University of Botswana History Department

This page refers to the old course H202 (Europe since 1750) . This has been replaced by two one-semester courses, HIS211 and HIS212. The pages originally developed for H202 have been left here for the present, partly because there are some external links to the current addresses.

H 202 Index Page

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H202: Europe since 1750.

Course lecturer: Dr B. S. Bennett, email bennett@mopipi... [Click here for full email address] office 242B/25, tel. ext. 5012

H202 pages:

See also the download index page for downloadable versions of H202 documents.

The textbook

The replacement textbook, J. M. Roberts Europe 1880-1945, has arrived and is in the University Bookstore.

[23 January 2002]

The textbook for H202 was going to be Greaves, Civilizations of the West, vol. 2. Due to an error, the bookstore was supplied with the wrong book. By the time this was dealt with, the correct book was unavailable. I therefore recommended an alternative book to the bookstore, J.M. Roberts Europe 1880-1945, they ordered it, and it has now arrived.

A few students were able to buy the original book as a few copies were left over from last year. I will be giving recommended readings in terms of both the original and the replacement book.

About the Library, the Web, and the Media

The Internet is a wonderful invention, and many useful sources may be found in cyberspace. However, for most students of history, it is still of secondary importance, for the simple reason that most historical sources - primary or secondary - are not yet on the Web. See the page "No, it isn't all on computer these days" for a more detailed explanation of this point.

Your first and most important source of material is still the Library. It is very important that you become familiar with the Library. Learn to use the card catalogue and to use the splendid new on-line catalogue ( Learn where books on your subject are located (there will probably be two or more locations; for example books on European history are found both in the 900 and in the 300 series). Visit these locations frequently when you have a few spare minutes and browse. The Library is the central place for the Humanities student - you should try to familiarize yourself with it and all its services.

Learn how to order books on Reserve. In large classes, most of the best books will have been placed on reserve, in order that all students get a chance to use them. Many, however, seem to find the Reserve collection intimidating - new, high-quality books sometimes sit on the reserve shelves all year with few readers, while students instead use tired old textbooks on the open shelves. Thus I explain in lectures why some theory, once widely-held, is now regarded as untenable, only to have student after student recite the out-of-date theory in essays and exams.

The books on reserve for H202 can be found on the on-line catalogue medupe.

That is not to say there is no value in the old books! But the reason books have been placed on reserve is that your lecturers think they are the most helpful ones.

What can you find on the Internet? There are relatively few good secondary sources on the Web, but there are quite a lot of collections of primary sources - i.e., documents. These collections are samples only - they are a few pages out of millions of pages of original documents, and cannot replace the original archives, but they can be useful to students. In particular you can often find the text of documents such as treaties, constitutions, etc. Try the Google search engine: enter, for instance, "versailles treaty text" and you will get several sites which have the complete text of the Treaty of Versailles on-line.

You can also find a number of collections of student essays. Many American high schools, for example, apparently encourage students to put their best essays on-line. These can be interesting but you should be cautious - you are reading the words, not of a professional historian, but of another student, often one at a lower stage than you! (Incidentally, this brings up another issue about the Web - unlike publishing, there is absolutely no control over what is put on-line. Anyone can set up a page on European history, no matter how little they know about it or how bizarre their ideas. For example, you will find web-sites which state that the Nazi Holocaust never took place - an idea as ludicrous as a statement that apartheid never existed.)

It is legitimate to use such essays as sources, providing that you give a footnote reference (just as with any other source). See our page on the citation of electronic sources for guidance on how to write such a reference. Such essays are seldom good sources -you could almost always do better by using the Library - but as long as you give a reference, it is quite legitimate (i.e. not plagiarism).

Do not be tempted to copy the on-line essay, or part of it, and hand it in as yours. This is plagiarism, which is a form of cheating.

You should also try to learn from the news media. Although news reports will seldom directly address the questions you are studying in history classes, an understanding of world affairs is a very important asset for a historian. Read newspapers, and watch the better news channels such as BBC World.

In my opinion the best news coverage, however, is the BBC World Service on the radio. While pictures can add to our understanding, and so it is worth watching TV reports, pictures also tend to distract us from analysis. The BBC World Service on the radio is quite simply unparallelled; I know of no other news service in English that even comes close to it. (One of the things that distinguishes the BBC World Service is that, whereas much western reporting just tells you about the problems of Africa, the BBC World Service also spends a lot of time telling you what Africans are doing to solve these problems.) Listen to programmes such as its regular "Focus on Africa"; and to background reports (sometimes rather quirky) such as "From our own correspondent". Unfortunately it is hard to receive here except on short-wave; the 49m band usually gives best results though 90m is good at night. A brief bulletin can be heard from the BBC World Service web-site but this is but a pale reflection of the real thing.

The BBC World Service programmes you will get on short-wave here are the "African service", i.e. as well as general world news there is extra coverage of Africa, in current affairs, sport etc.

On-line resources (other sites):

For materials on nineteenth-century Britain, see the on-line History of Victorian Britain which is part of Brown University's broader Victorian site.

The flag of Europe

The flag of Europe The European flag was originally adopted by the Council of Europe in 1955, and then adopted by the European Community (now the European Union) in 1985. The Council of Europe, which is a wider group of states than the European Union, deals with human rights and democracy, and also other cultural and social issues. The number of stars has no particular significance, except perhaps that twelve is in European tradition a "complete" number. The design is also found in Catholic art where it represents the crown of the Virgin, but this appears to be a coincidence.

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Copyright © 2000 B. S. Bennett
Last updated 11 April 2002