HIST 1002A: Europe in the Twentieth Century
Full Summer 2022

Instructor: Sean Eedy

Introduction: The twentieth century has been defined differently for the purposes of historical inquiry.  Often, we are presented with what has come to be known as the “short” twentieth century from the end of World War One in 1918 to the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.  These historical markers are often characterized as those instances of momentous change that cause fundamental breaks or ruptures from that which came before.  The First World War is often marked as the point where the European Balance of Power established after the French Revolution in 1789 was forever ended.  However, without the French Revolution as a starting point, identifying the beginning of the twentieth century with the conclusion of the First World War makes little sense.

As such, this course begins with the establishment of the new European order following the unification of Italy and Germany and the road to war in 1914.  Taking this long view of the twentieth century, the time period becomes one of rupture and upheaval, of civil war and revolution across the First World War, The 1917 Russian Revolution, the Second World War, the revolutionary moments of 1953 and 1956 against Soviet hegemony, 1968 in both Eastern and Western Europe, and the peaceful revolutions of 1989 that brought an end to Soviet Empire and the Cold War more broadly.

This course will introduce students to some of the problems across the European twentieth century that created the tensions, conflicts, and ruptures between the Great European Powers and split the world in militarized, ideological Blocs.

Class Format:  This course is being offered online during the Full Summer 2022 term.  Lecture videos will be posted no later than the Tuesday of their respective weeks.  These videos will be approximately 20-25 minutes each and there will be a total of 4-6 hours of lecture material each week.  In addition, the professor will post additional videos that help provide additional voices and perspectives on the material.  While these should not be considered mandatory, they will be as valuable as the assigned reading material and may be used as resources on the take-home exams.  Lectures will typically approach the big ideas and events associated with the course and the period under discussion.  Readings will focus on social and cultural activities and how people understood and adapted to the world changing around them.

Aims and Goals:  Students should complete HIST 1002A with a greater understanding of the process of writing history and of conducting historical research.  Students are encouraged to develop their analytical and interpretational skills through the critical examination of a wide array of historical writing and representations of history, including primary and secondary sources, films, literature, comics, etc.  Students should be able to critically assess evidence and develop original arguments and analyses, communicating their ideas clearly, effectively, and logically.

Assessment:  Students should note that this course is reading and writing heavy.

Students will be asked to submit six brief reflections (3 pages) on assigned reading material, demonstrating an ability to plumb the readings of main points and arguments, to connect those readings to the lecture content, and to the broader themes of the course.

There are map identification assignments in each of the Early- and Late-Summer terms.  These are not meant to be difficult, but to situate everyone in the changing space of Europe when events are discussed in class or brought up in readings.

Finally, students should expect both take-home mid-term and final exams