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DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY HIST3351H Online ( Winter 2014 ) THE ERA OF THE FIRST WORLD

DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY

HIST3351H

Online

( Winter

2014 )

THE ERA OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR

Instructor:

Dr. Jim Wood

Secretary:

Christine Quigley

E-Mail: jameswood2@trentu.ca

E-Mail:

cquigley@trentu.ca

Home Phone:

(778) 436-9811

Office Tel.:

(705) 748-1011 x. 7706

Office Hours:

MWF, 9:00-1:00. Available by phone during these times. Other times available by appointment.

Office Loc.:

Lady Eaton College S101.3

This is an online half-course that examines the history of the First World War from a global perspective, studying the nature of the conflict and its impact on the societies that waged it. This course is designed to provide students with an in-depth knowledge of the causes, conduct, and consequences of the war of 1914-18. Over the course of the semester, students will become familiar with the political, military, social, economic and cultural aspects of the “Great War,” beginning with an explanation of why the war began in 1914 and why it proved so hard to stop. Upon the outbreak of war, the peoples of Europe expected their soldiers to be “home by Christmas,” but over the next four years some ten million people died in a catastrophic war that shattered four empires and ended the era of European dominance in world history.

Issues explored by this course will include military operations in all the major European and non- European theatres, from the Western Front in Belgium and northern France to the campaigns in Mesopotamia and Africa. Political and social upheavals will receive attention, most notably the Russian Revolution and the French Army mutinies of 1917, as will the consequences of economic and industrial mobilization on the European and North American home fronts. The format of the course is intended to provide students with: 1] a general knowledge of the major events of the First World War; 2] a special awareness of those occurrences that left an enduring mark on the present, thereby helping to shape the world we live in today; and 3] the critical skills necessary to understand the role of historians in discussing these events.

Learning Objectives Upon successful completion of this course the student will be able to:

(1) place the major events of the First World War into a historical context; (2) identify the major shifts in global power, economics, politics, society, and culture which occurred as a result of this conflict; (3) analyze historical sources; (4) learn solid research techniques and apply them to the writing of a research paper; (5) demonstrate the effective use of writing skills in all the written assignments; (6) display effective communication skills in the online discussion forum; (7) demonstrate the effective use of critical thinking skills in the online discussion forum.

Course Texts

Text:

Beckett, Ian F.W. The Great War, 1914-1918. Second Edition. Toronto:

Pearson Education Limited, 2007.

Reader:

Grayzel, Susan. The First World War: A Brief History in Documents. New York: Bedford Books, 2012.

DVD Series: The First World War. Produced and narrated by Jonathan Lewis. A 10- part documentary based on the book by Hew Strachan. Channel 4 Video, 2003. Note: This is probably the best documentary series on the First World War produced to date. Students are encouraged to either purchase or locate this series on Youtube and view the recommended segments in conjunction with the assigned readings. Episodes from this series may then be used as a point of reference in the online discussions.

Journal Articles:

All other course material is accessible online via the digital databases on the Trent Library website.

Course Requirements

Activity

Due Date

Weight

 

Two discussion posts for each module of the course, with due dates as follows:

 

1. Module 1 due 19 January.

Discussion Forum

2. Module 2 due 2 February.

30%

Participation

3. Module 3 due 23 February.

4. Module 4 due 9 March.

5. Module 5 due 23 March.

6. Module 6 due 4 April.

Article Review

End of Module 2 (2 February).

15%

Document Analysis

End of Module 4 (9 March).

25%

Comparative Review

End of Module 6 (4 April).

30%

Total

 

100%

DISCUSSION FORUM PARTICIPATION (30%) – Two Posts Per Module This assignment will consist of commentaries posted in the online discussion forums. For each module of the course, the instructor will post a series of questions for you to consider as you complete the assigned readings. After careful consideration of the required readings and the contributions of your classmates, each student will post two discussion comments that draw together the concepts, interpretations, and examples covered in that module.

Each of your two posts should be approximately 300 words in length. Links to book reviews, illustrations, or other attachments are encouraged, but are not considered in the word count. Each of these discussion posts should be carefully considered and formally composed. The best

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discussion posts will draw connections between more than one assigned reading, such as a short commentary that draws connections between a chapter from the textbook and a segment from the video documentary series or a selection from World War I: A History in Documents. Another option is to post follow-up comments on another student’s discussion posts, or to discuss your reactions the week’s readings as a whole. In short, the intent of this assignment is to demonstrate thoughtful reflection on the course material and to engage constructively with the work being posted by your peers.

