History 332 examines the turbulent and tragic story of European civilization and its interaction with the rest of the world since 1914. Central to this course is the task of explaining how the European nations declined, in the remarkably short span of about fifty years, from a position of world primacy in 1914 to the place of secondary importance they presently occupy. At the same time, we will explore how two devastating world wars allowed the United States and the Soviet Union not only to become "superpowers" after 1945, but to replace the traditional European Great Powers as the predominant forces in the world until 1990. But now this post-World II alignment of Europe and the world into two opposing camps has ended, as has the Cold War itself, with the (second) unification of Germany and the disintegration of the Soviet Empire in Eastern Europe as well as of the Soviet Union itself. Europe, together with the United States and the rest of the world, now face a new millennium that offers great promises as well major challenges.
Selected World Wide Web Sites for HST 332