HIST 377
German Europe: 1815-1945

Tentative Syllabus

Prof. Pavlac
U.S. Mail Address:
History Department
King's College
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711

e-mail: bapavlacATkings.edu
Tel: (570) 208-5900, ext. # 5748
Fax: (570) 208-5988 
Office: Hafey-Marian 307
Office Hours:  by appointment

Exam Questions | Research Paper | Class Schedule

I. Description

This course presents a survey of the political and cultural development of Europe from the fall of Napoleon to the fall of Hitler, focusing on the roles played by the German peoples whose descendants now live in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. At the core of this period is "The German Problem:" namely, what political structures should govern the German peoples and their neighbors in the center of the European Continent? Themes include problems of unification and division, social adjustments to constitutional democracy and the rise of Fascism, rule over different ethnic groups and racism, social commentary in the arts and literature, economic and military competition between neighboring European powers, and the German attempt to dominate the European continent in World War I and World War II.

II. Purpose

This is a History Major, European Sequence course.

Objectives for the student:

General Learning Outcomes for the student:

In addition to the more content related objectives described above, this course has some general liberal learning goals. Successful completion of this course is expected to help improve your ability

III. General Requirements

1. Readings:

The required readings are intended both to provide you with important factual and background information before class and to be used as review and reference works afterwards. Before class, you will read the chapters or pages assigned according to the class schedule, section VIII. Bring the books as listed on the class schedule for discussion.  Not all topics in the books will be covered in class, but you are responsible for them on the exam and in class discussion.

The instructor may give quizzes to test your reading and comprehension.

2. Class Participation & Attendance:

Participation and attendance are necessary because lecture and discussion provide the essentials for achieving class goals and objectives. Thus a portion of your grade (about 10%) will depend on your in-class performance and presence, aside from graded quizzes, exams and papers.  You are required to attend each class, arrive on time, remain attentive, maintain proper classroom decorum, respond to questions and participate in discussion and small-group activities. You are encouraged to take notes and ask questions.

Several minor written assignments (a paragraph to one page in length) will also be required as reflections and reactions to class discussion and projects (10 points each).  These assignments and quizzes cannot be made-up if you miss them. 

Any student who has a learning disability, physical handicap, and/or any other possible impediment to class participation and requirements should meet with the instructor within the first two weeks of classes to establish available accommodations.  Only with the instructor's permission may class be recorded, only to be used for your own study, and the recordings must be erased after the exams.

If at some point during the semester you must discontinue the course, whether due to poor performance, illness, or some other cause, be sure to follow proper procedures for withdrawal. 

If you miss an exam, contact the instructor as soon as possible. You may take a missed exam only at the discretion of the instructor.

If you arrive at class late, after attendance is taken, you must personally request that the absence be turned into a tardy mark; otherwise an absence will be assigned.  Students who need to leave a class early, except for medical emergency, should notify the instructor before class begins.

Excused absences due to college activities or extended illness must be authorized by the appropriate college official. You should consult with the professor about making up/turning in missed work in advance or as soon as possible after your return.  After any absence, you are responsible for requesting hand-outs and already returned assignments from the professor or borrowing notes from other students.  Whether absences are excused or not, you may not get a higher grade than the percentage of classes attended.

Other absences are unexcused and will significantly lower the class participation portions of your grade.  Remember, though, your health is your first priority.  If you are sick, stay home and recover.  A few unexcused absences will not significantly affect your grade.

3. Absentee Assignment:

If you do miss a class, whether you have an official excuse or not, you must complete an Absentee Assignment.  You are to write a one-and-a-half-to-two page essay (in proper presentation format) on that day's reading, explaining how it relates to the "German Problem."  
Deadlines: The assignment(s) should be turned in to the instructor at the beginning of the next class after you return.

