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HIST1103 Europe to Hell and Back 1890-1945

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Multi-mode
Semester 1OnlineOnline timetabled
Semester 1AlbanyFace to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 1 option in the History major sequence
  • Level 1 elective
In the late nineteenth century the nation-states of Europe controlled the destiny of the world. The continent's extraordinary achievements, the unprecedented harnessing of nature through science, technology and industry, the flourishing of the arts and the possession of the power, the will and the ruthlessness to found new Europes across the globe, confirmed to most Europeans that they were at the forefront of human progress, the vanguard of world history. The European trading, monetary and financial system was welding the world into the first globalized farm, factory and market. At home, as the mass of Europe's people became or struggled for entitlement as citizens, democracy and constitutional government seemed everywhere to be on the horizon. Peace reigned. Fifty years later the continent lay in ruins. Inter-national, civil, class, ethnic and racial war had swept through Europe leaving behind devastation that would have been unthinkable only a generation before. Dictatorship and tyranny marked the politics of the era. Revolutions, genocides and the unparalleled will to annihilate people and property had seemingly overtaken the Old World like a gigantic natural disaster. Yet the tens of millions of dead and the squandering of so much of Europe's extraordinary capital and heritage had been a self-inflicted calamity. From 1945, chastened, weakened and horrified, Europeans began the slow process of rebuilding, but now in a world that had been irrevocably transformed.
Covering topics such as the First World War, the Russian Revolution, Fascism, the rise of Europe's totalitarian dictatorships, the Spanish Civil War, the Holocaust and the horror and the grandeur of the Second World War, this unit investigates the baleful journey of European history between 1890 and 1945, when the continent went to hell and back.
Students are able to (1) formulate sound arguments about how human actions have been shaped by their historical contexts; (2) describe the processes leading to historical change in Europe between 1890 and 1945; (3) demonstrate knowledge of a range of key historical debates associated with European history between 1890 and 1945
; (4) critically evaluate arguments presented in secondary sources debating issues in European history between 1890 and 1945; (5) critically evaluate evidence presented in primary sources on European history between 1890 and 1945
; (6) express ideas associated with interpreting European history between 1890 and 1945 cogently in verbal and essay forms; and (7) reference written work in accordance with the History guide to documentation of sources.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) book review or document analysis; (2) research essay; and (3) tutorial participation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Senior Lecturer Dr. Giuseppe Finaldi
Unit rules
Hist1121 'Europe 1890-1945'
Contact hours
Lecture - 1 hr per week; Tutorial - 1 hr per week (up to 2 hours per week)
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.