AMERICA IN WORLD AFFAIRS
US/W – 20 TH-21 ST CENTURIES
GAYLA M. MAY
Students need to know about the world if they are to analyze public issues, make reasonable decisions and take sensible action. As American citizens, they need to know about issues of peace and security, the interaction of cultures, and the conflicts and connections in a world or which they will one day become responsible. (ISSUES IN GLOBAL EDUCATION – NO. 16) A. The basic principles of a nation’s foreign policy are usually based on maintaining friendly relations with other nations in the world to promote peace and often to create economic opportunity. As such, domestic policies within a nation are not considered the business of another nation and may be ignored. The inclusion of human rights as a factor in foreign policy marked a shift in United States priorities in dealing with other nations of the world. The debate over promoting human rights or opening world markets is the latest in a series of major themes that have dominated American foreign policy. For the first 150 years of U. S. history, the dominating theme was isolationism versus involvement in world affairs. After World War II, it was containing and opposing communism
B. Terrorism is the calculated use of, or threatened use of, violence
against individuals or property for the purpose of intimidated or causing fear for political or social ends. The terrorist attacks on September 11 were aimed at well-known symbols of the economic and military power of the United States. But what they mainly destroyed was something Americans value much more – the lives of thousands of individual citizens.
C. Democracy has taken root in some Islamic nations, but whether it
can flourish in Arab countries of the Middle East is an open question.
1. Determine the role of human rights in past and present U.S. foreign
2. To understand what are the toughest issues facing Americans in the early
3. To help students understand one of the most important questions facing
the post-9/11 world: whether the Islamic religion and democracy are
4. Explain the foreign policy issues that has emerged since the end of the
5. Describe the different goals that the United States can have for its
6. To understand what are the toughest issues facing Americans in the early
21 st century.
HABITS OF THE MIND:
#1. …understand the significance of the past to their own lives, both private and
public, and to their society.
#3. perceive past events and issues as they were experienced by people at the
time, to develop historical empathy as opposed to present-mindedness.
#4. …acquire at one and the same time a comprehension of diverse cultures and
of shared humanity.
#7. …prepare to live with uncertainties and exasperating – even perilous –
unfinished business, realizing that not all “problems” have solutions.
#8. …grasp the complexity of historical causation, respect particularity, and
avoid excessively abstract generalizations.
#9. …appreciate the often tentative nature of judgments about the past, and
thereby avoid the temptation to seize upon particular “lessons” of history as
cures for present ills.
#10. …recognize the importance of individuals who have made a difference in
history, and the significance of personal character for both good and ill.
#12. …understand the relationship between geography and history as a matrix of
time and space, and as context for events.
#13. …read widely and critically in order to recognize the difference between fact
and conjecture, between evidence and assertion, and thereby to frame useful
HISTORY’S VITAL THEMES:
#2 Human interaction with the environment
#3 Values, beliefs, political ideas, and institutions
#4 Conflict and cooperation
#5 Comparative history of major developments
#6 Patterns of social and political interaction
WEST VIRGINIA SOCIAL STUDIES CONTENT STANDARDS:
STANDARD 1 – CITIZENSHIP
SS.11.1.1 discuss ways citizens can work cooperatively to resolve cooperatively
to resolve personal, local, regional, and world conflicts peacefully.
SS.11.1.3 analyze the changing nature of civic responsibility.
SS.11.1.4 develop positions and formulate actions on the problems of today and
predict challenges of the future.
SS.11.1.7 identify and explain the importance of the personal and political
responsibilities, privileges and rights of citizens.
STANDARD 2 – CIVICS/GOVERNMENT
SS.11.2.2 explain the role of the president in the formation of national and
SS.11.2.6 examine historical and current conflicts and crises and compare
resolutions within the framework of constitutional and totalitarian
systems of government.
SS.11.2.9 critique the purposes and performance of international governmental
and nongovernmental organizations.
STANDARD 3 – ECONOMICS
SS.11.3.1 evaluate the lifestyle changes brought on by industrialization,
technology and transportation.
