075-935: TTh, 11:40 AM - 1:00 P.M., TLC 306                                          Spring Semester 2005

Professor: Gregory J. W. Urwin, Ph.D.                                                       Office: 931 Gladfelter Hall

Credit Hours: 3                                                                                          E-Mail Address: gurwin@temple.edu

Office Hours: 1:30-3:00 P.M., Tuesday; 1:30-4:00 P.M., Thursday, or by appointment.

Teaching Assistant: Eric Klinek                                                                 Office: 953 Gladfelter

TA E-Mail Address:  ewk4@temple.edu

Declaration of Intent: This course is a survey of the rise of the American military establishment from its origins as a small, neglected cadre of coastal and frontier guardians to a mighty world police force and the most expensive concern of the federal government. Emphasis will be placed on the development of military policy, the principles of war, and the inter-relationship between military affairs, technology, politics, and social change.

Goals and Objectives:

Knowledge Based Skills: 1) Strategy, Tactics, and Logistics; 2) Applying the Principles of War; 3) Impact of Evolving Military Technology; 4) Importance of Politics; 5) War's Impact on Society; 6) Social Pressures and the Military; 7) Recruitment, Training, and Motivation; 8) Military Professionalism; 9) Recognition of Primary Sources.

Skill-Based Goals: 1) Spatial Awareness; 2) Writing Proficiency; 3) Appreciation for Historical Context; 4) Improved Reading Comprehension; 5) Sequential Logic; 6) Analytical Thinking; 7) Preparation for a Lifetime of Learning; 8) Research Skills; 9) Computer Literacy.

A village militia muster in Massachusetts Bay Colony, circa 1637.
 (National Guard Heritage Print.  Courtesy National Guard Bureau)

Main Text: James M. Morris, America's Armed Forces: A History. Second Edition. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1996.

Collateral Texts: Lawrence E. Babits, A Devil of a Whipping: The Battle of Cowpens. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998.

Allan D. Gaff, On Many a Bloody Field: Four Years in the Iron Brigade.  Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996.

Peter R. Mansoor.  The GI Offensive in Europe: The Triumph of American Infantry Divisions.  Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2002.

Harold Moore and Joseph L. Galloway. We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young: Ia Drang: The Battle that Changed the War in Vietnam. New York: Harper Perennial, 1993.

Semester Grade: The student's final grade will be based on the total number of points earned in two exams (100 points apiece, or 200 points, total), quizzes on three collateral texts (50 points apiece, or 150 points, total), one essay based on the fourth collateral reading, i.e., Moore and Galloway, We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young (100 points), one book review (100 points) and one computer exercise (50 points) -- a total of 600 possible points. Class attendance and participation will also affect the grade. The professor reserves the right to fail any student who misses six classes without prior permission or valid excuses. It is up to any student who misses a test or quiz to schedule a make-up session with the professor. If opportunities arise, the class will be able to earn extra-credit points by attending films, lectures, or other educational events relating to the content of the course.

Book Review Assignment: In addition to the main text and three collateral readings, each student is expected to read an additional book dealing some aspect of the American military's involvement in World War II. The title for one of these reviews may be chosen from a reading list provided by Dr. Urwin. Students may choose any book found on this list.

The review should be typed (in 10- or 12-point font), double-spaced, and five to seven pages long. This written assignment must be carefully proofread, as spelling, grammar, and punctuation will have an important effect on your grade.

For detailed tips on what is expected in your reviews, see the separate guide provided on Dr. Urwin’s web site (http://astro.temple.edu/~gurwin/BookReview.htm).

(Right) The 6th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment of the Army of the Potomac's celebrated Iron Brigade fights its way through Turner's Gap on South Mountain, September 14, 1862.  Three days later, the Iron Brigade would be decimated in the savage fighting at Antietam.   (U.S. Army Center of Military History)

Computer Exercise: Students must bring the instructor any example of a primary source dealing with some aspect of United States military history from 1607 to 1992 from any site on the World Wide Web. A primary source is usually an eyewitness account of a historic event or some document that was generated at the time or shortly after the event occurred. In other words, you could select the reminiscences of military veterans or of politicians who helped make military policy or visited the front; a speech, briefing, or press conference given by an American general, admiral, or some other military spokesman; military legislation (such as the text of the Militia Act of 1792, Enrollment Act of 1863, National Defense Act of 1920, or Burke-Wadsworth Selective Service and Training Act of 1940); soldier letters or diaries; contemporaneous newspaper or magazine articles; and reports or memoranda generated by military commanders, military organizations, or government agencies (such as the War Department, Navy Department, and later, the Defense Department).

Once you have found an appropriate document and printed it out, you must then write a two-page paper (typed, double-spaced, in 10- or 12-point font) summarizing its content and explaining how it relates to what we are studying in this course. (In other words, what important thing does your primary source say about how Americans experienced war in certain historical eras or the development of the American military?) After you have written your paper, prepare a typed cover sheet giving your full name, the name of the web site, and the web site's URL (address), staple the cover sheet to your paper and the primary source that you found, and hand it in on the date signified on the course schedule.

Here are some web sites that contain primary sources relevant to this course.

