barbary state

Timeline of United States diplomatic history

The diplomatic history of the United States oscillated among three positions: isolation from diplomatic entanglements of other (typically European) nations (but with economic connections to the world); alliances with European and other military partners; and unilateralism, or operating on its own sovereign policy decisions. This is in direct contrast to the European Union, whose member States have given up their national sovereignty in exchange for cooperative mediation and group policy-making, especially in the economic arena.

Timeline of United States diplomatic history

18th century

19th century

20th century

21st century



  • Thomas A. Bailey. Diplomatic History of the American People (1940), standard older textbook
  • Beisner, Robert L. ed, American Foreign Relations since 1600: A Guide to the Literature (2003), 2 vol. 16,300 annotated entries evaluate every major book and scholarly article.
  • Samuel Flagg Bemis. A Diplomatic History of the United States (1952) old standard textbook
  • Samuel Flagg Bemis and Grace Gardner Griffin. Guide to the Diplomatic History of the United States 1775-1921 (1935) bibliographies
  • Lester H. Brune, Chronological History of U.S. Foreign Relations (2003), 1400 pages
  • Richard Dean Burns, ed. Guide to American Foreign Relations since 1700 (1983) highly detailed annotated bibliography
  • Alexander Deconde, Richard Dean Burns, Fredrik Logevall, and Louise B. Ketz, eds. Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy 3 vol (2001), 2200 pages; 120 long articles by specialists.
  • Alexander DeConde; A History of American Foreign Policy (1963) online edition
  • John E. Findling, ed. Dictionary of American Diplomatic History 2nd ed. 1989. 700pp; 1200 short articles.
  • Michael J. Hogan, ed. Paths to Power: The Historiography of American Foreign Relations to 1941 (2000) essays on main topics
  • Michael J. Hogan and Thomas G. Paterson, eds. Explaining the History of American Foreign Relations (1991) essays on historiography
  • Walter Lafeber. The American Age: United States Foreign Policy at Home and Abroad, 1750 to Present (2nd ed 1994) textbook; 884pp online edition

See also

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