Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitHistory
OfferedNot offered in 2013
Coordinator(s)Dr Tim Verhoeven


This unit examines the history of the US in the world, asking how a federation of former colonies eventually became a political, military and cultural power of global reach. It focuses on the early-mid twentieth century, but sets this period against themes and problems arising from 19th century continental expansion. The course explores the validity of imperialism, nationalism and internationalism as conceptual frames, explores the development of distinct foreign policy platforms in domestic politics, and covers such themes as US relations with Latin America, the problem of Americanization, the shaping of post-war world orders, and the use of covert and overt military interventions.


On successful completion of this unit student will:

  1. Have a good understanding of the US foreign relations from the nineteenth century to mid twentieth century
  2. Have an understanding of the importance of social movements and non-state actors in the history of foreign relations
  3. Have an understanding of the wider cultural and political settings of foreign policy making
  4. Have an understanding of the importance of culture - including popular culture - to historical research
  5. Be familiar with the research skills and methods of cultural, political and diplomatic historians, especially as they converge
  6. Have experience in working with a range of textual, visual and material historical resources
  7. Have further developed their oral and written communication skills
  8. In addition to the above, students undertaking the unit at level three will have demonstrated the ability to conceive and complete an independent historical research project.


Written work: 4500 words (100%)
Tutorial participation (10%)

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

One 1.5-hour lecture and one 1-hour tutorial per week


First year sequence in history or international studies