Multi-National Companies and International Organizations in US History

USA PurpOverview:

Political, economic, and military perspectives dominate U.S. History textbooks, pedagogy, and assessment. Nods to social, cultural, environmental, and trans-national history are emerging or tangential to the common high framing of history. The common element in all of these is the pre-eminence of the nation-state as the dominant actor in history. Yet the United States, as other nations, are members of a multitude of international organizations that are based on economic, political, military, and cultural visions. Involvement in these groups produces networks that must be navigated and yields power that can be executed.  Additionally, multi-national companies have come to rival nation-states in the ability to impact history. Recognizing the significance of multi-national companies and international organizations in history extends studnets’ understanding of world systems in an age of globalization. In order to do this effectively, the United States must be understood as a player within these networks and not as a singular driver of change over time.

Essential Questions:

  1. How do nations utilize power through international organizations?
  2. What are the limits and advantages international organizations have over political, social, military, and economic policies and practices?
  3. To what extent are international organizations agents of historical change?
  4. How do multi-national companies shape policies, programs, issues, and practices in the world?


Module Resources:

  1. Scholar Screencast, by Eric Pullin
    • Recording: 15 Minutes
    • “A major reason why this international organization proves difficult to understand is that there is conflict between the stated purpose of the United Nations and its actual functioning. The UN describes itself as being “committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.”
  2. C3 Inquiry Lesson
  3. Secondary Sources/Informational Texts
  4. Primary Sources





intl org

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *