HIS330 U.S. Military History

for U1M 2012

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HIS 330 U.S. Military History


U1M 2012 CH


Davis, Laura June


Adjunct Faculty, Park Univeristy-Cherry Point Campus


B.A. Cum Laude History, Cornell University
M.S. Curriculum & Instruction, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
M.A. History, George Mason University

Office Location

United States

Daytime Phone





Semester Dates

June 4th - July 25th, 2012

Class Days


Class Time

7:30 - 10:00 PM

Credit Hours


Allan R. Millet, For the Common Defense: A Military History of the United States of America, revised and expanded edition (1994)

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

Semi-Weekly Readings posted to the Online Classroom

Note: This is a reading intensive course; you will likely have at least two hours of reading per class preparation. However, I do understand that your time is limited so if you need to prioritize your reading, please read the Online Classroom documents first as these will guide our discussion.

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Course Description:
Welcome to HIS 330 U.S. Military History! This course is designed to provide you with an overview of the U.S. Military experience from the pre-Revolutionary era through the present day. Together, we will uncover how the nation thinks about, prepares for, and conducts warfare. To do so, we will examine how military, cultural, social, institutional, and international factors have shaped U.S. Military history—paying specific attention to the impact of war on Americans from different classes, races, genders, and geographic locations.

We will have three major goals to guide us through our summer-long journey. First, we will establish a foundational knowledge of American military history and thereby gain a greater appreciation of the past. Second, we will learn to think like historians and to become critical readers and historically minded scholars; we will learn to differentiate between primary and secondary sources, analyze documents and their biases, and discern key patterns in American history. Lastly, we will learn the historian’s craft of analytical writing, specifically how to craft a thesis statement and how to construct an argument.

Educational Philosophy:
The Professor's educational philosophy is one of interactiveness based on lectures, readings, discussions, examinations, research, interactive media, and writings. The Professor will engage each learner in what is referred to as disputatious learning to encourage the lively exploration of ideas, issues and contradictions

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Interpret and analyze the “American way of war”
  2. Describe and compare American military models
  3. Analyze changing American military policies and goals
  4. Examine American military use of technology
  5. Analyze American relationship with, preparation for, and application of war

Core Assessment:

Core Assessment Grading Rubric: Due at the end of Week 6

Abstract (10 points): The abstract should be 40-60 words in length.

Thesis Statement (10 points): introduction with clear thesis statement

Your Analysis (50 points):

1. America’s paradoxical love-hate relationship with war

2. How this relationship influences American warfare

Conclusion (10 points): conclusion paragraph that reiterates key points

Writing Mechanics (20 points):

Grammar, Punctuation & Spelling, Length, Paper format, Chicago Style OR MLA Style for non-History Majors

Communication Skills covered by these "writing mechanics" are part of the class rubric - see the course syllabus. This is also important to the discipline of History so that you can clearly convey your ideas to your reader. Keep in mind, however, that the large majority of the paper's point value (80%)  is based on the content.

Total Possible: 100 points

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:


    Writing Assignments – 30% of your total grade

One of the main objectives of this course is to train you in the craft of analytical writing.  Researching and writing history is a way to practice the valuable communications skills of critical analysis, thesis creation, argument construction, coherent transmission of ideas,

and citation.  Please visit the Online Classroom for a handout on Writing Tips and Guidelines.


Over the course of the semester, you will write 3 papers:


Paper I: Personal Autobiography The first paper will be a 500 word (2 page) personal autobiography. The purpose of this paper is to historicize your own life. Therefore, it should delineate important events in your own life as well as explain how your personal experiences have connected to key events in your family’s, community’s, and nation’s history. This paper will be due at the beginning of class on Monday, June 11th. Please see the handout posted on the Online Classroom for additional tips on writing Personal Autobiographies.


Paper II: Movie Review The second paper will be a 750-900 word (3 page) essay analyzing a war related movie from the recommended viewing list. This paper will summarize the plot of the movie AND provide a thoughtful and analytical critique of the film and its portrayal of war. You should draw connections between the film and the assigned readings, comparing and contrasting the film’s narrative with that presented by Millet. On Wednesday, June 6th, you will select which movie to review. The paper will be due at the beginning of the assigned class period. In addition, you will be expected to give a 5 minute oral presentation of your findings at the beginning of the assigned class period. Please see the handout posted on the Online Classroom for additional tips on writing Movie Reviews. Note: You cannot select the same class period to write a move review AND a book review.


