Summer Pre-College Admission

American Military History

A study of history provides students with a wide variety of skills both for living and for work. A comprehension of the past and the dynamics of change illuminates the present and enables students not only to exercise responsible citizenship but to enjoy autonomy in an increasingly complex world. Too, the study and understanding of history, as with other of the liberal arts, instill or enhances a capacity for analysis and synthesis; and these transferable skills have applicability to a wide range of careers. 

America was born in war and has been immersed in wars throughout its history.  As the primary seat of the war in the thirteen colonies, New York’s Hudson River Valley was the center of military activities throughout the American Revolution, was a key to the Union victory during the Civil War, and provided the location at Springwood from which President Roosevelt could monitor Allied forces during World War II when he was away from Washington, DC.  General George Washington called the Hudson River the “Key to the Northern Country.”  Over the course of the Revolutionary War, battles raged from Manhattan through the Mid-Hudson, including White Plains (1776), Forts Clinton and Montgomery (1777), Kingston (1777), and Stony Point (1779). Starting in January 1778 the Americans would follow up on this victory by turning their attention from the ruins of Fort Constitution to building Fortress West Point with its famous chain across the Hudson, a complex that General George Washington called the “key of America.” The United States Military Academy would rise from the fortifications to become one of the greatest leader development institutions in the world.  General Washington and his Main Army would encamp at Newburgh and New Windsor Cantonment in 1782 and 1783 as an Army of Observation for the British army in New York City. A war that started in Massachusetts had shifted and remained centered and then ended in New York in the Hudson River Valley. This two-week course will immerse you in military history through field trips, staff rides, and engaging seminars with active learning from the War for Independence to Afghanistan. 

You will learn why America has gone to war over the last 230 years and how its armies have engaged its enemies here and abroad.   History will come alive from Stony Point Battlefield in the south to FDR’s Springwood in the north.  An overnight encampment at New Windsor Cantonment will lead to a visit to West Point at course’s end.



Welcome to Marist!

Marist College is a highly selective comprehensive liberal arts institution noted for its leadership in technology in and out of the classroom. When prospective students see Marist–our beautiful location on the Hudson River, top-notch facilities, the faculty attentiveness, and the sheer enjoyment of their experience here–they want to join our community. At Marist, students get a premium education, develop skills, make lifelong friends, and finish ahead of the competition for their next steps.

Program Goals:

  • Be inspired by the military leadership of prominent military commanders from Washington through Petraeus to understand the crucial role of generalship/leadership in determining victory and defeat.
  • Learn about the significant developments in warfare to include the causes, conduct, and results of selected wars from the American Revolution through the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.
  • Understand the evolution of the American military institutions from 1775-2014.
  • Analyze the influence of diverse political, cultural, and economic factors on the United States’ armed forces to understand how the nation wages war. 
  • Analyze soldier and leader behavior in combat to build an understanding of the personal challenges of war.
  • Experience living history as a soldier in the American Revolution and Civil War and at historic sites in the Hudson River Valley. 

Course Credit:

Upon successful completion of the Summer Pre-College American Military History Program, each student earns three college credits for the Marist College course Hist223, US Military History.