The European Economy, 1500-1650

I. Framework

    • climate: warm to 1600; Little Ice Age, 1600-1850
    • population: 1500: 80 million; 1600: 115 million, then stagnation

II. Agriculture

  • 90% of population in rural areas or small towns
  • in West, most peasants owned some land; in East, enserfment with robot after 1500
  • financial burdens: manorial rents, duties, corvée; church tithes; state taxes on salt, etc., so considerable exploitation; still, families had more options and protections (e.g., holy days) than often thought
  • 3-crop rotation in north/center; 2-crop in south; southern agriculture favored small, varied plots; open fields, fallow, 1:5 seed ratio; bad harvests; shift to enclosures permitted more efficiency but created landless and undermined community; migration to towns; animal husbandry in mountains—wool; transhumance; fishing
  • decent basic diet; specialty crops: wine, olives, flax, etc.; but frequent famines; devastation of wars

III. Towns

  • few large cities; only Milan, Venice, Naples, Paris, Istanbul over 100,000 in 1500
  • nobles (especially in south) and clergy
  • rich merchants and bankers; Fuggers lent to Habsburgs in return for mining concessions; professionals
  • guilds: crafts, regulations; putting out system; competition from rural industry
  • workers, apprentices, domestics, homeless, crime, crowding, pollution, disease

IV. Price Revolution of the 16th Century

  • gold, silver, rising population
  • inflation hurt those on fixed incomes
  • recession after 1620; devastation of wars in Central and Eastern Europe
  • decline of Spain; slower growth in Italy

V. Financial Innovation

  • 1609: Amsterdam Bourse; then Bank of Amsterdam
  • letters of credit, speculation, wealth
  • joint stock company: Dutch East India Company; large capital, long-term vs risk, professional management, shares, board of directors

VI. European trade expansion

  • improved ships; better navigation, charts; compass
  • Baltic trade from Hanseatic League to Dutch, largest and most ships
  • Ottomans first cut off Eastern trade, but Venetians quickly revived it; Portuguese, Dutch

VII. Mercantilism: state intervention to boost exports and reduce imports, amass bullion

  • importance: dominant on Continent, 1600-1815; still widespread; first economic theory, though fuzzy
  • principles: assumed total volume of trade unchangeable, so nations compete for it; goal—accumulate bullion; exports>imports; government intervention to grant monopolies, subsidize new industries, import skilled labor, improve transport, erect tariffs, control colonies for raw materials and markets for finished goods; Colbert, British Navigation Acts


The Wars of Religion, 1559-1648

I. Early Modern Warfare

  • New Monarchies: standing armies, professionals, mercenaries, expensive, bureaucracy, taxes, kings defeated independent nobles
  • Swiss pike square to stop cavalry and defeat infantry; Spanish infantry added musketeers; Polish hussars; Russian Cossacks
  • artillery: vs curtain-walled castles; Vauban: bastions, entrapments
  • Ottoman Turks: Janissaries, Mohács, 1526; Vienna, 1529; Hungary divided; Lepanto, 1571; galleys; Ottomans rebounded; Cyprus, North Africa, Atlantic, privateers like Drake, Barbary pirates

II. Spain of Philip II (1556-98)

  • Castile and Aragon, Reconquista, Americas, silver, Philip II micromanager, hardliner, Escorial; conversos, Inquisition, auto-da-fé, limpieza de sangre, Sephardim, revolt of Moriscos, expulsion
  • decline of nobles and towns; Cortes; alcabala, other taxes; hidalgos, clergy, gold and silver, regulatory burden, huge war expenditures, economic decay, Golden Century, included Portugal, 1580-1640; three royal bankruptcies; C teau Cambrésis, 1559; Armada vs England, 1588; imperial overstretch

III. Revolt in the Netherlands

  • 17 provinces: Dutch/Flemish/Walloon; commerce and industry; Catholics and all Protestant faiths; Philip II viewed as Spanish; increased taxes, tried to crush heresy; regents; protest of nobles, iconoclasm; William of Orange vs Duke of Alba, Spanish Fury at Antwerp, 1576; dikes; Dutch Republic vs Catholic South—expansion overseas; 1609 truce, settlement in 1648

IV. French Wars of Religion, 1562-98

  • Huguenots (Navarre-Bourbon), 10-15% of population, but 40% of nobles
  • Guise Catholic hardliners; politiques; Catherine de Médicis
  • 1572: St. Bartholomew’s Eve massacre; civil wars, assassinations, intrigue; right of resistance
  • Henri IV Bourbon: “Paris is well worth a Mass.” Edict of Nantes, 1598; assassinated, 1610