SS.11.3.2 compare/contrast the provision of services in developed and
SS.11.3.5 analyze the causes and consequences of the United States’ national
debt and its effect on the world economic system.
SS.11.3.6 apply Gross Domestic Product and per capita income calculations to
compare to compare the economies of different nations.
SS.11.3.8 analyze and evaluate the economies of developing nations.
SS.11.3.10 assess national and international economic interdependence.
STANDARD 4 – GEOGRAPHY
SS.11.4.1 read and interpret maps, graphs, charts, cartoons and timelines.
SS.11.4.2 identify and locate the places significant to each period of study.
SS.11.4.4 relate and interpret the importance of geographic factors to social,
political, economic and technological change.
SS.11.4.6 analyze and assess the impact of human decision-making and
technology on the environment.
SS.11.4.10 relate and interpret the importance of geographic resources to
international conflicts and cooperation since 1900.
SS.11.4.11 predict how physical and human geographic features influence the
evolution of significant historic events and movements.
STANDARD 5 – HISTORY
SS.11.5.2 assess the impact of United States foreign policy on different world
SS.11.5.8 explain and assess the economic, social and political transformation of
the United States since World War II.
SS.11.5.9 analyze and explain United States and world foreign policy since
World War II.
SS.11.5.12 investigate concerns, issues and conflicts related to universal human
SS.11.5.17 identify and analyze the causes and consequences of regional conflicts.
SS.11.5.18 identify and analyze the effects of extremists and terrorists within and
among nations, and predict their future effects.
SS.11.5.19 describe the effect of technology and its impact in creating a global
SS.11.5.20 explain how emerging nations influence world events.
SS.11.5.21 compare and evaluate the impact of stereotyping, conformity, acts of
altruism and other behaviors on individuals and groups.
SS.11.5.23 evaluate the role of technology in communications, transportation,
information processing, weapons development and other areas as it
contributes to or helps resolve conflicts.
SS.11.5.24 evaluate, take and defend positions on foreign policy issues in light of
American national interests, values and principles.
SS.11.5.26 identify and analyze world conflicts, including causes and
SS.11.5.28 develop skills in discussion, debate and persuasive writing by
evaluating different assessments of the causes, costs and benefits of
major events in the twentieth century.
WEST VIRGINIAN TECHNOLOGY CONTENT STANDARDS:
STANDARD 1 – BASIC OPERATIONS AND CONCEPTS
TEC.9-12.1.1 use data input skills appropriate to the task.
TEC.9-12.1.2 demonstrate knowledge and appropriate use of hardware
components, software programs, and their connections.
STANDARD 2 – SOCIAL, ETHICAL AND HUMAN ISSUES
TEC.9-12.2.1 practice ethical behavior in using computer-based technology for class
assignments and projects.
TEC.9-12.2.2 adhere to Fair Use and Multimedia Copyright Guidelines citing
sources of copyrighted materials in papers, projects and multi-media
STANDARD 3 – TECHNOLGY PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS
TEC.9-12.3.1 integrate advanced technology application skills in the use of the word
processor, database and spreadsheet.
TEC.9-12.3.2 select and use appropriate technology tools to efficiently collect,
analyze and display data that is relevant to class assignments.
TEC.9-12.3.3 practice and refine knowledge and skills in databases in preparing
classroom assignments and projects.
TEC.9-12.3.4 create, publish, and present projects related to content areas using a
variety of technological tools.
STANDARD 4 – TECHNOLOGY COMMUNICATION TOOLS
TEC.9-12.4.1 use telecommunications and online resources for the purpose of
communicating with audiences inside and outside of the classroom.
STANDARD 5 – TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH TOOLS
TEC.9-12.5.1 use a variety of strategies to acquire information from electronic
TEC.9-12.5.2 conduct online research and evaluate the information found as to the
validity, appropriateness, content and usefulness.
