research - What can we learn about the world from either a...

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Unformatted text preview: What can we learn about the world from either a novel or primary sources (such as newspaper and magazines) of a particular period? Your job is to write a 5-7 page historical essay analyzing an important issue or event that significantly shaped the world. Your paper must contain a central, guiding thesis stating your viewpoint or interpretation of the issue or event. Be as creative as you wish and take any “side” you like, but make sure to marshal your evidence and defend your point of view. Effective historical writing contains a clearly articulated thesis, convincing evidence, and insightful analysis. Based on your reading or research, address the following: 1) What possible conclusions can you make about the nature of society, culture, and politics during that time? 2) What concerns seem to be uppermost in the public mind? 3) Does your source (or sources) reveal the existence of particular tensions and anxieties peculiar to the period? 4) What attitudes do the writer(s) exhibit toward political leaders, international and military events, the economy, athletics, religion, reform movements, nuclear weapons, gender, race, sexuality, the family, etc…? Thesis: The development of the British navy during the Cromwell era war caused wars to be fought on a less personal level, with less concerns for civilians. (Compare civil war and 7 years war) 1) conclusions about society: arrogance, tunnel vision 2) Winning wars? Staying the top of the power struggle 3) ? 4) Cromwell? • It is argued here that weapons innovation always introduces costs, and that these costs cannot be determined in advance of going to war. Three examples, the atomic bomb, the AK-47 and the ancient Greek catapult, are given as examples. It is therefore argued that the pro- portionality principle is inapplicable prospectively • The second example is the atomic bomb. The motivation here by the scientists, such as Leo Szilard, who agitated for a program to investigate the possibility of such a weapon was fear that the Nazis would get one and the need to have the means for deterrence. They finally convinced Roosevelt to set up the Manhattan Project in 1942. Evidence was found in 1944 that the Nazis had made no progress towards an atomic bomb and indeed had no idea how to make one. But the investment and effort that had already been spent, and the fact that the military was in charge, meant that the project continued. The resultant bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was judged by many to be among the worst acts in the dismal history of warfare. • Weapons innovation introduces new ways of causing harm, by killing people, destroying property and providing the backing for threats to do these things. Thus weapons innovation does not merely represent a monetary cost, the cost of doing the R&D, and an opportunity cost, the cost of not doing something useful like improving health care and education, it entails the cost of harming and threatening to harm—morally wrong acts that require justification Pursuit of Power- William McNeill...
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This note was uploaded on 02/28/2011 for the course HIST 038 taught by Professor Burns during the Fall '10 term at GWU.

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research - What can we learn about the world from either a...

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