Assignment: You are to write a 5-7 page research paper on the historical character you will be playing in the simulation part of the course. Your paper should incorporate pertinent historical information prior to 1961 (when the simulation formally begins), but at least half of the essay should focus on your character’s post-1961 trajectory. Background research should be based on class readings as well as outside materials. Your essay must include a minimum of five sources external to class readings (journal articles, monographs, newspaper/magazine or other primary source documents). Review the bibliographies and footnotes in Last Good Neighbor and Latin American in the Global Cold War for readings directly and see the “Recommended Readings” provided for material related to your character/country. You may also speak to the professor for ideas. Due date: Wednesday, March 2nd.
Your essay must incorporate a response to the following central questions, which should be woven into your historical analysis:
- What philosophical principles define the ways in which your character moves through history? Generally speaking, principles are character traits—a product of social upbringing and experience—and thus cannot be compromised or radically changed. But at the same time, all historical characters, like ourselves, are nuanced beings who might hold seemingly contradictory stances, or evolve over time based on life experiences.
- What are the strategic goals that define how your character pursues national and/or international objectives, in relationship to other members of his country team and/or to other countries in the context of the Global Cold War? In other words, what does your character want to achieve, on one hand, and prevent others from achieving, on the other?
- What types of power does your character have (or potentially have) in the pursuit of these strategic goals? Power can be illusive (and illusional): those “in power” can quickly become vulnerable, while those seemingly without “real power” can find ways of acquiring power. How does your character seek to gain or hold onto power? What kinds of power are pursued or available for your character?
Formatting Requirements: You are to use 1 ½ spacing, Times New Roman font with Chicago Style Footnote Formatting. Your essay must have a title and subtitle. This cannot simply be the name of your character; find a title/subtitle that reflects the “essence” of who your character was as an historical personality. For support with footnote formatting and approaches to writing, see Writing Resources on the History Department website.
Useful Research Journals: Diplomatic History, Cold War History, Journal of Cold War Studies, Third World Quarterly, Bulletin (Cold War International History Project), History Compass, Cuban Studies, History Today
Useful Websites: National Security Archive (George Washington University), Cold War International History Project (Woodrow Wilson Center).