HIS2424 – America and the World since 1898

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course will survey the foreign policies of the United States government from 1898 to the present, while emphasizing the deep and complex embeddedness of America with other regions of the world. Relations with East Asia and the Pacific, the Middle East, Latin America, and Europe will be emphasized. A major theme will be the rise of nationalism around the world and the way that the United States has responded to this phenomenon and been affected by it during the era of ascendant American power. It is often said that the United States first became an empire in 1898 when it conquered the Philippines and other lands from Spain. Yet controversy has surrounded broader claims that the U.S. is an imperial power. Ironically, in the years after the attacks on America of 11 September 2001, it became common for analysts of all perspectives to call America an empire. Now the debate focuses on the nature of that imperial power. This course will equip students to analyze and evaluate historical claims about the precise nature and extent of America’s role in the world from 1898 to now.

Learning outcome

A student who successfully completes this course should be able to

  • Explain how the United States exercised power and how its power was limited by global forces, between 1898 and the present.
  • Discuss how America’s interactions with Europe related to U.S. relations with Asia during the twentieth century.
  • Outline the continuing debates over the historic nature of American “empire.”


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If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Recommended previous knowledge

30 credits in humanities or social sciences.

A good ability to read and understand English is required for this course.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with HIS4424 – America and the World since 1898


This course will combine lectures with class discussion, in two-hour sessions. Please read the material assigned for the relevant week before that week’s class meetings, so that you will be in a position to answer questions about the reading and discuss it at that time.

Resources and information in this course will be given in Canvas.

Obligatory Essay:

During the course, students will write a paper which will receive comments from the teacher. Normally all students will be assigned the same task, information about this will be given in class. 

  • The length of the paper should be approximately six pages (where one page is estimated to hold 2300 characters without spacing).
  • The essay is to be uploaded in Canvas.
  • The paper must be approved before the exam; otherwise students will be barred from taking the exam.
  • It is the student's responsibility to find out if the essay has been accepted.

Accepted compulsory activity/assignment is valid the two following semesters during which the course is taught. Exceptions may occur if the form of evaluation alters, if the tuition plan alters significantly, or other substantial adjustments are made


3 days take-home exam.

Graded work will consist of a paper, approximately 6-8 pages in length (double-spaced), to be submitted through Inspera. You will be provided with details for the home exam in class.

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit assignments in Inspera.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2019

This course is offered on an irregular basis


Autumn 2019

Teaching language