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HIS 353 - World War II

The Great War had been fought as “the war to end all wars,” and twenty years later British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain still promised “peace in our time.” But just six years later, nearly 80 million people were dead. Sparked by the rise of dictatorships, World War II was a clash of nations that represented a global conflict on a scale never before imagined. Exploring the perspectives of both the Allied and Axis powers, students will learn how the clash of ideologies and beliefs resulted in conquest, genocide, and, ultimately, liberation. Although traditionally understood as occurring from 1939–1945, this course will start from the war’s origins—beginning with the end of World War I through the rise of the Nazi Party to the Japanese invasion of China in 1937. Far from just a military history of war in Europe and the Pacific, this course will examine topics including: the Holocaust, ideologies (democracy, communism, fascism, anti-Semitism, racism, etc.), the A-bomb, world leaders (FDR, Truman, Churchill, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Tojo, etc.), politics, propaganda, crime, the home front, and many more. Concluding with the Nuremberg and Tokyo War Crimes Trials and the start of the Cold War, the class will also examine the war’s legacy and aftermath.

Credit Hours: 3.00

Course Fees: $0.00

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