4. Deadlines

Meeting due dates are an important aspect of school work.  You must turn in the assignment on the date required, in person, at the beginning of class.   The only exceptions are extended illness or medical emergency attested to by a physician's written note or the written statement by an appropriate college official.  Late assignments will lose value, increasing with a longer delay.  No assignments will be accepted after the last day of classes. 

VI. Written Assignments:

Short quizzes or written reports may also be required to evaluate the comprehension of video presentations. You will have one research paper of eight to ten pages. You will also evaluate the research papers of two other students. These assignments are described below.

For presentation guidelines of the assignments and the major project, see presentation guidelines (URL: <http://staff.kings.edu/bapavlac/presentation.html>). Every assignment (regular, absentee, whatever) needs a cover page with your name, no name on the other pages, is double-spaced and stapled. 

More information on common writing errors is at <http://departments.kings.edu/history/grading.html#error>.  

Unless otherwise instructed, Citations/Bibliography must be in Turabian/Chicago Manual of Style format, as listed on Prof. Pavlac's citation page <http://staff.kings.edu/bapavlac/citation.html> or according to the Library Study Guide #11 (do NOT use the "PARENTHETICAL CITATIONS with a REFERENCE LIST" version on the last page).  If you use some automated program make sure it does not use the parenthetical format, but the traditional Chicago style with a date at the end of the citation.  

V. Grades:

You earn your grade through work done for this course.  It is your responsibility to understand why you have achieved a certain grade, and what steps you can take to maintain or improve your grade.  You are encouraged to consult with the instructor about all assignments in person (during office hours or by appointment) or through e-mail. 

For your protection, in case of errors in recording, you should keep copies of all assignments until you have received notice of your grade. Check your printed syllabus for more information and see grading policy. Any and all materials done for this course may become the property of the instructor, who may use them for assessment, evaluative, informative, scholarly, research, or other purposes.  Although the syllabus presents the basic content and requirements of the course, the professor may change anything (e.g. assignments, and topics, due dates) at his discretion.

VI. Exams:

A. General Description:

You will take one mid-term exam on the assigned date in the class schedule, section VIII, and a final exam, which is comprehensive, as assigned during finals week.

Both exams will consist of short identifications quizzing knowledge of detail and significance, and essays testing your understanding of the course material through logical presentation of facts and explanation of historical trends. For a sample exam, see section V, B.

To study for the exams you should regularly, at least once a week, review your class notes, especially for identifications drawn from the overhead outline. You should also compare and contrast these notes with your textbook and other readings. For a sample exam, see below.

Only paper from the instructor is to be used. Please write legibly, in ink.  See also the academic honesty policy.

BB. Sample Exam:

-Write your name only on the first page.

-I. Identifications (30%, 10 pts. each; 15 min.): for 3 (THREE) of the following, on the provided lined paper, briefly, in a few sentences or a short paragraph, describe the person, idea or event (including dates and places) and explain their historical significance.

  1. Archduke Johann von Habsburg
  2. King Ludwig II of Bavaria
  3. Kaiser Wilhelm II
  4. Carlsbad Decrees
  5. French Second Republic
  6. appeasement

-II. First Essay (35%, 35 pts.; 30 min.): for the following, on the provided paper, write a clear, legible essay, being sure to plan your answer and to use specific details from lectures, discussion and readings.

1. Midterm: Discuss how historians view the role of Bismarck in German History. Be sure to consider the the formation of his character, his actions in Parliament before unification, his unification of Germany, his European diplomacy; his rule of Germany and his long-lasting effects on history.

22. Final: Discuss how historians view the historical significance of the Holocaust. Be sure to consider its origins, the experiences of its victims, the resistance by Jews, the actions of its perpetrators, the roles of Gentiles, and visions of other possibilities.

-III. Second Essay (35%, 35 pts.; 30 min.): for 1 (ONE) of the following, on the provided paper, write a clear, legible essay, being sure to plan your answer and to use specific details from lectures, discussion and readings.

For Midterm:

1. Discuss how culture and philosophy of the Vormärz period reflected or influenced nationalism. Be sure to consider the attitudes of different social classes and groups, the impact of government, and the individual aims of artists and thinkers.

