London Maymester: The British Strategic Tradition and Its Influence on the United States

In partnership with the world-renowned War Studies Department at King's College London, the Maymester in History, Strategy, and Statecraft provides exemplary students the opportunity to learn firsthand about the Anglo-American tradition of history and strategic studies. The program is taught at King's College London and includes visits to important landmarks in Anglo-American strategic history. 

The course, taught primarily in London at King's College, will analyze the myriad and profound ways in which British thinking about geostrategy, foreign policy, and military affairs influenced the development of ideas that have shaped the U.S. role in the world over the past century or so, and especially since the Second World War. As the United States joined the ranks of the great global powers in the first half of the twentieth century, American policymakers forged increasingly close bonds with British counterparts, establishing a partnership that Winston Churchill in 1946 dubbed a "special relationship." American leaders frequently drew on British experience, advice, and example. To understand U.S. behavior on the world stage thus necessitates close attention to the ways in which ideas flowed across the Atlantic. To what extent and in what ways did the United State imbibe British thinking? To what extent has the Anglo-American relationship been "special"? How has the relationship evolved over time? This course - simultaneously a class in intellectual, cultural, diplomatic, and military history - will examine these questions. 

The class will encourage students to "think like historians" - to weigh competing arguments, assess primary material, develop arguments of their own, and explain the significance of those arguments with the broader flow of time. To highlight the importance of working with primary sources, one paper assignment will require students to work with original documentation at an archive such as the National Archives of the United Kingdom. 

Click here to download a draft program itinerary.

Students will receive upper division credit from the Department of History upon successful completion of the course. 

The course fee is $1,200 and it includes airfare, housing, transportation pass, all program related excursion expenses, and most meals. Scholarships are available and students will not be turned away based on financial need. 

For more information, please contact Jacqueline Chandler at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Applications are due MONDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2014 by 5:00pm. 

Application Instructions:

Please submit the following items as PDF documents to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or bring them by the Clements Center in the FAC 248-O, Harbin Hall.

  • pdfApplication
  • A 400-500 word essay explaining why you are interested in the relationship between the United States and United Kingdom, and why understanding the history of that relationship is important for national security policy today.
  • Unofficial transcript