HISTORY 2Y03 WWII: A Global History (C01)
Academic Year: Fall 2019
Instructor: Dr. Martin Horn
Office: Chester New Hall 629
Phone: 905-525-9140 x 21602
Office Hours: Wednesday 10-11am or by appointment.
- Course Objectives
- Textbooks, Materials & Fees
- Method of Assessment
- Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties
- Additional Policies and Statements
- Topics and Readings
- Other Course Information
The teaching assistants will hold office hours beginning the week of 23 September and continuing through the week of 9 December. They will not hold office hours during the mid-term recess 14-18 October. Please note the following: 1) there are no tutorials in His 2YO3; 2) there is no Avenue to Learn site associated with the course.
There are three principal objectives: 1) to survey the development of the Second World War and its effects upon our world; 2) to introduce the voices of participants through the readings; and 3) to improve communication skills through writing assignments.
This course covers the origins, progress, and aftermath of the Second World War. It takes a broad view of the conflict, from 1937 to 1949, venturing outside the traditional chronological boundaries associated with the war (1939-45). While the emphasis is upon the war itself and its military, political, and economic aspects, other facets of the conflict will be touched upon.
The course outline may be found at the following link in the department of history:
Textbooks, Materials & Fees:
The following are the required texts in the course. They are available for purchase in the McMaster University bookstore:
Andrew N. Buchanan, World War II in Global Perspective, 1931-1953
Irène Némirovsky, Suite française
Eugene B. Sledge, With the Old Breed
Method of Assessment:
His 2YO3 is a lecture course given three times a week on Monday and Wednesday from 11:30-12:20 and on Friday from 1:30-2:20. The class will run from 4 September to 4 December. There will be no lecture on Friday 8 November as well as no classes during the mid-term recess 14-18 October.
Essay 1 (due 9 October) 30%
Essay 2 (due 20 November) 30%
Final Exam 40%
Dates to Remember
9 October 2019 – first essay due
20 November 2019- second essay due.
December 2019 - final exam date TBA
Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:
On Course Requirements
The instructor and university reserve the right to modify elements of the course during the term. The university may change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances. If either type of modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. It is the responsibility of the student to check their McMaster email and course websites weekly during the term and to note any changes.
It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from the student's own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student. Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.
Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:
You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.
Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.
It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity
The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:
- Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
- Improper collaboration in group work.
- Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
Email correspondence policy
It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student. Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.
Modification of course outlines
The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.
McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)
In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at mcmaster.ca/msaf/. If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.
Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities
Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.
Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances
Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.
Topics and Readings:
Weekly Lecture Topics and Readings
2 September – The Setting for Global War
Reading: Buchanan, Introduction.
9 September – War in Asia & the Coming of War in Europe
Reading: Buchanan, Chapter 1; Némirovsky.
16 September - The War in Europe, 1939-41
Reading: Buchanan, Chapter 2, Némirovsky.
23 September - The War in Asia, 1941-42
Reading: Buchanan, Chapter 3.
30 September – A Global War – The War at Sea
Reading: Buchanan, Chapter 4.
7 October – Ideological War: The Eastern Front & the Holocaust
Reading: Buchanan, Chapter 5.
14 October - Fall Recess – No classes
21 October Total War: Economies, Home Fronts & Occupation
Reading: Buchanan, Chapter 6.
28 October – The War in Europe in 1942: The USSR & North Africa
Reading: Buchanan, Chapter 7.
4 November – A Global War - The War in the Air
Reading: Buchanan, Chapter 8.
11 November – The Decisive Years, 1943-44
Reading: Buchanan, Chapter 9; Sledge.
18 November - The Killing Years: The End in Europe and Asia, 1944-45
Reading: Buchanan, Chapter 10; Sledge.
25 November – Wars after Wars’ End, 1945-49
Reading: Buchanan, Epilogue.
2 December – Second Essay return & Exam discussion
Reading: No reading.
