Spring 2023

The U.S. in the World: 1898 to the Present

Listed in: History, as HIST-157


Andrew Bell (Sections 01, 01F and 02F)


(Offered as HIST 157 [US/TE]) This course investigates the United States’ foreign relations in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries and seeks to understand why and how it has become increasingly involved in world affairs. Starting with the War of 1898 and closing with the contemporary global war on terrorism, it examines the interplay of domestic and foreign considerations that have defined the “American Century.” This period raises important questions about the nature of American power in relation to traditional empires. The course asks students to think critically about the United States in the context of imperialism and explore how Americans, both in and out of government, sought to reconcile domestic values and identities with the country’s growing global presence. It investigates the ideological, economic, political, social, racial, and security considerations that shaped America’s emergence as a world power and formed the basis of modern American foreign policy and domestic society. Three class meetings per week.

Limited to 40 students (10 spots reserved for first-year students). Spring semester. Professor Bell.

How to handle overenrollment: preference given to history majors who have taken HIST 156, then to first- and second-year students.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Close analysis of historical evidence, which may include written documents, images, music, films, or statistics from the historical period under study. Exploration of scholarly, methodological, and theoretical debates about historical topics. Extensive reading, varying forms of written work, and intensive in-class discussions.

HIST 157 - LEC

Section 01
M 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM CHAP 201
W 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM CHAP 201

HIST 157 - DIS

Section 01F
F 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM CHAP 203

Section 02F
F 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM CHAP 203

This is preliminary information about books for this course. Please contact your instructor or the Academic Coordinator for the department, before attempting to purchase these books.

Section(s) ISBN Title Publisher Author(s) Comment Book Store Price
All From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations since 1776 Oxford University Press, 2011 Herring, George C. TBD
All Bankers and Empire: How Wall Street Colonized the Caribbean Chicago, 2017 Hudson, Peter James TBD
All Prompt and Utter Destruction: Truman and the Use of Atomic Bombs against Japan Chapel Hill, 2005 Walker, Samuel J. TBD
All From Selma to Moscow: How Human Rights Activists Transformed U.S. Foreign Policy New York, 2018 Snyder, Sarah TBD


2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2023, Spring 2024