Each student will be responsible for making at least two posts to the discussion forum for each module of the course, to be contributed no later than the due dates listed above in the assignments summary. Ideally, your comments will be posted during the week when this material is being discussed, and you can rest assured that active participation and early posting of your discussion comments will be recognized in your grades for this assignment. At the same time, habitual lateness in posting your comments, posting overly brief responses, and/or failing to contribute any comments at all will exert downward pressure on your grade for this assignment. In assessing the quality of these posts, the instructor will consider how each posting demonstrates the student’s 1) understanding of the course material, 2) ability to present ideas clearly in writing, 3) use of relevant examples to support a point of view, 4) abilities to detect strengths or weaknesses in an argument, and 5) active and constructive engagement with the work being posted by your classmates.

ARTICLE REVIEW (15%) – Due at the End of Module 2 (2 February) The purpose of this assignment is to have you:

a) Read an article or textbook selection critically, paying particular attention to the author’s main argument(s) and approach to the subject matter. b)Provide a brief summary of the supporting evidence and arguments used to substantiate the thesis. c) Reflect on the ideas and arguments raised in the reading and, if possible, relate them to other course readings. d)Express your ideas clearly in writing.

Instructions Choose ONE of the following articles/readings that relates to material from Modules 1-3 of the course:

Michael Howard, “Men Against Fire: Expectations of War in 1914,” International Security 9, no. 1 (1984): 41-57. Marc Trachtenberg, “The Meaning of Mobilization in 1914,” International Security 15, no. 3 (1990-1991): 120-150. Horne, John, and Alan Kramer. “German ‘Atrocities’ and Franco-German Opinion, 1914: The Evidence of German Soldiers’ Diaries.” Journal of Modern History 66, no. 1 (1994): 1-33. Philippa Levine, “Battle Colors: Race, Sex, and Colonial Soldiery in World War I,” Journal of Women’s History 9, no. 4 (1998): 104-130. Stevenson, David. “The Failure of Peace by Negotiation.” Historical Journal 34, no. 1 (1991):

65-86.

A.E. Ashworth, “The Sociology of Trench Warfare,” British Journal of Sociology 19, no. 4 (1968): 407-423.

Write a 4-page essay in which you identify the subject of the reading, the author’s thesis (or main argument) and the kinds of evidence used to substantiate that thesis. You will then assess the reading in two ways. First, explain whether or not you found the argument convincing, and why

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(or why not). Second, try to relate what you learned from the reading to other materials you have read or viewed as part of your course assignments.

Enclose any passages you cite in quotation marks (if quoted word for word) and indicate the source of the reference (author’s name, title, and page number) in a footnote or endnote. You will find more information in the Chicago Style Citation Guide link on the course site.

Present your essay in typed, 12-point font, double-spaced format. Avoid exceeding the specified length. Your essay will be graded on content (your understanding of the reading/article), presentation, and writing (grammar, syntax, etc.). Your essay should be submitted in a single file, in .doc, .docx, or .rtf format, sent to the instructor by email on or before the due date. Please format the document title so it includes the course code, your surname, and the assignment number. For example: 3351Smith1.doc

DOCUMENT ANALYSIS (25%) – Due at the End of Module 4 (9 March) In the first assignment we had the opportunity to hone our analytical skills with respect to a secondary source. In the Document Analysis Assignment, we will go one step further, by completing an analysis of a primary historical document from the First World War period.

Primary evidence is the basic building block of historical interpretation. ‘History’ as we know it, can be understood as a construct built up by historians and other commentators. The shape and character of the construct will depend on the evidence from which it was derived, just as the nature of a building is a function of the materials used in its construction. It almost goes without saying, then, that historians must be expert interpreters of primary evidence.

The objective of this assignment is to select and evaluate a primary source from the documents provided in the collection, The First World War: A Brief History in Documents. There is no simple formula for this task, because evidence comes in many forms. However, students should consider the following questions:

How ‘primary’ is the primary source? In other words, how close in time to the actual event was the source created?

Who created the source? Why was the source created? Is it official or personal? Was it classified or public?

Can the creator be taken at face value? In other words, should we believe what it says?

What is the meaning or significance of the evidence?

What questions can we use this source to help answer? Or, to put it another way, what does the source tell us?