2. Discuss Metternich's policies toward Germany and Europe from the Congress of Vienna to his fall in 1848. What was his role in foreign affairs? What did he try to achieve throughout Germany? What was his impact on Austria?

3. Discuss the role of the industrial revolution on Europe and Germany. What impact did it have on the economy, politics and society? What were the various kinds of socialisms? How did governments try to cope with the tensions created by industrialization and socialism?

4. Discuss the revolutions of 1848-9. What were the origins of the revolutionary movements? How did events unfold? What were the goals of the revolutionaries and how did they fail in Germany, Prussia, Austria and Hungary? What were the consequences of the revolutions?

55. Discuss the unification of the 2nd German Empire and the exclusion of Austria. What were the origins of the ideas of unifications? How did events unfold? What were the roles of foreign powers like Italy and France? What was the role of Bismarck? What were the consequences of the unification for Germany, Austria and Europe?

For Final:

1.  Discuss the problems facing Germany and Austria-Hungary before World War One.  How did Bismarck cope with international threats, political coalitions, and rising industrialization?  How did Wilhelm II and his chancellors change policy?  How did Franz-Josef and his chancellors try to hold together the empire?  What ideologies and developments threatened change?

2. Explain the origins of World War One. How did industrialization, economic and political expansion, European national and international problems provide long term causes? How did the Balkans create further tensions? What immediate events caused the outbreak of fighting and its expansion to include so many countries?

3.  Explain the difficulties the Central Powers had in fighting World War One.  How did they fail in their planned quick victory?  What limited their ability to fight a long war?  How did their ability to gain allies or provoke new enemies affect the course of the war?  What role did the Russian Revolution play? 

4. Explain the problems with the Paris Peace Treaties which ended World War I. What difficulties were involved in their creation? What political problems did they fail to solve or newly create? What long term affects did they have on international relations and domestic problems of both the former Allies and Germany and Austria?

5. Explain the rise to power of the National Socialist German Workers Party from 1920 to 1934. How did it relate to other Fascisms? How did its policies and members appeal to Germans? What were the unique problems facing the Weimar Republic in the 1920s and early 1930s? How did it succeed in establishing a dictatorship?

6.  Discuss the Nazi Revolution that created the Third Reich.  How did the Nazis change government?  How did they try to transform society along national socialist lines? How did they attempt to solve their "Jewish Problem" before the begin of World War II?  How did Hitler's successful expansionist policies absorb more German nationals into the Reich?

6. Explain Hitler's failure to win World War II. What were his preparations for war? What were the major successes he achieved early in the War? What were his and mistakes? What from his own mistakes or the strengths of his enemies brought on the ultimate defeat of the Axis?

IV. Final Essay (50%, 50 pts.; 40 min.): for the following, on the provided paper, write a clear, legible essay, being sure to plan your answer and to use specific details from lectures, discussion and readings. Review the German Problem from 1815 to 1945. Particularly evaluate the solutions offered by Metternich, the revolutionaries of 1848, Bismarck, Franz Josef, Wilhelm II, Stresemann, Dollfuβ, and, finally, Hitler.

VII. Research Paper:

You are to write a eight-to-ten page research paper on a specific aspect of National Socialism.

A. Purpose:

This exercise will acquaint you with the processes used by historians in conducting original research. Thus you will read carefully, manage information, evaluate different historical opinions, compare and contrast arguments, organize you thoughts and present them in a clear, coherent and interesting narrative. You will also gain expertise and knowledge about a portion of the history of fascism in Europe.

B. Procedure:

1. Select by one of the following topics about National Socialism (or another with written approval of the instructor): Origins before World War One; Growth during the Weimar Republic; Expansion as a totalitarian state; Relations with Women; Use of propaganda; The churches; Conduct of World War II; Eugenics; Resistance.

