HONORS 241 - Honors Core Writing in Humanities
Winter 2020, Section 001 - The Fall and Rise of American Empire
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Honors Program (HONORS)
Department: LSA Honors


Requirements & Distribution:
May be elected twice for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:


When in 1775 thirteen North American colonies moved to overthrow British rule, they delivered a major blow to European empire in the New World. In 1823, as a continuation of the young republic's anti-colonial stance, President James Monroe vowed to stop any European expansion into the Americas beyond what had been established in the 18th century. And yet, in 1819 the Monroe administration obtained congressional funding to help the privately run American Colonization Society establish the colony of Liberia on the West African coast. In gratitude for Monroe's support, American settlers named their capital Monrovia. Why was Monroe's attitude to West Africa so different from his attitude to the Americas?

Some twenty-five years after Liberia the United States fought an expansionist war with Mexico (1846-1848), which yielded territories that later became the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, and Utah. In the process Mexicans who now found themselves on the other side of the new border would eventually lose their lands. In 1893 the United States annexed what had been the sovereign nation of Hawaii, and then in 1898 it defeated Spain, seizing Guam, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, while also purchasing the Philippines for the bargain price of $20 million. Using military force to crush anti-American opposition among the inhabitants of these islands, the United States now boasted an emerging empire in both the Pacific and the Caribbean. (Evidence of this empire still exists: Hawaii is now a state, and U.S. still owns Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Puerto Rico; Guam; and the U.S. Virgin Islands.)

Today, long after the demise of old European empires the United States as a superpower is expected to intervene in anti-totalitarian revolutions around the world, and since 9/11 U.S. troops have invaded and occupied entire nations, as was the case with Iraq, and is the case now with Afghanistan. Given its far reach, is the United States now the face of 21st-century empire? If the destiny of every empire is to rise and then fall, when will "the end" arrive for the United States?

Course Requirements:

Since this is a writing-intensive course each student will be expected to complete two research papers, an argumentative paper, and several shorter assignments requiring close readings of texts and images.

Intended Audience:

First and second-year students in LSA Honors Program


HONORS 241 - Honors Core Writing in Humanities
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
Note: Students are auto-enrolled in lecture 001 when they elect one of discussions 002-003.
002 (DIS)
 In Person
4LSA HONORS Y1 or Y2 or TRY1
W 12:00PM - 1:00PM
Note: Students are auto-enrolled in lecture 001 when they elect one of discussions 002-003.
003 (DIS)
 In Person
2LSA HONORS Y1 or Y2 or TRY1
F 12:00PM - 1:00PM
Note: Students are auto-enrolled in lecture 001 when they elect one of discussions 002-003.

Textbooks/Other Materials

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