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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: History and Political Science Department
Course Prefix and Number: HIST 336
Course Title: Twentieth- Century Europe
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Europe's 20th century witnessed ferocious ideological and military conflicts among liberal- democratic, communist and fascist states. As the Cold War came to an end and the ideal of a united European community emerged, the relations between countries and peoples changed dramatically. In addition to confronting the profound ethical dilemmas which accompanied one of the darkest centuries of Europe's history, students complete this class with a factual and conceptual understanding of the political, economic, social and cultural factors which affected Europe between 1914 and the twenty-first century. Prerequisite: HIST 102 or HIST 112. 

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):

HIST 102 or HIST 112.

Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered even Spring.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

A required text must be assigned and supplements with a minimum of two recommended texts. Additional primary and secondary sources may be assigned as well.  Use the most current editions from among the following:

Choose one of the required texts, and two of the recommened texts.

The End of the European Era, 1890 to the Present
By Felix, Gilbert (Norton)
Category/Comments - REQUIRED
A History in Fragments: Europe in the Twentieth Century
By Vinen, Richard (Da Capo Press)
Category/Comments - REQUIRED
Dark Continent: Europe's Twentieth Century
By Mazower, Mark (Vintage)
Category/Comments - REQUIRED
A History of Modern Europe
By Merriman, John (W. W. Norton & Company)
Category/Comments - REQUIRED
Contemporary Europe: A History
By James Wilkinson and H. Stuart Hughes (Prentice Hall)
Category/Comments - REQUIRED
The Magic Lantern: The Revolution of '89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin and Prague
By Ash, Timothy Garton (Vintage)
Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland
By Browning, Christopher (Harper Perennial)
The Stranger
By Camus, Albert (Vintage)
How Fascism Ruled Women: Italy, 1922-1945
By de Grazia, Victoria (University of California Press)
Václav Havel: Living in Truth
By Vladislav, Jan, ed. (Faber and Faber)
From Tsar to Soviets: The Russian People and Their Revolution, 1917-21
By Reid, Christopher (Oxford University Press)
This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen
By Borowski, Tadeusz (Penguin)
The Fall of Yugoslavia: The Third Balkan War
By Glenny, Misha (Penguin)
The Question
By Henri Alleg (Boston)
Under a Cruel Star: A Life in Prague, 1941-1968
By Heda Margolius Kovaly (Holmes and Meier)
Slaughterhouse: Bosnia and the Failure of the West
By David Rieff (Simon & Schuster)
A Guided Tour through the Museum of Communism
By Slavenka Drakulic (Penguin)
Revolution 1989: the Fall of the Soviet Empire
By Victor Sebestyen (Vintage)
Imperial Reckoning: the Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya
By Caroline Elkins (Owl Books)
Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Identify and explain the historical causes and legacies of World Wars I and II.
  2. Describe and compare fascism in Italy and Germany, including ideas, policies, and practices.
  3. Outline the emergence of the Cold War and the evolving political and economic developments associated with it.
  4. Evaluate patterns of decolonization among former European colonies.
  5. Explain the social movements of the 1960s and 1970s in terms of historical causes and core demands.
  6. Outline and explain the causes and impacts of the revolutions of 1989 and the collapse of the USSR.
  7. Describe the contemporary debates in Europe over immigration and multiculturalism.
Major Topics/Skills to be Covered:

Because the course represents an upper-level history elective, it bears a distinctive responsibility for teaching advanced knowledge within the discipline. It must be distinguished as an advanced course by three structural components: extensive reading, intensive writing, and historiographical thinking. It must require advanced students to complete both in class and out of class projects (i.e., midterms, finals, team reports, quizzes, research papers).  The course reading load should be at least 1000 pp.; the course writing assignments should total c5000 words. 

  • The end of World War I
  • The Russian Revolution, and the creation of the Soviet Union
  • The Treaty of Versailles, including new configurations of European empires
  • The world of Einstein, Freud, and other intellectuals
  • Fascist Italy
  • The world-wide economic depression
  • Hitler and the Nazi racial state
  • World War II
  • The Cold War and decolonization
  • European unification
  • Postwar developments in culture
  • Social challenges of the 1960s and 1970s
  • Revolution of 1989
  • End of the Cold War
  • The Collapse of Yugoslavia
  • Additional topics of which the instructor has expertise.

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 25

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: David Karr Date: September 3, 2015
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course learning outcomes and cover the subjects listed in the Major Topics/Skills to be Covered section. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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