Liberal Superpower: Reform and Political Economy in Postwar U.S. History

History 139D

Fall 2005
219 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
MWF 2-3

How did the United States reconcile the Cold War Leviathan with its admiration for traditional liberalismÃ_natural rights to liberty and property protected by a legitimate but limited governmentÃ_and its more contemporaneous redefinitionÃ_a measure of public obligation to maintain and promote the welfare of the people? Certainly, the broad sweep and projection of especially military power abroad affected more than just Americans' awareness of geography; the military, ideological, and cultural competition engaged in by the United States and with the Soviet Union transformed the context in which other issues were placed and understood. This course will examine the fate of previously important political ideals and distinctive institutional configurations under the restructuring regime of the Cold War, in a sense asking ourselves whether it is a paradox in need of unraveling or an artfully constructed falsehood to describe the postwar United States as a ";liberal superpower.";