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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: History and Political Science Department
Course Prefix and Number: HIST 337
Course Title: Fascism in Europe, 1900-1945
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 0
Lab Hours 3
Catalog Description:

HIST 337 explores how and why fascist groups achieved power in European states during the early 20th century. Topics include political mobilization, social engineering, resistance and collaboration, racism/anti-Semitism, and gender policies, foreign policy, imperial aims, and mass violence. The course concludes by exploring the legacies fascists left behind for Europe and the world. Prerequisite: HIST 102 or HIST 112. Odd Spring.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):

HIST 102 or HIST 112

Course Rotation for Day Program:

Offered odd Spring.

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

A textbook, a monograph, and the use of primary sources are required in this course.

Required monograph: Choose the most recent edition of one of the following in text 1-8.

Required primary source: Choose the most recent edition of one of the following in text 9-10.

Required main textbook: Choose the most recent edition of one of the following in text 11-12.

1. How Fascism Ruled Women: Italy 1922-1945
By Vittoria de Grazia (University of California)
Category/Comments - Monograph
2. Germans into Nazis
By Peter Fritzsche (Harvard University)
Category/Comments - Monograph
3. The Racial State: Germany 1933-1945
By Michael Burleigh and Wolfgang Wipperman (Cambridge University)
Category/Comments - Monograph
4. Mothers in the Fatherland: Women, the Family, and Nazi Politics
By Claudia Koonz (St. Martin's Press)
Category/Comments - Monograph
5. The Nazi Dictatorship: Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation
By Ian Kershaw (Hoddar Education)
Category/Comments - Monograph
6. The Path to Genocide: Essays on Launching the Final Solution
By Christopher Browning (Cambridge University Press)
Category/Comments - Monograph
7. Fascist Modernities, 1922-1945
By Ruth Ben-Ghit (University of California)
Category/Comments - Monograph
8. The Nazi Conscience
By Claudia Koontz (Harvard University)
Category/Comments - Monograph
9. The Fascism Reader
By Aristotle A. Kallis, ed. (Routledge)
Category/Comments - Primary Source
10. Fascism
By Roger Griffin, ed. (Oxford University)
Category/Comments - Primary Source
11. A History of Fascism, 1914-1945
By Payne, Stanley G. (University of Wisconsin)
Category/Comments - Main Textbook
12. Fascism in Europe, 1919-1945
By Morgan, Phillip (Routledge)
Category/Comments - Main Textbook
Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany
By Alexander J. de Grand (Routledge)
Category/Comments - Main Textbook
The Anatomy of Fascism
By Robert Paxton (Vintage)
Category/Comments - Main Textbook
Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Describe key aspects of Europe’s encounter with fascism through analysis of relevant primary sources.
  2. Integrate a range of relevant secondary sources into one’s analysis of modern Europe’s experience of fascism.
  3. Explain the general characteristics and central issues within European fascism between 1900 and 1945.
  4. Discuss the causes of fascism's appeal to various European constituencies.
  5. Describe various forms of individual and collective resistance to fascist governments.
  6. Identify key characteristics of the relationship between fascist ideas and genocides perpetrated by fascists and collaborators.
  7. Explain the classed and gendered nature of fascism.
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 5000 words. 

The major topics include but are not limited to the following areas:

  • Fascism as an idea: how scholars have understood it
  • Europe at the turn of the 20th century: background forces for fascism’s appeal
  • Proto-fascist movements prior to World War I
  • The relationship of World War I to the rise of fascist movements
  • Fascism in Italy: Mussolini’s rise to power and program in power
  • Domestic challenges to Mussolini’s regime
  • Interwar authoritarianism in smaller European states
  • The development of German fascism, and the Nazi entry into power: a special path?
  • Nazism in practice: social, economic, and cultural policies and practice
  • Fascism and culture: a modernist revolt against modernity?
  • Fascism and gender: new men and new women
  • The racial state: Nazism and the German Jewish population prior to World War 2
  • Fascists at war: World War 2
  • Paths to genocide
  • Resistance, accommodation, and collaboration
  • Denazification and war crimes trials
  • Legacies of fascism: confronting the past
Culminating Experience Statement:

Material from this course may be tested on the History Assessment Test (HAT) administered during the Culminating Experience course for the degree. The results of the tests are used by faculty to improve the general education curriculum at the College.


Recommended maximum class size for this course: 35

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: April 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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