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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: History and Political Science Department
Course Prefix and Number: HIST 312
Course Title: Twentieth Century American Diplomatic History
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Diplomacy since 1890s and emergence of the nation as a world power. Prerequisite: HIST 122. Offered even Spring.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): HIST 122.
Course Rotation for Day Program:

Offered even Spring.

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Select the most current edition of the following: 

U.S. Diplomatic History
By Clarfield, Gerard (Prentice Hall)
The American Age
By LaFeber, Walter (Norton)
U.S. Diplomacy Since 1900
By Schulzinger, Robert (Oxford University Press)
American Foreign Relations since 1895
By Paterson, Thomas G. (Cengage)
Course Objectives
  • To master knowledge to key events in twentieth century American diplomatic history.
  • To identify key trends associated with this topic.
  • To identify individuals responsible for shaping American diplomatic history.
    Measurable Learning
  • Identify major approaches in diplomacy.
  • Explain the interaction between domestic politics and foreign policy.
  • Describe the key factors that led to the Cold War.
  • Define the major ideological trends in U.S. foreign policy.
    Topical Outline:

    Because the course represents an upper-level history elective, it bears a distinctive responsibility for teaching advanced knowledge within the discipline. It must be distinguished as an advanced course by three structural components: extensive reading, intensive writing, and historiographical thinking. It must require advanced students to complete both in class and out of class projects (i.e., midterms, finals, team reports, quizzes, research papers). The reading load should be a
    minimum of 1000 pages; the course writing assignments should total c5000 words.

    The major topics include but are not limited to the following areas:

  • American expansion
  • The open door
  • Gunboat and dollar diplomacy
  • World War I
  • Isolation and economic expansion
  • New Deal diplomacy
  • World War II
  • Early Cold War
  • Korean War
  • Liberation and rollback
  • Vietnam
  • Middle East crises
  • New economic order
  • Late Cold War confrontations
  • Post Cold War adjustments


    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 35

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Michael Polley Date: July 10, 2013
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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