HIST 415/515 Advanced World History:
Russia & USA and Global Energy Politics

Auxiliary "Energy and Politics: Resource Webpage" [TXT]
BYD "Energy and Politics" [TXT]
Recent news items related to nrg&plt [Webpage]
"Key Concepts" related to nrg&plt [Table]

This bold ad is identified with transcribed TXT on the Auxliary Resource Webpage

Electronic copy of handout syllabus =
HIST 415/515 Advanced World History Topic: Russia, USA and Global Energy Politics
Alan Kimball, 346-4813. Office hours = Mon & Wed 12:00-13:30, in McK 367

Here is a basic calendar of the term's three most solid deadlines =

!! oc19:--------------- SUBMIT JOURNAL FOR FIRST TIME, with draft essay #1
!! no09:--------------- SUBMIT TAKE-HOME MIDTERM EXAM, with draft essays #1 & #2 also in journal
!! de10 (TH), NOON: --- SUBMIT RESEARCH REPORT & JOURNAL, with draft essays #1, #2, #3, & #4

First exercise = Purchase and set up your journal. Ask at the customer service desk in the basement of the UO Book Store for a blue lab book (the larger one, 11x9 inches; Stock # 43-581, JUST EXACTLY THIS ONE). The first thing I want you to do with your lab book (let’s call it the journal) is paste a white label securely to the outer upper right-hand corner of the front cover (a mailing label will do). Boldly inscribe your name there. Inscribe other personal contact info on the inner face of the cover, and leave the first 4-5 numbered pages blank for keeping your own table of contents as the term progresses, indicating sources consulted. It is your responsibility here to provide a guide to each part of your journal. Leave page 120 blank for instructor comments & grading. In this journal you will enter notes on lectures and discussions in class, you will record your library and webpage work, and you will draft seven take-home essays and write your midterm & final exams.

Second exercise =Add the following webpage address to your web-browser "bookmarks" or
"favorites" page =
Locate the the hypertext link for this specific course and take the hop in order to check it out. You'll go there often this term.
Most course materials are in the library or are texts linked to our internet course webpage.

These first two exercises, and ten more, are listed and explained in detail on that specific course webpage. Everything is organized in a weekly schedule of events.

ABOUT GRADES: Essays & exams are due at the time the class meets on the days specified. Late exercises are penalized one grade. Exercises AWOL 24 hours after due date are given a failing grade. Failure to complete any one of the essays or exams will result in a failing grade for the course. Unpenalized postponement of an exercise is possible only when documented illness or happenstance forces delay, or when arranged in writing beforehand. If you attend class regularly, keep good lecture notes, devote nine hours of your outside-of-class study-week to your reading & writing, & keep a good record in your journal, you may be sure that you are meeting course expectations.



1st Week

Our topic has three dimensions, in boldface =

(A) Mechanisms and philosophy at the foundation of the course itself (Exercises 1 and 2)
(B) Pillars & posts underpinning the extended "time bridge", our 10-week topical arch over the whole academic term (Exercise 3)
(C) Space, the geographic foundation of our topic (First-week Readings)

Purchase and set up your journal

Ask at the customer service desk in the basement of the UO Book Store for a blue lab book (the larger one, 11x9 inches; Stock # 43-581, JUST EXACTLY THIS ONE). The first thing I want you to do with your lab book (let’s call it the journal) is paste a white label securely to the outer upper right-hand corner of the front cover (a mailing label will do). Boldly inscribe your name there. Inscribe other personal contact info on the inner face of the cover, and leave the first 4-5 numbered pages blank for keeping your own table of contents through the term, indicating sources consulted. It is your responsibility here to provide a guide to each part of your journal. Leave page 120 blank for instructor comments & grading.

!! Study the extended description of how to employ the journal (devote up to 1.5 hours to this task) !!