What other primary or secondary sources are required to help interpret this one? (Hint:

You will want to draw upon relevant secondary sources to help inform your analysis of the primary source, starting with the course textbook and scholarly journal articles.)

As you craft your analysis, remember that evidence does not necessarily speak with a single voice. Rather, the impact of the evidence is often a function of the historian who handles it. One source can be interpreted in many different ways depending upon which questions the historian asks. This explains, in part, why no historical narrative is set in stone. It is always possible that another historian may come along and reinterpret the evidence entirely differently than his or her predecessors. Remember: do not use up valuable space with extended summary of the source’s content – focus instead on analysis and interpretation.

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While the primary sources provided for this assignment may vary in length from one page to about four or five pages, do not assume that shorter sources are ‘easier’ to interpret. Sometimes the less a document says, the more difficult it can be to interpret. As much care is need with the shorter sources as with the longer ones.

Once you have selected your document, write a 4-page essay that addresses the questions listed above. Whenever possible, try to relate your selected document to other materials you have read or viewed as part of your course readings. As always, enclose any passages you cite in quotation marks (if quoted word for word) and indicate the source of the reference (author’s name, title, and page number) in a footnote or endnote. You will find more information in the Chicago Style Citation Guide link on the course site.

Present your essay in typed, 12-point font, double-spaced format. Avoid exceeding the specified length. Your essay will be graded on content (your understanding of the reading/article), presentation, and writing (grammar, syntax, etc.). Your essay should be submitted in a single file, in .doc, .docx, or .rtf format, sent to the instructor by email on or before the due date. Please format the document title so it includes the course code, your surname, and the assignment number. For example: 3351Smith2.doc

COMPARATIVE REVIEW (30%) – Due at the End of Module 6 (4 April) This assignment will apply the concept of historiography in an essay that examines some controversial aspects of the First World War. To complete the assignment, you must first read all of the articles on one of the assigned topics listed below:

Topic 1: War by Timetable?

Marc Trachtenberg, “The Meaning of Mobilization in 1914,” International Security 15, no. 3 (1990-1991): 120-150. Jack S. Levy, “Mobilization and Inadvertence in the July Crisis,” International Security 16, no. 1 (1991): 189-194. Thomas J. Christensen, “Mobilization and Inadvertence in the July Crisis,” International Security 16, no. 1 (1991): 194-197. Marc Trachtenberg, “Mobilization and Inadvertence in the July Crisis,” International Security 16, no. 1 (1991): 197-203.

Topic 2: The German Atrocities Debate.

John Horne and Alan Kramer, “German ‘Atrocities’ and Franco-German Opinion, 1914:

The Evidence of German Soldiers’ Diaries,” Journal of Modern History 66, no. 1 (1994): 1-33. Margaret Lavinia Anderson, “A German Way of War?” German History 22, no. 2 (2004): 254-258. John Horne and Alan Kramer, “German Atrocities in the First World War: A Response,” German History 24, no. 1 (2006): 118-121. Margaret Lavinia Anderson, “How German Is It?” German History 24, no. 1 (2006):

122-126.

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Topic 3: Germany’s Stab-in-the-Back: Myth or History?

Robin Prior and Trevor Wilson, “What Manner of Victory? Reflections on the Termination of the First World War,” Revue Internationale d'Histoire Militaire 72 (1990): 80-96.

M.E. Occleshaw, “The ‘Stab in the Back’ – Myth or Reality?” Journal of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies 130, no. 3 (1985): 49-54.

Wilhelm Deist, “The Military Collapse of the German Empire: The Reality Behind the Stab-in-the-Back Myth,” War in History 3, no. 2 (1996): 186-207.

Instructions Write a 6 to 8-page essay in which you compare and evaluate the manner in which these articles approach the topic. In your essay, you should begin by clearly identifying and comparing the theses, or main arguments, presented in the selected articles. The remainder of your essay will then compare and evaluate the arguments presented by the authors, commenting on the respective strengths and weaknesses of each article and the arguments being presented by their authors. As with any history paper, be sure to cite all references.

Questions to consider:

1. Are the authors’ interpretations different?

2. If so, how and why have they come to differing conclusions?

3. What types of sources or references did they use?

4. What is their methodology?

5. What kind of audiences do the authors have in mind when they are writing?

6. Do the three foregoing aspects of their work affect the interpretations they take and the conclusions they draw?

7. Which of the two interpretations do you find the most persuasive and why? (This last point should be the focal point of your essay.)

