HTY 278 (0869): American Military History

Instructor:  Joseph Miller

Course Number: 86732

Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30 – 10:45 a.m.

Location:  Hitchner Hall 203

Description: This course starts with the proposition that the American military, and more specifically, the United States Army, are central institutions in our history and in our contemporary life. Additionally, that the general history of the United States from its colonial beginnings to the present can be largely defined by the history of its wars and military development. In this course we will discuss these propositions, while investigating the broader question of why the United States has been one of the world’s most warlike, and yet least militaristic nations.

We will approach the evolution of the American military in survey fashion, while focusing on several themes that run throughout that evolution: the tradition of the “Citizen Soldier,” the nature of military leadership in war and peace, irregular versus conventional warfare, and a discussion of the character of the American military – its uniqueness, and its European influences. We will, of course, also cover in detail the important campaigns and battles in our military history, while putting these events in the larger context of our country’s military evolution. Finally, we will examine American civil-military relations, and discuss the relative truth or fallacy of the statement that “a military is always a close reflection of its parent society.”

General Education Requirements: Satisfies the Western Cultural Tradition and Social Contexts and Institutions requirements.