HIST 1576 War in U.S. History: From the Frontier to the Wars on Terror

HIST 1576 War in U.S. History: From the Frontier to the Wars on Terror (also AMST 1576) (HST-AS) (HNA)

Tuesday and Thursday: 1:25-2:40 plus discussion

Professor Ruth Lawlor

Is war a “way of life” for Americans, as some historians have suggested? In recent years, many Americans have come to think about war as something that happens “over there”, away from our own shores, but war – the act of fighting itself, as well as the political, economic and social demands of mobilisation, and the foreign and domestic consequences of military violence – has shaped the United States in countless ways. This course explores both the shadow of war – the seen and unseen effects it has on people and societies – and the substance – the wars themselves – to explore America’s relationships with the rest of the world, from the revolutionary period to the present day. At the same time, we we’ll also examine non-military and quasi-military encounters between Americans and peoples abroad, including tourism, romantic entanglements, business relationships, and religious proselytising, asking “what is war?”, and even whether the United States has ever been at peace. Through this multi-layered focus we will discover some of the many ways in which Americans have thought about, engaged with, impacted, and been impacted by, the world beyond the country’s borders, and the extent to which war and violence have played a prominent role in those interactions.

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