MWF 2:30-3:20 pm - Professor Carter
Cross-listed with HIST 492AX
Americans have only rarely thought of themselves as imperialists. When they have, they have typically done so in an exceptionalist language that dates back to the nation’s earliest years: Thomas Jefferson famously referred to the United States as an “empire of liberty.” This course will tackle fundamental questions such as: what is imperialism in the context of the modern world? Does the United States have an empire? If so, what is it, when was it acquired, and how – morally and ethically – should we regard it? The nation’s history, from independence to the present day, offers a fascinating lens through which to explore these themes. We will pay particular attention to the conquering of the West in the nineteenth century, and to the United States’ emergence as a global power in the twentieth and twenty-first.