USA from Nixon to Trump

Ref: C2224475

To understand, in part, the USA's development from Nixon to Trump we must explore how, since 1968, it handled the continuing demands of global dominance political,economic & cultural taken up, reluctantly, after victory in 1945.This dominance has, from time to time, seemed under grave threat.Its international peace keeping role-distorted by the Cold War &, latterly, the war on terrorism-overstretched its economy in the early 21st century. The Wilsonian legacy of exporting American values produced instability, especially, in the Middle East & growing anti Americanism. Internally, American society, fractured by debilitating social, economic & racial inequalities, defeat in Vietnam, flaws in various Presidents & industrial changes still seeks harmony, balance & confidence, though politically, Bill Clinton's & Obama's charismatic creation of enthusiastic popular support has polarised attitudes & eroded that bi-partisanship, crucial to the successful working of Government.

Course aim

Since 1968 the USA, abroad, has seesawed between triumphs (USSR's collapse) & disasters (Vietnam defeat)! Internally,stubborn inequalities, social, racial & economic resist remedies. Can stability & confidence be found hereafter?

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • Anyone interested in current affairs & contemporary history.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Outline the main development of the US economy.
  • Explain why US society seems so conservative.
  • Assess the successes of the US response to international & political changes.
  • Assess what dangers may lie ahead for the democratic system & world leadership of the USA.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • There may be group &/or personal presentations to the class & critical reading will be encouraged as well as a seminar style of learning with interpretation of documentary evidence by the class.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • BOOKLIST Brogan, H Longman Illustrated History of the USA 1999 Dumbrell, J American Foreign Policy from Carter to Clinton 1997 Woodward,B Five Presidents & the Shadow of Watergate

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Read more about any issues raised.

Download full course outline

USA from Nixon to Trump Course Outline


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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