This course will examine a traumatic conflagration at the beginning of the Twentieth Century that was once called "The Great War" or, in a more optimistic vein, "the War to End All Wars." When it failed to achieve this noble goal and military conflict again rocked Europe during the 1940s, the earlier struggle was rechristened World War I or the First World War, names by which it has been known ever since.
The course will utilize lectures, readings, poetry, overheads, films, and songs to accomplish the following:
*trace back into the 19th century the social,diplomatic, and military threads that ultimately combined to produce the First World War.
*explore the successive crises of the early 20th century leading up to the decisive events of 1914 that set the conflict in motion.
*examine in depth the course of the war, its effect upon the various participants, the evolution of military technology which it inspired, the profound social and economic changes which it wrought, and the life of the millions who were involved either on the battlefield or on the homefronts.
*consider the outcome of the war and its many serious repercussions for the history of the twentieth century.
Grades will be based on two examinations during the term, a non-cumulative final examination, and a short paper on a subject of the student's choosing.
CLASS NOTES (extracted from the lectures and provided on the website; they will be the principal basis of the three exams)
E. M. Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front (the classic World War I novel)
Robert Graves, Goodbye to All That (the most famous WW1 memoir)
Select documents available on the website
Paths of Glory (Kirk Douglas, Adolph Manjou)
Gallipoli (Mel Gibson)
(1) Research Paper
A course paper on some aspect of medieval war ( approximately 10 pages). It may deal with any World War I-related topic. This is the student's opportunity to explore in depth something that he/she has found interesting during the semester and to write a meaningful paper about it.
a. All papers must be type-written, double-spaced, proof read, and contain a bibliography.
b. They must be submitted in an approved three-prong folder. (Students are not to submit three ring binders due to the weight considerations.)
c. The paper must use source citations.
These should be in the style used by historians. In other words, some variant of the system summarized in the Chicago Manual of Style, not the MLA (Modern Language Association) style that was designed for use by scholars in English and foreign languages.
For more information on how to use source citations, click through to the section of this website dealing with the issue entitled Footnotes for the Historian: A Guide for the Perplexed.
Students may employ either footnotes or endnotes, though I strongly encourage using endnotes.
(2) Submitted Source Materials
Along with the paper, each student should submit photocopied source materials used in preparation of his/her paper. These should include
Short articles and individual primary documents, taken either from a printed source or from the web; such short items should be photocopied in their entirety and their source clearly identified.
If books have been used, copy the title page and the most important pages utilized by the student
Photocopied illustrations can also be included.
If the source materials do not fit into the same three-prong folder as the paper, a second folder can be used. (Again, under no circumstances should a student utilize a three-ring binder.)
(3) Two in-class examinations administered during regular class periods based on the lectures and readings
The precise date of the regular examination will be announced in class at least a week in advance.
Unpenalized make-up exams will be available during the two weeks after the original exam period for students who fail to take it at that time.
(See the sections of the webpage Examination Procedures and Examination Schedule).
(4) A final examination during the regularly scheduled final exam period. (Friday, May 13, 2011, 2-5 p.m.)
Both of the regular examinations will count for the same amount.
The final examination will count as much as both of the regular exams combined.
All examinations are entirely short answer (matching or fill-in-the-blank from a list supplied on the exam; true or false). Scantrons will be provided.
The examination average will count for 2/3 of the final grade; the paper will count for 1/3.
In addition, the student should not ignore active engagement in the class. This can take various forms: discussion (either in class or outside of it), producing information the instructor has not mentioned, answering questions, finding and sharing relevant materials, etc. Such participation can count in the student’s favor, though a failure to participate in this manner will not count against him/her. I am fully aware that there are many good students who prefer to listen rather than talk and, and since I admire good listeners, I will not penalize them.
Note Well: All work must be completed and handed in to receive a grade other than X or F. There may be some slight bending of this rule for those taking the course on a pass-fail basis, but it is up to the student to clear this with the professor early in the semester.
The grades in this class are computed using + and -; in other words, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, F. Grades will not be rounded upward; in other words, a B+ is a B+, not an A-.