War:  The Politics of Insecurity.

Grading:

Requirements will include a short review early in the term, an oral presentation, and a series of writing assignments culminating in a final paper.

HIS 333M • Us Foreign Relatns, 1914-Pres

39815 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 930am-1100am GDC 2.216
show description

This course introduces the history of American foreign relations from the First World War to the present.  During this period, the United States fully joined the ranks of the great powers and then, following a period of hesitation, surpassed all its rivals in exercising influence around the world.  We will explore the course and causes of this rise to power and seek to understand current dilemmas and debates within their historical context.

The class aims for both breadth and depth.  Some lectures and readings are aimed at providing a wide view of the political, economic, and ideological currents that fed into the making of foreign policy.  Other lectures and readings focus on particular topics – the debate over the League of Nations, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Vietnam War, the American interventions in Central America during the 1980s, and the American response to the September 11 attacks, among others.

Texts:

Emily Rosenberg, Spreading the American Dream;

James Mann, Rise of the Vulcans;

Melvin Leffler, The Specter of Communism;

Mark Danner, Massacre at El Mozote;

Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler, Fail-Safe.

Grading:

Students will be evaluated on the basis of a midterm (30 percent of term grade), paper (30 percent), and final (40 percent).

HIS 333L • Us Foreign Relatns, 1776-1914

39745 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAI 3.02
show description

This course explores the history of American foreign relations from the eighteenth century to the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. During this period, the United States established many of the patterns of thought and behavior that have characterized the nation in more recent times. Understanding these early years of America's relationship with the wider world can help us gain important insight into current dilemmas, debates, and controversies.

 

The course aims for both breadth and depth. Some lectures and readings are aimed at providing a broad view of the political and ideological currents that fed into the making of foreign policy. Other lectures and readings go into depth on particular topics - the American Revolution, the Louisiana Purchase, the Texas Revolution, and especially the the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars that marked the emergence of the United States as a world power.

 

There are no prerequisites for the course, but students are expected to have a basic grasp of U.S. history from 1776 to 1914.

HIS 392 • Readings In Us Foreign Relatns

40200 • Fall 2013
Meets M 300pm-600pm GAR 2.124
show description

This reading seminar aims to introduce graduate students to the historiography of U.S. foreign relations, ideally to prepare them for research in this field.  The course will sweep broadly across American history, with the emphasis falling on the twentieth century.  More important than chronological coverage, however, is the goal of grappling with the major interpretive controversies and methodological innovations that have arisen over the past fifty years. 

 

For the first few weeks, the seminar will consider the evolution of the field from the 1950s until the early 1990s, tracing the development of the “orthodox,” “revisionist,” and “post-revisionist” schools of thought about the basic motives driving U.S. decision-making.  The course will then examine the three most important recent trends in writing about America’s interactions with the outside world.  First, it will consider several works that draw on newly available archival sources from abroad, especially the former communist bloc.  Second, the class will explore scholarship emphasizing culture and ideology.  Third, the class will examine books that reach beyond government policymaking to investigate the role of private citizens, activist groups, and expert communities. 

 

Requirements will include active participation in seminar, several book reviews, and a longer historiographical essay.

 

Texts:

Required texts will likely include some or all of the following: William Appleman Williams, The Tragedy of American Diplomacy; George F. Kennan, American Diplomacy; Brad Simpson, Economists with Guns; Greg Grandin, Empire’s Workshop; Robert Kagan, Dangerous Nation; Craig & Logevall, America’s Cold War; and Hal Brands, Latin America’s Cold War.

HIS 365G • Vietnam Wars

39715 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm JGB 2.218
show description

This course introduces undergraduates to the complex and controversial history of the wars fought in Vietnam from 1941 to the 1980s.  It will focus especially on American intervention, but students should be aware that the course will devote careful attention to Vietnamese history as well as the history of French, Japanese, British, and Chinese interventions in Indochina.  In this way, the course will attempt to place the American war in the broad context of colonialism, nationalism, communism, and cold war. 

