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Effective: Early Spring 8-Week 2017/2018

HIST 370: American Military History

Course Description

Analysis of the military history of the United States from the colonial period to the present. This course considers the role and use of armed forces in relation to the social, cultural, political, economic, and technological development of the United States. It will not only address such themes as wartime strategy, operational tactics, and combat technology, but also the impact of warfare on society and on the remembrances of ordinary men and women in uniform. Significant attention will be given to the evolution of civil-military relations, the advent of professionalism in the military, the non-military uses of the military, and the military's role as a tool for global power.

Prerequisite: Junior Standing

Proctored Exams: Final



Syllabus Contents

Textbooks

Required

  • Millet, Allen, Maslowski, Peter, and Feis, William. For the Common Defense: A Military History of the United States from 1607-2012. 3rd ed. New York: Simon and Shuster, 2012.
    • ISBN-978-1-4516-2353-6
  • Lookingbill, Brad. American Military History: A Documentary Reader. 1st ed. United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.
    • ISBN-978-1-4051-9051-0
  • Langston, Thomas S. Uneasy Balance: Civil- Military Relations in Peacetime America Since 1783. Revised 1st ed. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003.
    • ISBN-978-0-8018-7421-5
  • Rampolla, Mary Lynn. A Pocket Guide to Writing in History. 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2015.
    • ISBN-978-1-4576-9088-4

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.


Course Overview

Welcome to the study of American Military History. This course presents an analysis of the military history of the United States from the colonial period to the present. This course considers the role and use of the armed forces in relation to the social, cultural, political, economic, and technological development of the United States. It will not only address such themes as wartime strategy, operational tactics, and combat technology, but also the impact of warfare on society and the remembrances of ordinary men and women in uniform. Significant attention will be given to the evolution of civil-military relations, the advent of professionalism in the military, the non-military uses of the military, and the military’s role as a tool for global power.  


Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.


Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe the structure and deployment of armed forces in each major period of American history.
  2. Analyze the factors contributing to American military successes and failures in combat operations.
  3. Analyze American strategic thought within the context of domestic and global events.
  4. Explain the influence of American society on military affairs and the role of the military as a national institution.
  5. Evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, and trends in the historiography of the American military.

Grading

Grading Scale
Grade Points Percent
A 450-500 90-100%
B 400-449 80-89%
C 350-399 70-79%
D 300-349 60-69%
F 0-299 0-59%
Grade Weights
Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (9) 100 20%
Term Paper 100 20%
Critical Analysis 75 15%
Midterm Exam 75 15%
Final Exam 150 30%
Total 500 100%


Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 1 12 Thursday/Saturday
Introductions 4 Wednesday
Week 2
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 2 12 Thursday/Saturday
Term Paper Topic Proposal -- Sunday
Proctor Information N/A
Week 3
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 12 Thursday/Saturday
Term Paper Outline & Working Thesis -- Sunday
Week 4
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 12 Thursday/Saturday
Midterm Exam 75 Saturday
Week 5
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 12 Thursday/Saturday
Week 6
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 12 Thursday/Saturday
Critical Analysis Paper 75 Sunday
Week 7
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 12 Thursday/Saturday
Term Paper 100 Sunday
Week 8
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8 12 Thursday/Saturday
Final Exam 150 Saturday
Total Points 500

Assignment Overview

Discussions

Weekly discussion posts are subjective academic exercises.  Your postings are expected to be original, relevant analyses and observations of the assigned topic(s).  Each week, you are expected to read all of your classmate’s (and my) posts and respond to at least two other student postings.  Simply rephrasing the readings or another student’s post is not acceptable.

While discussions are informal, they must be intelligible and effectively communicate your analysis and ideas.  Pay close attention to spelling, punctuation, diction and grammatical rules.

Weekly discussion posts are separated into three or four discussion topics based on type: Document, Roundtable, Rampolla, and Online.  You must participate in all discussion topics in order to receive full credit. The total possible points for participating during the session equals 100, or a maximum of 12 points per week, except for the first week when an additional four points are added for your Introduction. The key to the discussions is quality, NOT quantity; “last day/last-minute” postings and responses will not receive full points. 


Term Paper

The Scholarship Paper requires you to: 1) critically analyze primary sources, and; 2) research related secondary sources when developing the paper. The Scholarship Paper provides you with an opportunity to develop and refine your research and writing skills as well as synthesize knowledge about a relevant topic you are personally interested in.

