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Politics 240:
Security at Sea

May 2003
Dr. Robert W. Sutherland, Instructor

The following Supplements to this Course Description can be found on the Web:

Course Description

Calendar & Assignments


Rules & Regulations

Politics Department

Research Links

Web References

Reading Questions


Click here for a version that is easier to print using Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0. The course outline on line is the only definitive one. Changes in reading assignments will not, however, be made 24 hours immediately preceding class meetings.

Travel & Additional Expense: All or almost all of the course will be spent in the New Orleans area and in the Florida Keys. The estimated additional expense is $1500 for travel and housing. Feel free to send questions as you think of them. Before 4th term, a non-refundable $500 deposit will be required of all students registered for the course. For questions about expenses, E-mail:

Instructor: Robert Sutherland, Room 305, South Hall. Telephone: Office, 895-4226. Phone messages may be left with faculty secretary Cheryl Dake 895-4283 or in her voice mail box or on the answering machine at my home. I rarely check my office voice mail. If I do not answer the phone, I recommend contacting me by e-mail:

Office Hours: TBA

Grades: Two major examinations (30% each), one on May 14th, the other at the end of the course. The exams will include an essay component (15%) as well as a short answer component (15%). Two oral presentations (10%, 20%). Quizzes (10%) See Grades for grading scale

Book: John Weaver, A Legacy in Brick and Stone: American Coastal Defense Forts of the Third System, 1816-1867 (2001)


  • Earliest understanding in America of National Security, 1815-1855
    • International Context, 1815-1855
    • Domestic Context, 1815-1855.
  • The Bernard Board & American Coastal Fortifications
  • The Earliest Brick Forts & the Defense of New Orleans
  • Fort Jefferson: Defense Reconsidered
  • A. T. Mahan and American Power Projection
  • Mahan's Legacy and the "American Century"
  • National Security Policy in the 21st Century

Oral Presentations: Topics to be Assigned

Grades on oral work are determined by performance in content and style. Strength in content depends on a clear presentation of main ideas, careful subordination of explanation and examples, and close attention to logical transition. Elements of style include skill in referring to notes (do not read a prepared text), in managing the time available (consult the instructor), in oral expression (watch rate of speed in speaking), in eye contact, and in variety of emphasis.


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