Discussion for U.S. involvement in the world since the late 19th century

Trace the motivations for U.S. involvement in the world since the late 19th century (military and otherwise).

Use the following questions to guide your thoughts/analysis as you formulate a thesis. (Please do not write a short essay that answers each of the questions in a corresponding body paragraph):

    • What have been the primary motivations behind Americans increasing presence in the world, especially since the end of the 19th century?
    • Which enduring tensions/attitudes of American society did persons, companies and/or the military carry overseas with them?
    • What were the primary concerns for sending the military into foreign disputes? (Hint: Think about the purposes and missions of the United States in a global context. Why do we think that the United States has a special purpose or mission in the world?)
    • What should the U.S. role in the world be? Why?

Identify and refer to a variety of class materials that you have already completed (Minimum: 10 sources). For example, you could use evidence from 2-3 videos/audio clips, 3-5 presidential speeches/addresses to trace change over time, ushistory.org chapter, a political cartoon, and 2-3 other scholarly articles of your choice.

As always, you are required to provide appropriate documentation for the sources you use. This includes providing page numbers to indicate where your quotes came from. Yes, even when you paraphrase!


  • Outside sources may NOT be used.
  • Chose your title, central argument, and sources wisely.
  • Remember you are *not* being asked to summarize the materials. You are being asked to construct an argument and to use class materials to support your argument. Please do not pad your papers with needlessly long quotations from sources. Use quotes sparingly, effectively, and in synthesis with your argument. Remember, too, to contextualize your sources and to provide appropriate documentation.
  • Do not make over-generalizations in the introduction. The introduction should introduce the argument you will make in the essay. It should set up the argument so that the reader knows what to expect in the body of the essay. Each paragraph then should develop a single supportive point that is backed up by evidence from class materials. Topic sentences should introduce each paragraph and relate the point of the paragraph to the central focus of the paper.

Your Original Post should be 1,250 – 1,500 words in length

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