Case Studies in American Diplomacy
(US) (Also Political Science 46.) This course will combine the methods of diplomatic history and political science in examining critical moments and themes in American diplomacy. Our overall aim is to better understand today’s central position of the United States in world politics as well as present domestic controversies over the character of America’s global role. Specifically, we will assess the combined influence of racism and ethnicity as well as of religious and secular values and class interest on American diplomacy. We shall also investigate the major domestic political, social, economic and intellectual trends and impulses, (e.g., manifest destiny, isolationism and counter-isolationism, and containment) that have shaped American diplomacy; analyze competing visions for territorial conquests and interventions as advocated by various American elites; examine the methods used to extend the nation’s borders, foreign trade and international influence and leadership; and seek to understand the impact of key foreign policy involvements and controversies on the character of the Presidency, Congress and party politics. Among the topics to be considered are the Federalist/Anti-Federalist debates over the scope of constitutional constraints on foreign policy, the Monroe Doctrine, the Mexican War, the imperialist/anti-imperialist debate, the great power diplomacies of Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and FDR, as well as key moments of American diplomacy during the Cold War and the post-Cold War eras (e.g., Korea, Middle East, Cuba, Vietnam, and Iraq). One class meeting per week. Limited to 35 students. Fall semester. Professor G. Levin. Professor Machala.