It was a transformation unprecedented in global history. In barely more than two centuries, the United States evolved from a sparsely settled handful of colonies whose very survival was in grave doubt into the most powerful nation the world has ever known-militarily, economically, technologically, culturally, politically, and even ideologically.
How could such an implausible metamorphosis have occurred? In a world where power and the willingness to wield it had always determined the fate of nations, what factors enabled our young nation to successfully navigate the corridors of diplomacy and foreign policy from the outset, ensuring not only survival but also eventual status as a superpower?
addresses these and other penetrating questions. In 24 insightful lectures, award-winning Professor Mark A. Stoler of the University of Vermont-a scholar acknowledged for his expertise in U.S. diplomatic and military history-offers you a fresh view of America's shift from the periphery of international politics to its very center.
Enhance Your Understanding of the History Taking Place Right Now
Although the specifics naturally change as time advances, the basic elements that make up diplomacy's causal machinery are always in place. Throughout history, diplomacy has resolved international disputes and helped chart new directions for political, economic, and cultural growth.
Studying how American diplomacy works not only strengthens your understanding of why the nation's history turned out the way it did but also adds immeasurably to your interpretation of present-day events. Whether reading a newspaper, listening to a news broadcast, or evaluating the assertions of a political leader or candidate, you will find that the story told in America and the World enhances your perspectives on the history taking place right now.
As he guides you through America's ascendancy, Professor Stoler shows that causal machinery at work as he explores the key components of American diplomatic history:
The origins of American beliefs about our "mission" and proper place in the world
The expansion of the original United States across the North American continent through war and treaty
The acquisition of a formal overseas empire in the late 19th century and the subsequent addition of an informal empire
The achievement of victory in two world wars and participation in limited but bloody conflicts in Korea and Vietnam
The course of-and victory in-the 45-year cold war with the Soviet Union
The origins and evolution of famous or significant pronouncements and policies, including Washington's Farewell Address, the idea of "Manifest Destiny," the Monroe Doctrine, the Open Door policy, isolationism, the Marshall Plan, and the "containment" of Communism
Of course, policies and actions are decided by the people whose decisions unleash them, and these lectures bring into clear focus the leaders whose judgments shaped America's path
Learn How and Why Diplomatic History Happens
Presenting history's events as only a single part of a much broader whole, Professor Stoler adds the "how" and "why" to the "what" of American diplomatic history. You learn
how America's influence has been shaped and expanded by events and ideas;
how key personalities-whether America's own national leaders or those of other nations-have influenced American diplomacy and its practice in the international arena;
the key beliefs Americans have developed about international relations and their role on the world stage; and
how those beliefs have shaped America's actions through both war and peace.
It's an approach that enhances your grasp of not only the substance of events and their multiple causes but also the implications for the next potential sequence of events.
The course offers an excellent perspective on the many lines of causality that converged to create those historical moments and consequences, including the backgrounds and personalities of foreign policy decision makers, national beliefs, geopolitical strategies, and military situations.
Fresh Perspectives-Even on Familiar Names
Even when the names are familiar, the new perspectives and fascinating episodes offered by Professor Stoler deepen your insight into the careers of these diplomats:
John Quincy Adams: Considered by many historians to have been America's greatest secretary of state, Adams was responsible for an extraordinary series of major foreign policy successes-including primary authorship of what came to be known as the Monroe Doctrine, which asserted the independence of the Western Hemisphere from further European colonization or interference.
John Jay: One of the three authors of the Federalist and the nation's first chief justice, Jay was also a major diplomatic figure. The treaty he negotiated with Great Britain in 1794 aroused so much controversy that Jay claimed he could have traveled the entire coastline by night, navigating by the light of the burning effigies of him.
James K. Polk: One of the least known of America's presidents, Polk was also one of the most important in the history of the country's expansion-and one of the most controversial.
Woodrow Wilson: Although tremendously respected across the political spectrum, Wilson failed to achieve his most important foreign policy goals.
An Engaging, Informative Instructor
Professor Stoler has devoted more than 30 years to the study of U.S. diplomatic and military history. A prolific author of books on American foreign policy and the recipient of numerous teaching awards from the University of Vermont, Professor Stoler imbues these lectures with an enlightening depth and breadth.
Professor Stoler's expertise makes America and the World an engaging look at a unique facet of American history. Weaving together events and personalities, he shows you how and why America gained its current station.
Whether exploring events as diverse as the impressment of American seamen by the British in the early 19th century, the development and execution of the Marshall Plan, or the Cuban Missile Crisis, America and the World presents watershed moments in history through the perspective of foreign policy and diplomacy.
The result is an entertaining course that will not only deepen your outlook on American history but will also prove that not all history is made on the battlefield.
1. Achieving Independence
2. Confederation and the Constitution
3. The Great Debate-Jefferson versus Hamilton
4. From the Farewell Address to the Quasi War
5. Jefferson and the "Empire of Liberty"
6. The "Second War for Independence"
7. John Quincy Adams & American Continentalism
8. "Manifest Destiny" and War with Mexico
9. Causes and Diplomacy of the Civil War
10. The "New Empire" of Overseas Imperialism
11. Informal Empire-Roosevelt to Wilson
12. "The War to End All Wars"
13. The Peace Treaty and Wilson's Heritage
14. Interwar Isolationism and Internationalism
15. U.S. Entry into World War II
16. World War II Diplomacy and the FDR Legacy
17. Origins of the Cold War
18. Cold War Turns Hot-Asia and the Korean War
19. Eisenhower and the Global Cold War
20. Kennedy and the Ultimate Cold War Crisis
21. Vietnam and the War at Home
22. The Nixon-Kissinger "Grand Design"
23. Ideology Anew and the End of the Cold War
24. The United States and the World Since 1991
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