Paper III: Book Review The third paper will be a 750-900 word (3 page) essay analyzing a war related monograph from the recommended reading list. This paper should be a thoughtful and analytical overview of the book which includes a clear identification of the book’s thesis statement, a summary of the book’s argument, a critical analysis of the book’s strengths and weaknesses, and a discussion of the author’s source material. On Wednesday, June 6th, you will select which movie to review. The paper will be due at the beginning of the assigned class period. In addition, you will be expected to give a 5 minute oral presentation of your findings at the beginning of the assigned class period. Please see the handout posted on the Online Classroom for additional tips on writing Book Reviews. Note: You cannot select the same class period to write a book review AND a movie review.


Note: I will be willing to look over rough drafts of your papers if you email them to me at least 48 hours before the due date.

Exams – 50% of your total grade

There will be three exams, each covering approximately one-third of the course material:


  • Exam 1: Wednesday, June 20th  (75 minutes)
  • Exam 2: Monday, July 16th   (75 minutes)
  • Final Exam: Wednesday, July 25th  (3 hours)



The exams will involve short answers, identifications of key terms and concepts (who, what, when, where, context, and significance, and identifying quotations from the readings (author, document, date, significance). The final exam will also include a cumulative, take-home essay that ties together material from the entire semester.

Note: Students are responsible for generating their own study guides. 

Unit History Presentation:

As part of your Participation and Discussion grade, each student must research, develop, and present a 5 minute PPT presentation on their unit’s (or their family member’s unit’s) history. This presentation should include a discussion of the unit’s creation, history, symbolism, contributions to the Marine Corps, and relationship to the American military-at-large. It must also include a print out of the unit’s lineage and citations (available through the United States Marine Corps History Division). To help you research this presentation, I recommend you visit your unit’s official web site, interview your unit historian, and contact the United States Marine Corps History Division (Annette Amerman: annette.amerman@usmc.mil).  On Wednesday, June 6th, you will select which date you will give your presentation.

Extra Credit Assignment

All students will have the opportunity to earn extra credit. To do so, the student must find a scholarly blog focused on either American military history or a specific war. (This blog should be written by an academic or expert in the field and include citations/references in their posts. If you have questions, please contact the professor). The student must then read at least five distinct blog posts and submit a 300 word reflection on the blog’s content and contribution to American military history. If completed, the student will earn up to 5 points which will be applied to her lowest grade (either paper or test). The extra credit assignment must be turned in by Monday, July 23rd.





Grades are a necessary part of the educational process. Your cumulative course GPA will break down as follows:


Discussion                           20% (includes participation, attendance, & presentations)

Paper I: Autobiography      5%

Paper II: Movie Review      10%

Paper III: Book Review      15%

Exam I                                   10%

Exam II                                  15%

Final Exam                           25% (15% exam; 10% essay)


Note: I will be using the following number scale and criteria for evaluating your exams and papers.  Please note that all numeric averages will be rounded to the nearest whole number (89.5=90 while 89.3 = 89).



Truly excellent work. Essays are insightful, coherent, analytical, and original. Exam questions are answered thoroughly, with specific examples, sophisticated interpretation, and analysis.




Very strong work. Essays are authoritative but conventional; may be lacking in analysis or detail. Exam questions are answered cogently but with minor deficiencies in organization, coherence, or detail.



Adequate work. Essays are competent but conventional; they lack specificity, analysis, and cogency. Exam questions are answered but are lacking nuance and detail.



Barely passable work. Essays are incomplete or tangential to crucial issues. Exam questions are answered breezily, with overgeneralizations and/or inadequate reasoning.


59 or below

Unacceptable work.





Late Submission of Course Materials:

Any assignments that might be late or exams that might be missed must be coordinated with the professor at least 24 hours prior to the original due date.
  • Assignments will be docked 10% for every day late. Assignments will NOT be accepted after one week following their original due date.
  • Missed exams will be dealt with on a case by case basis.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Attendance: Attendance is expected as the material covered will likely appear on the exams. You—and you alone—are responsible for knowing anything said by the instructor in any missed class session, including lecture material, announcements, and changes made to the syllabus or schedule. I will be taking attendance at the beginning of each class. To simplify the process, I will not distinguish between excused and unexcused absences. Instead, I will give you all two “freebies”; you can miss class two times without explanation or penalty. After that, your discussion grade will go down by one letter grade for each subsequent absence.

