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History 343

HIST 343
Europe Since 1890

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HIST 343
Europe Since 1890
Credit Hours: (3)

Prerequisite: Three hours of History at 100 level.

Study of political events which brought on two World Wars, their economic and social impact on Europe; shift of world power away from Europe; adjustments made in consolidation of European community since 1890.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

The major topics included in this course are: European civilization in the late nineteenth century, the development of mass society and modern culture, European imperialism, World War I, the Russian Revolution, the new totalitarian dictatorships, World War II, and the Cold War division of Europe.

1. Europe in the 1880s
    a. The Great Powers
    b. The Lesser Powers
    c. On Europe's Frontiers
2. The European culture and societies at the End of the Nineteenth Century
    a. Mass Political and Cultural Movements
    b. Several Representative Thinkers and Critics
3. Internal Development of the European States
    a. The Growth of Democracy in the West
    b. Limited Democracy in Central Europe
    c. Russia
4. European Imperialism
    a. The Motives of European Imperialism
    b. Imperialism in Africa
    c. Imperialism in the Far East
5. The Road to World War I
    a. The Insecurities of Europe's States
    b. The Search for a Solution in the East
    c. The Development of the anti-German Alliance
    d. The Balkan Trap
6. World War I
    a. Military Stalemate in the East and West
    b. The Intervention of Italy and the United States
    c. The Home Front
7. The Peace Treaties
    a. The Settlement with Germany
    b. The Breakup of Austria-Hungary
    c. The Arrangements Outside Europe
8. The Russian Revolution of 1917
    a. The February Revolution
    b. The Bolshevik Takeover
    c. The Russian Civil War
9. The Soviet Union Between Wars
    a. Lenin's New Economic Policy
    b. Stalin's Victory
    c. The Command Economy
    d. The Purges
10. European Economic and Social Life Between Wars
    a. The New Technologies
    b. The New Society
    c. Postwar Pessimism
    d. Existentialism
11. The European Democracies
    a. Internal Developments
    b. International Relations
    c. The Great Depression
12. Fascism in Southern Europe
    a. Spain
    b. Italy
13. The Rise of Nazi Germany
    a. The Weimar Republic
    b. Hitler
    c. The Nazi State
14. World War II
    a. German Victories
    b. The Allied Resurgence
    c. Results of the War
15. The Cold War
    a. The Partition of Europe
    b. The Threat to Democracy
    c. The Two Alliance Systems


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Class meets three hours per week. Assigned readings include textbook and several additional books including secondary and primary sources. Class format is primarily lecture but also includes some discussions. Students are expected to contribute to classroom discussions and to write a short paper on one of the assigned readings.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

1. Students will practice thinking critically and analytically about historical issues, acquire a broader knowledge and deeper understanding of pertinent historical events and processes, and cultivate a familiarity with the concepts of historical argument and interpretation.
2. Students will develop disciplinary research skills by designing strategies to locate and analyze primary and secondary source evidence, processing and organizing the resultant data, and composing proper citation and bibliographical entries.
3. Students will apply their critical thinking, research, and compositional skills to the creation and presentation of thesis driven essays that discuss, for example, historical social, economic, political, and/or cultural developments and that address issues such as the causes and consequences of historical change and continuity.
4. Students will obtain an overview of European social and political history, and of the history of relations (peaceful or otherwise) between the European states, since 1890.  Students will also be able to address questions which have engendered evolving and (in many cases) conflicting historical interpretations of issues ranging from the origins of ‘modern’ ways of life, to the causes of the end of the Cold War.

Assessment Measures

Knowledge and understanding of the material covered in this course will be measured using an array of assessment tools that may include, among other things, class attendance and participation, written examinations, formal writing assignments of various types, and informal writing assignments. All exercises are designed to expand the student's ability to evaluate historical events and to develop his or her ability to compose persuasive arguments.


Other Course Information: None

Review and Approval
Date Action Reviewed by
October 2010 Reviewed and Approved by Sharon A. Roger Hepburn, Chair


04/2011