22. Prepare a thesis, an argument about the topic which will guide your research and help explain National Socialism. Before the due date, you should meet with the instructor, during regular office hours or by appointment, to discuss the adequacy of the thesis and the progress of your research. Please consult the instructor for any advice concerning the paper, well in advance of its due date.

3. Using your thesis as a guide, collect, interpret and organize information about the topic. Be sure to analyze the appropriate primary sources from the readings, and consult relevant scholarly, peer-reviewed historical monographs and journal articles. In addition to the relevant class texts, you must cite at least 8 scholarly, peer-reviewed books, 3 scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles, 3 primary sources (those in the Remak book are permitted). Information from internet sites may also be included, but will not count toward your minimum-- they are to be used with caution.  See the instructor about them.

4. Write, re-write, polish and proofread your research paper according to the instructions below, then turn in a copy on the due date. This first version, which will be evaluated as a final version, not a draft, is worth 100 pts.

5. Write, re-write, polish and proofread your research paper, taking into account the corrections and suggestions offered on the first, instructor-corrected version. Turn in your second version, along with the first, teacher/student-corrected copy on the due date. This second version is worth 100 pts. The teacher will especially evaluate how well the paper was improved between versions.

Class Schedule:

All topics and assignments on the schedule are tentative; the instructor may change them at his discretion.



The End of the Holy Roman Empire: Kitchen 1-28; Fichtner v-26; Breuilly 1-22, Doc #1

Congress of Vienna: Kitchen 50-52;  Fichtner 27-33; Breuilly Doc #14; Hndt Holy Alliance

German Civilization 1800-1850: Kitchen 29-50;  Fichtner 33-36; Breuilly 22-26, Doc #7

 Vormärz: Kitchen 52-70;  Fichtner 36-42, Docs #5, #6; Breuilly 27-37, Docs #19, #20, #22; Hndt Carlsbad Decrees

Revolutions of 1848: Kitchen 71-89;  Fichtner 42-45, Docs #7, #8; Breuilly 38-52, Docs #29, #31, #32, #34, #35;

 The Age of National Unifications: Kitchen 90-112;  Fichtner 45-55, Docs #9, #10; Breuilly 53-80, Docs #43, #44, #47

 The Unification of the Second German Empire: Kitchen 113-138;  Fichtner 55-61, Docs 11, 12 13; Breuilly 81-83, Doc #58, #59; Hndt Ems Telegram

 The Industrial Revolution and Socialisms: Hndt Erfurt Program

Bismarck's and Wilhelmine Germany: Kitchen 139-202

 Fin de Siècle Austria: Fichtner 62-100, Docs #14-19; Remak: vii-x, 1-15; Paper Research Topic Due

Origins of World War One: Kitchen 203-219;  Fichtner 100-111, Docs #20-24

German Civilization 1850-1914: Fichtner 98-100



The Great War:  Fichtner 111-117, Docs #25-27; Hndt Zimmerman Note

Revolutions and Peace Settlements: Kitchen 220-250;  Remak 17-23; Hndts 14 pts, Armistice

The Post-War Republics:  Remak 23-47

The Victory of Fascism: Kitchen 250-257;  Remak 24-55

The Nazi Regime: Kitchen 250-290; Remak 55-82, 93-106

Nazi Propaganda: Remak 83-90; First Version Research Paper Due

German Civilization 1914-45: Remak 65-67

The Third Reich's Expansion: Kitchen 290-298; Remak 107-115

"The Jewish Problem" Part 1: Kitchen 1-28;  Remak 133-60

"The Jewish Problem" Part 2: Kitchen 1-28;  Remak 133-60

Hitler's War: Kitchen 298-304;  Remak 90-2, 116-28

Defeat of the Third Reich: Kitchen 3-7-323;  Remak 128-131, 161-176: Hndt Hitler's Last Will and Testament

Review: First and Second Versions of Research Paper Due


Exam Questions | Research Paper | Class Schedule

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Last Revision: 2011 May 16
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