The course website (devote about 3 hours to this exercise)

Pillars and posts that underpin our 10-week topical time bridge

Definition of topic =
Long-term and “global” history of energy and politics from the earliest industrial age to our own time

Definition of industrial age =
Most recent four centuries, ca. 1600 to the present
We take the long view
But we will devote 75% or so of our time and attention to the latest 150 years
That epoch can be called the petroleum era

Definition of energy =
Resources, methods and devices for producing heat, light, compression and movement (“work”) at “industrial levels”
The world as we know it today is utterly dependent
upon coal, petroleum, natural gas, nuclear power, and their wondrous derivative, electricity,
to produce "work" at "industrial levels"
The aspirations of many "developing" nations hinge on the supply of industrial energy
Over the past 400 years, historical action has derived from the story of several key varieties of energy
If the world of tomorrow is to bear any relationship to the world of today,
it will also be utterly dependent upon industrial levels of energy
This is so despite constant international and domestic political crises and the very real threat of environmental catastrophe
If not coal, oil or nuclear energy, then effective substitutes will have to be found
Here these varieties of energy are listed in a crude chronological sequence of contribution to our topic =

  1. Human labor [W] [code=wrk] = Bound labor (slavery, serfdom, indentured servitude) followed in the industrial age by wage-labor
  2. Coal (with a nod to wood) [code=nrg.c]
  3. Whale oil [SAC LOOP] [bbl] [code=nrg.a]
  4. Petroleum and natural gas [code=nrg.p nrg.g]
  5. Electricity (hydro-electric, etc.) [code=nrg.h nrg.e]
  6. Nuclear (fusion and the dream of fission) [code=nrg.x]
  7. “Renewable” or "alternative" [code=nrg.new, EG=nrg.s (solar) | nrg.z (wind) | nrg.t (geothermal) | nrg.h (water, including tidal)] [Wki#1]
  8. "Mop Up" = The energy and politics of environmentalism [code=ecx]


Definition of politics =
The colloquium will be an exercise in what can be called “focused world history”
Here the focus is on one major global issue = industrial energy politics
The focus is on one issue, politics, but politics present themselves in two identifiable guises =

  1. Domestic politics = Exercise of nation-state executive, legislative and judicial authority, plus the actions of various social forces, economic enterprises, companies or corporations
  2. International politics = Projection outward of nation-state and transnational corporate power via example, diplomacy, economic incentive, and/or raw force


Definition of “New World Order” =
A major goal of each participant in the colloquium will be
to come up with a satisfactory sense of that faddish notion,
so far as energy politics might be thought a central component


Five vast world-historical issues will be brought to bear on our topic =

  1. Nation-state "sovereignty" [four "bulleted" paragraphs in SAC]
  2. “Imperialism” [ID]
  3. “Industrial Revolutions” [ID]. Industrial transformation of traditional European and then world-wide political economies
  4. [ID broad meaning of "political economy"]
  5. "Civil society" [ID], a phrase that describes the modern historical evolution of multifaceted tri-partite relationships between and among the three main components of modern life, as created by the first phase of the European "Liberal Revolution" [ID] =
  6. The third phase of "European Social and Political Revolutions" = Managerial elitism [ID] , a somewhat depressing suggestion about the impact on domestic politics (on "civil society") exerted by modern mass society, centralized nation-states (increasingly "militarized"), and large-scale, financially globalized corporate enterprise, including energy enterprise

Petroleum-era notions of “vertical integration” and “horizontal integration” help shape thinking about our topic =

  1. Vertical integration is sometimes metaphorically expressed as “upstream” and “downstream” on an imaginary organizational pipeline [ID]
  2. Horizontal integration is a way of describing inter-institutional and inter-agency, as well as regional and international combinations

First Week Readings (about 5 hours)

Spent 5 hours in all reading over a selection from the following webpage that links with recent news items relating to our topic.
As you read these news dispatches, begin to refine, to expand, to cull our group list of "Key Concepts" [ID]. Fashion your own list.
Consult the Energy and Politics Resource Page





2nd Week
Pre-industrial energy and politics Coal (from the “steam era” to today),
with some attention to the "Whale-oil" era

Website and "hard-copy" reading and note taking should occupy about six hours of your out-of-class time in this second week

