LECTURE NOTES, GERMANY AND EUROPE, 1871-1945

HI 224

Raffael Scheck

A: Introduction

A.1. Germany and Europe – The Debate on German Peculiarities

A.2. Previous History

A.3. The Road to National Unification

  • Germany under Napoleon
  • Nationalism as a liberal cause
  • The revolution of 1848
  • Industrial take-off, 1850-1870
  • Bismarck
  • The wars against Denmark and Austria
  • The Franco-German war

B: The Second Empire until 1914

B.1. The Bismarckian Empire, 1871-1890

  • The constitutional order
  • The Junkers
  • The South Germans
  • The Catholics
  • The liberals
  • The workers
  • The national minorities
  • Living in the Empire
  • Foreign policy

B.2. World Politics and Domestic Challenges, 1890-1914

  • The “New Course”
  • New factors in foreign policy
  • The “place in the sun”

B.3. Fleet Building and International Conflicts

  • Basic options
  • Tirpitz’s commitment to battleships
  • The navy laws
  • Tirpitz’s strategic program
  • The domestic goals of the Tirpitz Plan
  • The failure of the Tirpitz Plan
  • Conclusions

B.4. Socialists, Jews, and Women in the Prewar Years

  • The Social Democrats
  • The Jews
  • The women’s movement
  • Conclusions

C: The First World War, 1914-1918

C.1. German Responsibility for the Outbreak of the War

  • The Importance of the War 1914-1918
  • Germany in 1914
  • The unfolding of events, 28 June to 4 August 1914
  • Origins of the war
  • German war guilt?

C.2. Military Operations and Plans for German Domination of Europe

  • Public reaction to war
  • The initial operations
  • The prospective of a long war
  • Trench warfare
  • German war tactics
  • War aims

C.3. Society and Politics under the Strains of War

  • The failure of compromise
  • The home front

C.4. From Victory to Defeat and Revolution: 1918

  • Political origins of the revolution
  • Social origins of the revolution
  • The “incomplete” revolution

D: The Weimar Republic

D.1. The Treaty of Versailles

  • Versailles and German expectations
  • Wilson’s Fourteen Points
  • The peace conference
  • Evaluation

D.2. Germany’s First Democratic Constitution

  • Weimar’s failure in historical perspective
  • The chaotic winter months 1918-1919
  • The elections to the National Assembly
  • The Constitution

D.3. The Republic Besieged, 1918-1923

  • The Spartacist uprising
  • Revolution in Munich
  • Right-wing putschism

D.4. CHRONOLOGY, 1920-1929

D.5. Weimar Culture

D.6. The Rise of the Nazis and Communists

  • Introduction
  • The Communists
  • The DNVP (German National People’s Party)
  • The NSDAP (German National Socialist Worker’s Party)

D.7. The Breakdown of the Republic, 1930-1933

  • Central questions
  • The role of women in the Nazi success
  • Explanations for the failure of the Republic
  • Concluding remarks

E: The Third Reich

E.1. Establishing a Dictatorship: The Stabilization of Nazi Power

E.2. Building up German Hegemony in Central Europe, 1933-1938

  • Overview
  • The start of Hitler’s foreign policy
  • France’s commitment to defense
  • Hitler’s first successes
  • Anti-Communist policy
  • Anschlu&#223 and the Munich Conference
  • Conclusions

E.3. The Second World War

  • The start of World War II
  • A war guilt question?
  • Blitzkrieg
  • The campaign in Russia
  • The ideological underpinnings of the Russian campaign
  • Total and global war, 1941 -1945

E.4. Eugenics and Racial Mass Murder

  • Preconditions: Anti-Semitism and vulgar Darwinism
  • The first phase of racist policies (1933-1938)
  • Pogrom, resettlement, and expulsion of the Jews (1938-1941)
  • The first extermination programs (1939-40)
  • The destruction of European Jewry (1941-44)
  • The debate on the genesis of the Holocaust
  • Questions

E.5. The Functioning of the Nazi Regime: State and Society

  • The Nazi state: strong dictatorship or polycratic chaos?
  • Opportunities for resistance
  • Living in the Third Reich: workers and women
  • German rule in Europe
  • Modernism and the Nazis

E.6. National Socialism in International Comparison

  • German fascism?
  • Totalitarianism
  • Nazism as a German Peculiarity

F: The Aftermath Of the War

  • New beginnings
  • Germany at the “Hour Zero”
  • The aims of the victors
  • Coming to terms with the past

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