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FOREIGN POLICY

Background and Context

These resources will help students develop a thorough understanding of Foreign Policy and make connections between historical events, current conversations, and current policy proposals surrounding the issue. This section includes all of the context and content previously included in Close Up’s public policy chapters.  

 

U.S. Foreign Policy in Historical Context

How has U.S. Foreign Policy changed throughout our history? Learn More >

U.S. Foreign Policy in Current Context

What is current U.S. Foreign Policy? Learn More >

Current Issue Debates

Current Issue Debates are framed by a central question and followed by historical context, an overview of both sides of the topic, and discussion questions to facilitate deliberation in the classroom.

 

The Cuba Trade Embargo

Available for Middle & High School

Should Congress lift the Cuba trade embargo? Learn More >

Tariffs Against China

Available for Middle & High School

Should the United States end its retaliatory tariffs against China? Learn More >

Executive War Powers

Should Congress pass legislation to limit executive war powers? Learn More >

Videos from Policy Makers

Brought to you by ASP HOMEROOM, through a collaboration between Close Up Foundation and A Starting Point, these supplemental videos are an introduction to policy areas that provide an opportunity for students to hear different perspectives directly from lawmakers.

 

Russia – US Relations

Congressmen Jim Himes (D-CT) & Chris Stewart (R-UT)
June 16, 2021

Human Rights in China

Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) & Congressman Michael Waltz (R-FL)
March 31, 2021

Afghanistan Troop Withdraw

Congresswoman Lois Frankel (D-FL) & Congressman Michael Waltz (R-FL)
May 7, 2021

Lesson Plans

These ready-to-use lesson plans can be utilized in conjunction with any of our resources to enhance the quality of student discourse in the classroom. Our supplemental Civic Readiness Guide provides a recommended lesson plan sequence for using our Current Issues resources.

 

Additional & Archived Resources on Foreign Policy

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T Bird

Unit 5: The Challenges of Power – Prosperity and Anxiety

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) | August 19, 2021

The 1950s were a time of prosperity and affluence unlike any ever seen in the United States.


Unit 5: The Challenges of Power – Rights and Revolutions

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

The years between 1950 and 1975 were tumultuous times for American society.


Vietnam War

Unit 5: The Challenges of Power – The Vietnam Years

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

Since the late 1800s, France had controlled the area of Southeast Asia called Indochina—Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia—and had profited from the region’s rice and rubber plantations.


2021 Summer Round-Up: Infrastructure, Afghanistan, the Delta Surge, and the Climate Crisis

Post | August 17, 2021

As teachers welcome students back into the classroom, it is important to establish good habits and routines for the new school year. One important habit is incorporating current issues discussions into civics, social studies, and humanities courses. To help teachers get started on the right foot, we’re offering a round-up of some of the most […]


Conflict in Israel

Conflict in Israel and the U.S. Response

Post | May 24, 2021

A ceasefire has brought an end to weeks of increasing violence between Israel and the Palestinian communities in the territory it controls, particularly the Palestinian Islamic-nationalist group Hamas. This latest outbreak of conflict ended a period of relative calm that had persisted for the better part of a decade. Adding to the complexity of the […]


U.S. Foreign Policy: Pivot Towards Asia

Videos | April 26, 2021

During this Close Up Conversations webinar, Close Up’s, Joe Geraghty discusses ‘U.S. Foreign Policy: Pivot Towards Asia’ with guest speakers John J. Brandon and Shirley Keating of The Asia Foundation. With a new Secretary of State now at the helm at the State Department and a new Commander-in-Chief in the White House, American foreign policy […]


unaccompanied minor

Record Numbers of Unaccompanied Minors Are Seeking Asylum in U.S.

Post | April 13, 2021

Last month, nearly 19,000 unaccompanied migrant children were stopped at the U.S.-Mexican border, a record since documentation began in 2010, beating a previous record set in May of 2019.1 Currently, the Biden administration is allowing only children traveling alone to stay in the U.S. while their asylum claims are being evaluated, a process that can […]


President Biden’s Policy Priorities: The First 100 Days

Post | January 22, 2021

During his inaugural address, President Joe Biden laid out a number of policy priorities. The clearest theme of his speech was a call for unity and the need to address political divisions in the United States, which came to a head with the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.1 However, President Biden also […]


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