 

The class will begin by considering the development of Vietnamese nationalism and communism during the period of French colonialism.  It will then examine the profound impact of the Second World War, which brought about, in succession, Japanese, Chinese, and British intervention before the country fell once again under French domination.  The French war (1946 to 1954) will receive careful attention before the class shifts its focus to the United States for the second half of the semester.  Lectures and readings will consider many of the major controversies associated with the American war:  Why did the United States intervene despite the lack of tangible American interests in Vietnam?  To what extent and why did American policymakers misunderstand the nature of the war?  Was the war “winnable” in any meaningful sense?  If so, why did the United States fail to achieve its objectives?  What social, cultural, and political legacies has the war produced in the United States and Vietnam?

 

Class time will consist of lecture, film clips, and discussion.  Students will be expected to read approximately 150 pages a week.

 

Texts (subject to final confirmation):

Mark Philip Bradley, The Vietnamese War

Christian Appy, Working Class War

Robert S. McNamara, In Retrospect

George Herring, America’s Longest War

William Lederer and Eugene Burdick, The Ugly American

Photocopy reader of documents and essays. 

Grading:

Requirements will likely include a few reading quizzes (25%), a paper of approximately 5-6 pages (25 %), a midterm examination (25 %), and a final (25%).  Students will have the opportunity to improve their grades through class participation but not through extra credit assignments.

HIS 389 • Research In International Hist

39620 • Fall 2010
Meets T 200pm-500pm PAR 214
show description

This course provides students with the opportunity to write a substantial research paper on a topic in the broad field of international history.  Students are free to explore diplomatic relations between governments, but they are also encouraged to consider delving beyond state-to-state relations to consider the roles of non-governmental and international organizations, cultural interactions across national borders, the history of globalization, or other new approaches to the study of global affairs.

Over the first six weeks or so, the seminar will also consider a handful of readings selected to promote discussion of some of the major problems of doing research of this kind.  Most of the semester, however, will be devoted to working through the various stages of the research project:  selection of a topic, assembly of a bibliography, and then preparation of a prospectus, outline, rough draft, and final draft.  The seminar will meet as necessary to bring each other up to date on the projects and to discuss common problems.  In the last two weeks, the seminar will stage a mock conference in which each student will present her/his work as a 10-15-minute conference paper.  Ideally, each student will emerge from the course with a substantial piece of original research that, with additional polishing, can be submitted for publication in a scholarly journal.

Grading

Requirements will include a short review early in the term, an oral presentation, and a series of writing assignments culminating in a final paper.

Texts

Possible readings include Matthew Connelly, Fatal Misconception:  The Struggle to Control World Population; Akira Iriye, Global Community:  The Role of International Organizations in the Making of the Contemporary World; Piero Gleijeses, Conflicting Missions:  Havana, Washington, and Africa, 1959-1976; Max Paul Friedman, Nazis & Good Neighbors:  The United States Campaign Against the Germans of Latin America in World War II; and Campbell Craig and Fredrik Logevall, America’s Cold War:  The Politics of Insecurity

HIS 315L • United States Since 1865

85115 • Summer 2010
Meets MTWTHF 1000am-1130am MEZ 1.306
show description

This course introduces the rich and complex history of the United States from the end of the Civil War until roughly the present day.  The course will focus on three major themes:  the impact of economic change on American thought and politics; the struggles by traditionally marginalized groups to gain political rights; and the debate over the appropriate role of government in regulating social and economic relations.

 

Grading

Requirements for the course will consist of a midterm exam (30 percent of the term grade), a take-home paper of 5-6 pages (30 percent), and a final exam (40 percent).

 

Texts


Readings will likely include Horatio Alger, Ragged Dick; Upton Sinclair, The Jungle; Ann Moody, Coming of Age in Mississippi; Tom Hayden, The Port Huron Statement; and Class Matters by correspondents of the New York Times.  It is also recommended that students read US:  A Narrative History.  


