Spring 2016 - HIST 225 D100
20th Century Europe (3)
Class Number: 4090
Delivery Method: In Person
A survey of European history from the First World War emphasizing the origins and effects of the World Wars, the emergence of the Soviet Union and of fascism. Breadth-Humanities.
Europe in the twentieth century was a tumultuous and violent continent. It was the site not only of revolutions, civil wars and genocide but also of two “total” wars and even a “cold” war. It was the birthplace of new, aggressive political ideologies offering utopian visions of remade societies based on principles such as racial purity, rapid industrialization and imperial conquest. It was the graveyard of ancient empires as well as more recent experiments in nation-building. Overall, it was home to a century of political convulsions, economic hardship, social upheaval and psychological trauma.
At the same time, Europe was a rich and exciting place of invention and reinvention. States, societies and economies were built, rebuilt and reconceived, usually in the aftermath of war. New institutions – such as the social-welfare state, the League of (and then United) Nations, and the European Union – also emerged from the years of conflict. The post-1945 era saw the creation of two Europes – eastern and western – each promising to hundreds of millions of citizens within its borders a future of economic prosperity, social justice and mass consumption. And throughout the century, Europe was the source of technological breakthroughs, artistic innovation, new social movements and major demographic change.
To gain a clear understanding of the political, social and economic forces that have shaped Europe since 1914, students will read a variety of primary and secondary sources. They will also be introduced to basic skills of historical research, primary-source analysis, critical reading and argumentative writing.
- Tutorial participation/assignments 20%
- Midterm exam 25%
- Primary-source analyses 20%
- Final exam 35%
Spencer Di Scala, Europe’s Long Century: Society, Politics and Culture, 1900-Present.
Additional readings will be available online and/or on reserve at Bennett Library.
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