Present your essay in typed, 12-point font, double-spaced format. Avoid exceeding the specified length. Your essay will be graded on the content, written presentation, structure, grammar, and quality of your argument. Your essay should be submitted in a single file, in .doc, .docx, or .rtf format, sent to the instructor by email on or before the due date. Please format the document title so it includes the course code, your surname, and the assignment number. For example:

3351Smith3.doc

Important Notes

1. Late Penalties: Please hand your work in on time. Failing to do so without prior authorization from the instructor will result in a late penalty of 2% of the assignment grade per day, including weekends. Documentation is required for extensions due to serious illness or a real emergency involving yourself or a close family member, but upon receiving such documentation I will normally waive the late penalty for overdue assignments. Please note, however, that “My computer wouldn’t start,” or “I have another assignment due the same day” are not legitimate excuses.

2. Back-Up Your Work: Students must retain a copy of their written work and research notes until after their assignment has been graded and returned. These documents must be produced in paper and/or electronic format upon request by the instructor.

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3. Academic Integrity: Academic dishonesty, which includes plagiarism and cheating, is an extremely serious academic offence and carries penalties varying from a 0 grade on an assignment to expulsion from the University. Definitions, penalties, and procedures for dealing with plagiarism and cheating are set out in Trent University’s Academic Integrity Policy. You have a responsibility to educate yourself – unfamiliarity with the policy is not an excuse. You are strongly encouraged to visit Trent’s Academic Integrity website to learn more:

www.trentu.ca/academicintegrity. ! Please note that it is the student’s responsibility to be familiar with this policy.

It is Trent University’s intent to create an inclusive learning environment. If a student has a disability and/or health consideration and feels that he/she may need accommodations to succeed in this course, the student should contact the Disability Services Office (BH 132; (705) 748- 1281; disabilityservices@trentu.ca) as soon as possible.

Course Schedule

The following schedule provides an outline of the required textbook readings and optional film segments, primary documents, and journal articles for each week. These required and optional readings are divided into the following components:

1. Required Readings are to be completed by all students in the course. These required readings are drawn from the course textbook, The Great War, 1914-1918, by Ian F.W. Beckett. Material from these readings will be the focus of each module’s forum discussions, but students are advised to supplement them with material from the reader, the documentary film series, and/or journal articles. In short, you should read as much or as little beyond these core readings as you wish, but keep in mind that the best contributions to the discussion forums will be those that draw connections between the core and optional readings. As a minimum, you should read at least one other document and/or view the relevant documentary film segment in each week of the course. 2. Suggested Documents are found in the course reader, The First World War: A Brief History in Documents. In addition to the suggested documents for each topic, students are encouraged to explore other sources in the reader and to incorporate relevant material into their discussion posts. 3. Film Segments are all to be found in The First World War video series. Students are encouraged to view the relevant film segment for each week as a valuable supplement to the material in the course textbook. 4. Journal Articles are drawn from among the many scholarly journals that may be accessed in electronic format via the digital databases on the Trent Library website. These articles will be the basis of the Comparative Review assignment and may also be used in the Take-Home Exam and/or as a supplement to the course text in writing your discussion comments. Reading these articles will allow you to come away from this course with an advanced understanding of the deeper issues surrounding each week’s readings.

Module 1 (6-19 January): Origins and Outbreak of the First World War.

Required Readings: Beckett, Ch. 1-2. Suggested Documents: Grayzel, Docs 1-6. Film Segment: “Origins of the Crisis,” “Death of an Emperor,” “Mobilisation,” and “Britain Goes to War,” The First World War, Episode 1, Chapters 2-4.

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Journal Articles: Michael Howard, “Men Against Fire: Expectations of War in 1914,” International Security 9, no. 1 (1984): 41-57; Marc Trachtenberg, “The Meaning of Mobilization in 1914,” International Security 15, no. 3 (1990-1991): 120-150.

Module 2 (20 Jan. - 2 Feb.): Opening Moves and Widening Horizons, 1914-15.

