AccoladesA Collection of Student Scholarship

2017 Accolades

Accolades entries are organized by degree program. Each program section includes an overview of the featured student works followed by a listing of individual project abstracts for easy browsing.

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Master of Arts in Military History View all accolades »

Students in the Master of Arts in Military History program examine the role of the military and war throughout history, looking at differing historical interpretations and various types of historical knowledge.

  • 2016
  • Master of Arts in Military History

The Effects of Rhetoric and Propaganda on the Reactions and Attitudes of World War II German Soldiers towards Their Perceived Post-War Treatment

Author: John Wm. Richardson
Abstract:

Rhetoric and propaganda play key roles in how a nation and its people view themselves. In the turbulent arena of international relations, inflammatory rhetoric of one nation might metamorphosis into the reactionary propaganda of another. Such a scenario existed during the interwar years and into World War II between Germany, its European neighbors, and later the United States. International rhetoric became fodder for the Nazi propaganda machine that in turn indoctrinated the German people to believe that defeat meant an end to Germany.

  • 2016
  • Master of Arts in Military History

The Local News Media and the Vietnam War: How Los Angeles and Palmdale Covered the War

Author: Aaron Kavanagh
Abstract:

This paper compares and contrasts local coverage of the war versus national coverage of the war, arguing the national coverage was more critical of the war and the local coverage much more supportive. The paper also dives into the treatment or soldiers returning home, myth versus fact.

  • 2016
  • Master of Arts in Military History

The Pacific War: Alfred Thayer Mahan, and War Plans of the United States Navy and Imperial Japanese Navy

Author: Ross Mobilia
Abstract:

This paper examines the history of the influence of Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan on the war planning of the United States and Imperial Japanese Navies from the early twentieth century through the end of World War II. The United States Navy soundly defeated the Imperial Japanese Navy during this war’s Pacific campaign. Deprived of the offensive combat utility of main striking arm of the U. S. Fleet Battle Force, the U. S. Pacific Fleet altered radically its operational strategy. Aggressive early employment of aircraft carriers and cruisers blunted the Japanese advance at the Battle of the Coral Sea and transformed the Japanese Pacific offensive into a defensive war at the Battle of Midway. The prewar and wartime United States and Imperial Japanese Navies were disciples of Alfred Thayer Mahan and deployed their respective fleets in consonance with his doctrine. This research paper examines the respective American and Japanese application of Mahan’s doctrine and their diametrically opposed results.

  • 2016
  • Master of Arts in Military History

The Rationale and Motivation behind Pope Urban II's Council of Clermont and the First Crusade

Author: William Gass
Abstract:

An analysis of the 11th-century primary sources surrounding Pope Urban II and his decision to launch the First Crusade at the Council of Clermont in 1095 AAD primarily motivated as a response to modern interpretations of the Crusades that rely on anachronistic or single-minded arguments. This paper discusses how the Cluniac-Gregorian Reforms, the socio-political environment of Western Europe, and Urban's personal religious convictions motivated him to unite the European nobility under the Papal banner in a nigh-unprecedented fight against the Turkish invaders of Byzantium and the Levant for the reward of eternal salvation.

  • 2016
  • Master of Arts in Military History

The Right Approach: Why China’s Qing Dynasty Were Successful with Imperial Expansion on their Western Frontier

Author: John Marchak
Abstract:

From the beginning of the Manchu led Qing Dynasty of China, Manchu emperors saw themselves as universal rulers of their growing empire – ruling for all while creating and controlling the identities of their subjects (including the Manchus’ themselves). This essay will study the Qing’s imperial top-down conquest leadership culminating with the Manchu’s unique implementation of regional and international relations, development of regional alliances and tactics, and extension of the Chinese frontier through military actions. All these factors resulted in the Qing victory over the Zunghar Mongols, the far western Mongol tribe posing the main threat to the Qing from China’s Inner Asian frontier. At the same time, the Qing spread their hegemony and rule into the Zunghar sphere of influence in Tibet and Eastern Turkestan. As a result, the High Qing actions of conquest significantly added to the physical size and demographic diversity of China, in essence, forming the modern borders of China.

  • 2016
  • Master of Arts in Military History

The U.S. Army’s Reluctance to Desegregate and the Impact of Racial Integration after the Korean War

Author: Thomas Weiss
Abstract:

This paper studies racial integration within the United States Army and its reluctance to integrate prior to the Korean War. The purpose of this paper is to determine the cause for the Army’s unwillingness to integrate the force after the adoption of Executive Order 9981 and also to recognize the impacts that integration had on the Army and ensuing problems that African Americans faced in the post-Korean War years. This paper utilizes synthesized secondary source historical analysis as well as primary sources, to include period articles, autobiographies and oral histories as the basis of research. While the focal point of this paper is centered on the events of the Korean War, the scope of the analysis includes periods before and after the Korean War to include World War II and the war in Vietnam as well as the inter-war years. This paper concludes as its major finding that U.S. Army integration officially occurred on the battlefields of the Korean War; however, owing to the continuing problems with institutional, personal, and perceived racism and discrimination, true integration did not begin to take shape until the Vietnam era where the Department of Defense finally acknowledged the racially centered problems within both the military as well as the civilian communities.

  • 2016
  • Master of Arts in Military History

Varied Nationalisms and Prussian Masculinity: Foundational Constructs for the Stabilization of Gender Roles during the Wars of Liberation

Author: Christopher Goodwin
Abstract:

The Wars of Liberation in Prussian history was a seminal moment in two main ways: a unifying patriotic-nationalism and the rise of valorous masculinity. German patriotic-nationalism was based on an imagined community that was constructed using the past as a model for future prosperity and change through the creation of a new objective reality in the present. This objective reality was valorous masculinity as a method of overcoming French subjugation. Trauma incurred on men during the defeat and occupation destroyed old gender ideals and beliefs. The trauma was so extensive that proponents of patriotic-nationalism were able to propagate the idea of valorous masculinity so thoroughly that it became hegemonized throughout Prussia. This spawned the willingness of men to sacrifice their lives in defense of the Fatherland that lasted at least until 1945.

  • 2016
  • Master of Arts in Military History

Volunteers and the Battle of Buena Vista

Author: Matthew Russell
Abstract:

This paper re-examines the historiography surrounding the Battle of Buena Vista during the Mexican-American War. Rather than crediting the Regular Army's artillery, this paper proposes that the volunteers, most of whom were inexperienced, were adequate soldiers for the task and that General Zachary Taylor suffered no loss in capability when most of his Regular regiments were reassigned. A combination of training and leadership ensured that Taylor's volunteers were up to the task of holding ground against a vastly numerically superior Mexican force.