Summer 2017 - HIST 413 E100

Britain and Europe in the Twentieth Century (Inactive) (4)

Class Number: 3950

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 5:30 PM – 9:20 PM
    AQ 5014, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Aug 16, 2017
    7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
    WMC 3510, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including six units of lower division History and HIST 225.



An examination, by means of a series of case studies, of the ways in which Britain's ambiguous relationships with Europe, the Empire/Commonwealth and the United States have shaped its identity in the twentieth century.


Since June 2016, people around the world have become familiar with the term “Brexit”.  Great Britain’s impending departure from the European Union is seen by some Britons as a victory for national sovereignty and democracy.  But for most people in the UK, Europe and elsewhere, “Brexit” seems to be part of an ominous trend in which short-sighted populism is eroding the foundations of successful, stabilizing institutions and discouraging international cooperation in favour of parochial isolation.

The U.K. will remain an EU member until 2019, but “Brexit” will continue to dominate the headlines until then, inspiring anxiety and fear in some people, hope in others.

How did it come to this?  In this course, we will study the complex, fluid relationship between Great Britain and the rest of Europe over the course of the twentieth century.  We will see how Britain went from being a global superpower and master of the largest empire in the world’s history to a middle-rank power overshadowed by the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R.  We will study the web of alliances and rivalries that have linked Britain and the Continent during a tumultuous, violent century.  We will examine the UK’s uneasy and uncertain reactions to the process of economic and political integration that began in continental European after World War II.  We will also try to understand how various continental European countries, both large and small, have felt about their British neighbour over the decades.

By the end of the course, students will have a rich, nuanced appreciation of the long-term events and processes that led to the British-European divorce, and will be better able to predict what that painful split will look like.

Students who do not have the necessary prerequisites may contact the instructor to ask for permission to enrol.


  • Preparation & Participation 25%
  • Book Review 10%
  • Book Review 15%
  • Paper outline & annotated bibliography 5%
  • Final paper (with “cover letter”) 40%
  • Presentation 5%



BOOKS (available for purchase at the bookstore and on reserve at the library)

Crowson, N.J.  Britain and Europe: A Political History since 1918. New York: Routledge, 2011.

Daddow, Oliver J. New Labour and the European Union: Blair and Brown's Logic of History. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2011.

Daddow, Oliver J.  Britain and Europe since 1945: Historiographical Perspectives on Integration. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2011.

Gowland, David, Arthur Turner and Alex Wright.  Britain and European Integration since 1945: On the Sidelines.  New York: Routledge, 2010. [Available as e-book at the library]

Wall, Stephen.  A Stranger in Europe: Britain and the EU from Thatcher to Blair. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. [Available as e-book at the library]

Other readings will be made available by the instructor as needed.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University.