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HIS503: World War & European Society 1890-1945

At the pinnacle of its power and confidence at the start of the 20th century, Europe could not have imagined the crises, mainly of its own making, that it would face between 1914 and 1945.

At the pinnacle of its power and confidence at the start of the 20th century, Europe could not have imagined the crises, mainly of its own making, that it would face between 1914 and 1945. In this course, we examine the era when Europe was shattered by two world wars, an unprecedented international depression, and the rise of totalitarian states in the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. We examine why Europeans cheered for the Great War when it began in 1914, and how four years of industrial warfare and diplomatic failures contributed to catastrophes that followed. We then explore European culture during the interwar period called the Age of Anxiety, the Russian Revolution under Lenin and Stalin, the floundering of the democracies, and the rise of Hitler and Mussolini. We give considerable focus to World War II and the Holocaust. Open to seniors