War of Independence

George Washington Papers at Library of Congress (See Washington's wartime diaries, Continental Army Papers, general correspondence, and military papers):  http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/gwhtml/gwhome.html

U.S. Civil War

U.S. Civil War Center (see links on "Archives," "Diaries," and "Letters"): http://www.cwc.lsu.edu/

The Spanish-American War and Philippine Insurrection

Anti-Imperialist Essays, Articles, and Cartoons:    http://www.boondocksnet.com

World War I

Diaries and letters of American soldiers (The Doughboy Center): http://www.worldwar1.com/dbc/

(Left)  Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry at the Battle of Lake Erie, September 10, 1813, one of the few major victories won by American forces in the War of  1812.  (U.S. Navy)

World War II

Oral histories from American veterans (The Dropzone Virtual Museum): http://www.thedropzone.org/

American and Japanese eyewitness accounts of the Battle of Wake Island, December 8-23, 1941: http://astro.temple.edu/~gurwin/ffo.htm

Post World War II America (Korea and Vietnam)

Harry S. Truman Library & Museum:  http://www.trumanlibrary.org/index.html.

LBJ Library and Museum:  http://www.lbjlib.utexas.edu/.

Essay on Moore and Galloway: After reading We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young, write an essay in which you address the following two questions:

1) How did the Battle of Ia Drang shape the way the Vietnam War was fought from 1965 to 1973?

2) What is expected of a young American officer in combat? What role is he/she supposed to fill? What technical skills must he/she possess?

Your paper should be typed, double-spaced, and at least five pages in length. You must provide enough information from the book to prove that you read it and to support your historical arguments.

Academic Honesty Statement: Students are expected to do their own work on all exams, quizzes, and other exercises. Anyone caught cheating in class and/or plagiarizing will receive a failing grade in the course. The American Heritage Dictionary defines plagiarism as: "1. To steal and use the ideas and writings of another as one's own. 2. To appropriate passages or ideas from another and use them as one's own."

Americans with Disabilities Act Statement: Temple University adheres to requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you need an accommodation under this Act due to a disability, contact Disability Resources and Services at 215-204-1280 or 11280.  You may also access Disability Resources and Services at this web site:  http://www.temple.edu/disability/Handbook/Noframes/noframes.html.

Some Basic Regulations

1) No food, liquids, or tobacco products may be consumed in class.

2) It is a sign of poor manners for men to wear hats or caps indoors. All students will remove their headgear for tests and quizzes.

3) Anyone leaving class after an exam or quiz (i.e., cutting the lectures after these exercises) will fail that particular exercise.

4) If you must miss class for some foreseeable reason, have the courtesy to notify the instructor in advance.

5) Anyone caught cheating will flunk the course.

6) Students who disrupt class will be liable to punitive quizzes that may lower their grades. Persistent misbehavior can lead to expulsion or other disciplinary action.

A squad of American soldiers engages in a fire fight in an Iraqi city in 2003.
(U.S. Army Center of Military History)


Week 1: 18-21 January
  Introduction: The Nature and Principles of War
  The Colonial Wars, 1607-1774

   Morris, Ch. 1

Week 2: 24-28 January
  The War of Independence, 1775-1783

   Morris, Ch. 2, pp. 13-36

Week 3: 31 January-4 February
  Military Vulnerability, 1784-1812
  The War of 1812-1815

   Morris, Ch. 2, pp. 36-53
   Quiz: Babits, A Devil of a Whipping (3 February)

Week 4: 7-11 February
  Indian Removal and Frontier Defense, 1815-1845
  The Mexican War, 1846-48

   Morris, Ch. 3

Week 5: 14-18 February
  The Mexican War, 1846-48 (Cont.)
  Skirting the Whirlwind, 1848-61
  The Civil War: The First Taste of Total War, 1861-65

   Quiz: Gaff, On Many a Bloody Field (17 February)

Week 6: 21-25 February
  The Civil War: The First Taste of Total War, 1861-65 (Cont.)

   Morris, Ch. 4

Week 7: 28 February-4 March
  The Civil War: The First Taste of Total War, 1861-65 (Cont.)

   Morris, Ch. 5
   Internet Exercise Due (1 March)

Spring Break: 7-11 March

Week 8: 14-18 March
  Losses and Gains on the Seas and the Plains

   Morris, Ch. 6, pp. 133-53
   Midterm (15 March)

Week 9: 21-25 March
  The War with Spain and the Philippines, 1898-1902
  Growing Pains and a Prolonged Adolescence, 1898-1917

   Morris, Ch. 6, pp. 154-64; Ch. 7, pp. 165-74

Week 10: 28 March-1 April
  Over There: The United States and World War I, 1917-18

   Ch. 7, pp. 174-92
   Quiz, Mansoor, The GI Offensive in Europe (31 March)

Week 11: 4-8 April
  A Sleeping Giant, 1919-39
  The United States and World War II, 1939-45

   Chs. 8 and 9

Week 12: 11-15 Aprill
  The United States and World War II, 1939-45 (Cont.)

   Book Review Due (14  April)

Week 13: 18-22 April
  Cold War, Containment, and Complacency, 1945-50
  The Korean War: Reaction and Rearmament, 1950-53
  From Massive Deterrence to Counterinsurgency: Military Affairs under Eisenhower and
        Kennedy, 1954-63

   Chs. 10, 11

Week 14: 25-29 April
  America’s First Defeat: The War for Vietnam, 1965-1973
  From Vietnam to Desert Storm, 1973-91

   Chs. 12, 13, and 14
    Essay on Galloway and Moore, We Were Soldiers Once . . . Young Due (26 April)

Week 15: 2-6 May (Final Exams Start on 8 May)

   Study Day, 3 May

Final Exam Week: 5-11 May

  Final Exam, Thursday, 5 May 2005, 11:00 A.M.-1:00 P.M.

A Martin B-26C of the U.S. 9th Air Force en route from England to bomb a target somewhere
in Northwest Europe during World War II.  (Courtesy Air Force Historical Research Agency)