The Diplomatic History of the United States to 1900

Fall 2013

HIUS 3455

The Diplomatic History of the United States to 1900

J.C.A. Stagg

In the space of little more than one hundred years, from the outbreak of the American Revolution to the beginning of the twentieth century, the United States underwent a remarkable transformation in its standing among the nations of the world.  Beginning as a weak union of Atlantic coast colonies that struggled to survive the era of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, the United States within fifty years had come effectively to dominate the North American continent.  By 1900, the United States had acquired imperial outposts in the Caribbean and the Pacific and had further made a claim to be considered as the arbiter of the balance of power in East Asia.  The territorial growth of the nation was also accompanied by a commercial expansion that made the United States the most dynamic economy in the world at the beginning of the twentieth century.  The class will consider the variety of historical interpretations that have endeavored to explain both the transformation in the international status of the United States and the relationship between its territorial and commercial growth.

 This will be a lecture class with some sessions devoted to discussion.  The requirements will consist of one paper, a midterm, and a final examination.


Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
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Charlottesville, VA 22904

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