I just finished my first seminar of my master’s degree. My final paper was a little short, and as a result, I had to do revisions, but my grade just came through, an A – for the seminar. I’m pretty happy with that. Normally, I’d have two weeks off between seminars, but in this case, I spent the two weeks doing additional research and writing for this paper.
The first seminar was interesting, and I think I learned a little as well. This seminar was entitled Introduction to Military History, and, as the title suggests, serves as an introductory course to Master’s level work, and the fundamental concepts of military history.
Military History on the Academic level, as some students are shocked to learn, isn’t battlefield analysis, specific figures or things along those lines. Rather, it’s more an examination of concepts and the way in which warfare has changed over history. I found that I’m particularly interested in the way that society and war interact – we haven’t really examined it in a whole lot of depth, but it should be interesting.
My final paper (which just got graded) was on the failure of the Uprising in India in 1857-58. Basically, I looked at why the Uprising failed to push the British out of India, and found that it boiled down to a couple points – they weren’t well organized, there wasn’t a clear leader or goal, they had inferior tech, whereas the British had an entire Empire and up to date tech to fight, and the general Indian population didn’t rise up against the British. It was an interesting study.
I’ve had it in my mind that I’ll be focusing on British military history, and I’ve gotten a couple of ideas for my next Long Paper (which I’ll start work on earlier.). I’m thinking looking at the Falklands War as the last major naval battle or as an example of where too much specialization causes problems. (In the case of the British navy, they had been super specialized to counter Soviet grade military equipment, while they were essentially fighting their own technology in some cases). I also just picked up a book called Redcoats, about the British in the US, so that might be an option as well. Anyone have any suggestions?
Things are going really well now.