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New Europe 1
Towards a New Europe

Staff contact: D. M. Williams (Att. 804)


Economic and Social History, like the other social sciences, is concerned with the workings of human society.  Its main interest lies in changes occurring over time in the productive systems of society, and in related social structures.  It has a strong contemporary relevance, and helps to explain many of the features of today’s world.  The course introduces students to the emergence of today’s Europe by examining the development of the continent’s three biggest twentieth-century economies – Britain, France and Germany. 

Teaching methods

There will be 17 lectures supported by weekly tutorials.

Lecture List

1.  Introduction: this Semester's Course

2.  Europe in the early 20th century

3.  World War I: why was the Impact of WWI so great?

4.  World War I: its Impact

5.  Europe in the Aftermath of WWI: The Search for Stability

6.  Social and economic Chaos: Hyperinflation in Germany 1918-24

7.  The Boom of the late 1920s: France, Germany and American Funds

8.  Britain in the 1920s

9.  The Background to the Economic Crisis of 1929-32

10.Capitalism in Crisis: Why was the Slump of 1929-32 so severe?

11.The Nazi Seizure of Power

12.The Aftermath of Depression: Germany, the Nazi Economy

13.Life in Hitler's Germany

14.Britain: Unemployment and Growth in the 1930s

15.Life in 1930s Britain

16.Economic Decay: France in the 1930s

17.'Towards a New Europe, 1890-1939': how far had we got?!


Assessment will be through coursework and examination;  written work (40%) + examination (60%) = final mark.  For students taking only Module EH101, assessment is by two pieces of written work and a two-hour, January examination.  For those taking EH101 and EH102 together, assessment is by four pieces of written work (which counts for 40% of the final grade) and a 3-hour midsummer examination. 

Short Bibliography

*D.H. Aldcroft, The European Economy 1914-1990 (3rd edition)

D.H. Aldcroft, The Interwar Economy: Britain 1919-1939

P. Fearon, The Origins and Nature of the Great Slump

H. Heiber, The Weimar Republic

E. Hobsbawm, Age of Extremes. The Short Twentieth Century 1914-1991

T. Kemp, The French Economy 1919-39

R. Munting and B. Holderness,  Crisis, Recovery and War: An Economic History of Continental Europe, 1918-1945.

R. Overy, The Nazi Economic Recovery

S. Pollard, Peaceful Conquest: The Industrialisation of Europe 1760-1914

M. Pugh (ed.), A Companion to Modern European History 1871-1945

J. Stevenson, British Society 1914-1945

J. Winter &  R. Wall, The Upheaval of War: Family, Work and Welfare in Europe, 1914-1918. 

* Recommended for preliminary reading/purchase

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Last updated: 10 October 2002
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