History 0864: War and Peace (GenEd)

Instructor: Thomas A. Reinstein

Spring 2014

Section 001

Classroom: 946 Gladfelter Hall


Office Hours: MW 11am – 12pm, and by appointment

Office: 955 Gladfelter Hall

Course Overview:“War and Peace” examines the idea that the practice of war and the making of peace are intimately linked to the nature of the societies involved. How, who, when, where, and why we fight are directly related to our culture, values, political forms, and other social characteristics. We will examine warfare throughout the modern era, focusing on the twentieth century, to explore the linkages between war, peace and society. As a GenEd course, we will use research methodologies relating to the social sciences, chiefly history, political science, and international relations.

This course consists of four units. We will begin by looking at broad notions and theories of why wars are fought, and how warfare changed in the eighteenth and nineteenth century as Western nations adopted concepts of mass conscription and also established vast colonial empires. From there, we will move to the First and Second World Wars, examining how these massive conflicts destabilized the European empires and helped pave the way for the supremacy of the United States in world affairs. We will also examine how different societies reacted to the great changes these wars wrought, as well as examining why and how the armies that fought the World Wars did so with such ferocity. We will then turn to the Cold War and post-World War II decolonization, focusing on the Vietnam Wars as a case study of the latter. In studying Vietnam, we will focus on why the United States entered the war and why the U.S. ultimately lost. Finally, we will study how warfare has changed since Vietnam, looking at recent efforts to limit or eliminate warfare, the evolution of technology in war, and the War on Terror.

Course Goals:This class is part of the General Education (GenEd) program. The GenEd program is designed to develop your ability to think critically, solve problems, and communicate effectively. As a historian, my job is to help you to understand how the study of the past relates to controversies, issues, and themes in the present. You will be asked to become active participants in the learning process. In order to succeed in this course, you must move beyond merely memorizing facts, dates, and key terms, and toward analyzing and evaluating information to expand your knowledge.

There are nine areas in GenEd, each with their own set of goals. This course fulfills the World Society area of the program, and it will specifically help you to:

  • Understand war as a product of culture that influences world societies and global processes.
  • Assess and analyze materials related to war and peace-making in various world societies and cultures
  • Develop observations and conclusions about the influence of war on world societies and cultures
  • Construct interpretations using evidence and critical analysis
  • Communicate and defend interpretations both verbally and in written form

Reading List:There are two required texts for this course, both of which are available for purchase through the Temple Bookstore and online:

Charles Townshend, ed. The Oxford History of Modern War, New Updated Edition (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005).

Mark Atwood Lawrence, The Vietnam War: A Concise International History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008).

All other required reading will be posted to Blackboard.

Assignments: To achieve a satisfactory grade in this course, students must complete the following assignments:

  1. Attendance and Course Engagement: Do the reading and participate in weekly discussions, which will be held on Fridays. Mondays and Wednesdays will be reserved for lectures. I will take attendance daily. I understand that everyone misses class occasionally, and you are allowed four absences, excused or otherwise. I will deduct two points from your course engagement grade for every class you miss past that limit. Athletes MUST present their travel letters IMMEDIATELY at the start of the semester so that we can limit potential conflicts.Additionally, you must bring a copy of the assigned reading with you to class on Fridays. Your student fees allow you to print documents free of charge at several locations on campus. I suggest that you bring a hard copy with you to class. At the very least, have an electronic copy available. We will often read together from the assignments. Your participation in class discussions will often require that you cite from the material.
  2. Reading Quizzes: I will give a short quiz prior to the start of discussion each Friday. There will be 10 total quizzes. These quizzes will not be designed to trick you, but simply to make sure that you have completed the assigned reading(s) and are able to talk about them in class. The quizzes will be graded on a pass/fail system.
  3. Unit Assignments: Each unit will end with a quiz or short essay (no more than 750 words). Since this class is thematic and discussion-oriented, there will be no midterms or final exams.
  4. Final Paper: We will end with a 2000 word research paper, in which you will explore one or more of the topics/themes studied in this class. You will choose your own topic (subject to my approval). I will give additional information on the final paper during the semester.

What Is “Course Engagement?”I've stopped using "class participation" as a grading category because I feel "engagement" better describes what I am looking for in successful students. Students often confuse “participation” with “talking.” A student who is "engaged" attends all class meetings, is consistently prepared to discuss the readings, and turns in all assignments complete and on time. An "engaged" student responds appropriately and intelligently to questions asked during class, provides leadership in small group activities, and takes the initiative during class discussions to provide insightful comments that spark further discussion. "Engaged" students draw connections among classes they have taken or ideas they have encountered outside of the classroom in books, newspapers, movies, or elsewhere. Though it is not a requirement to attend office hours, "engaged" students usually seek out the professor to clarify the terms of assignments, to refine paper topics, to go over study questions, and even to discuss grades.

