USA and the World: Empire of Liberty?

Subject HIST30065 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 02-Mar-2015 to 31-May-2015
Assessment Period End 26-Jun-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 13-Mar-2015
Census Date 31-Mar-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 08-May-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture per week for 12 weeks and eleven 1-hour tutorials scheduled across the semester
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None

Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects:
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:


Assoc Prof Barbara Keys


Ara Keys

Subject Overview:

The subject examines the relationship between the United States and the rest of the world in 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 two world wars, 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.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • gain a general knowledge of the principal figures and significant events and developments in U.S. foreign relations;
  • gain familiarity with the major historiographical debates concerning U.S. foreign relations and with major interpretive perspectives and approaches to the subject;
  • develop skills in locating and analysing primary and secondary sources in constructing and evaluating historical arguments.develop research skills using printed and electronic sources, both primary and secondary, in preparing a substantial research essay;
  • develop research skills using printed and electronic sources, both primary and secondary, in preparing a substantial research essay;
  • develop skills in clear and persuasive written expression and argumentation;
  • develop skills of critical thinking and oral expression and argumentation through group discussion.

Three online quizzes, 10% (mid semester), a 1500 word analytical essay, 35% (due mid semester), a 2500 word research essay, 45% (due in the examination period) and tutorial participation throughout semester, 10%.

Hurdle requirements: students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject, as well as submit all pieces of written work and receive a passing mark (50 or higher) on the research essay. 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.

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
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts(Media and Communications)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: History

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