Effort: I will do my best to make the lectures and assignments interesting but ultimately your experience in this class will be determined primarily by the amount of effort you put into it. If you come to class each day expecting to have the exam answers spoon-fed to you, you will do quite poorly. If you do the required reading, attend class regularly, take good notes, review your notes, and develop independent insights into the course material, you will receive a grade commensurate with your effort. In addition, part of each class period will include a discussion of primary source documents. As such, I expect you to actually discuss the readings. Simply showing up to class is not enough; you must actively participate as well.  

Classroom Conduct: I expect that by this point in your life, you have learned acceptable standards of professional classroom behavior. This means arriving on time, staying the duration of class, and being courteous to your classmates and instructors. Any student indulging in behavior that disrupts the learning environment will be asked to leave.  If it happens a second time, the student will receive an F for the course.  Disruptive behavior includes, but is not limited to, texting, answering/using phones, listening to your iPod, talking to your friend, sleeping, eating, and/or reading non-class materials.  Note: You are permitted to bring laptops to class but only to take notes. Any student using a laptop (or other electronic media) for non-academic purposes will forfeit the privilege to use a laptop for the remainder of the semester.


All academic work must meet the standards contained in A Culture of Honesty. Each student is responsible for knowing those standards before performing academic work. Cheating and/or plagiarism will not be tolerated!  Students caught cheating or presenting another’s work as their own without proper citation will be reprimanded.  Penalties include an appearance before the Academic Honesty Panel, forced withdrawal from the course, failure, suspension and/or expulsion from the university.  If you have any questions regarding Park University’s policy please consult the Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93.

eMAIL: Throughout the semester, I will be sending important material to your Park University e-mail addresses. Please make sure that your account is open and that you check it regularly. I encourage you to use eMail me with questions and concerns.  All I ask is that in return, you allow me 24 hours to reply to you.  Your messages should be grammatical and properly spelled; do not use texting abbreviations when eMailing me.


Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Monday, June 4th– Introduction

In Class Readings:

  • Citino, “Military Histories Old and New: A Reintroduction,” The American Historical Review 112.4 (October, 2007): 1070-1090.
  • Coffman, “The Course of Military History in the United States Since World War II,” Journal of Military History 61 (October, 1997): 761-776
  • Lynn, “The Embattled Future of Academic Military History,” The Journal of Military History 61.4 (October, 1997): 777-789)
  •  “Military History: A Forum on the State of the Field,” Historically Speaking 10.5 (November 2009): 10-19. AND Miller, “Sounding Taps: Why Military History is Being Retired ,” National Review (October 9, 2006)



Wednesday June 6th – Native American Warfare

Required Reading:

  • Bartolomé de Las Casas, Destruction of the Indies
  • Bernal Díaz del Castillo, The Conquest of New Spain
  • Pedro Naranjo and Josephe, Testimony of the Pueblo Indians
  • Elizabeth Fenn, “Biological Warfare in Eighteenth-Century North America: Beyond Jeffery Amherst”
  • Excerpt from Mary Beth Norton, In the Devil’s Snare

 Recommended Reading: Millet, Chapter 1: A Dangerous New World and Chapter 2: The Colonial Wars (pp 1-50)


Monday, June 11th  - The Revolutionary War (Autobiography Due)

Required Reading:

  • Joseph Plumb Martin, A Soldier’s View of the Revolutionary War
  • Boston King, Choosing Sides
  • Eliza Pickney and Abigail Adams, Republican Motherhood
  • Private Joseph Martin provides the only contemporary account of "Molly Pitcher"
  • General George Washington explains his strategy, 1777
  • Gregory T. Knouff, “Enlistment: the complexity of motivations”

 Recommended Reading: Millet, Chapter 3: The American Revolution (pp 51-87)


Wednesday, June 13th – The Post-Revolution Army and the War of 1812

Required Reading:

