U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1914
|Professor: Matthew Jacobs||Lecture: Tuesday, periods 3-4 (9:35-11:30)|
|Office: 206 Keene-Flint Hall||Lecture Room: MAT 0018|
|Office Hours (as well as by appointment):|
|Teaching Assistant: Michael Gennaro|
Office Hours: 12:15-1:15 (Flint 011)
|Teaching Assistant: Stewart Kreitzer|
Office Hours: 12:30-1:30 (Flint 213)
|Section Number||Time||Meeting Place||Teaching Assistant|
|1697||Wednesday, 3rd Period (9:35-10:25)||MAT 0112||Gennaro|
|1699||Wednesday, 3rd Period (9:35-10:25)||MAT 0003||Kreitzer|
|1700||Wednesday, 4th Period (10:40-11:30)||FLI 0109||Gennaro|
|4649||Wednesday, 4th Period (10:40-11:30)||FLI 0115||Kreitzer|
|4652||Wednesday, 6th Period (12:50-1:40)||FLI 0119||Gennaro|
|4659||Wednesday, 6th Period (12:50-1:40)||FLI 0121||Kreitzer|
Course Description and Objectives
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.
- To introduce the major
themes and events in U.S. foreign relations since 1914. In doing so, we
will follow a basic chronology while at the same time encountering a
wide variety of themes and achieving broad geographic coverage.
have students think broadly about what constitutes "U.S. foreign
relations." To be sure, we will spend much time talking about official
U.S. policies, but we will also look at some of the factors underlying
those policies, including cultural concerns, economic interests,
national security concerns, personalities, and bureaucratic politics,
to name a few, as well as how peoples in other places have either
helped to shape those policies or responded to them.
- To introduce students to some of the major scholarly debates about the history of U.S. foreign relations.
work directly with both primary sources--the documents of the history
of U.S. foreign relations--and secondary sources (works written by
scholars about the history of U.S. foreign relations).
- One of
the objectives of any history course should be to expose students to
what historians do. History is a discipline that entails learning how
to review and marshal evidence in a manner that offers insightful,
fair, and well-grounded evaluations of events, issues, and people. To
that end, we will read interpretive works by historians that may serve
as models of how--or how not--to write good history. At the same time,
students will analyze documents created by the historical actors we
will be studying.
- Whatever career students consider entering
after college, they will need strong oral and written communication
skills. The development of those skills therefore warrants substantial
attention on our part. The assignments listed below will help students
improve their abilities to articulate ideas clearly and concisely.
Organization and Assignments
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.
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:
|Assignment||Percent of Grade|
|Multi-Generational Birthday Review||10%|
|ID Quiz One||10%|
|ID Quiz Two||10%|
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:
good is the command and deployment of the relevant course material, and
is the student employing the best evidence available to make his/her
- Interpretation--has the student developed an argument
or point of view that is pertinent to the issue at hand, and that has
breadth, coherence, and insight; and
- Expression (style)--is the prose (writing) clear, concise, and engaging?
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
Your work is outstanding in all three areas. It offers an integrated,
insightful argument based on ample, sound evidence and is written in
clear and engaging prose.
- B—Good: Your work is strong in all three areas, or is outstanding in one area while having significant weaknesses in another.
Your performance is adequate in one or more areas, but also has
significant weaknesses in others, leaving the presentation fragmented,
murky, or narrow.
- D—Poor: Your work demonstrates notable
weaknesses in all three areas. Remedial work may be needed to improve
substantive understanding or basic communication skills.
- E—Unacceptable: Your work has serious flaws in all areas, or demonstrates no evident engagement in the assignment.
Letter grades for papers and for final course grades will be assigned according to the following numerical scales:
|Letter Grade||Numerical Equivalent (Paper and Final Grades)||GPA Equivalent (Final Grades)|
|E1||Stopped attending or participating prior to the end of class||0.0|
|I||Incomplete (Note: I rarely agree to these)||0.0|
Policies and Expectations
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Michael H. Hunt, Crises in U.S. Foreign Policy: An International History Reader (Yale University Press, Paperback).
- Lloyd Gardner, The Long Road to Baghdad: A History of U.S. Foreign Policy from the 1970s to the Present (The New Press, 2010, Paperback).
|Dates||Readings and Topics||Assignment|
|23-24 August||Course Introduction and the Foundations of U.S. Foreign Relations|
Section 1 Readings:
|30-31 August||Wilsonianism and World War I|
Section 2 Readings:
|6-7 September||Big 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 September||The Coming of World War II|
Section 4 Readings:
|Birthday Review Due in Section on Wednesday, 14 September|
|20-21 September||The Origins of the Cold War|
Section 5 Readings:
|27-28 September||The Globalization of the Cold War|
Section 6 Readings:
|4-5 October||The 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 October||The Cuban Missile Crisis|
Section 8 Readings:
- 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 October||Vietnam, II|
Section 10 Readings:
|1-2 November||The 1970s|
Section 11 Readings:
|8-9 November||Evaluating Reagan and the End of the Cold War|
Section 12 Readings:
|15-16 November||The 1990s and the Post Cold War World|
Section 13 Readings:
|22-23 November||9/11 and Afghanistan|
Section 14 Readings:
|29-30 November||Iraq and U.S. Foreign Relations in the Early Twenty-first Century|
Section 15 Readings:
|6-7 December||Course Conclusions: The Past, the Present and the Future in U.S. Foreign Relations|
Section 16 Readings:
|12 December||Comprehensive Paper Two Due and Second ID Quiz--7:30 AM in Lecture Room (MAT 0018)||Comprehensive Paper Two Due and Second ID Quiz|