|Military History of Western Civilizations and the United States
Craig E. Cash
Synopsis: Military History of Western Civilization
This survey course will examine the history of Western Civilization primarily from a military perspective. The course will analyze major military topics throughout world history from the battles between ancient powers such as and Greeks to the great world wars that have shaped the modern world. Furthermore, the course will look at the leaders, strategists and soldiers who waged these wars. The course will also examine the evolution of technology and its impact on warfare. This course will not count as a social studies elective. Instead, it will count as a Dorman elective.
Synopsis: Military History of the United States
This survey course will examine history of United States primarily from a military perspective. The course will analyze major military topics through world history from the wars for American Independence to the current United States’ rise as a military superpower. The course will focus on the battles, tactics and American leaders who
have shaped the American military machine. The class will also focus on the ever changing American military in modern warfare. This course will not count as a social
studies elective. Instead, it will count as a Dorman elective.
Topics of Study and Discussion:
Ancient Greece/Persian Empire: This topic will focus on the major wars between the Greeks and the Persian Empire including battles, tactics, and the Wars of Alexander the Great
Rome and the Early Middle Ages: This topic will focus on the wars that created the Roman Empire including the Punic Wars and the conquests of the Caesars. The topic will also focus on the tools of warfare that characterized the Early Medieval Ages.
The Great Crusades: This topic will focus on the first Four Crusades beginning with Urban’s Speech and concluding with the Sack of Constantinople.
The Hundred Years’ War: This topic will focus on the individuals, weapons, and battles of the Hundred Years’ War and will analyze how this war helped create the modern nation-state.
The French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars: This topic will analyze the French Revolution and violence that followed as well as the conquests of Napoleon Bonaparte.
THE UNITED STATES
The French-Indian War: This topic will focus on the war in the colonies, major battles and weapons, and the impact the war had on future Anglo-American relations.
Revolutionary War: This topic will closely analyze America’s fight for Independence through an analysis of major battles, their impacts, and the impact the Revolutionary War had on the Early Republic.
War of 1812: This topic will focus on America’s hesitant involvement in the Napoleonic Wars as well as major battles and heroes, such as Andrew Jackson.
Civil War: Along with the roles of key generals, battles, and new technologies, this topic will focus on how the Civil War helped forge modern America.
World War I: This topic will evaluate America’s role in foreign affairs as the country abandoned isolationism. Particular focus will be on the role of new technologies and modern weapons.
World War II: This topic will analyze America’s role in all three theaters of conflict during WWII, as well as the Holocaust, and the development of nuclear weapons. Students will also be required the read Tom Brokaw’s Greatest Generation as part of the unit.
Korean War: Often referred to as “America’s Forgotten War,” this topic will focus on America’s first major attempt to contain the spread of communism.
Vietnam War: The course will conclude with an in-depth study of American military involvement in Southeast Asia. Topics will include major battles, weapons of war, and the impact Vietnam had on the American psyche.
Formal Assessment and Projects:
Well-developed critical writing skills best prepare students for the college classroom. All formal assessments (tests) will be a blend of short answer (open-ended) and objective questions. Students must use higher order thinking skills. Rote memorization will not be sufficient. Students will complete a minimum of 6 major tests each nine weeks.
Students will also complete a minimum of 2 projects throughout the semester. These projects will require students to synthesize content and create a product that is personal and unique. Each project will have a written component and product creation, such as a Power Point, requirement.
Ongoing Current Events Assignment:
Each Friday, students will turn in a reaction to a current event news article from a local, state, or national newspaper. These articles may be clipped from the paper or found online. The article must be a minimum of 7 paragraphs in length and the summary must be a minimum of 8 sentences in length. Summaries must be in the student’s own words and must relate to the article assigned. The article’s content must relate to national or international affairs in which the United States Military plays a significant role. These assignments are due EVERY FRIDAY WITHOUT EXCEPTION and will count as a homework grade.
Required Reading and Daily Assignments:
Outside reading is a major component of the course. Students will read a variety of primary source documents that will require summaries of and/or reactions to the material. These summaries and any other quizzes that could accompany the reading material will count as daily grades.
Students will also complete a variety of in-class assessments and will also view video documentaries that supplement the material covered in class. All videos will have a written component that will count as a daily grade.
Grading will be based on a points system, and the students’ final grade will be computed as a percentage of points earned out of points possible based on the following scale:
Homework/Quizzes 10-15 points
Tests 35-65 points
Outside Research/Projects 50-75 points
All work must be completed regardless of classroom attendance. Students that miss class for any reason are responsible for determining what assignments they must make up. Students with extended absences may need to make special arrangements in order to stay caught up in the course. ALL LATE ASSIGNMENTS WILL BE PENALIZED 10% PER DAY.
The instructor will be available for extra help each morning before school at 7:40 and during lunch unless prior arrangements have been made. Students struggling with the course are encouraged to seek assistance.
This syllabus is meant to be a tentative outline and may be adjusted as necessary due to time restraints and/or as the instructor sees fit.