You are required to submit a Topic by the end of Week 2 and an Outline, which includes your working thesis statement, by the end of Week 3.  Your Scholarship Paper is due by the end of Week 7. Your thesis statement must be 2-3 sentences in length and clearly define your historical argument.  Failure to submit a topic, or to write on a topic that is not approved, will result in a failing grade for the paper.

Further, the Chicago Style of document formatting and source citation governs all formal assignments in this course; the Rampolla text provides assistance and templates.  Other than initial notification of your topic, which is submitted via the Discussions, submit all assignments related to the Scholarship Paper via the Drop Box.


Critical Analysis

For this assignment you will submit a 1-2 page critical review of the Langston text. This review will be written in an outline form in which you will address the author’s purpose, thesis, main points of argument, and assess the author’s objectivity and use of sources. Additional details will be found in the course content area.  

Midterm Exam

The midterm covers material from weeks 1-4 of the course. It is not a proctored exam; you are allowed to use your resources to answer the questions presented. There is a two-hour limit on the exam.  

Final Exam

The Final Exam is worth 150 points toward your final grade. The comprehensive, computerized exam will consist of short answer/definition style questions as well as several essay questions covering the period from weeks 5 through 8 in the course.  NOTE: This is a proctored exam. You will have two hours to take the exam; use of books, notes or any outside source is not permitted.


Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

Week 1: The Colonial Military Experience and the Revolutionary War
Discussion 1

1.1: Read the assigned documents found in Lookingbill chapters 1 and 2: 1.2,1.3, 2.1, 2.5. Use the discussion questions that follow each document as a guide to analyzing the reading. Respond to at least two classmates.

1.2: The colonists developed a unique military identity. What factors accounted for this, and what is its significance to the question of civilian-military relations? Respond to at least two classmates. 

1.3: What factors shaped the nation’s military structure after the Revolutionary War? Respond to at least two classmates.

Introductions
Please take a few minutes to introduce yourself.  For the next eight weeks, we're a community of scholars. Tell us who you are and what makes you tick.
Readings
Millet, Maslowski and Feis, chapters 1-3, Lookingbill, chapters 1-2, Rampolla, chapter 6; begin reading Langston
Week 2: The Early National Period
Readings
Millet, Maslowski and Feis, chapters 4-5; Read Lookingbill, chapters 3-6; Rampolla, chapter 4; continue reading Langston
Discussion 2

2.1: Read the assigned documents from Lookingbill, chapters 3-6: 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4.1, 4.4, 4.5, 5.1, 5.3, 6.1, 6.2, 6.4. Use the discussion questions that follow each document as a guide to analyzing the reading. Respond to at least two classmates.

2.2: To what extent was the military prepared for the War of 1812? Respond to at least two classmates.

2.3: Assess President Polk’s actions and conduct in his role as Commander-in Chief during the Mexican War. Respond to at least two classmates.

Term Paper Topic Proposal

After reviewing the assignment guidelines, submit your term paper topic to the appropriate discussion thread.

Proctor Information
Submit your proctor form to the appropriate Dropbox folder by the end of the week. Remember to “Save” the form before placing it in Dropbox. See the Content area for more information.
Week 3: The Civil War
Readings
Millet, Maslowski, and Feis, chapters 6-7; Lookingbill, chapter 7; continue reading Langston 
Discussion 3

3.1: Read the assigned document found in Lookingbill, chapter 7: 7.3 and 7.5. Use the questions that follow each document as a guide to analyzing the reading. Respond to at least two classmates.

3.2: Compare and contrast the mobilization efforts of the Union and the Confederacy as well as the level of military leadership in both. Respond to at least two classmates.

3.3: Analyze Lincoln’s conduct as Commander-in-Chief; how would you compare and contrast him with President Polk during the Mexican War? Respond to at least two classmates.

Term Paper Outline & Working Thesis

Submit an outline for your term paper and a working thesis to the appropriate dropbox. 

Week 4: From the Little Bighorn to World Power
Readings
Millet, Maslowski and Feis, chapters 8-10; Lookingbill, chapters 8-9; Rampolla, chapters 2 and 7; continue reading Langston
Discussion 4

4.1: Read the assigned documents from Lookingbill, chapters 8-9: 8.1, 8.5, 9. 1 and 9.7. Use the discussion questions that follow each document as a guide to analyzing the reading. Respond to at least two classmates.

4.2: How did the command structure and organization of the armed forces change between 1870 and 1914? What factors accounted for these changes? Respond to at least two classmates.

4.3: What impact did the Dick Act of 1903 have on the militia system? Why was a second Act in 1908 necessary? Respond to at least two classmates.

Midterm Exam

The exam covers all of the material from weeks 1-4 of the course. There is a two hour time limit. You may use books and notes. No proctor is required. 

