A Brief History of America at War

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Taught by Glenna A.

By day, Glenna teaches social studies at a high school in downtown Brooklyn. In her spare time, she likes “Jeopardy,” needlepoint, trivia, rock climbing, and captive audiences. She especially loves talking about history.

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Edwin Starr actually didn’t say it best. War is good for some things, especially nation-building, land acquisition, and world domination. Throughout its history, the United States has only engaged in a handful of actual wars, but with brawn, guile, and a whole lotta luck, it rose from a New World backwater to the most powerful country on earth.

Together, we’ll trace the origins of American wars, analyze the ten most important wars in US History, evaluate foreign policies, and examine implications for today.

Part I: Backwater to Superpower Our first session will trace America’s origins from thirteen very distinct colonies, through the turmoil of the Civil War, to its rise to imperialistic superpower in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War.

Part II: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility Session Two will focus on 20th Century conflicts, beginning with the two world wars, the consequences of the Cold War and its proxy conflicts, and concluding with a discussion of foreign policy today.

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