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Introduction to History: Germany from Napoleon to the Berlin Republic
HIST 172
Fall 2020
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: GRST 272

Germany witnessed more dramatic and radical changes in forms of government within the span of just 31 years (1918-1949) than any other modern society in history, yet today it is a model democracy and an anchor of peace and prosperity in the heart of Europe. Germans are credited for extraordinary achievements in the arts, sciences, and industry, yet they also produced some of history's darkest chapters. This introductory course surveys the fascinating and turbulent history of modern Germany to analyze the sources of these contradictions. We will begin by locating the birth of modern Germany in the massive social and political upheavals of the Napoleonic era that set the stage for the rise of German nationalism and rapid industrialization. We will study the unlikely processes that resulted in German unification in 1871 and how Germany's nationalism, growing industrial power, and its deep internal divisions led to a policy of aggressive imperialism that contributed to the outbreak of the World War I. The course will analyze the profound impact of that war and defeat on German society, situating both the Weimar Republic and the rise of Hitler in that context. We will subsequently study Nazism, the World War II, and the Holocaust, as well as the ultimate destruction of Germany as sovereign state with its surrender and military occupation in 1945. The remainder of the course explores the phoenixlike rebirth of two competing German states in the Cold War and the subsequent parallel development and divergence of two German societies. We will conclude the course by analyzing the process that led to German reunification in 1990 and the lines of development of the "Berlin Republic" since that time. The aims of the course are to introduce students to historical primary sources, the skills of historical analysis, and the questions of historiography through a coherent introductory survey of modern German history.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS HIST
Course Format: DiscussionGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (GRST-MN)(GRST)(HIST-MN)(HIST)
Past Enrollment Probability: 50% - 74%

Last Updated on JUL-15-2024
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