UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND

History 327-01 (Undergraduate Credit) Spring, 1998

Ernest C. Bolt, Jr., Professor of History MWF 11:30-12:20

Ryland Hall 107, 289-8334 Ryland Hall 216

E-mail: ebolt@richmond.edu

Office Hours: 9:30-11:00 M, W, and Th,2:00-3:00 W, and other times by appointment


AMERICAN DIPLOMATIC HISTORY SINCE 1945

This course is the third part of a three-semester survey of the diplomatic history of the United States. All three courses offer a topical approach to American history emphasizing the history of our foreign relations. Students examine American diplomacy in this course as historians, starting with the impact of World War II and emphasizing such topics as containment, the national security state, the Cold War and détente, and Third World challenges to our global interests. Attention will also be given to the ending of the Cold War and to recent changes in world order since 1989.

Class sessions will feature lectures, discussion of common readings, some use of non-print media, and student presentations. Students are introduced to documents and other primary sources, scholarly articles and books in the library, and to sources on the Internet. Purchase the following texts from the University Bookstore; they will be used as common reading and for discussion and analysis in the order in which they are listed.

Warren I. Cohen, America in the Age of Soviet Power, 1945-1991, vol. 4 of The Cambridge History of American Foreign Relations (1995)
 
Melvyn P. Leffler, The Specter of Communism: The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1917-1953 (1994)
 
Truong Nhu Tang, with David Chanoff and Doan Van Toai, A Viet Cong Memoir: An
Inside Account of the Vietnam War and Its Aftermath (1985)
 
H. W. Brands, Since Vietnam: The United States in World Affairs 1973-1995 (1996)

There will be a mid-term examination and a final exam, each of which will be made up of essay/discussion and identification questions. The final exam will be comprehensive, covering the entire course, but it will emphasize material since the mid-term exam. All students will demonstrate critical thinking in written critiques of Truong Nhu Tang's book and a self-selected book from a bibliography to be furnished.

Graduate students should request the graduate student version of the syllabus for information about additional requirements.

The final course grade is the result of averaging grades earned on the mid-term exam (25%), the final exam (35%), and the two critiques (20% each).

Each student is expected to attend all meetings of this class. Absence from more than three classes may adversely impact upon the course grade. Students are not excused from the mid-term exam except in case of personal illness or death in the immediate family. Excuse from the final exam, under University regulations, is handled only by your dean.

The instructor joins the Honor Councils in calling attention to two concerns. The official pledge shall be used on all forms of testing and written/oral work. You are expected to write the following pledge in full and to sign your name: "I pledge that I have neither received nor given unauthorized assistance during the completion of this work." The following definition of plagiarism is contained in the Honor Code: "the deliberate presentation, oral and/or written, of word, facts, or ideas belonging to another source without proper acknowledgement."

Students are encouraged to request a conference with the instructor in regard to any aspect of the course. Office location, phone number, and regular office hours are indicated herein. If you need to contact me at home, please call 288-7581. You may leave a message on either phone, or when phoning the office, you may speak directly with one of the History Department secretaries. I am normally available for conferences at times other than the scheduled office hours. You may find that using e-mail is the most effective means of contact.

Grading Scale for this class: Generally, a ten point scale is used in evaluating your work. Below are the numerical ranges and grade point values for each letter grade used.

 97-100 A+ 4.0   93-96 A 4.0  90-92 A- 3.7
 87-89 B+ 3.3   83-86 B 3.0  80-82 B- 2.7
 77-79 C+ 2.3   73-76 C 2.0  70-72 C- 1.7
 67-69 D+ 1.3  63-66 D 1.0  60-62 D- 0.7

PLEASE NOTE: This course is NOT a Field-of-Studies: Historical Studies (FSHT) course in the University of Richmond’s General Education curriculum.

 


HISTORY 327-01: SPRING TERM 1998

Readings and other Assignments

 

GETTING STARTED

Jan 12 Course overview, materials distributed, and introductions

Today's question: Why was Billy Joel interested in this subject?

Assignment for next class: Begin reading Cohen, America in the Age of Soviet Power, chs. 1-3, pp. 3-80. Complete this reading before class Jan16. Become familiar with Diplomatic History and read one of the recommended articles.

Jan 14 Comments on Defining and Doing Diplomatic History

Today's question: What is the state of the field of diplomatic history (American and European) today?

