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HIS 212: Catastrophe and survival in twentieth-century Europe

2016/17, Second semester

Optional course, 3 credits. Lecturer: Dr B. S. Bennett, office 202/2, ext. 5697, email bennett@mopipi.ub.bw

The twentieth century was a period of violence and political upheaval for much of Europe, which left many millions dead. This course will examine both how these catastrophes occurred and how Europeans responded to and recovered from them, producing a new and more successful European order -- which, however, at the present time, seems to be at risk of coming apart.

Present-day problems sometimes seem unprecedented. It is true that history is never exactly repeated, but studying periods such as the 1930s, when the world seemed to be facing even greater problems, can help in understanding the present.

The course focuses on Europe, but sets it in the context of world history.

  1. The age of catastrophe including the causes, nature and effects of the two World Wars;
    Dictatorship, Fascism, and Communism
  2. Recovery and Progress
  3. Strains in the post-war order
  4. Post-Cold War Europe