HSY315: HISTORY OF WAR
Assessment Item 2: Essay
Length: 2,500 words (+/- 10%; excluding notes and bibliography)
1. How do historical conquests echo in the modern world? Select one (or not more than two) historical examples of conquest and consider their effects.
2. The French philosopher Montesquieu wrote that ‘An empire founded in war has to maintain itself by war.’ Are empires agents of order and peace, or of conquest and war? Discuss with reference to a specific historical case study.
3. Has the idea of just war become redundant?
4. ‘Colonial frontier violence should be remembered as genocide rather than war.’ Discuss with reference to a specific historical case study.
Each essay will present a historically contextualised argument in response to ONE of the above questions, and incorporate references to at least 8 scholarly sources (books, book chapters, and journal articles). In doing so, the essay must contextualise the examples of warfare discussed — for example, by showing which historical factors gave rise to warfare, or what historical factors determine how warfare was interpreted and understood in different historical periods.
Each essay will also incorporate evidence drawn from primary historical texts, and relate those texts to the specific historical context in which they were produced.
The essay has a specific format. It will consist of:
(1) an introduction stating your aims and objectives in the essay, and briefly framing your argument.
(2) A logical and coherent series of body paragraphs in which you develop your argument.
(3) A conclusion that does not merely summarise the essay, but reflects on the the implications of your argument, and/or the historical significance of the topic.
All sources must be appropriately cited with a bibliography listing all sources cited in the essay. You may use either footnotes or in-text citations.
1. Understanding of historical context of the subject matter.
2. Quality of argument and historical analysis.
3. Reflective and critical use of evidence, including contextualisation of key primary source(s).
4. Logical structure and standards of presentation.
5. Quality of writing and presentation (including a clear and consistent method of citation and bibliography).