The U.S. Department of State's Office of the Historian curates an excellent collection of essays discussing key events in U.S. diplomatic history. Each essay provides a narrative of the event, along with a discussion of how that event impacted U.S. foreign policy. The collection is broken into 19 "chapters," each one focusing on an historical era from 1750 to 2000. Each chapter begins with an introduction previewing the essays and putting the entire era into historical context.
The era we'll begin studying after winter break coincides with the State Department's chapter on "The Continued Expansion of United States Interests" from 1866-1898. Here are the essays that I will have my students read from that chapter:
- Purchase of Alaska
- Chinese Immigration and the Chinese Exclusion Acts
- Mahan's The Influence of Sea Power upon History
- U.S. Diplomacy and Yellow Journalism
- The Spanish American War
Each essay assumes a reading-level that is well-within the grasp of my students (high school juniors). They also include graphics, like this illustration showing the charge of the Rough Riders at San Juan Hill ...
... and this photograph of Secretary of State John Hay.