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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Brian G. Casserly
HSTAA 212
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

We will examine the history of the U.S. military from colonial times to the late 20th/early 21st centuries. In doing so, we will focus on how the military has evolved in terms of its role in American foreign policy, its organization, tactics, relations with civilian society, changing technologies, etc. We will focus on a number of key themes that have shaped the military and American society, including: - The experience of war and its effects on the American military and wider U.S. society and culture - The links between the military and American society, foreign relations, culture, technology, etc. - The relationship between the military and civilian government.

Student learning goals

Students should develop a familiarity with the broad sweep of U.S. military history and the major themes, events, personalities, and developments of that history.

Students should be able to identify and explain the causes and consequences of the major changes in the role, technologies, organization and operations of the military.

Students should be able to explain the changing context in which the U.S. military has operated in terms of its links with civilian society and government, and how it has been shaped by changes in American foreign relations and culture.

Students should improve their critical thinking skills.

Students should be able to use evidence to write thesis driven papers that analyze and critically evaluate key aspects of the military history of the U.S.

General method of instruction

Lecture, discussion and readings

Recommended preparation

Apart from an interest in the topic, students should have a general familiarity with U.S. history and possess college level reading and writing skills.

Class assignments and grading

The assignments have to be finalized but will likely include midterm and final exams, quizzes/short writing assignments, papers and discussion participation. Regular attendance at class and diligent completion of readings and assignments are essential for success in this class.

Details to be finalized


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 Brian G. Casserly
Date: 04/17/2012