Report: West Point Undergraduate Historical Review, Volume 013 (Spring 2023)

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    West Point Undergraduate Historical Review, Volume 13 (Spring 2023)
    (West Point Press, 2023) Editing Team
    Report is a non-profit publication produced by undergraduate cadets at the United States Military Academy. It accepts and encourages submissions from undergraduates in the fall and spring. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited.
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    Front Matter
    (West Point Press, 2023) Editing Team
    The Editorial Board would like to thank the faculty of the History Department for their submission recommendations, all the students who submitted papers, and Captain Kara Irvin for her advice and guidance on historical scholarship. Without their help, Report would not have been possible.
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    Democracy and Imperialism: Characterizations of the Athenian Empire
    (West Point Press, 2023) Jamal, Sheherzad
    "Given that the periods in which Athenian democracy developed (following the Athenian Revolution of 508/507 B.C.) and the empire reached its further extent overlapped in the fifth century, the extent to which the empire was a product of the democratic system or vice versa has been the subject of vigorous scholarly debate. While certain scholars, such as Josiah Ober, considered one of, if not the foremost scholar of Ancient Greek political theory, argue that it was Athenian imperialism which supported the structure of democracy and its institutions, others, especially Kurt Raaflaub, note that imperialism would not have been possible without the increased political participation and sanction of the demos..."
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    Roman Gaul and Germania (350-353 CE) in the Inter-Political System: The Potential of IR Theories for Historical Research Using the Example of Magnentius
    (West Point Press, 2023) Ossadnik, Simon
    "Sources do not tell much about Magnentius’ usurpation in 350 and the war that followed, but what they do tell is dramatic: in 353, when Magnentius saw the war was lost for himself and committed suicide, not only he but also a legitimate Roman emperor were dead. Constantius II had outlived his brothers and was now the sole ruler of the empire, over fifty thousand soldiers had died in the battle of Mursa alone, and a decade of usurpation had begun. After 350, six men were to claim to be augustus or caesar, and only the last of this line, Julian Apostata, was to stop the trend after his formal recognition as the legitimate augustus. The usurpation of Magnentius and the ensuing three-year war are not historical footnotes, but events central to the Roman Empire in the fourth century. The source material, especially for the Roman West outside of Italy and Illyria, is especially thin, and the causes of many events in the context of the war are difficult to reconstruct..."
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    Empires on Credit: A Second Military Revolution
    (West Point Press, 2023) Johnson, Baird
    "Michael Roberts coined the term “Military Revolution” when describing the sea change in European warfare which took place in the century between 1560 and 1660. His seminal article has sparked a lively and enduring debate on the nature of military change in early modern Europe. One dominant (and interdisciplinary) thread of commentary concerns the impact of Roberts’ military revolution on the development of the modern state..."
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    The Maine, the Media, and the American Mind: Exploring the Outbreak of the Spanish American War
    (West Point Press, 2023) Ostrowski, Joseph.
    "In the days following the disaster of February 15, a nation cried out “Remember the Maine'' and vowed to avenge the tragedy in Havana Harbor against whomever carried it out. This is the narrative surrounding the sinking of the U.S.S. Maine told throughout the United States today. Modern historiography about the Spanish-American War depicts a vulnerable American public and government falling victim to the sensationalist influence of the media. While this perception of the American public in 1898 is rooted in some truth, it does not tell the full story..."
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    Building an American: The United States Army and the Carlisle Indian Industrial School
    (West Point Press, 2023) Thomas, John
    "Wisdom through History: this mantra compels individual soldiers, as well as the entire army, to examine the past and challenge traditional narratives in order to meet the challenges of today and build the army of the future. For an all-volunteer force exiting one conflict and facing one far greater in scale and complexity, it is now more important than ever to understand how the army has navigated civil-military relations throughout its history. Perhaps nowhere are the ethical challenges of civil-military relations clearer than in the tangled relationship of the United States with the Native American tribes..."
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    Earhart’s Final Hours: Life, Disappearance, and Legacy
    (West Point Press, 2023) Carmack, Alexandra
    "On July 2, 1937, Earhart took off in her Lockheed Electra for the last time from Lae, New Guinea, leaving for the last leg of her circumnavigation of the globe. Her navigator, Fred Noonan, was tasked with ensuring that they made it to their next destination, Howland Island. It would be dark at their expected arrival time, so, it was imperative that their calculated route flew them close enough to the island to see the lights of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter, the Itasca, which would be awaiting their arrival to guide them in and ensure a safe landing on the small, uninhabited island. In an unexpected turn of events, Earhart and Noonan would never arrive at Howland, prompting a massive search-and-rescue mission for the missing persons. Eventually, the U.S Navy released a report stating that the aviators’ cause of death was drowning, after assuming that they ran out of fuel and subsequently crashed into the ocean..."
