The relationship between the United States of America and the nations and territories that comprise the Pacific Islands is complex and has historical and continuing significance in international and global affairs. American involvement in the Pacific was and continues to be primarily structured by strategic interests in the region. Oceania has been greatly affected by American colonial rule, temporary engagement, and neocolonial hegemony including economic, military, and cultural power. How did the United States come to dominate the Pacific basin? Using an expanded definition of the Western frontier, we will examine the Pacific basin as a region that was subject to imperialist development that was an extension of the continental expansion. The course will focus on the history of American influence in Hawai`i that culminated in the unilateral annexation in 1898 and statehood in 1959, as well as the historical and contemporary colonial status of Guam and Samoa, where questions of self-determination persist. We will also examine the Pacific as nuclear playground for atomic bomb testing by the United States military, and the United States administration of the Trust Territory of the Pacific after World War II until the self-governance of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau in the 1980s and 1990s.