24 episodes

(HIST 202) This course offers a broad survey of modern European history, from the end of the Thirty Years' War to the aftermath of World War II. Along with the consideration of major events and figures such as the French Revolution and Napoleon, attention will be paid to the experience of ordinary people in times of upheaval and transition. The period will thus be viewed neither in terms of historical inevitability nor as a procession of great men, but rather through the lens of the complex interrelations between demographic change, political revolution, and cultural development. Textbook accounts will be accompanied by the study of exemplary works of art, literature, and cinema.

This course was recorded in Fall 2008.

European Civilization, 1648-1945 - Audio John Merriman

    • History
    • 3.8 • 124 Ratings

(HIST 202) This course offers a broad survey of modern European history, from the end of the Thirty Years' War to the aftermath of World War II. Along with the consideration of major events and figures such as the French Revolution and Napoleon, attention will be paid to the experience of ordinary people in times of upheaval and transition. The period will thus be viewed neither in terms of historical inevitability nor as a procession of great men, but rather through the lens of the complex interrelations between demographic change, political revolution, and cultural development. Textbook accounts will be accompanied by the study of exemplary works of art, literature, and cinema.

This course was recorded in Fall 2008.

    02 - Absolutism and the State

    02 - Absolutism and the State

    The rise of absolutism in Europe must be understood in the context of insecurity attending the religious wars of the first half of the seventeenth century, and the Thirty Years' War in particular. Faced with the unprecedented brutality and devastation of these conflicts, European nobles and landowners were increasingly willing to surrender their independence to the authority of a single, all-powerful monarch in return for guaranteed protection. Among the consequences of this consolidation of state power were the formation of large standing armies and bureaucratic systems, the curtailment of municipal privileges, and the birth of international law.

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    01 - Introduction

    01 - Introduction

    The course will concern European history from 1648 to 1945. The assigned readings include both standard historical texts and works of fiction, as well as films. Although the period in question encompasses many monumental events and "great men," attention will also be paid to the development of themes over the long term and the experiences of people and groups often excluded from official histories. Among the principle questions to be addressed are the consolidation of state power, the formation of identities, linguistic and national affiliations, and the effects of economic change.

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    23 - Collaboration and Resistance in World War II

    23 - Collaboration and Resistance in World War II

    One of the principal myths concerning collaboration during World War II in France, as in other countries, is that the domestic collaborators did so despite themselves, or to prevent even greater atrocities. In fact, many French, Belgians, Hungarians, Poles, Dutch and others voluntarily and enthusiastically abetted the occupying Germans. This collaboration, inspired by anti-Semitism and xenophobia, often resulted in extremely zealous persecution of Jewish nationals, communists, and others. Along with the myth of reluctant collaboration, France has also been obliged to confront the myth of widespread resistance, promulgated in part by a victorious Charles de Gaulle. Many questions concerning collaboration and resistance still remain unresolved in formerly occupied European countries to this day.

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    24 - The Collapse of Communism and Global Challenges

    24 - The Collapse of Communism and Global Challenges

    The disintegration of the Soviet Union resulted from a number of different factors. Three important ones are nationalism among Soviet satellite states, democratic opposition movements, and economic crisis. Along with these elements, the role of Mikhail Gorbachev should not be discounted. Although his attempt to reform communism was rejected, his reformist positions as Soviet premier helped open the way for full-fledged political dissidence. One of the major challenges faced by Europe in the wake of the collapse of communism has been that posed by ethnic nationalism, a problem that erupted violently in the Balkans in the 1990s. Immigration and the defense of human rights are two problems that now confront the United States, as well as a United Europe.

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    22 - Fascists

    22 - Fascists

    While Nazi Germany's crimes were unprecedented, Adolf Hitler himself was in many respects a typical figure. An idle youth, of seemingly mediocre talents, his political career and passionate hatreds were formed by the experience of World War I. The rise of fascism in Germany, as elsewhere, must be understood in the context of a postwar climate of resentment and instability. Germany's economic crisis, in particular, led the middle classes to support National Socialism well before any other group. This resentment would find a ready outlet in the form of increasingly persecuted minority populations, above all the Jews. In considering Nazism against the backdrop of a more general wave of extreme rightwing and fascist political sentiment, it is important to note that the policies of the Third Reich were not only known to but also endorsed by the majority of the German population.

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    21 - Stalinism

    21 - Stalinism

    One of the central questions in assessing Stalinism is whether or not the abuses of the latter were already present in the first years of the Russian Revolution. The archival evidence suggests that this is partly the case, and that even in its early stages Soviet Russia actively persecuted not just those who were believed to have profited unfairly, without laboring, but also non-Russian ethnic groups. Stalin, although not an ethnic Russian himself, was committed to the assimilation of national identity, and universal identification with the Soviet State. This commitment, coupled with his paranoia, lead to executions and deportations aimed at solidifying the state through exclusion of "undesirable" or politically suspect elements. Throughout years of economic hardship and violent purges, Soviet rhetoric consistently emphasized a glorious future in order to justify the miseries of the present. Such a future proved, in many ways, to be an illusion.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5
124 Ratings

124 Ratings

Menglishbleh ,

Interesting, but a weak lecture.

The material is very interesting, but the tone, cadence, and general focus of the lectures are just lacking.

Constantine IX, The Last ,

Leftist Bias

I listened to the whole thing. Some good information about the era, but clearly tainted by his biases without an attempt at providing alternative perspectives. He spends almost an entire lecture fawning over an anarchist terrorist, and constantly makes quips about how this or that member of the aristocracy was terrible or a bad person. Admits fantasizing about killing a guy who asked a question about what to do about Jews.

Avoid.

August Consumer ,

A professor who wastes the student’s time & money

What a self-absorbed professor, negligent in delivery of an expensive education.
A major portion of class time lost with his rambling.
Expertise is not excellence in education.

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