This is a basic rundown of how I will calculate your course engagement grade:

A (95%): You come to class on time and participate frequently. Your comments are substantive and make good connections between the assigned readings and lecture material, as well as other courses that you have taken. You take the initiative during group work and seek out the professor outside of class to talk about course material, assignments, and grades.

B (85%): You come to class on time and participate sporadically, either commenting on the work under discussion or asking intelligent questions about it. You are trying and contributing useful information to our class dialogue.

C (75%): You come to class on time but do not participate.

F (50%): You are frequently absent, and when you are in class you are disruptive, rude and disrespectful, either to your fellow students or me.

Other Expectations: Because I expect everyone to come to class fully prepared to discuss each week’s readings, I have tried to keep the readings manageable by assigning, on average, about 50-60 pages per week. In some weeks you may have to read more, in other weeks you may have to read less. In some weeks, I will divide the class into groups and assign each group a specific reading to present during discussion sections, which will require you to meet up at least once outside of class, either in person or online.

This is a course that deals with war and violence. Some of the texts and films contain profanity, depictions of violence, or themes that may contradict your core beliefs, principles, or convictions. Moreover, you will not always agree with your fellow classmates or me. I expect you to argue your point of view—using evidence from the course materials where appropriate—passionately, but with respect toward other people’s feelings and beliefs. Ad hominem, or personal attacks, on your fellow classmates WILL NOT be tolerated. Please take time to reflect on the course themes and review the assigned reading, outlined below, very carefully before you commit to taking this course.

Grade Breakdown:

Attendance and Course Engagement: 25%

Reading quizzes: 10%

Unit Assignments: 40%

Final Paper: 25%

Extra Credit: At certain points throughout the semester, I will offer students the opportunity to earn extra credit by attending lectures, seminars, or events on campus and in the community that pertain to the topics of the course. In return for attending these occasional events and writing a brief synopsis (1-page max) of your experience, I will award 1 percentage point toward your final grade in the course, with a maximum of 5 extra credits for the semester. For example, if you have an 88% for the course (a B+), 5 extra credits throughout the semester could bring your final grade to a 93% (or, an A).

Blackboard:Most additional reading material for the course will be made available through Blackboard. I will also be communicating with the class via email through Blackboard. It is your responsibility to ensure that your email address is accurate in the Temple Portal and Blackboard systems. Regular access to Blackboard is mandatory for you to pass this course.

Email: Use your official temple.edu email account to correspond with me. Temple’s email servers frequently shunt messages from hotmail and yahoo accounts into the spam folder, where they are deleted unseen.


Assignments: All written assignments must be type-written, double-spaced, with one inch margins in standard 10- or 12- point font.

All assignments must be in Microsoft Word (doc), plain text (txt), or rich text format (rtf) and be submitted via SafeAssign on the course Blackboard site. If you wish to submit a paper copy in addition to the electronic version, that would be welcome.

All essays must include a word count, inserted at the end of the document.

Effective communication of your idea(s) is a part of every assignment. Therefore, grammar and spelling count. Use those spell-checkers and proofread your assignments assiduously.

Requirements regarding the length of assignments are STRICT. Papers not within 10% of the stated limit will lose points for failing to satisfy the terms of the assignment.

Computer mishaps are no excuse. Finish your papers early so that dry ink cartridges, crashing computers, and long lines for printing at the computer labs don't cause you to miss a deadline.

Keep the graded copy of your assignment until final grades are posted at the end of the semester.

Citation and Bibliography: Nearly every assignment in this course requires properly footnoted citations. For citations use the “Note” format described in the Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide at (available in the “Links” section of Blackboard). Do NOT use the “Author-date” format listed.

Some assignments WILL ALSO require you to include a bibliography of works cited. Use the “Bibliography” format described on the website above. Do NOT use the “Reference” format listed. Assignments that only require you to cite one source do not need a bibliography. Carefully read the assignment prompt for details.

Late Assignments and Makeup Exams: All due dates are strict.Under most circumstances, I will accept late assignments. If you turn in an assignment less than 24 hours past the deadline, I will deduct one full grade from it (A- becomes a B-, for example). If you turn in an assignment more than 24 hours past the deadline, it cannot receive a grade higher than “C”. Any late assignments MUST be submitted before I return the rest of the assignments to the class (normally one week after the regular due date). Extensions may be granted for compelling reasons on a case-by-case basis, but ONLY with sufficient prior notice. The same is true for makeups of in-class assignments.

Electronic Devices: During in-class assignments, the use of electronic devices (including laptops, cell or smartphones) to access notes, the internet, or other resources is prohibited unless specifically allowed by the terms of the exercise. Many in-class exercises are designed to test your comprehension of course materials, so access to such materials would constitute academic dishonesty (see below).

