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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: The Shadow of Versailles: Europe Between the Wars, 1918-1939 (HIST10350)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines the history of Europe from the close of the First World War to the outbreak of the Second World War. The history of interwar Europe will be a familiar story to many students. The proposed course, however, seeks to offer a new perspective on the years 1918-1939 by taking a thematic approach in order to enable a comparative history of the continent as a whole, rather than concentrating on the individual national histories. This will enable students to more fully contextualise the major developments in European history during this period, without concentrating on the 'great powers' to the exclusion of the smaller European states.

The course seeks to contextualise and explain the history of interwar Europe through an examination of the legacy of the Great War, the survival and failure of democracy, the formation and fate of the 'Versailles system', the causes and consequences of the Great Depression, the establishment and nature of anti-democratic regimes, and the origins of the Second World War.

The course emerges out of the course organiser's ongoing interest in comparative European history during the interwar period and preparation for a book on the subject
Course description Introduction
1. The revolutionary background

Part 1: The Great War and its Consequences
2. Forging a new world: peacemaking at Paris
3. The triumph of democracy?
4. Undermining the system: Revisionist states
5. Social and cultural consequences of the Great War
6. A return to normalcy? Diplomacy and the European economy in the 1920s

Part 2: The Great Depression and its Consequences
7. The crisis of capitalism: a triumph for ideology?
8. Irridentism and the minorities question in interwar Europe
9. Constructing utopia
10. Defending Democracy? Popular fronts & National governments
11. The slide to war
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
Students who take this course will be able to demonstrate through written coursework, examination and participation in class discussions:
1. An understanding of the principal influences which transformed continental Europe between 1918 and 1939, with particular emphasis on the challenge posed to parliamentary democracy by Fascism, National Socialism, Communism and traditional authoritarianism through a critical assessment of the principal domestic and external developments affecting both the major and minor powers in Europe
2. A better understanding of comparative historical method
3. A familiarity with a selection of relevant contemporary sources
4. A capacity to evaluate conflicting historical interpretations
Reading List
Anthony P. Adamthwaite, The Lost Peace: International Relations in Europe, 1919-1939 (1980)
Derek H. Aldcroft, From Versailles to Wall Street, 1919-1929 (1987)
P.M.H. Bell, The Origins of the Second World War in Europe (1986)
Iván T. Berend, Decades of Crisis: Central and Eastern Europe Before World War II (1998)
Manfred F. Boemeke, Gerald D. Feldman & Elisabeth Glaser (eds.), The Treaty of Versailles: A Reassessment after 75 Years (1998)
Robert Boyce and E.M. Robertson (eds), Paths to War: New Essays on the Origing of the Second World War (1990)
Patricia Calvin, The Great Depression in Europe, 1929-1939 (2000)
E.H. Carr, The Twenty Years' Crisis (1981)
I. Clark, 'The Spoils of War and the Spoiling of the Peace', Journal of Contemporary History (2003)
Patrick O. Cohrs, The Unfinished Peace After World War I: America, Britain and the Stabilisation of Europe, 1919-1932 (2006)
Modris Eksteins, Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age (1989)
Conan Fischer & Alan Sharp (eds.), After the Versailles Treaty: Enforcement, Compliance, Contested Identities (2008)
Robert Gerwarth (ed), Twisted Paths: Europe, 1914-1945 (2007)
Paul N. Hehn, A Low Dishonest Decade: The Great Powers, Eastern Europe and the Economic Origins of World War II, 1930-1941 (2006)
Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Extremes (1994)
Julian Jackson (ed), Europe, 1900-1945 (2002)
Harold James, Europe Reborn: A History, 1914-2000 (2003)
David E. Kaiser, Economic Diplomacy and the Origins of the Second World War: Germany, Britain, France and Eastern Europe, 1930-1939 (1980)
Angela Kershaw & Angela Kimyongur (eds.), Women in Europe Between the Wars: Politics, Culture and Society (2007)
Charles P. Kindleberger, The World in Depression, 1929-1939 (1987)
George Lichteim, Europe in the Twentieth Century (1973)
Arthur S. Link (ed.), The Deliberations of the Council of Four (1992)
Margaret MacMillan, Peacemakers: The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and its attempt to end War (2001)
Charles S. Maier, Recasting Bourgeois Europe: Stabilization in France, Germany and Italy in the Decade After World War I (1975)
Sally Marks, Illusion of Peace: International Relations in Europe, 1918-1933 (2003)
Arno J. Mayer, Politics and Diplomacy of Peacemaking (1968)
Mark Mazower, Dark Continent: Europe's Twentieth Century (1998)
Ezra Mendelsohn, The Jews of Europe Between the World Wars (1983)
Karl Johannes Newman, European Democracy Between the Wars (1970)
Antony Polonsky, The Little Dictators: The History of Eastern Europe Since 1918 (1975)
J.M. Roberts, Europe, 1880-1945 (2000)
Joseph Rothschild, East Central Europe Between the Two World Wars (1974)
Victor Rothwell, The Origins of the Second World War (2001)
Hugh Seton-Watson, Eastern Europe Between the Wars, 1918-1941 (1962)
Alan Sharp, The Versailles Settlement: Peacemaking in Paris, 1919 (1991)
Dan P. Silverman, Reconstructing Europe After the First World War (1982)
Zara Steiner, The Lights that Failed: European International History, 1918-1933 (2005)
D.C. Watt, How War Came: The Immediate Origins of the Second World War, 1938-1939 (1990)

In addition the library has strong holdings on national histories of individual European countries during the interwar period
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will acquire an enhanced capacity to:
1. Grapple with complexity and historical argumentation
2. Integrate material from different parts of Europe and to reason comparatively across cases from different parts of the European continent
3. Improved presentational skills through seminar presenations and essay-writing
Course organiserMr David Kaufman
Tel: (0131 6)51 3857
Course secretaryMiss Annabel Stobie
Tel: (0131 6)50
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