MATERIALS: The Americans: Reconstruction to the 21 st Century, Upfront magazine issue 12/12/04 – Islam and Democracy: Are they Compatible?, various web sites relating to the current topic, Electronic research databases (SIRS, E-Library, VTLS, etc.), Issues in Global Education,
Day 1/2 Introduce topic of Foreign Policy through text material
Chapter 25-Section 4—After the Cold War; Chapter 26 – Section 1—The 1900s and the New Millennium
Students are to read the text material 848-854 and 860-864
Discuss utilizing Telescoping the Times Main Ideas
#1 The end of the Cold War marked by the breakup of the Soviet
Union in 1991, led to a redirection of many U.S. goals and
Question: How did foreign changes present new challenges for the
#2 Because of technological advances and new trade laws, the U.S.
economy underwent a boom during the late 20 th century.
Question: What trends shaped the new U.S. economy?
#3 Advances in technology have increased the pace but also the
comfort of many Americans’ lives.
Evaluation: Group discussion of topics
Day 3/5 Day 3 Analyze text material – Issues of the 21 st century
Foreign Policy pages 894-895
Debate whether promoting democracy, protecting human rights, or
opening world markets should be the main goal of American foreign
Day 4 Divide the class into groups of six or eight and each group into
two teams. Have teams defend one goal for American foreign policy –
promoting democracy, protecting human rights, or opening world
markets. In the groups, each student should prepare by researching
current U.S. foreign policy issues. Use print and databases.
Day 5 Each group present goals orally. All students are to
Evaluation: Rubric will be utilized to determine understanding of
goal and expertise of delivery
Day 6-9 The class will be divided into groups of four or five to complete one of
the following research topics. Students will utilize print and
databases to gather information along with text material. Library
time will be scheduled in order to be insured of maximum utilization
of source material.
1. Students are to research the historical roots of the ongoing conflict between the Serbs and other ethnic groups in the former Republic of Yugoslavia. They are to consider such issues as: the Balkans under the Ottoman Turks; the formation of Yugoslavia under the Treaty of Versailles; Tito’s rule; Milosevic’s rule. 2. Students are to research the historical roots of the prevailing struggle between the Israelis and the Palestinians in the region of the Middle East over the control of ancient Palestine. Reflect on the impact of Yasser Arafat’s death on the current peace negotiations. Focus on the historical, ethnic and religious factors of this struggle.
3. Students are to research the ongoing struggle between India and Pakistan regarding boundary disputes and ethnic, religious differences. They are to place these factors into a historical context prior to British control. They are to examine the part each plays in the ongoing war in Afghanistan and the search for Osama bin Laden.
4. Students are to research the current situations in various areas in Africa, in particular the Sudan and South Africa where there is still a struggle for survival amongst the various factions. These factions are fighting for political and military control of these regions. Reflect upon the historic beginnings of these struggles and the importance of the colonial era prior to and after World War II.
5. Students are to research the current “war” in Iraq and the role of the United States in that country’s future. Reflect on the impact of religion and ethnicity in the struggle for democracy in that particular country. Trace the relationship of this conflict and the bid for independence with that of other nations in the world. Analyze the possibility of democracy as we know it in the United States as the solution for or downfall/collapse of the current regime.
6. Students are to research other arenas of conflict throughout the world (Ukraine and Chechnya as examples) and determine the causes and consequences globally of the conflicts.
7. Religion plays an important role in many conflicts and disputes throughout the world. Speculate on the media’s reporting and its impact on the understanding of the various religions and beliefs of the American people. Reflect on bias displayed by the media and the consequences of these biases.
Day10/11 Students will present findings in the following format.
A. Oral presentation utilizing presentation board that has photos,
maps, charts, graphs and timelines. Approximately 10-15 minutes
in length. Cite sources of information
B. Written report containing information in oral presentation.
C. Participation by members of group and members of the audience.
Evaluation: Rubric developed to ascertain that students have understanding of topic assigned. Clarity, presentation mode, and grammatical correctness will be observed and evaluated.