The World at War: Teaching and Examining the Importance of 20th and 21st Century Warfare

EDZU 9016 (3 credits / 45 hours)

Location: Online
Instructor: Richard Acritelli

Start Date: 12/07/2022
End Date: 01/10/2023

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“Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by the naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

 President Franklin D. Roosevelt

All teachers will gain valuable knowledge in historic content, geography, and teaching strategies on how to present the major global wars and conflicts that occurred during the 20th century.  This is an extensive course on the global and American view of modern warfare.   We will look at the reasons why civilized, educated, and economically superior nations fought during World War I, World War II, the Cold War, and the events that led to and after 9/11/01.  All participants will thoroughly analyze the important relationship of how modern warfare relates to the economic, social, political, and gender implications of fighting large scale wars.  Students will learn about competitive causes of World War I, the nature of the interwar years that bread the totalitarian regimes of Germany, Italy, Japan, and the rise of the Soviet Union.  This course will put all students not only on the front lines of modern warfare, but we will look at the civilian costs of fighting, like those that have been seen through the Russian invasion of the Ukraine.  Students will also learn about the treatment of civilian populations that lived under harsh ruthless policies and how they opposed the impact of global public opinion on the perpetrators of the war and genocide (Armenians, Poles – Katyn Massacre, Jews, Koreans, Filipinos, etc.).  The class will learn about the vital sacrifices of America’s Greatest Generation that protected the freedom of this country in the European and Asian/Pacific Theaters of Operations. This is an important class that will look at the wars of the 20th and 21st Century to determine if history has repeated itself in the post 9/11 world.  All students will complete assignments through interesting primary and secondary source readings, maps, statistics, documentaries, forums, and films.  



Teachers enrolled in this course will...


  • All students will learn how to determine the importance of 20th and 21st Century Warfare
  • They will identify important geographic locations and features that played a key role in the fighting for supremacy through battles and wars around the world
  • The relationship of military history towards the relationships economic, social, political, and gender issues of a nation to successfully and negatively carry out warfare as a foreign policy
  • The importance of understanding the growth of totalitarian powers and how they impacted the stability of the world (Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Vladimir Putin etc.).
  • How resistance from civilian populations such as in the Ukraine in Russia, has altered the objectives of stronger military powers to conquer other nations
  • Utilize key materials, documentaries and films that will be used to show the extent of battles that have been fought within different parts of the world
  • How to connect the relationship of fighting battles and taking key geographic locations 
  • The role of the United States to fight the war on terror and the fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the on-going conflict against Al-Qaeda and ISIS.


  • The will of populations to fight in difficult wars that are at times seen as a losing cause
  • The power of regimes to demonstrate total control over the lives of their people
  • How conscription was used to help oppose totalitarian strength during World War II
  • The strength of resistance to fight back against powerful nations within their own countries (France during World War II, Russia against the Ukraine, etc.).
  • Why nations will go to war over national competition for resources
  • The relationship between strong military use and governmental power to establish their own power at home and abroad (Germany, Italy, Japan, Soviet Union, etc.)
  • How leaders were prosecuted for their policies of arming for war, occupying non-warring nations, breaking treaties, and destroying the human rights people (Holocaust/Genocide/Ethnic Cleansing).
  • The American military role in Afghanistan since 9/11/01 and its recent fall to the Taliban

and Be Able To

  • Explain the military and social carnage of warfare
  • Propose the positive and negative features that are at stake for nations during the conflicts of World War I, World War II, the Cold War, etc.
  • Determine if history has repeated itself with lessons from 20th and 21st Century fighting
  • Describe the military and political rationale for battles that saw heavy military and civilian losses
  • Present the important connection of geography and warfare
  • Explain the viewpoints, policies, and objectives of aggressor nations to wage war, attack other populations, and to upset peace
  • Identify the totality of the fighting on military and civilian populations that had to endure hardships on the front and through the destruction of their own infrastructure
  • Determine the changes in American national and foreign policy since 9/11/01

and much, much more!

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