Week 1: European International Relations (1815-1914): Pandora’s Box?
Although the century from 1815-1914 was remarkable for few major wars, conflicts over the Balkans and the feared collapse of the Ottoman Empire were serious problems throughout this period. By 1914 the Great Powers had lost control of both.
Week 2: The July Crisis (1914)
On July 28, 1914, a month after the assassination of the Austrian heir to the throne by a Serb terrorist, Austria declared war on Serbia. Within a week this escalated into the First World War. We examine the (mis)steps and the failure of diplomacy involved.
Week 3: Peace Treaties for Europe (1919-21)
Many new countries emerged from the First World War and new borders were drawn. But border-making in a region as ethnically diverse as Eastern Europe, the absence of Russia at the Paris peace talks, and the Allies’ inability to agree on Germany’s war reparations were major obstacles and resulted in problematic peace provisions.
Week 4: Lines in the Sand? Creation of the Modern Middle East (1920-23)
Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Greece, Zionists, Arabs and Kurds all vied for spoils from the Ottoman Empire. What emerged was a region that for a century has been plagued by foreign interventions, religious intolerance and violence. We examine the treaties that created the modern Middle East.
Week 5: The Road to the Second World War, Ethnic Expulsion and New Borders (1936-45)
Resentment over the problematic legacies of the 1919-21 peace arrangements were exploited by Hitler, later joined by Stalin aiming to regain lost Russian territory. After the Second World war, border changes and displacement of millions of Germans, Poles and other minorities led to more homogeneous populations in eastern Europe, but at the cost of huge human suffering.
Week 6: From Dominion to Autonomy
The British Dominions, including Canada, had all contributed to the war effort and all made considerable sacrifice. Following the Balfour Declaration of 1926, enshrined in law in the Westminster Statute of 1931, the Dominions now enjoyed full sovereignty and would have their own foreign policy, their own embassies abroad and their own national citizenship.