Then give 2 hours or so to exercise four =

Tour Eight UO "library" collections

Before you tour the libraries, you might want to explore the CENTRAL COURSE BIBLIOGRAPHY
(You need to know locations and options for use of the first four library collections. The final four here are largely FYI)

First library location =
KNIGHT Course Reserve Book Shelves -- RBS (sometimes still coded RBR here)

The list provides hypertext hops to entries on an even more extensive bibliography,
located on a "Resource Page" devoted to our topic.
That bibliography is a central reservoir of what we can call "our readings".
Titles flagged "**--" on this more focused list are the best general titles
Titles flagged "*--|--" are good sources on specific topics
Coll.PRIVATE, Sampson.SEVEN, Yergin.PRIZE, and other titles are on reserve
Here is a link to the electronic library catalog window where you can call up "HIST 415" to get our complete reserve book list

**--Adelman.GENIE [E-TXT] cxx| ekn.mlf|
*--|--Black.INTERNAL | WW1+ autos gasoline mkt manipulation
**--Blair.CONTROL | WW2+ mpy & cxx to control prices [fnc]
**--Bower.SQUEEZE | 21st.c=hst.gph.wrl
*----Briody.IRON & Briody.HALLIBURTON | WW2+=ekn.mlf| MIC
*--|--Bronson.THICKER | WW2+= SaA| plt.irx
**--Coll.PRIVATE | 1990s=ExxM.crp.nrg| plt.irx plt.dms
*--|--Cooper.OIL | 1975+=SaA| plt.irx| IRN| OPEC
*--|--DiGeorgia.GLOBAL | fnc
*--|--Elwell.PERSIAN | plt.irx| nrg.irx| stt&crp
*--|--Engdahl.WAR | plt.irx | nrg&wrx | MPR
*--|--Engler.POLITICS & Engler.BROTHERHOOD | Early-1950s, & again late 20th c| plt.dms| ekn.mlf
*--|--Everest.OIL | 21st.c=IRQ.wrx| nrg&wrx
*--|--Freese.COAL | gnr
*--|--Greene.STRATEGIES | gnr
*--|--Hartshorn.POLITICS1| nrg&ekn | nrg&plt.irx
*--|--Hartshorn.OIL| gvt~ & nrg.p| OPEC
**--Juhasz.TYRANNY | 21st/c=polemics| plt.dms| nrg&wrx
*--|--Kaufman.OIL | gnr
*--|--Kayal.CONTROL | 1970s=OPEC
*----Klare.BLOOD | 21st.c=
*----Klare.RESOURCE | 21st.c=ecx| wtr
**--LeVine.GLORY | gnr MPR CSP.S
**--Maass.CRUDE | 21st.c=gnr| nrg.ggr vs-nrg.crp | stt&crp | ekn.mlf | plt.irx| ecx
**--Muttit.FUEL | 2003-2011=IRQ| Big oil takes charge| dms.plt
**--Ross.OIL [E-TXT] "Oil curse"
**--Sampson.SEVEN | gnr
*----Tanzer.POLITICAL [E-TXT] nrg&ekn tntn NB! other title = Turner.Multinational
**--Yergin.PRIZE | gnr
**--Yergin.QUEST | gnr


Second library location =
KNIGHT Reference Division, holding, among other useful readings, our main "encyclopedias" =

*--MERSH | Notice the electronic table of contents, available only on our website, where you can do FIND searches[ID] EG= F/Nobel/


Third library location =

MORE MAP EXERCISE = Here in the MAP Room your goal is to develop broad familiarity with the geographic dimension (space), and with certain other visual/spatial aspects of our history. ??GET nrg.ggr bbl at MAP ROOM??

Here is a series of maps on our SAC website, in chronological order (with three maps of broad compass in boldface) =

As you tour the MAP ROOM and hop through the INTERNET MAPS, you will want to be looking ahead to course exercise five and your choice for draft essay #1


Fourth library location =
The Knight Library stacks

See list above

Fifth library location =
Information Technology Center

Sixth library location =
All UO students ought to visit the Jacqua Law School Library at least once


Seventh library location =
Take a walk to the Lawrence Hall Art and Architecture Library

??INSERT some nrg&plt specific art


Eighth (near the) library location =
On your way back to KNIGHT, stop by the UO Art Museum.


