Section Information for Spring 2017
In 1900, the major powers of Europe dominated much of the globe politically, militarily, and economically. By 1945 much of their continent lay in ruins. Some have explained this catastrophe by arguing that Europe was convulsed by a “civil war” that began in 1914, was interrupted by a 20-year truce, and erupted again in 1939. By its end, the continent was dominated by Soviet and American armies so that, according to the historian Stephen Ambrose, “no European nation won the European Civil War”. The winners, he said, “were in fact outsiders: the Russians and the Americans - most of all, the Americans”. This seminar will consider the concept of the “European Civil War” and its impact on the major European states: France, Germany, Italy, Russia, and the United Kingdom, as well as on lesser powers such as Austria-Hungary and Spain. Topics for discussion will include fascism, Soviet-style communism, the impact of the Great Depression, the upheaval wrought by two world wars, and the on-again, off-again influence of the United States in European affairs. This course can count toward the Europe 1789-1914 or the Europe 1914-present requirement.
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Investigates selected problems. Readings, discussions, development of bibliographies. Primary sources used where possible.
May be repeated for credit when topic is different.