*** ARTICLE REVIEWS DUE AT THE END OF MODULE 2 ***

Required Readings: Beckett, Ch. 3-4. Suggested Documents: Grayzel, Docs. 7-8, 17-19, 24-25. Film Segments: “To Win a Quick Victory,” “A New Germany,” and “Battle of the Marne – 1914,” The First World War, Episode 2, Chapters 1-3; for comparisons to the Horne and Kramer article, see “Life Under German Rule,” The First World War, Episode 2, Chapter 4; “Gallipoli – The Soft Underbelly,” The First World War, Episode 4, Chapter 4; “The Conflict Escalates,” “The Jewel in the Crown,” “The Empire Rallies to the Cause,” The First World War, Episode 3, Chapters 1-3; “Jihad – 1914- 1916,” The First World War, Episode 4, Chapters 1-4. Journal Articles: Horne, John, and Alan Kramer. “German ‘Atrocities’ and Franco- German Opinion, 1914: The Evidence of German Soldiers’ Diaries.” Journal of Modern History 66, no. 1 (1994): 1-33; Philippa Levine, “Battle Colors: Race, Sex, and Colonial Soldiery in World War I,” Journal of Women’s History 9, no. 4 (1998): 104-130.

Module 3 (3-23 February): Stalemate: The First World War in 1916.

Required Readings: Beckett, Ch. 5-6. Suggested Documents: Grayzel, Docs. 14-16, 20-22. Film Segment: “Stalemate,” and “Live and Let Live,” The First World War, Episode 6, Chapters 1-2; “The Coming of the Tank,” The First World War, Episode 6, Chapter 4; “Pursuing the War,” The First World War, Episode 6, Chapter 3. Journal Articles: A.E. Ashworth, “The Sociology of Trench Warfare,” British Journal of Sociology 19, no. 4 (1968): 407-423; Stevenson, David. “The Failure of Peace by Negotiation.” Historical Journal 34, no. 1 (1991): 65-86.

Module 4 (24 Feb. - 9 Mar.): Total War and the Making of Modern Society.

*** DOCUMENT ANALYSIS DUE AT THE END OF MODULE 4 ***

Required Readings: Beckett, Ch. 7-8. Suggested Documents: Grayzel, Docs. 9-12, 26-27, 33-35. Film Segments: “The Dominions Join Europe’s War,” The First World War, Episode 3, Chapter 4, “Fanning the Flames of Home Rule,” The First World War, Episode 8, Chapter 4; “Submarines and Wireless,” and “Secrets of Room 40,” The First World War, Episode 7, Chapters 1-2. Journal Articles: Nicoletta F. Gullace, “White Feathers and Wounded Men: Female Patriotism and the Memory of the Great War,” Journal of British Studies 36, no. 2 (1997): 178-206. Alice Goldfarb Marquis, “Words as

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Weapons: Propaganda in Britain and Germany during the First World War,” Journal of Contemporary History 13, no. 3 (July 1978): 467-498.

Module 5 (10-23 March): The Breaking Point: Collapsing Home Fronts and Front Lines in

1917.

Required Readings: Beckett, Ch. 9-10. Suggested Documents: Grayzel, Docs. 23, 28-32, 36-40. Film Segments: “The Collapse of the Romanov Dynasty,” and “The French Mutiny,” The First World War, Episode 8, Chapters 1-2; “Inciting an Arab Revolt,” The First World War, Episode 6, Chapter 3. Journal Articles: Susan R. Grayzel, “The Outward and Visible Sign of Her Patriotism’:

Women, Uniforms, and National Service During the First World War,” Twentieth Century British History 8, no. 2 (1997): 145-164; Leonard V. Smith, “War and ‘Politics’: The French Army Mutinies of 1917,” War in History 2, no. 2 (1995): 180-201.

Module 6 (24 Mar. - 4 Apr.): “This is the way wars end”: 1918 and Its Consequences.

*** COMPARATIVE REVIEWS DUE AT THE END OF MODULE 6 ***

Required Readings: Beckett, Ch. 11-12. Suggested Documents: Grayzel, Docs. 41-52. Film Segments: “Germany’s Last Gamble,” The First World War, Episode 9, Chapters 1-4; “Black Day of the German Army,” The First World War, Episode 10, Chapter 1; “Germany Seeks an Armistice,” “The Soldiers Return,” and “Aftermath,” The First World War, Episode 10, Chapters 2-4. Journal Articles: Wilhelm Deist, “The Military Collapse of the German Empire: The Reality Behind the Stab-in-the-Back Myth,” War in History 3, no. 2 (1996): 186-207; Bernd Hüppauf, “Langemarck, Verdun and the Myth of a “New Man” in Germany After the First World War,” War & Society 6, no. 2 (1988): 70-103.

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