Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts American Military History: A Resource for Teachers and Students
American Military History: A Resource for Teachers and Students

American Military History: A Resource for Teachers and Students


Teaching America’s military history is an important civic duty because “We the People” are responsible for the common defense and therefore should know something about it. At the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI), we encourage teachers to integrate military history into the history that they already teach, and we think they can do so without personal military experience, just as they teach about so many other aspects of American life.

Starting in 2006, FPRI teamed up with the First Division Museum at Cantigny to offer the first Teaching Military History Institute for Teachers. This history institute series built upon and expanded the proven FPRI model that has been in operation since 1992. The concept is simple: assemble an audience of dedicated secondary school teachers, bring in first tier scholars of varied perspectives to address them on substantive military topics, and stimulate their interaction over a weekend at the world class setting of the First Division Museum. Omitted are the pedagogical lessons that can be learned back at one’s school. Teachers earn continuing education credits for attendance and are encouraged to develop lesson plans to incorporate knowledge from these weekends into their teaching. Since 2006, nearly 300 teachers have gone through one or more of these Institutes.

This volume is a selection of materials presented at the eight Teaching Military History Institutes held since 2006. This e-book can be used as a resource by teachers, students, and the public to expand their understanding of how the U.S. military has helped to shape American history—not only on the battlefield but also socially, politically, economically, and technologically. We believe that our common defense will be better if the public is familiar with our military history. We hope that users and readers will enjoy this collection and use it to further that purpose.

Paul Herbert
First Division Museum at Cantigny
Wheaton, IL

Michael P. Noonan
Foreign Policy Research Institute
Philadelphia, PA

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