For next week, please read Michel Roberts, The Military Revolution, 1560-1660. It begins on page 10 of the pdf.
Also, please read chapters 4 and 5 of War in European History by Michael Howard, on the reserve shelf. This will give a good background for conversation.
And take a look at The Atlas of Warfare which is on the reserve shelf.
For class, please write a 1-2 page response to Roberts. We will be reading more responses to Roberts for next week.
Week 3 - The Military Revolution Debate
Here are some respondents to Roberts. Please read Parker and Rogers and be ready to discuss on Monday. I also added another response by Jeremy Black to look over for some more context.
Week 4 - Changes in Technology
Our readings for this week will cover the development of technology in our period. Fire and Stone discusses the artillery fort. The Iron Dragon covers firearm ignition systems. And Benton is the 1862 textbook we discussed and the two sections cover artillery and small arms technology.
I know it looks like a lot, but thay are not all full chapters and The Iron Dragon in particular is a very quick read.
Also, we may have a prospective student sitting in on class on Monday. Cheers,
Week 5 - The Role of Technology
Here are the readings for Monday. White discusses the impact of a particular technology on European warfare and society. The second article is a more abstract look at the role of technology on military affairs and at the idea of technological determinism in general.
Week 6 - Questions 1815-1872.
Here are the readings for Tuesday. As you will quickly notice, most of these books revolve around the American Civil War. The debates included here tend to focus on this questions of whether the American Civil War was either the first modern war or the last Napoleonic conflict, or the comment on some perceived incongruousness of the weapons and tactics of the time, i.e. that they were either ahead of or behind the times.
For Monday, I would like you all to write a 1-2 page response to the reading, focusing on these two topics.
Week 7 - Waterloo
For next week, please read through the wiki pages I have linked below. No need for too close of a reading, just try and get a feel for the general events and major players.
Week 8 - Tip vs. Edge
Welcome back everybody,
Because of the limited time we will all have between getting back to campus and our next class, Monday will be a discussion heavy class with short readings and a few videos. We will be discussing Tip vs. Edge, which is a debate about the relative efficacy of the tip of a cavalry sword used for the thrust or the edge used for a slash. This debate is very mechanical so I will bring some props.
Week 9 - Colunm vs. Line
Here are the readings for next week. We will be covering my favorite topic, Column vs. Line. There is a lot of reading here, but it is a really interesting topic, have fun.
Week 10 - Cult of the Bayonet
This week’s debate is about the relative efficacy of combat based on gunfire and combat based in shock, and in our time period, shock combat became synonymous with the bayonet. The faith in the physical attack with the bayonet persisted in more conservative military circles up until WWI, but for our purposes we will only be following it until the American Civil War. This follows last week’s debate quite well because column vs. line is, at a very basic level, a shock vs. fire debate, and you will see some overlap in the readings. There are a lot of primary sources here, so be prepared.
Don't forget to post a few paragraphs in response to the readings in the forum.
Week 11 - The Rifle
For this week we will be looking at rifle technology and the debate about its influence on combat. The debate is a matter of accuracy versus speed, but it also includes questions about the new Minié ball during the Civil War. So there are a few ways we can approach this topic. Please remember to post a few thoughts on the forum at the top of the page.
Week 12 - The Royal Navy
Just as a reminder, everyone should read the introduction to the book and be prepared to talk about their chapter.
Aerika: Chapter 2
Sam: Chapter 6
Chris: Chapter 4
Jacob: Chapter 5
Ben: Chapter 3
Me: Chapter 7
- This topic
Week 13 - Wrap up
This is the last week everybody, thanks for a great class.
For our last session we will be rereading Peter Gordon's essay 'What is Intellectual History?' and reflect on what we have done this semester. We will also have a shorter class because you will also need to fill out the course evaluation.