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ERIC Number: EJ824484
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003-May
Pages: 34
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
Studying America's Struggle against War: An Historical Perspective
Howlett, Charles F.
History Teacher, v36 n3 p297-330 May 2003
American history surveys and monographs have been dominated by discourses on war. The vocabulary itself--the inter-war period, postwar planning, the prewar economy, the revolutionary war generation, the irrepressible conflict--strongly suggests that the United States has been in a virtual state of war throughout its history. Ironically, this emphasis on war is out of proportion to the actual amount of time Americans have spent fighting wars. The basic question educators should ask is why do historians and social studies teachers devote so much of their scholarship and teaching to war and, conversely, so little to peace studies? Why is it that peace has been the reform sought most vocally by Americans, yet remains the most elusive? A major effort to make peace history a permanent feature of American historiography began in the 1960s. The Vietnam War demanded that peace issues become as much a part of scholarship and the college curriculum as had the civil rights and women's movements. Peace activists protesting the war were joined by the general public in working to better understand the roots of pacifism and antiwar actions. The result of this dual desire to consider both the philosophical foundations of pacifism and its practical political applications, for instance, produced an outpouring of scholarly work and curriculum development. This article presents the evolution of peace history writing in the United States. (Contains 66 notes.)
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840-1601. Tel: 562-985-2573; Fax: 562-985-5431; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A