  • George L. Marshall, Jr , The Rise and Fall of the Newburgh Conspiracy: How General Washington and his Spectacles Saved the Republic
  • George Richards Minot, Shays’ Rebellion: Prelude to The Constitution
  • James Hamilton's Path to Enlistment during the War of 1812 
  • "Old Ironsides" Earns its Name, 1812
  • Dolley Madison Flees the White House, 1814
  • The Battle of New Orleans, 1815

 Recommended Reading: Millet, Chapter 4: Preserving the New Republic’s Independence (pp 88-122)


Monday, June 18th – The Mexican American War & The Road to the Civil War

Required Reading:

  • James K. Holland,  A Texan Enlists to Fight in the Mexican War
  • D.L. Goodall, a Tennessee volunteer, exults in the battle of Monterrey, Mexico, 1846
  • Abraham Lincoln, "The War With Mexico"
  • John L. O'Sullivan on "Manifest Destiny"

 Recommended Reading: Millet, pp 144-157 and Chapter 6: The Civil War, 1861-1862 (pp 162-202)


Wednesday, June 20th  - Exam 1/ The Civil War

Required Reading:

  • President Lincoln's War Aims 
  • The First Shot of the Civil War: The Surrender of Fort Sumter, 1861
  • The First Battle of Bull Run, 1861
  • The Battle of the Ironclads, 1862
  • The Battle of Shiloh, 1862
  • Carnage At Antietam, 1862
  • Catherine Clinton, ““Public Women” and Sexual Politics During the American Civil War”
  • Alan T. Nolan, “Robert E. Lee: a flawed general”


Monday, June 25th – The Civil War

Required Reading:

  • President Lincoln Signs the Emancipation Proclamation, 1863
  • Bread Riot in Richmond, 1863: The Confederate Home Front
  • William Quantrill Raids Lawrence, Kansas, 1863
  • Ellen Leonard, Three Days of Terror
  • George Ward Nichols, Marching with Sherman’s Army
  • General William T. Sherman Explains the Hard Hand of War
  • Mark E. Neely, Jr., “The generalship of Grant and Sherman: was the Civil War a modern "total" war? A dissenting view”

 Recommended Reading: Millet, Chapter 7: The Civil War, 1863-1865 (pp 203-247)


Wednesday, June 27th – The Spanish-American War & The Philippine Insurrection

Required Reading:

  • The United States Declares War on Spain, 1898
  • Colonel Theodore Roosevelt boasts of his "Rough Riders" at San Juan Hill (1898)
  • Sergeant William Payne, a black trooper, portrays black regulars helping to take San Juan Hill (1898)
  • The Battle of Manila Bay, 1898
  • John M. Gates, “Inherent problems in counter-guerrilla warfare”
  • Emilio Aguinaldo , Case against the United States, 1899
  • Private Frederick Presher describes the U.S. army's abuse of noncombatants in a Filipino village, 1901
  • Stuart Creighton Miller, “American racism and lawlessness in the Philippines”

 Recommended Reading: Millet, Chapter 9: The Birth of an American Empire (pp 284-315)

Monday, July 2nd  – WWI

Required Reading:

  • Christmas in the Trenches, 1914
  • The Battlefield Debut of the Tank, 1916
  • Death Of An Air Ace, 1918
  • A Doughboy's Letter from the Front  
  • Laura Frost, a U.S. army nurse, recalls her experiences at the front in France
  • Donald Smythe, “The wisdom of a separate American army”
  • David F. Trask, “A separate American army impeded a decisive blow”

 Recommended Reading: Millet, Chapter 11: The United States Fights in the “War to End All Wars” (346-379)


Wednesday, July 4th – NO CLASS!


