June 2014

Paul Kramer on A Useful Corner of the World: Guantánamo

Paul Kramer

It was 1935, and the Guantánamo naval base had to go. So declared an American commission stocked with foreign-policy experts: the United States was pursuing less antagonistic relations with its southern neighbors, and an American base on Cuban soil, anchored by a lease without an end date, looked increasingly like an “anomaly.” Weren’t there enough defensible harbors on the United States’ own Gulf Coast, or on Puerto Rico? The commission wrote that the U.S.

Jacob Darwin Hamblin on Ecology Lessons From the Cold War

Jacob Hamblin

"TODAY the effort to preserve the planet’s biodiversity is often seen as a campaign to save the whales for their own sake, or to give polar bears a few more winters on the Arctic ice. But in the 1950s, when the concept was first discussed, it was understood that far more was at stake. The “conservation of variety,” as it was called during the early years of the cold war, was no less than a strategy of human survival.” Read more at The New York Times


Barrett to Acheson on Public Relations and NSC-68, 1950

In January 1950, President Harry Truman requested a comprehensive review of U.S. national security policies for later consideration by the National Security Council. Responding to the president’s charge, the State Department Policy Planning Staff, led by Paul Nitze, completed National Security Memorandum 68 (NSC-68) in April 1950. Identifying the Soviet Union as the primary threat to the United States, NSC-68 depicted Soviet leaders as fanatical totalitarians bent on world domination. Concluding that the U.S.

War of 1812

War of 1812

Essential Questions:

Was the War of 1812 a “Second American Revolution”?


Was the War of 1812 a war of choice or a war of necessity?

Common Core Standards: RH9, WHST1