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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Randolph Y. Hennes
Seattle Campus

The Military History of the United States From Colonial Times to the Present

Development of American military policies, organizational patterns, tactics, and weaponry, from beginnings as a seventeenth-century frontier defense force to the global conflicts and military commitments of the twentieth century. Interaction and tension between need for an effective military force and concept of civilian control of that force.

Class description

How Americans generally, and the military in particular, have thought about the nation's defense and its military institutions and how we have prepared for and conducted our wars. This is not designed to be a course on "great battles" nor on strategy and tactics--although both necessarily play a part in the story. After a review of the earliest years of the American military experience, the main body of the course will encompass America's time as a world/global power since the close of the 19th century.

Student learning goals

Familiarity with the American military experience as it actually occured, i.e. without the mythic embellishments accumulated over time.

Acquire a basic "vocabulary" of people,tools,ideas,issues,policies and institutions comprising the American experience with war.

Consideration of why we have gone to war, what we sought to achieve and what has resulted from recourse to war.

Establish a chronological framework for the American military experience.

General method of instruction

Lecture format.

Recommended preparation

Some awareness of American history and an interest in military affairs.

Class assignments and grading

Lecture format class with an assigned textbook and three equally weighted essay exams.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Randolph Y. Hennes
Date: 01/25/2010