Dr. Phillip G. Payne
134 Doyle Hall
The purpose of this course is to provide a history of the Second World War from its origins to the aftermath of the war. To this end, the class will cover events beginning in the 1920s and 1930s and continuing through the early origins of the Cold War in the late 1940s. We will be discussing as many aspects of the war as possible, including military, diplomatic, social, and economic changes that occurred.
History 202 05
History 201 06
History 475 01 World War II 1:30-2:20 p. 211
Office Hours: MWF 9:30 – 10:15
Communication: I will be posting a copy of this syllabus and all other course handouts on my faculty web page and WebCT. Grades will be posted on WebCT (in addition to having the materials returned). You should check both your SBU and WebCT e-mail for announcements. In the event of a circumstance that would force me to cancel class (say a blizzard or sudden illness) I will announce it via WebCT e-mail (if possible). You can e-mail on either account, although I prefer the SBU account.
Kennedy, David M.,
The American People in World War II.
Dower, John. Embracing
Stoler, Mark A. and Melanie S. Gustafson, ed., Major Problems in the History of World War II. Houghton Mifflin.
Bowman, Constance. Slacks and Calluses: One Summer in a Bomber Factory. Smithsonian Institution Press.
Rosenberg, A Date Which Will Live:
Method of Determining Grade and assignments:
Bowman Review 10%
Dower Review 10%
Reaction Papers 10%
You will review Dower, and Bowman books individually (at 10 % each) following the book review guidelines posted to my web page (be sure to note that you are required to incorporate an academic review). Your review is due the day we discuss the book and should be 2-3 pages in length. Additional information will be provided in class.
Throughout the semester you will write 4 reactions to readings in Stoler and Gustafson that is at least one page in length (approximately 200 words). You will past this paper on the WebCT discussion board by Wednesday at 5 p.m. The purpose of the paper is to raise issues that will be discussed in class on Friday.
In addition you
will write a 5 – 7 page paper based on your reading of
In addition to handing the paper to me during class, you will upload an electronic copy of the papers to WebCt. This serves as a receipt and backup. If, for some reason, a dispute arises over whether or not a paper was turned in then we can turn to the uploaded papers to solve the dispute.
93 – 100 A
90 – 92 A-
88 – 89 B+
83 – 87 B
80 – 82 B-
78 – 79 C+
73 – 77 C
70 – 72 C-
68 – 69 D+
63 – 67 D
60 – 62 D-
59 - F
An A essay or paper demonstrates that a student is using accurate evidence in a thoughtful way that synthesizes information from a variety of course materials. Papers that receive an A are well-argued, well written and organized around a strong thesis. To achieve the grade of “A” a student must submit a paper or essay that goes beyond the basic requirements of the assignment to demonstrate a sophisticated interpretation, thoughtful analysis, and good writing skills.
A paper or essay that receives a B grade demonstrates a student’s accurate understanding of the material, adequate use of a variety of course sources, and competence in writing.
A paper or essay receiving a C grade demonstrates average work that meets the basic requirements of the assignment. A C represents average and often uneven work. C papers or essays often contains some mixture of solid work with factual inaccuracies, vague assertions, errors in or lack of interpretation, inadequate use of the assigned documents, or mediocre writing.
D & F
A failing grade is assigned to work that fails to meet the requirements and expectations for the assignment. Often a D paper or essay falls short of the basic assignment requirements but contains some indication of an effort to meet the requirements (for example having some but not enough factual information, containing too many inaccuracies, or using only a portion of the assigned materials). An F paper or essay fails to meet basic requirements and often also falls short in writing and argumentation as well as use of evidence.
If you are caught cheating you will receive at minimum a zero on the assignment with the possibility of further action including pursuing academic misconduct. What is cheating? Common sense will essentially answer this question for you, but cheating is any attempt to gain an unfair advantage in a class assignment. This can include, but is not limited to, copying, plagiarism, using another person’s work as your own, and the use of prohibited materials while completing an assignment. You should consult the SBU student handbook for more information on academic dishonesty. For more on plagiarism see the History Department writing guide on the department web page http://web.sbu.edu/history/writingguideintro.html
Week 1: August 27 - 31
First Day of Class, Introduction & Major Themes
The legacy of the Great War
Question: Was the Versailles peace simply an armistice that allowed Europe to re-arm?
Week 2: September 3 - 7
Appeasement and Its Failure
Why would European leaders embrace appeasement? What has appeasement meant historically since World War II?
Week 3: September 10 - 14
FDR’s Neutrality and domestic politics
Question: Why was the American public so reluctant to re-arm in the face of aggression in Europe and Asia?
Questions: Why would Hitler decide to invade the Soviet Union? Why was France so easily defeated?
Week 4: September 17 - 21
expansion of militant
Question: Compare the rise of Fascism in Europe with the rise of militarism in Japan. Was the Japanese government fascist? How, and why, could we argue that WWII actually began in Asia rather than Europe?
Week 5: September 24 - 28
Paper Due Friday
Week 6: October 1 - 5
Midterm Break: October 6 - 9
Week 7: October 10 - 12
War in the Pacific
First Examination Friday Oct. 12
Week 8: October 15 - 19
Home Front: Selling the war & Prosperity
Home Front: Economics and Social Change
Bowman review due Friday Oct. 19
Questions: Was women entering the industrial workforce a watershed event?
Week 9: October 22 - 26
American, British, and Soviet War Goals & Foreign Policy
The War in the Pacific
Questions: How did the Asian war differ from the European war? Was Japan justified in its claims to be anti-imperialist?
Week 10: October 29 – November 2
Home Front: Japanese Internment & the Double V
Gustafson, MP, chapter 9, “The United States and the Holocaust.”
Question: What was the origins and nature of the Holocaust? What were the Nazi justifications? What was the American response?
Week 11: November 5 - 9
Home Front: Cultural Change
Week 12: November 12 - 16
War, Intelligence, and Technology
Week 13: November 19
War in Europe
Question: What steps did the Big Three take to prevent another world war? Did they avoid the mistakes of the past? Learn the lessons of history?
Week 14: November 26 - 30
VJ Day and the
VE Day and Post
Dower Review due Friday November 30
Question: What motives existed for the dropping of the Atomic Bomb? Was conflict between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. inevitable?
Week 15: December 3 - 7
Monday Dec. 10 10:35 a.m. – 1:05 p.m.