Primary Source Summer Institute

The U.S. and the World: Expressions of Power, Past and Present
Five Day Summer Institute with an Online Orientation
Date: July 9-13, 2012, Online Orientation June 4 - July 9, 2012
Location: Reading Memorial High School, Distance Learning Lab Room 413 and Field Trip TBD


What constitutes power on an international stage? How is power extended and maintained, how is it challenged, and what erodes it? With an emphasis on 1898 to the present, this course will examine America’s rise to world power, looking beyond war making and formal diplomacy to the broader cultural, political and economic dimensions of foreign relations. Exporting consumer goods and political ideals, “winning hearts and minds” through foreign aid, waging “wars” on poverty, terrorism and drugs, and protecting American prestige and influence have all been expressions of U.S. power abroad. We’ll investigate how these themes played out in particular regions (for example, Mexico and the Caribbean; the Middle East), looking back to earlier historical precedents and forward to present situations. Finally, we’ll ask if the U.S. is in decline as a world power today, and consider whether our current global commitments are an extension of or departure from historical trends.

Welcome Note with Important Course Information:


Moodle Access and Instructions: