History 369 (101) Europe 1900-1950




Course Level



This course is an intermediate-level survey examining the many, often violent, transformations that occurred in European politics, society, and culture between the 1890s and 1950.  We will start with the spread of industry and the growth of urban centres, and explore how these phenomena gave rise to artistic experimentation and novel lifestyles, all of which led to often bitter conflicts between progressives and conservatives.  We will study how a host of political ideologies won adherents during the troubled 1920s and the chaotic 1930s; while we will naturally focus on Communist totalitarianism and various versions of fascism, we will also see how representative democracy attempted to defend and reinvent itself in many different, often dangerous, national contexts.  Finally, we will of course spend a great deal of time on the two global conflicts that killed millions, changed borders, reinvented the relationship between the citizen and the state, and brought an end to Europe’s domination of the world.