The USA & the World:Democracy and Empire

Subject HIST20043 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2012.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: 8.5 hours per week: total time commitment 102 hours
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Dr Ara Keys
Subject Overview:

The subject examines the relationship between the United States and the rest of the world from the founding of the new nation to the present, with a focus on the 20th century. The subject explores America's rise to global power, the ideological foundations of U.S. foreign policy, and how, why, and with what effects the United States has exercised its power. We cover key events, including the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, and CIA interventions in Latin America and the Middle East. We also explore different facets of American power - political, military, economic, and cultural. We look at whether the United States should be considered an "empire" and at the role of morality in foreign policy. A central aim is to understand the roots of American foreign policy today.

  • have a critical awareness of the contemporary and historical significance of U.S. interventions in and policies toward the rest of the world.
  • better understand the relationships between the formation of foreign policy and domestic public opinion in the United States.
  • have a general knowledge of the major events in, and stages of, the development of American foreign policy and an understanding of its cultural and social contexts within the United States.

A document-based essay, 1500 words (30%) (due at mid-semester), and a research essay, 2500 words (60%) (due at end of semester). Tutorial participation 10%.

A document-based essay, 1500 words (30%) (due at mid-semester), and a research essay, 2500 words (60%) (due at end of semester). Tutorial participation 10%.

Hurdle requirement: students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day; after five days, no late assessment will be accepted. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject and a pass mark mark (50 or higher) on the research essay.

Prescribed Texts:

Subject readings will be available online

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • demonstrate research skills through competent use of the library and other information sources.
  • show critical thinking and analysis through recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion, and by determining the strength of an argument.
  • demonstrate understanding of social, ethical and cultural context through the contextualisation of judgements, developing a critical self-awareness, being open to new ideas and possibilities and by constructing an argument.
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts(Media and Communications)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: American Studies Major
History Major
International Studies Major
Related Breadth Track(s): Empire
The United States
Economics in History

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