Over the final weeks of the term, you will research and write four brief draft essays
[What is a "draft essay"? (1 hour with this reading)]

We begin here with a description of

Draft essay #1
(about 3 hours this week getting under way with the draft essay, with about 3 more hours to completion)

Draft essay #1 should be completed by the beginning of the fourth week
I will read it at the time of first submission of the journal [ID]

This first draft essay should build on what you discovered of greatest interest to you as you read the recent news dispatches on energy and politics [TXT].
Discuss your own maturing list of most important "key concepts" for the study of energy and politics [EG].
Concentrate on 1, 2 or 3 most important key concepts you find in specific news dispatches
Relate these key concepts to the larger issues suggested in lectures, discussions and readings (reserve book lists, MAP ROOM, open stacks and SAC)

What is a "draft essay"? (take 1 hour to read this webpage)]

And a quick look ahead = Draft essay #2





3rd Week
Petroleum and natural gas, beginning with Nobel, Standard, Shell and continuing

Readings =





4th Week
World War I, origins, course and consequences, as they relate to energy and politics
First submission of journal

Readings =

In the 4th Week you will make

Consult hand-out syllabus for exact date of first submission

On the last page of your journal, I enter my evaluations, using what I call "Frequently Observed Qualities" [FOQs]




5th Week
1928:Achnacarry Agreement -- The Red Line agreement -- into WW2




Select a region & concentrate on its historical experience of our topic, energy and politics, both domestic and international
Exercise 7 is a call to get started on a continuing, five-week project
I recommend that you begin now with this topic to prepare yourself to write a research report [ID]

Consult the indexes of the books on reserve [ID] and other relevant publications embedding in SAC or recommended in the course bibliography

You may also find the recent news articles [ID] of use. And there is always GOOGLE and Wikipedia [but remember this course requirement]

I am ready to discuss individual variations on exercise 7/8 and the topic of the big research paper


Compose draft essay [ID] #2 before the midterm exam [ID]

Draft essay #2

Draft essay #2 should deal with some SELECT ASPECT(s) of the following questions, restricting the scope of your inquiry to our big topic, Energy and Politics = How do great powers (corporations or  nation-states) exert themselves in the lives of culturally, politically, militarily and economically weaker peoples on their borders or beyond? How do lesser powers protect themselves from, but also take advantage of, the looming presence of greater powers?

Draft essay #2 should be completed in the journal before the midterm exam [ID]




6th Week
Iran over the long duration, through WW2 and the early Cold War


Consult hand-out syllabus for exact date
On the last page of your journal, I enter my evaluations, using what I call "Frequently Observed Qualities" [ID FOQs]

In addition to class discussion and lecture notes, as well as notes on other course exercises and library & SAC readings,
the journal at this time will contain draft essays #1 [ID] & #2 [ID], plus the take-home mid-term exam

Exam Topics Review =

1. Identify, give an example or two and describe the significance of three key-concepts which I will designate from the alpha-list below during the class session before the exam is due (write no more than twelve minutes per item) =

Let me emphasize in general the importance of two words "identify" and "significance" in the examples that follow.  Identification should be the easy and elementary part of your answer.  After all, you might very well have key names, places, and dates inscribed in an earlier part of your journal. The really interesting part, and your chance to compose brief but significant historical narrative, is the question of significance.  Why should we bother to know anything about the item under consideration?  How does it fit into the larger scheme of our topic? What help have you found in syllabus reading suggestions as you identify and give the significance of the ID items.  What is the importance, what is novel, what followed, etc.?  "Identify" calls on good memory and good notes. "Significance" calls on your interpretive skills as you do class readings, on your good thinking and on your wisdom.

a. Concession [ID]
b. Vertical integration [ID]
c. Transnational [ID]
d. Transport of energy products [ID includes pipelines]
e. Governments and companies [relationship of states and economic activities] [ID]

2. Write an essay on one of the following which I will designate from the alpha-list below during the class session before the exam is due (no more than forty minutes with pen on paper) =

a. What does [choose one of the designated readings in syllabus through week 6 (other than Greene.STRATEGIES -- CF="c" below] contribute to our topic? Is the author anti-business
b. In what ways is the whale-oil era a premonition of the petroleum era? In what ways is it not?
c. Compare the pre-1914 experiences of Nobel, Standard, Shell and BP [F/Greene.STRATEGIES/ throughout our Resource Page]
d. Is petroleum a cause or an instrument of west European and/or US imperialism, 1901-1928, through the implementation of the Achnacarry Agreement?