HIS 333M • Us Foreign Relatns, 1914-Pres

39540 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 930-1100 JGB 2.218
show description

History 333M, U.S. Foreign Relations, 1914 to the Present

Unique #39540, Spring 2010

Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30 - 11 a.m., JGB 2.218

Dr. Mark Lawrence

malawrence@mail.utexas.edu

475-9304, Garrison 3.204

Office Hours:  Tuesday, 2-3 p.m.; Thursday, 11-12:30; and by appointment

This class introduces the history of American foreign relations from the First World War to the present.  During this period, the United States fully joined the ranks of the great powers and then, following a period of hesitation, surpassed all its rivals in exercising influence around the world.  We will explore the course and causes of this rise to power and seek to understand current dilemmas and debates within their historical context. 

The class aims for both breadth and depth.  Some lectures and readings are aimed at providing a wide view of the political, economic, and ideological currents that fed into the making of foreign policy.  Other lectures and readings focus on particular topics – the debate over the League of Nations, American diplomacy during the Second World War, the Vietnam War, the American interventions in Central America during the 1980s, and the American response to the September 11 attacks, among others.

There are no prerequisites for the course, but students are expected to have a basic grasp of U.S. history from 1865 to the present.  Ideally, students will have taken History 315 “The United States Since 1865.”  Students should also be aware that this course does not require a textbook laying out the basic narrative of U.S. foreign-relations history.  Anyone lacking familiarity with the basic history is strongly encouraged to read such a textbook alongside the required reading.  Two good choices are Walter LaFeber’s The American Age and Robert Schulzinger’s U.S. Diplomacy Since 1900

Requirements

  1. attendance at lecture
  2. midterm exam (30 percent of term grade)
  3. final exam (40 percent)
  4. one essay of 1,200-1,600 words (30 percent)

Required texts

Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler, Fail-Safe (1962)

Mark Danner, The Massacre at El Mozote (1993)

Jon Krakauer, Where Men Win Glory:  The Odyssey of Pat Tillman (2009)

Mark Atwood Lawrence, The Vietnam War:  A Concise International History (2008)

Melvyn P. Leffler, The Specter of Communism:  The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1917-1953 (1994)

James Mann, Rise of the Vulcans:  The History of Bush’s War Cabinet (2004)

Emily Rosenberg, Spreading the American Dream:  American Economic and Cultural Expansion, 1890-1945 (1982)

Important notes

  • · The instructor will routinely hand out photocopies for use during class.  These should be treated as required reading.
  • · Class time will occasionally be devoted to discussion.  Participation is not a course requirement, but students should be aware that regular and constructive participation can improve their semester grades.
  • · Each student will be required to sign in at the start of each lecture period.  This sign-in process will verify attendance at that day’s class.  Each student may miss three class periods without explanation.  Each unexcused absence thereafter will result in a three-point deduction from his/her term score. 
  • · Neither the instructor nor the teaching assistant will provide lecture notes under any circumstances.
  • · Students who attend class are required to arrive on time, stay for the entire session, and to obey basic rules of civility and decorum.  Students may enter or leave in the middle of the class period only with permission of the instructor.  Using cell phones, sending or receiving text messages, and using laptops for purposes unrelated to the course are strictly forbidden.
  • · Late papers will be penalized one-third of a grade (for example, from a B+ to a B or from a B- to a C+) for each day they are overdue.
  • · The course will use the new UT-Austin grading system, which permits the use of pluses and minuses (A-, B+, etc.). 
  • · The University of Texas provides, upon request, appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities.  For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259 or 471-4641.
  • · This syllabus and all materials presented in lectures are copyrighted by Dr. Mark A. Lawrence.  No materials may be directly or indirectly published, posted to internet or intranet distribution channels, or rewritten for publication or distribution in any medium.  Neither these materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use.

· Students must be fully aware of university rules regarding academic dishonesty.  The instructor assumes full compliance throughout the semester and will rigorously enforce all university procedures in cases of violations.