First Essay – due 9 October
1. In 1931 Japan opted to invade Manchuria, in 1937 to instigate war with China. Select one of the two and discuss the reasons for the decision.
2. Comment on the strategic context facing one of the following powers in the 1930s: Britain, France, Germany, Italy, USSR, USA.
3. Explain the French defeat in 1940.
4. Assess Japanese decision-making in 1940-41 – why did Tokyo choose to attack the European colonial powers as well as the United States and not the USSR?
5. Why did the German invasion of the USSR in 1941 fail?
6. President Roosevelt’s actions in 1939-41 remain the subject of debate. Comment upon his policy between the onset of the European war in September 1939 and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941.
Second Essay – due 20 November
1. Was either Japanese or German victory possible in the Second World War? Discuss one.
2. The Second World War has been labelled a Total War. Civilian deaths outpaced military deaths. Why?
3. To what degree was the Second World War a racial conflict? Discuss with reference to either the European theatre or the Asian campaign.
4. Discuss the Anglo-American strategic bombing campaign in Europe between 1942 and 1945.
5. What effects did the Second World War have on anti-colonialism in either Africa or Asia after 1945? Discuss one.
6. Did the United States “lose” China after 1945? Discuss the reasons for the defeat of the Chinese Nationalist Party in the Chinese Civil War 1945-49.
Academic journals available electronically through Mills Library
The following journals publish articles dealing with the Second World War. This is not an exhaustive list and some of these journals publish work in this area irregularly.
Diplomacy and Statecraft
Economic History Review
Holocaust and Genocide Studies
International History Review
Journal of Contemporary History
Journal of Interdisciplinary History
Journal of Military History* - missing 2009-2018 issues, from 2019 in paper
Journal of Modern History
Journal of Strategic Studies
Past and Present
Transactions of the Royal Historical Society
War and Society
War in History
Other Course Information:
On MSAF (McMaster Student Absence Form)
In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar “Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work”. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015.
Students will write two ten-page double-spaced essays in 2YO3. An essay is a formal exercise. Essays must have a title page, footnotes or endnotes, and a bibliography. Parenthetical notation, that is notes in brackets in the text of the essay, is not permitted. No essay may derive the majority of its footnotes/endnotes from web sites. Any essay that does will receive a grade of zero.
Essay topics are listed below. Students may write an essay on a topic that is not on the list but must obtain the approval of the instructor or a teaching assistant first. Any essay that is submitted that is not on the list of topics or has not been approved by the instructor or a teaching assistant will receive a grade of zero.
The research material employed in essays that is cited in the bibliography must be drawn largely from scholarly books as well as articles in academic journals. Essays must have a minimum of six acceptable academic sources in their bibliography. What about the Web? The answer is simple: students may cite Web sources but should use caution in employing material drawn from the Web. Web sites such as Wikipedia are unacceptable as a source. If you have questions as to the acceptability of a Web site, please contact either the instructor or one of the teaching assistants. E-journals – a list of academic E-journals may be found below - may be cited freely. Articles in these journals, which may be accessed through the university library electronically, count as academic research – they are not considered Web sources. Lectures are not an acceptable research source for essays and may not be used. The course text (Buchanan) does not count as an acceptable source. If pertinent, both Némirovsky and Sledge may be used in essays. A lecture (Friday 13 September 2019) will be set aside to discuss researching essays.
The grade written assignments receive will depend upon their clarity of expression and organization, as well as the cogency of the argument made and the thoroughness of the research. Essays should be well written, argued and researched. Along with historical content, spelling, grammar and punctuation are taken into account in the final grade. Students are strongly advised to retain a photocopy of any written work submitted as part of the course requirements. Late essays will be penalized 5% a day including weekends (the latter count as one). Any essay that is submitted after 4:30 on the date due will be deemed late. Essays may not be submitted by e-mail. Students are advised strongly to retain both their notes and a photocopy of any written work submitted as part of the course requirements.