TAS 2.T Europe and the United States in the 20th Century

Teacher responsible:

Dr. Christopher Reeves

Brief course description:

The course will examine the main issues and events that  influenced the relationship between the United States and Europe throughout the twentieth century.


By the end of the course, students will be expected to be aware of the main issues and events which influenced the relationship of the US and Europe during the twentieth century. They will be expected to have some knowledge of the main debates within the literature, and will be able to present their ideas in an essay and and at an exam at the end of the course.


1.The Emerging Colossus: American-European Relations Before the First World War.

2.The Associated Power: the United States and the First World War.

3. The Building of a New International Order: Woodrow Wilson and the Paris Peace Conference.

4. The Return to Isolationism: American-European Relations During the 1920s.
5.The United States and the Challenge of Fascism in Europe

6.The Reluctant Liberator: America and the Second World War in Europe.

7.The Collapse of the Grand Alliance: The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1945-50.

8.East-West relations and the ‘German Problem'.

9.The United States and European Decolonization

10.The United States and European rivalry in the Middle East.

11.Empire by Integration? The US and the European Project

12.The Crisis Years: Kennedy, Johnson, and the Transatlantic Crisis.

13.Transatlantic Relations, Détente, and German Ostpolitik

14. From the New Cold War to the end of the Cold War.

15. Post-Cold War realities in Europe

Reading list:

Liaquat Ahamed, Lords of Finance: 1929, The Great Depression, and the Bankers Who Broke the World (London: Windmill Books, 2009)
Michael Creswell and Marc Trachtenberg, ‘France and the German Question, 1945-55', Journal of Cold War Studies, Vol. 5, No. 3 (2003)
Robert Dallek, Franklin Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979)
Niall Ferguson, Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire (London: Penguin, 2005)
Timothy Garton Ash, In Europe's name: Germany and the Divided Continent (London: Vintage, 1994)
Akira Iriye, The Cambridge History of American Foreign Relations, Volume III: The Globalizing of America, 1913-45, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995)
Ian Kershaw, Fateful Choices: Ten Decisions that Changed the World, 1940-1941 (London: Penguin, 2008)
Geir Lundestad, The United States and Western Europe Since 1945 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005)
Ronald E. Powaski, The Cold War: The United States and the Soviet Union, 1917-1991 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998)
Robert Tucker, ‘A Benediction on the Past: Woodrow Wilson's War Address', World Policy Journal, Vol. 17, No. 2 (2000)