Skip to main content

POLI 2548 The World Wars: Causes, Conduct and Unintended Consequences (Spring: 3 )

Course Description

This course examines the origins, military conduct, and societal consequences of World War I and World War II. We will look at each war from the perspective of state leaders designing their state's military strategy and the soldiers fighting for them. What caused the outbreak of each war? What was each state’s military strategy and how did it interact with the strategies of other states? Why were so many soldiers willing to risk their lives and kill others on an unprecedented scale of destructiveness? Topics covered include: the social, political, and technological developments necessary to fight wars of this scale; domestic, accidental and interstate explanations for WWI; the military strategies of the major combatants in both wars; the Versailles Treaty and Post-WWI order; individual, economic, and interstate explanations for WWII; the European and Pacific theaters; German mass killings; and Japan’s surrender.

Schedule: Periodically

Instructor(s): Lindsey A. O'Rourke

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:


Last Updated: 06-Mar-18