Chip Taylor Communications

Subject: History

Europe and America in the Modern Age Series

Stanford University Professors James Sheehan and David Kennedy present in-depth lectures on the concept of liberalism as a theoretical framework for examining the interrelationships between the histories of Europe and America. Produced by the Stanford University Channel. Programs available on 20 individual Click for more

12. The United States as a Great Power

12. The United States as a Great Power

In this program Professor David Kennedy explains how the emergence of the United States as an international power in the 20th century signified a dramatic change in the world order and served as definitive test of the capacities and resilience of a liberal democratic society. It was not until the late 19th century, after colonizing Puerto Rico and The Philippines, that the US was recognized by European nations as "playing a central role in international events." Nevertheless, America remained steadfastly neutral in world affairs until April 1917, when the US entered World War I as a militarily and politically independent "associate" of the Allied powers. In spite of America's limited role in this world conflict, US President Woodrow Wilson attempted to impose a liberal democratic peace on Europe, promoting free trade under the protection of a League of Nations. European nations endorsed Wilson's ideas in the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, but the US congress, in response to public isolationist sentiment, refused to ratify the treaty. That isolationism persisted through the 1920s and 1930s, until World War II and the Cold War, periods of dramatic US presence in world affairs. During the Cold War, Western European nations achieved unprecedented levels of cultural and economic integration and regional cooperation. Kennedy asks whether the recent end to the Cold War will allow the US to retreat to its historically preferred role of neutrality and isolationism. 99/10DE SCA 60 min.

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