Assignment for next class: Continue reading Cohen (see above).

UNIT ONE: THE COLD WAR AND CONTAINMENT, 1941-1953

Jan 16 Overview Discussion: The Cold War to 1952

Before this class you should have completed reading Cohen, America in the Age of Soviet Power, chs. 1-3, pp. 3-80.

Today's question: Since the Cold War ended 1989-91, isn't it "ancient history"?

Assignment for next class: Begin reading Leffler, Specter of Communism, chs. 1 & 2. Read also either the Novikov, Kennan, or Roberts telegrams of 1946 (on Library Reserve).

Jan 19 & 21 Topical Focus: Origins of Containment Policy from the Perspectives of George Kennan and Clark Clifford

Assignment for next class: Read Leffler, Spector of Communism, ch. 3. Read also furnished documents & bring them to next class.

Jan 23 Continued discussion of early containment policies (to 1953), with emphasis on the Truman Doctrine Speech.

Fiftieth Anniversary event: The Soviets informed the UN that the UN Temporary Commission on Korea was unwelcome north of the 38th parallel.

Today's question: Did Truman over-react in the Truman Doctrine speech?

Assignment for next class: Read the Marshall Plan speech (furnished excerpts).

Jan 26 In-class film excerpts and discussion: Containment in Europe: the Marshall Plan

Assignment for next class: Read scholarly article from bibliography furnished today. Be ready for discussion Jan 28.

Jan 28 Discussion on Containment in Europe: Berlin and the North Atlantic Treaty

Today's question: Was militarization of containment a consequence of building the National Security State or of external threats and realities?

Assignment for next class: Complete reading of Leffler, Spector of Communism, ch. 4. Read and bring to next class documents furnished today.

Jan 30 & Topical Focus: Cold War in Asia: Communist Victory in China and

Feb 2 Competition in Southeast Asia (to 1953)

Assignment for next class: Read furnished excerpts of NSC 68 (1950) and bring to next class. Read also one article on furnished bibliography.

Feb 4 Discussion of NSC 68: the Document and its Meaning

Today's question: Did containment change in significant ways (beyond the rhetoric of this document), or were its changes most apparent because of the outbreak of war in Korea?

Be sure you have read furnished excerpts of the document and related materials.

Assignment for next class: Be sure you have read Leffler, Specter of Communism, ch. 4

Feb 6 Topical Focus: The Korean War and America's Expanding Global Watch

Assignment for next class: See directed research assignment for all students. Be prepared to report in class Feb 9 on your reading in Foreign Relations of the United States.

Feb 9 Discussion based on prior use of Foreign Relations of the United States (as assigned)

Feb 11 Review of readings and historical record to 1953: a Discussion and Exercise.

Feb 13 Paper due today at the beginning of class. All students must submit critique of the first book and participate in today's discussion in class.

Assignment for next class: Read Cohen, America in the Age of Soviet Power, chs. 4-6.

UNIT TWO: GLOBAL CONFRONTATIONS, 1953-1973 -- CONTAINMENT EFFORTS IN ASIA, CUBA, AND THE MIDDLE EAST

Feb 16 Overview Discussion: The Cold War, 1953-1973

Before this class you should have completed reading Cohen, America in the Age of Soviet Power, chs. 4-6.

Today's question: Why does Eisenhower deserve better "marks" than JFK as a Cold War leader?

Assignment for next class: Read assigned scholarly article or other item (on Library Reserve).

Feb 18 A Closer Look and Discussion: Eisenhower Diplomacy Evaluated

Be prepared to participate, based on your previously assigned reading.

Assignment for next class: Read assigned scholarly article or other item (on Library Reserve).

Feb 20 Topical Focus: The United States and Indochina, 1950-1961

Assignment for next class: Read assigned scholarly article or other item (on Library Reserve).

Feb 23 Topical Focus: Kennedy and Vietnam

& 25 Today's question: Would Kennedy have pulled out of our Vietnam commitments had he lived longer?

Feb 27 Topical Focus: The Cuban Missile Crisis -- Reunions and Memories

Assignment for next class: Read assigned scholarly article from bibliography furnished.

Mar 2 Discussion: The Cuban Missile Crisis

Today's question: Was this our "finest hour" in Cold War crisis management?

