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Empire, Nationhood, and the Quest for German Unity, 1815-1990
HIST 120
Fall 2014
Section: 01  

Was Germany destined to launch two world wars in the 20th century? Were the roots of Germany's deviance from the path of liberal democracy deep or shallow, culturally determined or shaped more by circumstance? This course analyzes these and other questions in the fascinating and turbulent history of modern Germany. We will begin our study by examining the political, social, and economic upheavals ushered in by the Napoleonic conquests, highlighting the territorial, religious, and class divisions pulling at the fabric of German society in the context of revolution, rapid industrialization, and urbanization. We will then analyze the processes that resulted in Bismarck's unification of Germany in 1871 and how Germany's nationalism, growing industrial power, and deep internal divisions contributed to a policy of aggressive imperialism that would challenge both the European and international status quo. The course carefully analyzes the role played by these processes in the outbreak of the First World War and will explore the profound impact of war and defeat on German society. Situating both the Weimar Republic and National Socialism in this context, we will subsequently study the rise of Hitler, the Second World War, and the Holocaust. The course will conclude with the Cold War history of the two German states until the collapse of the Berlin Wall and reunification in 1990. The aims of the course are to provide a firm grounding in the historical processes that have shaped modern Germany, to develop and refine the critical skills of historical analysis, and to familiarize students with the major historical debates over the continuities and discontinuities of German history.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS HIST
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on APR-19-2015
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