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History: North America: North America since 1945


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies.


This lecture course presents an overview of the main historical developments in North America from 1945 to the present. Attention will be given to both domestic and foreign policy to cover the major developments with the United States during the Cold War and beyond. Although Canada and Mexico will be discussed, the emphasis of the course falls upon the United States.

Course objectives

Students will be able to understand the most important historical developments in North America since 1945 and place them in their correct context. The course will enable students to understand the relationship between Mexico, Canada, and the United States. Students will learn to make connections between politics, economics, international relations, and social/cultural change.


The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.

Mode of instruction

One two hour lecture per week, four tutorials spread out over the semester.

Assessment method

One essay (30%), a midterm and a final exam (together 70%)


Blackboard will be used. Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

Compulsory textbook:

  • H.W. Brands, American Dreams: The United States since 1945 (2010), 432 pages, ISBN 9781594202629


Students are requested to register through uSis, the registration system of Leiden University for this course. General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable

Contact information

Any queries about the course can be directed to the lecturer at or (work) 0118 631459