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The Twentieth Century

This course begins with an examination of Europe’s position of political, economic and military dominance in the world in the decades before World War I. After a thorough treatment of the causes and effects of the Great War and the rise of Japan to great power status, our emphasis shifts to the international economic and political problems of the interwar era. We analyze the rise of authoritarian regimes of the right and left in Europe, the civil war in China and the imperialist powers’ weakening grip on their colonies in Africa and Asia. World War II and the Holocaust figure prominently in the second half of the course, as do the decolonization process, the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union and post-Cold War issues such as ethnic conflict and responses to globalization.