Schedule of Topics and Assignments

 

January 19:  Introduction

January 21:  Ideals and Interests:  U.S. Foreign Policy before 1920

READING:  Rosenberg, chapters 1-2

 

January 26:  The Collapse of Wilsonianism and the “Return to Normalcy”

READING:  Rosenberg, chapters 3-4

January 28:  The Promotional State

READING:  Rosenberg, chapters 5-7

 

February 2:  The Great Depression and the Isolationist Reaction

READING:  Rosenberg, chapters 8-9

February 4:  Overcoming Isolationism

READING:  Rosenberg, chapters 10-11

 

February 9:  The Rise of a Superpower

READING:  Leffler, preface-chapter 1

February 11:  The Collapse of the Soviet-American Alliance

READING:  Leffler, chapters 2-3

 

February 16:  Years of Crisis

READING:  Leffler, chapter 4; Burdick and Wheeler, preface-chapter 2

February 18:  NSC-68 and the Korean War

READING:  Burdick and Wheeler, chapters 3-7

 

February 23:  Strategies of Containment:  The New Look and Flexible Response

READING:  Burdick and Wheeler, chapters 8-13

February 25:  MIDTERM

 

March 2:  Berlin, Cuba, and the Watershed of 1963

READING:  Burdick and Wheeler, chapters 14-23

March 4:  Nationalism, Decolonization, and the Cold War

READING:  Lawrence, introduction-chapter 2

 

March 9:  Into the Quagmire

READING:  Lawrence, chapters 3-5

March 11:  America at War

READING:  Lawrence, chapters 6-8

 

March 23:  Nixon, Kissinger, and Détente

READING:  Danner, chapters 1-4

March 25:  The Carter Experiment

READING:  Danner, chapters 5-6

 

March 30:  The Reagan Revolution

READING:  Danner, chapters 7-9

April 1:  The “Second Cold War”

READING:  Mann, introduction-chapter 5

 

April 6:  New Confrontations in the Third World

READING:  Mann, chapters 6-10

April 8:  Gorbachev, Reagan, and the End of the Cold War

READING:  Mann, chapters 11-15

 

April 13:  Debating the Post-Cold War Future

READING:  Mann, chapters 16-20

April 15:  Unipolarity and the Search for a New Global Role

READING:  Mann, chapter 21-conclusion

 

April 20:  September 11

READING:  Krakauer, prologue-chapter 7

April 22:  Neoconservatism and the Bush Doctrine

READING:  Krakauer, chapters 8-16

 

April 27:  The “War on Terror”:  Iraq

READING:  Krakauer, chapters 17-22

April 29:  The “War on Terror”:  Afghanistan 

READING:  Krakauer, chapters 23-28

 

May 4:  New Foreign Policy Challenges

READING:  Krakauer, chapters 29-32

May 6:  Current Dilemmas in Historical Context

READING:  Krakauer, chapter 33-postscript

 

HIS 333L • Us Foreign Relatns, 1776-1914

39910 • Fall 2009
Meets TTH 1100-1230pm GSB 2.126
show description

History 333L
U.S. Foreign Relations, 1776-1920

Unique #39910
Fall 2009
Tuesday and Thursday, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
GSB 2.126

Dr. Mark Lawrence
malawrence@mail.utexas.edu

This course has two major objectives.  First, it aims to introduce students to the history of American foreign relations from the eighteenth century to the settlement of the First World War in 1920 – a period too often overlooked by commentators professing expertise in world affairs.  During its first century and a half, the United States established many of the patterns of thought and behavior that have characterized the nation in more recent times.  Understanding these early years of America’s relationship with the wider world can help us gain important insight into current dilemmas, debates, and controversies.

Second, the course aims to encourage students to think like historians.  That is, it requires students to evaluate readings of different types, weigh competing interpretations of historical events, and defend their own conclusions in argumentative essays.  Indeed, students will be evaluated largely on the basis of a series of such essays (both the take-home paper described at the end of this syllabus and essays written as parts of the midterm and final exams).

There are no prerequisites for the course, but students are expected to have a basic grasp of U.S. history from 1776 to 1920.  Ideally, students will follow this course with History 333M, which covers U.S. foreign relations from 1920 to the present.

