Assignment 3: America as a Superpower
For History 105: Dr. Stansbury’s classes (7 pages here)
Due Week 9 and worth 120 points. The formal deadline is on Monday morning at 9am Eastern Time; this is the next day after Week 9 ends. Watch announcements, emails, and postings for exact dates and any holiday notes that sometimes arise.
Assignment 3: America as a Superpower
Due Week 9 and worth 120 points
The previous assignments focused on domestic matters in U.S. history. This last assignment explores America’s international role in recent decades.
BACKGROUND–By the mid-20th century, the United States had become the dominant force in international relations. Some have argued that the United States’ military functions as the world’s “police.” This assignment covers the manner in which this shift occurred and the consequences the United States faces as a result of its status as “policeman of the world.” One can identify early steps this direction well before World War II, but in this paper focus on the period from 1950 to the present. The American international “policing” role developed because of the Cold War, but now terrorists or any power having or trying to get weapons of mass destruction (WMD) are the potential targets of such a role. Examine the statements below and drawing from provided sources, present a paper with specific examples and arguments to demonstrate the validity of your position. Your paper will use specific examples—two from the Cold War years and two from the past two decades.
NOTE: The word “policing” here has nothing to do with traditional law enforcement agencies. It is more about trying to manage parts of the globe—usually by use of military force or the threat of it. The aim of this management may be to maintain stability, remove threats of “rogue” forces or terrorists or weapons, prevent the expansion of autocratic rule, protect a fledgling democracy, etc.
Choose one of these position statements (make it the last sentence of your introductory paragraph):
THESIS STATEMENT 1. By examples from different decades since 1950, it is clear that the international policing role and strategy of the United States was once essential, but should now be discarded as ineffective and counterproductive.
THESIS STATEMENT 2. By examples from different decades since 1950, it is clear that the international policing role and strategy of the United States during the Cold War has become even more necessary in this period of terrorism and instability.
· Plan to make that thesis statement the last sentence in your introductory paragraph. The general subject is America’s international “policing” role as a superpower for the last 70-plus years. You may moderate the wording slightly to fit more precisely the position you wish to take. This is NOT a simple statement of a topic; it is a statement of a position you are taking about that topic. p.s.—Valid arguments and “A” papers can be made with either thesis. So, you choose the one you think is the stronger position.
In your paper, use specific examples—two from the Cold War years (1950-1991) and two from the past three decades (since 1991). After giving general consideration to your readings and your research, select one of the positions above as your position—your thesis. (Sometimes after doing more thorough research, you might choose the reverse position. This happens with critical thinking and inquiry. Your final paper might end up taking a different position than you originally envisioned.) Organize your paper as follows, handling these issues with this FOUR-PART organization:
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