AMH 3511
U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1914
Fall 2011

Professor: Matthew JacobsLecture: Tuesday, periods 3-4 (9:35-11:30)
Office: 206 Keene-Flint HallLecture Room: MAT 0018
Contact Information:
352 273-3371
Office Hours (as well as by appointment):
Tuesday: 12:30-2:30
Thursday: 9:00-10:00
Teaching Assistant: Michael Gennaro
Office Hours: 12:15-1:15 (Flint 011)
Teaching Assistant: Stewart Kreitzer
Office Hours: 12:30-1:30 (Flint 213)

Discussion Sessions

Section NumberTimeMeeting PlaceTeaching Assistant
1697Wednesday, 3rd Period (9:35-10:25)MAT 0112
1699Wednesday, 3rd Period (9:35-10:25)MAT 0003
1700Wednesday, 4th Period (10:40-11:30)FLI 0109
4649Wednesday, 4th Period (10:40-11:30)FLI 0115
4652Wednesday, 6th Period (12:50-1:40)FLI 0119
4659Wednesday, 6th Period (12:50-1:40)FLI 0121

Course Description and Objectives

Public interest in U.S. foreign relations has surged in recent years, and with good reason. Newspapers, the internet, and cable television are weighed down with discussion of the United States' role in today's world. This course offers a survey of the history of U.S. foreign relations from the early twentieth century to the present. In teaching this course, I hope to achieve several objectives.
Organization and Assignments

To accomplish the above objectives, the class is organized around a series of lectures and discussions, as well as a variety of written assignments. The lectures will introduce students to the peoples, places, events, and issues that we will focus on in our readings and discussions. Students should come to every discussion session prepared to participate. Indeed, the overall success of the class will depend to a significant degree on students' willingness to engage in discussion, even during the large lectures.

Students will complete three papers during the term. More specific details will be provided for each assignment, but--in brief--they are as follows. The first paper will be 1-2 pages in length, and will require each student to do a small amount of outside research regarding important events in U.S. foreign relations that happened in the birth year of the student, of one of the student's parents, and of one of the student's grandparents. Each of the other two papers will be 7-8 pages in length, and will ask students to make sense of material covered during each half of the course. The first of these papers is due roughly at the mid-term mark, and the second is due at the university assigned final exam period (both dates are identified below in the course schedule). Students will also take two ID quizzes, one on the same day the submit the first comprehensive paper and one during the assigned final exam period. These quizzes will be based on both lecture and reading material, though they will favor the former.


The assignments listed above will carry the following weights in the final, overall grade:

AssignmentPercent of Grade
Multi-Generational Birthday Review10%
Paper One20%
Paper Two20%
ID Quiz One10%
ID Quiz Two10%

Letter grades on papers will be based on three major, closely related criteria:
These criteria will be weighted equally, and will translate into letter grades as follows:
Participation grades will rest on discussions of the readings. Adequate participation will indicate that a student did the readings and was actively engaged in discussion. If students have questions about how discussions are going or how participation is being evaluated, or if students feel uncomfortable speaking in front of others, they should see their teaching assistant or the professor as early in the semester as possible. Lastly, I reserve the right to hold pop quizzes if participation in class discussion or attendance at lectures is not satisfactory. Any such quizzes will be factored into the participation grade.

Letter grades for papers and for final course grades will be assigned according to the following numerical scales:

Letter GradeNumerical Equivalent (Paper and Final Grades)GPA Equivalent (Final Grades)
AAbove 924.0
EBelow 600.0
E1Stopped attending or participating prior to the end of class0.0
IIncomplete (Note: I rarely agree to these)0.0

Policies and Expectations

History classes are most rewarding when students interact with the texts, each other, and the professor and teaching assistants on a sustained and regular basis. While lectures and readings provide the raw material for the class, much learning will take place in both formal and informal discussions. Effective class participation (see above) is therefore essential. Students can expect an atmosphere in which opinions are expressed, and received, in a thoughtful and respectful manner. It also is important to note that many students will have very deeply held opinions about the issues we will be discussing during the term. Disagreement and lively debate are not only accepted, but encouraged as long as all students remain respectful of one another. I would also encourage all students to be willing to challenge their own preconceptions about U.S. foreign relations and to have other students challenge them as well.

At the same time, students are expected to attend all lectures and discussion sessions and to be respectful of themselves, other students, the teaching assistants, and the professor at all times. In addition to arriving in a timely manner, this includes, but is not limited too, refraining from text messaging, playing cell phone or computer games, checking email, surfing the web, reading newspapers or other non-course related material, and other distracting behavior. The professor or the teaching assistants will ask students who do not observe these general guidelines to leave class, and students who persist in such behavior will receive grade penalties.