Requirements:
attendance at lecture
midterm exam
final exam
one essay of 5-8 pages (1,200-1,600 words)


Required texts
H.W. Brands, Woodrow Wilson (2003)
Paul Foos, A Short, Offhand Killing Affair:  Soldiers and Social Conflict during the Mexican-American War (2002)
Matthew Frye Jacobson, Barbarian Virtues:  The United States Encounters Foreign Peoples at Home and Abroad, 1876-1917 (2000)
Walter Nugent, Habits of Empire:  A History of American Expansion (2008)
Louis A. Pérez, Jr., The War of 1898:  The United States and Cuba in History and Historiography (1998)
Stacy Schiff, The Great Improvisation:  Franklin, France, and the Birth of America (2006)
Course reading packet available at Jenn’s Copy & Binding at 2200 Guadalupe

Important notes:

·  The instructor will routinely hand out photocopies for use during class.  These should be treated as required reading.
·  Class time will occasionally be devoted to discussion.  Participation is not a course requirement, but students should be aware that regular and constructive participation can improve their semester grades.
·   Each student will be required to sign in at the start of each lecture period.  This sign-in process will verify attendance at that day’s class.  Each student may miss three class periods without explanation.  Each unexcused absence thereafter will result in a three-point deduction from his/her term score.
·   Neither the instructor nor the teaching assistant will provide lecture notes under any circumstances.
·   Students who attend class are required to arrive on time, stay for the entire session, and to obey basic rules of civility and decorum.  Students may enter or leave in the middle of the class period only with permission of the instructor.  Using cell phones, sending or receiving text messages, and using laptops for purposes unrelated to the course are strictly forbidden.
·   Late papers will be penalized one-third of a grade (for example, from a B+ to a B or from a B- to a C+) for each day they are overdue.
·   The course will use the new UT-Austin grading system, which permits the use of pluses and minuses (A-, B+, etc.).
·   The University of Texas provides, upon request, appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities.  For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259 or 471-4641.
·   This syllabus and all materials presented in lectures are copyrighted by Dr. Mark A. Lawrence.  No materials may be directly or indirectly published, posted to internet or intranet distribution channels, or rewritten for publication or distribution in any medium.  Neither these materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use.
·   This course does not require a textbook.  However, students who would like to read a basic narrative of U.S. foreign relations may wish to consult Walter LaFeber, The American Age (2d ed., 1994).  Students who wish to read a basic narrative of American history more generally may wish to consult Davidson, et al., Nation of Nations (any edition).
·   Students must be fully aware of university rules regarding academic dishonesty.  The instructor assumes full compliance throughout the semester and will rigorously enforce all university procedures in cases of violations.


Schedule of Topics and Assignments


August 27:  Introduction

Part I:  Securing the Republic

September 1:  Ideology and Interests
READING:  Schiff, introduction and chapter 1
September 3:  Colonial America and the European Powers
READING:  Schiff, chapters 2-4

September 8:  Rebellion and the Problem of Allies
READING:  Schiff, chapters 5-6
September 10:  The French Alliance and the Treaty of Paris
READING:  Schiff, chapters 7-8

September 15:  Institutions and Foreign Policymaking:  The Articles of Confederation
READING:  Schiff, chapters 9-10
September 17:  Institutions and Foreign Policy:  The Constitution
READING:  Schiff, chapter 11-epilogue

September 22:  The Federalist Era
READING:  Nugent, foreword and chapter 1
September 24:  Jefferson and Madison
READING:  Nugent, chapter 2

September 29:  A Second War for Independence?
READING:  Nugent, chapter 3
October 1:  The Monroe Doctrine
READING:  Nugent, chapter 4

Part II:  The Era of Territorial Expansion

October 6:  Empire-Making and the “Indian Problem”
READING:  Foos, introduction and chapters 1-2
October 8:  Empire-Making and the Problem of Slavery
READING:  Foos, chapters 3-4

October 13:  The Texas Revolution
READING:  Nugent, chapter 5; Foos, chapter 5
October 15:  The Mexican War
READING:  Nugent, chapters 6-7; Foos, chapter 6

October 20:  Manifest Destiny to Slave Empire:  U.S. Filibusters in Latin America
            (Guest lecturer:  Storm Miller)
READING:  Foos, chapters 7-8
October 22:  MIDTERM

October 27: The U.S. and the World at Midcentury
READING:  Nugent, chapter 8
October 29: The Diplomacy of the Civil War
READING:  Nugent, chapter 9; : James M. McPherson, “Blockade and Beachhead:  The Salt-Water War, 1861-1862” and “’The Whole Family of Man’: Lincoln and the Last Best Hope Abroad” (reader)

