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SO245_Lesson6.docx - Lesson 6 War and Politics During World...

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Lesson 6: War and Politics During World War II, the belt buckle of Wehrmacht soldiers bore an inscription, “ Gott mit uns (“God with us”). Inscribed or not, identical sentiments informed the attitudes of all the Western Allies, save for the Soviet Union. We can suppose that the soldiers of the Red Army felt assured that Marx and Lenin were on their side. Otherwise, God was on everybody’s side. When we delve into Western history, we discover that the Greeks and the Romans were convinced that the gods interacted with mortal humans. And that idea informed the worldview of the founders of Western Civilization echoing all the way back to Homer’s Iliad . Even casual students of history recall the fable of Helen of Troy whose face launched a thousand ships, while dividing the loyalties of the immortals. And you may have come across the legend of Aeneas. His myth, as written by the Roman poet, Virgil, claimed that Aeneas escaped from Troy only to reappear as a founder of Roman Civilization–and an ancestor of Julius Caesar! It’s as if the mythical Trojan War established the basis of both Greek and Roman culture. For the Greeks, Athena was the goddess of the art of war. For the Romans, the equivalent goddess was called Minerva. And both were associated with wisdom. The Greek god of war, of bloodlust and mayhem, was Ares. The Romans called him Mars. Today, the red planet is called Mars and its tiny orbiting moons are called Phobos and Deimos–fear and death. And so one may wonder, was the deification of war at the root of Western civilization? As you make your way through this lesson, that’s a question you are invited to ponder. In this lesson, we’ll explore the history of warfare and the technological advances related to warfare. Learning Objectives Upon completion of Lesson 6, you should be able to: Define the different types of wars. Outline a brief history of war from 3000 BCE to 1914 CE. Describe the nature and technological advances of modern war, beginning with the American Civil War. Discuss the key events of World Wars I and II, including the Treaty of Versailles, and describe technological advances from 1939 to 1945. Describe the social costs of war. What To Do Next Reading Assignments Click on the Reading Assignments link above to access your textbook reading assignments and lecture notes. Assessment There is no exam or assignment to be completed in this lesson. The material presented in this lesson will be covered in the Lesson 7 exam. Congratulations! Once you have completed these items, and have received a passing score on the
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assessment, you are ready to move on to your next lesson! Reading Assignments Text Readings There is no textbook for this course. Additional Readings DIRECTIONS: To access ProQuest articles, you MUST first open a Web browser window to the ProQuest Library; otherwise, you will be denied access to the articles when you click the links.
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