The Year 1848: Revolution in Germany and Europe

History 103B.003

Fall 2007
Instructor (text): 
2525 Tolman
Day & Time: 
Tues 4-6

The Year 1848 was a watershed in German and European History. New political and economic forces stormed against the last remnants of feudalism. Especially in Central Europe revolts shook the old autocratic structures, bold steps towards democracy, economic liberalism and national unity were made. Yet, in the case of Germany and Austria, the revolution is commonly regarded as a failure. The course will address this assessment from various political and cultural perspectives. Are there defining moments in history? Are there points of no return? How can single events drive history? What would the world look like, had the German revolutionaries succeeded? The course will include a great variety of sources from literature and art. We will also deal with the influence the events in Europe had on the history of the United States. The course will contain a session with the Teaching Library, and students who plan to write their theses in the general area will be introduced to basic primary sources. They will be asked to write a non-binding ";pre-prospectus"; as part of their course work.