KC Johnson

History 7442: US Diplomatic History (fall 2015)

This course explores US foreign relations from independence to the present.


  • Research Paper: 50%
  • Participation: 30%
  • Study Questions/Supplementary Reading: 20%

Books: (all available through amazon.com, at link below)

My Contact Information:


September 1: Origins of U.S. Foreign Policy

September 8: Expansionism  [study questions: Beth]

Supplementary Reading: Robert May, Southern Dream of a Caribbean Empire: Lawrence Bosket

September 15: No class–college closed

September 22: No class–college closed

September 25 (Tuesday class day, per college schedule: Growth of U.S. Power  (articles will be e-mailed) **Course Paper Topic Due**  Study questions: Lawrence

  • Cyrus Veeser, “Inventing Dollar Diplomacy,” Diplomatic History 27, pp. 302-328.
  • Michael Devine, “Was James G. Blaine a Great Secretary of State?,” Diplomatic History 27, pp. 689-694.
  • Daniel Rodgers, “In Search of Progressivism,” Reviews in American History 10, pp. 1-21.
  • Stephen Valone, “‘Weakness Offers Temptation’: William H. Seward and the Reassertion of the Monroe Doctrine,” Diplomatic History 19, pp. 583-600.

Supplementary Reading:  (Walter LaFeber, The New Empire): Emma Timothee

September 29: International Relations of the 19th Century Middle East  Study questions: Emma

Supplementary Reading: (James Field, United States and the Mediterranean World; Samir Zaimi

October 6: Wilsonianism   Study questions: Samir

Supplementary Reading: (Thomas Knock, To End All Wars): Marina Cowal

October 13: Interwar Imperialism [study questions: Marina]

Supplementary Reading: (Akira Iriye, After Imperialism): Timothy Dillon

(Emily Rosenberg, Financial Missionaries to the World): Jessica Drain

October 20: Reading Day

October 27: Onset of War [study questions: Timothy, Jessica]

Supplementary Reading:

(Julian Hurstfield, America and the French Nation): Yunis Esa

(Akira Iriye, Power and Culture): Aliza Friedman

November 3: Containment [study questions: Yunis, Aliza]

Supplementary Reading: (Melvyn Leffler, A Preponderance of Power): Christopher Furnari

(Thomas Alan Schwartz, America’s Germany): Mary Gallagher

November 10: Vietnam [study questions: Christopher, Mary]

Supplementary Reading: (Thomas Alan Schwartz, Lyndon Johnson and Europe): Kristen Mattina

November 17: Third World Adventurism [study questions: Kristen]

Supplementary Reading:  (James Mann, The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan): Javier Medina

(James Baker, The Politics of Diplomacy): Jeanette Cohen

November 24: The Road to 9/11 [study questions: Javier, Jeannette]

Supplementary Reading:  (Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11): Miriam Sicherman

(Samantha Power, A Problem From Hell): Lukas Bergmann

December 1: The Obama Era [study questions: Miriam, Lukas]

Supplementary Reading:  (Robert Gates, Duty): Beth Manes

  • Michael Oren, Ally

December 8: Review Session

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