Global America

Spring 2024

Tuesdays/Thursdays, 1:15 - 2:30 p.m.
Ballantine Hall 241

Prof. Konstantin Dierks

Course Description Course Resources

The United States was born global.  1784 saw the first American trading ship voyage to China.  1812 saw the first American missionaries dispatched overseas, to India.  Traders, missionaries, engineers, and many other Americans have ventured into the wider world; immigrants, tourists, and many other foreigners have sojourned in the United States.  How did American involvement in the world, and foreign involvement in the United States, both change over time?  We will examine the porous interactions and flows between the United States and the world as both globalized across the 19th and into the 20th centuries.

Reading assignments feature “primary source” documents written by people in the past, as well as analyses written by historians.  Writing assignments entail analytical papers.

At the end of the course I hope you will have a solid grounding in American history, and a keen appreciation of the complexity of the past as well as the contingencies of historical change.  I also hope you will have sharper analytical skills with which to assess evidence and formulate your own arguments, as well as sharper writing and verbal skills with which to organize and articulate your own ideas — beyond the confines of history, and useful in any field of endeavor.

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