Students are expected turn in hard copies of papers, but I am well aware that various problems can arise when printing papers, etc. If students encounter such problems, they should email a copy of the paper to both me and their teaching assistant by the appropriate due date and time, then bring a hard copy to the next class. If we do not have at least an electronic version of the paper at the proper due date, the paper will be considered late. Papers will be accepted up to one week after the due date, but with a significant penalty for each day they are late. No make-up quizzes will be allowed unless you have a valid and verifiable excuse. Student requests for exceptions to these policies will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Concerns about grades on specific assignments will be handled in the following manner. We will observe a "twenty-four hour rule" when papers are returned. In short, this means that we are happy to entertain questions about grades and comments on papers, but students must wait twenty-four hours from when they receive their paper back to contact us. This rule allows those who graded the papers to get some much needed rest and distance, while also allowing potentially disappointed or upset students time to calm down. Students with concerns about how their papers have been graded should first speak with the individual who graded that assignment (usually their teaching assistant). If the student still has questions following that conversation, s/he should feel free to see me, but please bring both the graded paper and a clean version of it to your meeting with me. After speaking with the student, I will read the clean copy first and then read the comments and evaluation of the original grader. Students should not worry that they will be penalized for engaging in this process, as I will not reduce a grade that has been appealed (though I may or may not raise it). Students with grade concerns should initiate the process by contacting the original grader of the assignment within one week of when the assignment is returned.

Cheating in any form undermines the integrity and mutual trust essential to a community of learning and places at a comparative disadvantage those students who respect and work by the rules of that community. It is understood that any work a student submits is indeed his/her own. Plagiarism—that is, lifting without giving credit from something someone else has written such as a published book, article, or even a student paper—is forbidden and is, in most cases, fairly easily detected. There are other, more obvious forms of academic dishonesty, such as turning in work completed by someone else, bringing inappropriate notes into an exam, and offering or receiving whispered, signaled, or other forms of assistance during an exam. Working with fellow students in exam study groups is not only acceptable but also encouraged, as long as one is refining ideas that are essentially his or her own. Included within this definition of academic integrity is the assumption that all documents and excuses provided as explanations for late or missed assignments have not been falsified. Please review the University’s policies regarding student conduct and conflict resolution, available through the Dean of Students Office website.

Please do not hesitate to contact the professor or the teaching assistants at any point during the semester with any individual concerns or issues you may need to discuss. Students encountering any problems along the way should see me or their teaching assistant as soon as possible. Problems are much easier for us to address if we know about them sooner rather than later, and can be particularly difficult to handle if left until exam week or after final grades have been submitted.

Students requesting classroom accommodation must first register with the Dean of Students Office. The Dean of Students Office will provide documentation to the student who must then provide this documentation to the professor when requesting accommodation. For more information regarding University policies on this issue, please visit the Disability Resource Center's website.

Required Readings

There are two required books for this course. I have posted these materials on the text adoption website, but I have also requested Gator Textbooks, Inc. (located at 3502 SW 2nd Avenue in the Creekside Plaza, 374-4500) to stock a large supply of them. In addition, some readings will be assigned through the library's electronic course reserve system (ARES) or internet links. Finally, you will be expected to follow the news on a regular basis.
Course Schedule

DatesReadings and TopicsAssignment
23-24 AugustCourse Introduction and the Foundations of U.S. Foreign Relations

Section 1 Readings:
30-31 AugustWilsonianism and World War I

Section 2 Readings:
  • Hunt, 1-55
6-7 SeptemberBig Business and U.S. Foreign Relations in the Interwar Period

Section 3 Readings:
Multi-Generational Birthday Review Due in Section on 7 September--DUE DATE PUSHED BACK ONE WEEK--NOW DUE ON 14 SEPTEMBER
13-14 SeptemberThe Coming of World War II

Section 4 Readings:
  • Hunt, 56-111
Birthday Review Due in Section on Wednesday, 14 September
20-21 SeptemberThe Origins of the Cold War

Section 5 Readings:
  • Hunt, 112-169
27-28 SeptemberThe Globalization of the Cold War

Section 6 Readings:
  • Hunt, 170-231

4-5 OctoberThe United States, the Cold War, and Nationalism

Section 7 Readings:
  • National Security Archive Documents on the CIA in Guatemala in the 1950s--follow the link and read all documents (note that document 2 is followed by a "Transcription," which is the same document re-typed so that you can read it).
  • National Security Archive Documents on the CIA in Iran in 1953--Follow link I and read the first four documents and then just browse/skim document 5 (1998 draft of CIA history of coup); Follow link II and read the overview on the main page and then scroll to the table of contents and read the "Historian's Note," "Summary," and "Appendix A," about 20 pages total. Feel free to peruse the remainder of the document at your leisure.
11-12 OctoberThe Cuban Missile Crisis

Section 8 Readings:
  • Hunt, 232-295
18-19 OctoberVietnam

Section 9:
  • No readings this week, as students will take the ID quiz in section
Comprehensive Paper One Due and First ID Quiz, both in Section on 19 October
25-26 OctoberVietnam, II

Section 10 Readings:
  • Hunt, 296-364
1-2 NovemberThe 1970s

Section 11 Readings:

  • Hunt, 365-435

8-9 NovemberEvaluating Reagan and the End of the Cold War

Section 12 Readings:
15-16 NovemberThe 1990s and the Post Cold War World

Section 13 Readings:

22-23 November9/11 and Afghanistan

Section 14 Readings:
29-30 NovemberIraq and U.S. Foreign Relations in the Early Twenty-first Century

Section 15 Readings:

6-7 DecemberCourse Conclusions: The Past, the Present and the Future in U.S. Foreign Relations

Section 16 Readings:

12 DecemberComprehensive Paper Two Due and Second ID Quiz--7:30 AM in Lecture Room (MAT 0018)Comprehensive Paper Two Due and Second ID Quiz