Monday, July 9th – WWII – Homefront/ European Theater of Operations

Required Reading:

  • Varian Fry, The Massacre of the Jews, December 21, 1942
  • "Loose Lips Sink Ships"
  • Excerpts from Giulio Douhet, The Command of the Air
  • U.S. Army Air Corps puts forward a strategic bombing plan against Germany, 1941
  • Dudley S. Knox, Oral History: Battle of the Atlantic, 1941-1945
  • Rosies the Riveters Recall Working in War Industries
  • Zoot Suit Riots

 Recommended Reading: Millet, Chapter 13: The United States and World War II: From the Edge of Defeat to the Edge of Victory (pp 413-449)


Wednesday, July 11th – World War II – Pacific War 

Required Reading:

  • President Franklin D. Roosevelt Requests Declaration of War on Japan 
  • A Japanese American War Hero Recalls Pearl Harbor 
  • Ben Yorita and Philip Hayasaka, Memories of the Internment Camp
  • Blair Robinett et al, The Bataan Death March
  • The Battle of Midway, 1942
  • The Bloody Battle of Tarawa, 1943
  • Excerpt from Richard Hetherington O'Kane, Clear the bridge! : the war patrols of the U.S.S. Tang
  • J. Robert Oppenheimer, To Build a Bomb
  • Paul Fussell and Michael Walzer, “A defense of the atomic bomb and a dissent”
Recommended Reading: Chapter 14: The United States and World War II: The Road to Victory (pp 450-493)

Monday, July 16th – Exam 2/ The Korean War & The Cold War

Required Reading:

  • The Long Telegram, February 22, 1946
  • NSC-68: U.S. Objectives and Programs for National Security, 1950
  • Donald M. Griffith Recalls Combat in the Korean War
  • Private William Boldenweck, a Marine, remembers the Inchon invasion (1950)
  • General Omar Bradley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, faces Congressional cross-examination on the meaning of limited war, 1951
Recommended Reading: Millet, Chapter 15: Cold War and Hot War: The United States Enters the Age of Nuclear Deterrence and Collective Security (pp 494-527)

Wednesday, July 18th  – The Vietnam War & The Cold War

Required Reading:

  • President Kennedy Explains Why We Are in Vietnam  
  • Tonkin Gulf Resolution (1964)
  • Robert S. McNamara, Actions Recommended for Vietnam, October 14, 1966
  • Arthur E. Woodley Jr., Oral History of a Special Forces Ranger
  • Specialist 4 Richard J. Ford III, a black soldier, recounts the war and racism
  • Sergeant Ron Kovic, Marine veteran, agonizes over the meaning of the war and recalls his transition from warrior to dissenter

 Recommended Reading: Millet, Chapter 16: Waging Cold War: American Defense Policy for Extended Deterrence and Containment (531-569) and Chapter 17: In Dubious Battle: The War for Vietnam and the Erosion of American Military Power (570-606)

Monday, July 23rd – The End of Cold War/ The Gulf War/ War and Memory (Extra Credit Due)

Required Reading:

  • Major Doris Kessler and Major Richard Gabriel, both U.S. Army, debate women in combat, 1980
  • Captain Jack Thompson, a fighter-bomber pilot, recalls a raid on a nuclear facility near Baghdad, 1991
  • Captain H.R. McMaster recounts a tank battle in the desert (1991),
  • U.S. government report assesses the effectiveness of air power during the Gulf War (1993)
  • Excerpt from Jay Winter, Remembering War

 Recommended Reading: Millet, Chapter 18: The Common Defense and the End of the Cold War (607-646)

July 25 – Final Exam (Take Home Essay Due) 

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty (www.park.edu/current or http://www.park.edu/faculty/).from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 96

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .

Additional Information:



CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
Evaluation and synthesize information from sources                                                                                                                                                                                                         
1, 2, 3, 4, 5                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
Superior selection of source information to answer the question

Adequate selection of source information to answer the question Inadequate selection of source information to answer the question  
Content of Communication: grammar/punctuation/spelling/typing/sentence structures/readability/paragraphing                                                                                                                                                 
Park Mission Statement: communicate effectively                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
0 errors in grammar/punctuation/spelling/typing/sentence structures/documentation.  Superior organization and readability.  Superior thesis with support. 1 to 3 errors in grammar/punctuation/spelling/typing/sentence structures/documentation.  Adequate organization and  readability.  Adequate thesis with support. 4 to 6 errors in grammar/punctuation/spelling/typing/sentence structures/documentation.  Inadequate organization and readability.  Inadequate thesis and support.  
Community and Civic Responsibility                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
Superior analysis of community and civic responsibility as applied to two military models Adequate analysis of community and civic responsibility as applied to two military models Inadequate analysis of community and civic responsibility as applied to two military models  


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Last Updated:6/1/2012 12:26:01 PM