Mar 4 Mid-term Examination Self-scheduling of the Exam will not be utilized.

Today is the mid-semester point this term and the final day to withdraw.

Mid-term exam will cover period to 1961, the first six chapters of Cohen, all of Leffler, other assigned readings and documents, and all topics (lectures and class discussions). Note that SPRING BREAK officially begins after your final class Mar 6.

Assignment for next class: Re-read Cohen, ch. 6, and assigned articles and documents.

Mar 6 Discussion: The Challenges in Vietnam, 1963-73, and Opportunities Elsewhere

Be sure you have re-read Cohen, ch. 6, and previously assigned articles and documents for today's class discussion.

According to the official calendar of the University, SPRING BREAK officially begins after your final class Mar 6.

Note: Applications to participate in the April 17 Student Research Symposium are due today or earlier.

Mar 7-15 SPRING BREAK

Mar 16 Discussion (continued): The Challenges in Vietnam, 1963-73, and Opportunities Elsewhere

Be sure you have re-read Cohen, ch. 6, and previously assigned articles and documents for today's class discussion.

Assignment for next class: Read Cohen, America in the Age of Soviet Power, chs. 7-8.

UNIT THREE: CONTINUED COLD WAR CRISES, DETENTE, AND OTHER DEVELOPMENTS, 1969-1989

Mar 18 Overview Discussion: New Leaders, New Realities, New Beginnings

This class you should have completed reading Cohen, America in the Age of Soviet Power, chs. 7-8.

Today's question: Was Gorbachev's leadership chiefly responsible for what happened in U.S.-Soviet relations?

Assignment for next class: Brands, Since Vietnam: The U.S. in World Affairs, ch. 1, and furnished documents.

Mar 20 Topical Focus: Rapprochement with the People's Republic of China

Mar 23 Class will not meet these two days because of Professor Bolt's responsibilities & 25 with the institutional self-study. Use this time to prepare your critique of Truong Nhu Tang's memoir on the Vietnam War.

Mar 27 Paper due today at the beginning of class. All students must submit critique and participate in today's discussion in class.

Mar 30 Topical Focus: Henry Kissinger as a Diplomatist

Today's question: Should HK be considered as a role model for today's students who aspire to careers in international affairs?

Assignment for next class: Brands, Since Vietnam: The U.S. in World Affairs, ch. 2.

Apr 1 Topical Focus: Hopes Realized and Hopes Dashed: Carter, China, and the & 3 Middle East

(Note: Class on Apr 1 will be earlier and shorter in duration because of Honors Convocation.)

Assignment for next class: TBA

Apr 6 Topical Focus "Extra": The Carter Center Today

Assignment for next class: Brands, Since Vietnam: The U.S. in World Affairs, ch. 3.

Apr 8 Discussion: Reagan and New Cold Wars: Central America and Lebanon

Be ready to discuss Brands, ch. 3

Assignment for next class: Brands, Since Vietnam: The U.S. in World Affairs, ch. 4.

Apr 10 Discussion: Reagan and the Changing World (to 1989)

Be ready to discuss Brands, ch 4.

Assignment for next class: TBA

Apr 13 Topical Focus: Revolutions in Eastern Europe, 1989-90

& 15

Assignment for next class: Brands, Since Vietnam: The U.S. in World Affairs, ch. 5.

Apr 17 Student Research Symposium

Our class will not meet today in order to support students making presentations in the Student Research Symposium on campus. Those related to American diplomatic history are especially recommended (see furnished list).

 

UNIT FOUR: NEW CHALLENGES AND QUESTIONS: THE U.S. AS "SOLE SURVIVING SUPERPOWER," SINCE 1989

Apr 20 Overview Discussion: The End of the Cold War, New Challenges, and new Cold Wars (since 1989)

Be ready to discuss Brands, ch. 5.

Assignment for next class: Read one article from furnished bibliography.

Apr 22 Topical Focus: Vietnam and the United States since 1975

Be ready to discuss selected article.

Apr 24 Comments concerning the final examination

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Apr 25-26 Study Period

Apr 29 Final examination, 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Self-scheduling of the final exam will not be utilized in this class.

Note: All written assignments are considered to be pledged assignments and must be completed by scheduled due dates (unless altered by the professor). There will be a penalty for assignments received after due dates.

Last Updated: Jan., 1998