American Imperialism: A Look into the Origins of the American Empire

Described by author and historian Niall Ferguson as an empire, the United States spread its influence through commerce, media, and military might. Analyzing the origins of American Exceptionalism through Manifest Destiny, Global Wars and Diplomacy, we will discuss perceptions of the United States. Looking into the control of the Western Hemisphere through the Monroe Doctrine to the Cold War, the class will debate the positives and negatives of the American Empire.


  • Face-to-Face


  • Manifest Destiny and Westward Expansion: Geography and Native American Treatment
  • Monroe Doctrine and the Western Hemisphere
  • The World’s Arsenal: World Wars and Rebuilding Europe
  • MAD: Cold War and Containment
  • Americana and the rise of China


By end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Identify the policies and people which have shaped American Imperialism.
  2. Debate the benefits and detriments of the United States as the world’s sole superpower.
  3. Compare and contrast the legacy of American influence in the Western Hemisphere to the Eastern Hemisphere.

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