Week 5: World War I and Postwar Reaction
Readings
Millet, Maslowski and Feis, chapters 11-12; Lookingbill, chapters 10-11; Rampolla, chapter 3; finish Langston in preparation for submitting the critical analysis
Discussion 5

5.1: Read the assigned documents from Lookingbill, chapters 10-11: 10.1, 10.3, 10.4, 11.2, 11.3, 11.4. Use the discussion questions that follow each document as a guide to analyzing the reading. Respond to at least two classmates.

5.2: Why did General Pershing favor keeping his command separate from the Allies? Do you believe this was the correct position for him to take? Respond to at least two classmates.

5.3: Describe the developments in the armed forces between the end of World War I and the outbreak of World War II. What factors accounted for these developments? Respond to at least two classmates.

Week 6: World War II
Readings
Millet, Maslowski and Feis, chapters 13-14; Lookingbill, chapter 12; finish Langston 
Discussion 6

6.1: Read the assigned documents from Lookingbill, chapter 12: 12.2 and 12.5. Use the discussion questions that follow each document as a guide to analyzing the reading. Respond to at least two classmates.

6.2: What common themes emerged in consideration of the way the war was fought and its relationship to the idea of an “American way of war?” Respond to at least two classmates.

6.3: In what ways did military operations in the Pacific theater differ substantially from those in North Africa and the European theater? Respond to at least two classmates.

Critical Analysis Paper

Submit your Critical Analysis to the appropriate dropbox. See the Content area of the course for assignment details and a grading rubric. 

Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
Week 7: Cold War, Limited War, and the Erosion of Military Power
Readings
Millet, Maslowski, and Feis, chapters 15-18; Lookingbill, chapters 13-14
Discussion 7

7.1: Read the assigned documents found in Lookingbill chapters 13-14: 13.1, 13.3, 13.4, 13.7, 14.2, 14. 5, 14. 6. Use the discussion questions that follow each document as a guide to analyzing the reading. Respond to at least two classmates.

7.2: In what circumstances has the concept of limited war been proven successful? (Consider the country’s experiences with past limited wars.) Can those previous experiences provide lessons for us in our current situations? Respond to at least two classmates.

7.3: Selective Service, which was a fact of life for young men from WW I through Vietnam, ended in 1973 with the establishment of the All Volunteer force. Today young people are again required to register even though no active draft is in operation. What are your thoughts on the use of the draft compared to the use of strategies designed to encourage voluntary enlistment? Respond to at least two classmates.

Term Paper

Submit your Term Paper to the appropriate dropbox. See the Content area of the course for assignment details and a grading rubric. 

Week 8: Post Cold War: Terrorism and the Challenges of the 21st Century
Readings
Millet, Maslowski and Feis, chapters 19-21; Lookingbill, chapters 15-16
Discussion 8

8.1: Read the assigned documents in Lookingbill, chapters 15-16: 15.1, 15.4, 15.5, 16.2, 16.4, 16.5, 16.6. Use the discussion questions that follow each document as a guide to analyzing the reading. Respond to at least two classmates.

8.2: Compare and contrast the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan under Presidents Bush and Obama. What operations could be considered successes or failures under both Presidents? Respond to at least two classmates.

8.3: The use of nuclear weapons by the United States in WWII remains a controversial and emotional topic today. How would you relate similar concerns (ethics, morality, etc.) to the modern use of cyber warfare and drones in the Global War on Terror? Respond to at least two classmates.

Final Exam

The exam covers all of the material from weeks 5-8 of the course. There is a two hour time limit. You may NOT use books or notes. A proctor is required.



Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.

Plagiarism

Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.

Non-Discrimination

There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

Late work will be assessed an automatic penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for every day late unless there are extenuating circumstances that have been discussed in advance with the instructor.  

No late discussion postings will be accepted after midnight Sunday without prior approval.  No late written assignments will be accepted after midnight Tuesday after the due date without prior approval.

Tests must be completed according to the course schedule unless an emergency leave is obtained in advance. 

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

Proctor Policy

Students taking courses that require proctored exams must submit their completed proctor request forms to their instructors by the end of the second week of the session. Proctors located at Columbia College campuses are automatically approved. The use of ProctorU services is also automatically approved. The instructor of each course will consider any other choice of proctor for approval or denial. Additional proctor choices the instructor will consider include: public librarians, high school or college instructors, high school or college counseling services, commanding officers, education service officers, and other proctoring services. Personal friends, family members, athletic coaches and direct supervisors are not acceptable.


Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.


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