Part III:  The Making of a Global Power

November 3: Industrial Crisis and the Economics of Empire
READING:  Jacobson, introduction and chapters 1-2
November 5:  Ideological Motives of Empire
READING:  Jacobson, chapters 3-4

November 10: The Spanish-American War
READING:  Pérez, preface and chapters 1-2; cartoon collection (reader)
November 12: Varieties of Empire:  Colonial Conquest
READING:  Pérez, chapters 3-4

November 17: Anti-Imperialism
READING:  Pérez, chapter 5
November 19:  Varieties of Empire:  The Open Door
READING:  Jacobson, chapters 5-6 and conclusion

November 24:  Varieties of Empire:  Semi-Colonialism
READING:  Nugent, chapter 10; Brands, chapter 1

December 1:  From Neutrality to Intervention
READING:  Brands, chapters 2-3
December 3:  The Collapse of Wilsonianism
READING:  Brands, chapters 4-5; Nugent, Postscript


ESSAY TOPICS

Each student must write ONE essay on a topic drawn from the list below.  The essay should be between 1,200 and 1,600 words in length (roughly 5-7 pages of double-spaced, 12-point type).  No matter which question you choose, be sure to state a clear thesis and to support your argument with specific evidence drawn from readings and lectures.  Also, be sure to use either footnotes or parenthetical notes to cite all information, argumentation, and quotations drawn from your sources.  Provide a title and a word count.


DUE September 22.  Imagine that an editor at the New York Times or Washington Post has just asked you to review Stacy Schiff’s The Great Improvisation for the Sunday paper.  Write a review that would be suitable for such a publication.  You may wish to read a few reviews from recent weeks to get a feel for what a newspaper of that caliber might expect.  In any case, be sure to take a clear position on the book and to write in a lively way.  Among the questions you might consider addressing:  What are the book’s strengths and weaknesses?  How well does it achieve its aims?  To what extent does the book depart from the conventional wisdom about Benjamin Franklin?  What’s new and notable in it?

DUE October 15.  How well has Hollywood done in depicting the Texas Revolution?  Answer this question by comparing what you have learned about the history of Texas from lectures and readings with the two most celebrated films about the Alamo, the 1960 version starring John Wayne and the 2003 version starring Billy Bob Thornton.  Be sure to consider how Hollywood has distorted the history of the battle and why you think it has done so.  You may also wish to think about how interpretations have changed over time?  Please note that these films may be borrowed from the AV library but are widely available in local video shops.

DUE October 20.  Imagine you are living in the United States in 1848 and you have just learned that your government has gone to war with Mexico.  Write an editorial column for your local newspaper commenting on this development.  You are free to support the war, to oppose it, or to advance some other view.  The key is to use what you have learned from the course readings to develop a line of argument that would have been plausible at the time.  You are free to define your character as you see fit.      (Are you a man or woman?  An elite or a working person?  White or black?  From the North or South?  Etc.)  Do your best to capture the tone and syntax of the day.

DUE November 12.  Examine the political cartoons dealing with the Spanish American War in the course reader and write an essay analyzing the contents of at least six of them.  Be sure to include discussion of cartoons from both sides of the Atlantic.  What do the cartoons tell us about the opinions of Spaniards, Americans, and others at the time?  What major issues are raised?  What symbols are used to represent the two combatants?  Explore the cartoons imaginatively, but remember that your essay requires a clearly stated and supported central argument.

DUE November 24.  Write an op-ed of the sort you might find in the New York Times or the Austin American-Statesman commenting on the connection between some aspect of the history of U.S. foreign relations before 1920 and a current problem in U.S. foreign policy.  You are free to choose any issue or line of argument that you like,     but be sure to keep a tight focus on a specific issue or set of events.  Please note that if you choose this topic you are responsible for educating yourself on recent U.S. foreign policy.

HIS 381 • Cold War

40225 • Fall 2009
Meets T 600pm-900pm GAR 1.122
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Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of the graduate adviser. 


May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

 

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