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    “To greet the dawning after night:” Examining Creative and Intellectual Expression in the Holocaust to Rethink Jewish Historiography
    (West Point Press, 2023) Coleman, Robert
    "On December 14, 1941, the highly educated and musically gifted Michael Flack arrived at the Theresienstadt ghetto in Czechoslovakia. Famine, disease, and unpredictability were the norm in this unique and wretched location. The threat of deportation and uncertainty of survival loomed over the heads of Flack and the rest of these unfortunate prisoners, as their lives became wrought with the dehumanizing conditions orchestrated by the Nazis. Miraculously, however, Flack found himself immersed in Theresienstadt’s rich and vibrant culture of artistic and intellectual expression..."
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    Challenging The Narrative: Rhodesian Political Strategy Supporting Military Success During The Bush War (1965-1979)
    (West Point Press, 2023) Kohmetscher, Max
    "On November 11, 1965, the British colony of Rhodesia unilaterally declared independence (UDI) from the United Kingdom. In the words of the self-proclaimed nation’s Prime Minister Ian Smith, Rhodesia’s declaration had “struck a blow for the preservation of justice, civilization and Christianity” against the Communists and Afro-Asian Bloc. Despite the high-minded rhetoric of Smith, he himself privately stated the opinion of many of Rhodesians that “The white man is the master of Rhodesia. He has built it and intends to keep it.” The newfound nation, built on the principle of white-minority rule, faced seemingly insurmountable strategic odds from its inception. Internationally the Rhodesian decision was almost universally condemned..."
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    Secular Vs Religion: Two Approaches To Reconstruct Zionism In American Terminology
    (West Point Press, 2023) Mi, Jinze
    "Recently, historians such as Melvin I. Urofsky and David Ellenson have noted that the cultural, social, and political contexts of the United States shaped the particular visionary and ideological framework of the American branch of the Zionist movement. Unlike its European counterpart, the twentieth-century American Zionist movement portrayed itself as faithful to American ideals such as democracy, freedom, equity, humanity, and justice. American Zionists argued that their Zionist pursuit—namely the social justice for the persecuted remnants of the diaspora Jews in Eastern Europe and elsewhere—was identical with the ethos that animated their Jewish and American identities. The compatibility of Jewish nationalism, American ideals, and American patriotism is itself an intellectual power that kindled the spark of political enthusiasm of American Jews to engage themselves in the American Zionist movement..."
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    Words Bring Bombs: Us Decision-Making Prior To Operation Allied Force
    (West Point Press, 2023) Zimmer, Quentin
    "The first American bombs began to fall on Pristina, Kosovo at 8p.m. That night, March 24, 1999, 250 US military aircraft participated in the opening strike of Operation Allied Force—an international, coalition effort to end Serbian leader Slobodan Milošević’s violent persecution of Kosovar Albanians.2 Following seventy-eight days of NATO bombing, Milošević conceded: Serbian troops withdrew, and Kosovo was granted self-rule under international supervision. Allied Force combined the efforts of the United Nations (UN), the Contact Group, and NATO to achieve a political outcome through military force. In the United States, prior to the strikes, senior government officials battled over whether to commit to military intervention."
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    Walter Reed: How Iraq War Veterans And Their Families Commanded The Ear Of Congress And Demanded Better Health Care From The U.S Department Of Veterans Affairs
    (West Point Press, 2023) Olney, Adair
    "Army Specialist Jeremy Duncan was a seasoned service member before he sustained multiple injuries in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004. After suffering a broken neck and torn left ear, Duncan was transferred to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C., where he faced a new set of challenges in the outpatient facility. Duncan experienced atrocious conditions at the nation’s top military hospital, forced to choose between sharing cramped quarters with a roommate or inhabiting a room filled with black mold while receiving care. The wounded soldier’s quarters were filled with “mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, and cheap mattresses,” and in order to access his accommodations when he first arrived from Iraq, he was handed a map and told to find his way by himself..."
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    Elvis And Eminem: The Cultural Implications Of American Middle-Class Assimilation Of African-American Music
    (West Point Press, 2023) Thennes, Andrew
    "In a spirit almost epitomizing that of the imperial British Empire, middle America has spent the better part of the past century assimilating its pop culture from the very demographics it has at times considered to be backwards or even savage. Rhythm ‘n Blues, Rock’n’roll, and ultimately, Hip-Hop and Rap have formed cornerstones of middle-American musical culture, but despite their greatest representations being claimed by the White community, they were fundamentally assimilated from African-American roots. While the exact motives for such a phenomenon leave a great deal of room for broad speculation, the consequences and implications of the middle-American assimilation of African- American music are much more definitive..."