7th Week
World War II, origins, course and consequences [SAC], as they relate to energy and politics


Compose draft essays [ID] #3 & #4 over the next four weeks.

Draft essay #3
to be completed in the 7th or 8th week

The topic can be of your own choosing from among the topics covered in the final weeks of the term after the midterm exam. Select a topic that shows off your breadth of learning (i.e., a topic that you have not hitherto written about in draft essays or midterm exam and that is not central to your big research report). The following list is offered simply to suggest some general topics, not to restrict your choice. Your own topic should be as narrowly focused as possible and centered on primary source(s) when possible. EG=

1953 USA overthrow of Iranian constitutional government
Venezuela [VNZ]
Oil and Politics in Nigeria
Gulf Oil Co
Alternative energy sources
The Baku-CYN Pipeline Project? [CYN.ptpt.prj]

Draft essay #4
to be completed in the 8th or 9th week

I strongly urge you to take up the following topic in your draft essay #4 = "Are the varieties of opinion on our topic found in the various readings (you choose two or three) caused by 'bias'?" How would you compare and contrast a few of our sources that take different approaches to the topic of energy and politics?

Here's a recommendation =

  1. Chose a big event or trend or "key concept", EG= OPEC | Mossadegh deposed | Breakup of Standard Oil | Role of oil in latest Iraq war | Fracking | Other ecological issues | Alternate sources of energy | .... etc
  2. Compare the way 3-4 of our readings [ID] (3-4 of our big books) variously treat the event, trend or "key concept" you have chosen

You will learn many "facts" about our topic, but this draft essay should concentrate less on the facts and more on the way the authors you have chosen see the world. How do they describe (or gloss over) key issues? Think hard about the nature of the world view of the authors of these texts. Look for what they see and consider what they do not see, or care about.

You will want to learn as much as you can about your authors themselves. Who are they? What institutions are they associated with?

Draft essays #3 and #4 will be read after you hand in your journal with the big research report [ID]

In your draft-essay choices, avoid duplication. To put this more positively, demonstrate breadth of learning





8th Week
Cold War, the coming of OPEC



9th Week
Key Concepts and some "historiography"

We will concentrate on two questions about the authors featured in our course bibliography [ID] (and each of us should have some answers ready to share) =


Do Key Concepts [ID] help extract useful and generalizable detail from our course bibliography?


With respect to either specific topics, tone and/or "historiographical" approach to his topic, compare two or three of the titles from our course bibliography

Try to expand the breadth of our group exploration of bibliography as we answer questions one and two. Let's avoid, at this point, Yergin, Sampson and Coll

10th Week
Recent years

The meaning of the "Khodorkovskii" case [LOOP]
Nigeria [F/Nigeria/ in nrg&plt.news]
“Who will heat up China?” [F/2014no10: R&Q/ and F/CHN/ in nrg&plt.news ]

Environmental concerns, contemporary alternatives and conclusions

Finals Week
At the deadline hour indicated on the handout syllabus [ID] you will bring your journal and research report to McK 367. I will be in my office between 10:15 and 12:15

There will be no final exam
The research report is a substitute for the final exam

as well as all lecture and outside reading notes
However, you may produce and print out your research report on a word processing computer and printer
Email your research report to me, before the deadline, as a Microsoft-Word-compatible attachment
I recommend you consider the following suggestions about research reports [TXT]

You may submit a self-addressed and stamped envelope of proper dimension to me at the end, and I will mail your journal to you after grades are submitted. Or email me that you wish to pick up your journal. I will reply telling you where and when you may do that. Good luck to all.