Education:What goes into a foreign policy, The Monroe Doctrine v. the Carter Doctrine

Title of lesson

What goes into a foreign policy; The Monroe Doctrine v. the Carter Doctrine


High School USII or Contemporary World History

It is meant to be used as part of a unit on contemporary history, after having already done the Monroe Doctrine. I will use it as an “end of the year” essay comparing two units of study and demonstrating gained reading/writing skills.

Time Required for completed lesson

2 class periods/1 Block


6.1.12.C.15.a Relate the role of America’s dependence on foreign oil to its economy and foreign policy

6.1.12.C.13.d Relate American economic expansion after World War II to increased consumer demand.

Common Core State Standards

RH.9-10.1. Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.

RH.9-10.10. By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 9–10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.

Materials Required

Instructor computer/projector, paper, pencils, readings and videos included, A few student computers/text books

Anticipatory Set

Do Now on board: Use your textbook or computer to recall the Monroe Doctrine. When was this issued and why? What effect did the Roosevelt Corollary have?

Discuss answers with class make sure students remember that the United States wanted to keep foreign powers out of the Americas and would enforce this with force. Class can discuss all possible motives, but make sure to recall that the US stated it considered outside countries involving themselves in Latin America as “threats” to the US itself.


  1. Class (on projector) should review the following website on the uses of oil in modern society. Instructor show following the links that peak students interest. Students should understand the concept that “oil is not just liquid gasoline or oil it has an influence on nearly every part of your day”.
  2. Read and listen to Jimmy Carter’s State of the Union speech from 1980. Text: Video:
  3. Students should answer the following:
    1. What had recently happened in the Middle East that motivated Carter to commit to this action?
    2. What did Jimmy Carter mean by “Meeting this challenge will take national will, diplomatic and political wisdom, economic sacrifice, and, of course, military capability. We must call on the best that is in us to preserve the security of this crucial region. Let our position be absolutely clear: An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.”
    3. Why do you think the United States was being protective of certain areas of the Middle East at this time?
    4. Why was oil so important to the United States?
  4. Create a Venn diagram on the board as a whole group comparing the Monroe Doctrine to the Carter Doctrine.
  5. Now that we understand what the Carter Doctrine and Monroe Doctrine individually, the students will be asked to compare the two foreign policies.

Students should use a computer, their books and prior knowledge to complete the following writing assignment in about one page.

“Use both the Monroe Doctrine and the Carter Doctrine as ‘case studies’ to answer the following questions. What affects a country’s foreign policy? How do technology and economics dictate how nations will interact with one another? “


Writing assignment should be collected and graded. Look for use of both Doctrines and the motivations and result of each.


Websites included


Audio/visual resources; can adapt writing assignment for learning level.


Discuss as whole group “What conclusions did you draw in your assignment? What goes into a nations foreign policy?”


Included in order and “step”of use.