As a courtesy to your fellow students and me, please set your phones on silent mode and refrain from extraneous activities such as surfing the internet, texting, or reading the newspaper during class time. Students engaging in disruptive behavior of this sort will be asked to leave and be marked absent for the day.

Academic Dishonesty: Plagiarism or other acts of academic dishonesty will be treated very seriously. All ideas, language or other elements drawn from the work of other scholars must be properly cited according to the formats spelled out in the History Department Handbook: (

As defined by the Undergraduate Bulletin:

"Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of another person's labor, another person's ideas, another person's words, another person's assistance. Normally, all work done for courses -- papers, examinations, homework exercises, laboratory reports, oral presentations -- is expected to be the individual effort of the student presenting the work. Any assistance must be reported to the instructor. If the work has entailed consulting other resources -- journals, books, or other media -- these resources must be cited in a manner appropriate to the course. It is the instructor's responsibility to indicate the appropriate manner of citation. Everything used from other sources -- suggestions for organization of ideas, ideas themselves, or actual language -- must be cited. Failure to cite borrowed material constitutes plagiarism. Undocumented use of materials from the World Wide Web is plagiarism."


See the above-listed websites or ask me for more information. It is very important to avoid even the suspicion of academic dishonesty, so if you are unsure about how to use any source you find, ask. Students found guilty of academic dishonesty will fail the course and be referred to the University Disciplinary Committee for further action. Also see the guidelines above referring to the use of electronic devices during quizzes. Improper use of such devices or the internet will be considered academic dishonesty.

Academic Freedom: “Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom. The University has adopted a policy on Student and Faculty Academic Rights and Responsibilities (Policy # 03.70.02) which can be accessed through the following link:

I encourage students to think broadly about all of their subjects and will try to create a classroom environment open to such discussions. I will not shy away from controversial subjects that are related, even in the broadest sense, to the study of history or my teaching philosophy. Students with questions or concerns that they feel cannot be addressed in class should seek me out during office hours.

Students With Disabilities:This course is open to all students who meet the academic requirements for participation. Any student who has a need for accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss the specific situation as soon as possible. Contact Disability Resources and Services at 215-204-1280 in 100 Ritter Annex to coordinate reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities.

Schedule of meetings and readings. Readings marked with (BB) are available on the course Blackboard site in the Content section. The readings are subject to change, as are assignment dates.

Unit 1: To The 20th Century

Week 1 (1/12 – 1/16): Introduction, Theories of War and Peace,and “Modern” War


  • Black, Jeremy. “The American War of Independence, 1775 – 1783.” In Introduction to Global Military History, 1775 to the Present Day, 3-18. New York, Routledge, 2005. (BB)

Week 2 (1/19 – 1/23): The Nation in Arms

Note: No class on Monday, Jan. 19, due to MLK Day.


  • Townshend, 55-93
  • The Levee En Masse (
  • The Emancipation Proclamation (

WeeWWk Week 3 (1/26 – 1/30): The Savage Wars of Peace


  • Townshend, 94-116
  • Kramer, Paul A. “The Water Cure: Debating Torture and Counterinsurgency – A Century Ago” The New Yorker (February 2008). (BB)
  • Rudyard Kipling, “The White Man’s Burden” (BB)
  • American Anti-Imperialist League Platform (BB)

Unit 1 Assignment Due 1/30

Unit 2: The World At War

Week 4 (2/2 – 2/6): The Great War


  • Townshend, 117-137
  • Winter, Jay. “Propaganda and the Mobilization of Consent.” In The Oxford Illustrated History of the First World War, 2nd Edition, edited by Hew Strachan, 216-226.New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. (BB)

Week 5 (2/9 – 2/13): To End All Wars


  • Iriye, Akira.The Globalizing of America, 1913-1945, 39-72. Cambridge University Press, 2013. (BB)
  • Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points (BB)
  • Wilfred Owen, “Dulce Et Decorum Est” (BB)
  • Erich Ludendorff, “On The New German Government” February 1919 (BB)
  • Excerpts from Adolf Hitler,Mein Kampf Chapter 7, “Revolution” (BB)

Week 6 (2/16 – 2/20): War Without Mercy


  • Townshend, 138-157
  • Dower, John W. “Race, Language, and War in Two Cultures: World War II in Asia.” In The World War IIReader, edited by Gordon Martel, 226-249. New York: Routledge, 2004. (BB)
  • Bartov, Omer. “Savage War: German Warfare and Moral Choices in World War II.” In Germany’s War and the Holocaust, Disputed Histories, 3-32. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2003. (BB)

Week 7 (2/23 – 2/27): World War II and the People