V. Thirty Years’ War: worst early modern war

  • Augsburg, 1555, cujus regio ejus religio left out Calvinists; 1609—Protestant Union vs Catholic League; 1617—Bohemian Estates elected Ferdinand II Habsburg, but Defenestration of Prague, 1618; elected Frederick of Palatinate
  • Bohemian phase, 1618-24: White Mountain, confiscations, refugees, Czech Temno
  • Danish phase, 1625-29: Christian IV of Denmark vs Albrecht von Wallenstein; Edict of Restitution, 1629
  • Swedish phase, 1630-35: Gustavus Adolphus, with French help; Lützen—Gustavus killed; Wallenstein murdered
  • French phase, 1635-48: Richelieu, no religious motive, Rocroi, 1643
  • population losses, economic devastation, Grimmelshausen, Simplicissimus; toleration > wars

VI. Peace of Westphalia, 1648: attenuated cujus regio including Calvinists; territorial changes; Dutch independence; Westphalian System: 1) sovereignty (not mentioned), 2) equality?, 3) non-intervention, but France and Sweden had right to intervene in the HRE if the treaty was broken; European state system to 1945, balance of power; congress of almost all states—European union?; Hugo Grotius, international law, rights of noncombatants, neutrals, etc.


Great Britain: Revolution and Constitutionalism

I. Tudors, 1485-1603

  • Elizabeth I—shrewd, flexible, popular
  • victory over Spanish Armada, 1588; privateers; North America
  • Anglican Church vs Puritans
  • London as major center of commerce and culture

II. James I Stuart (1603-25)

  • personal union with Scotland
  • divine right of kings; paternalistic, alienated Puritans and Scottish Presbyterians
  • Parliament: narrow base; wealthy, litigious gentry in Commons; power of purse, refused to tax without a say

III. Charles I (1625-49)

  • Petition of Right, 1628
  • 1629-40: personal rule, taxes, Star Chamber, Archbishop Laud, ritual caused Scots to rebel
  • 1640: Long Parliament: abolished taxes, courts, split; John Pym and Puritans; civil wars, 1642-6, New Model Army of Oliver Cromwell, Cavaliers vs Roundheads; Charles I beheaded (regicide)

IV. Protectorate: Rump Parliament abolished monarchy; Cromwell as Lord Protector, crushed Irish rebellion; Levellers—freedom of speech, religious toleration, democracy

V. Charles II (1660-85): Restoration; cabinet ministers responsible to Parliament, Whigs vs Tories; cultural flourishing, Great Plague and Fire of London; ultimate victory in Dutch Wars

VI. Glorious Revolution

  • James II (1685-8) leaned toward Catholic succession
  • 1688: nearly bloodless revolution deposed James II and invited William of Orange, husband of Protestant daughter Mary
  • Bill of Rights, 1689: taxes and standing army only with consent of Parliament; Protestants may bear arms; freedom of speech in Parliament; justification by John Locke, right of resistance, constitutionalism
  • Act of Union with Scotland created Great Britain, 1707

VII. George I (Hanover), 1714 on

  • Jacobite revolts in 1715 and 1745
  • strong prime ministers: Robert Walpole, William Pitt the Elder, William Pitt the Younger
  • GB victorious in wars, ruled sea (navy and merchant marine), empire, wealth from agriculture, trade, industry; superior banking system headed by Bank of England, war finance, balance of power
  • significant social mobility, including lack of nobility; inclusion of gentry and town leaders in ruling system, 2 parties, loyal opposition, separation of powers, civil rights; royalty circumvented

VIII. Colonies

  • America: Newfoundland, Caribbean; 13 colonies: self-government, reliance on GB, dissenters, poor, non-English; triangular trade; metals, timber, manufactures
  • India: East India Company; war and conquest; imperial system; shift from import of calico to import of cotton and manufacture of textiles for export, including to India; readily washable underwear, hygienic, affordable clothing for masses, including slaves


French Absolutism

I. France was the most populous, powerful, wealthy, and influential monarchy in 17th Century Europe. French became the language of elites, and French culture was widely imitated. The kings of France were autocratic, but even under Louis XIV absolutism is perhaps too strong a word for a regime that was not able to enforce its will beyond a certain point because of the embedded privileges, customs, and vagaries of the Ancien Régime.

II. Richelieu (1624-42), Louis XIII: raison d’état

  • Huguenots: La Rochelle, revolt, 1627-8; lost their armies and fortified cities
  • Richelieu vs nobles; spies, plots, executions; intendants over taxes and justice, centralization
  • Thirty Years War; covert backing of Protestants vs Habsburgs; French phase, 1635-48; Rocroi, 1643; Peace of Westphalia left France leading power

III. Mazarin (1642-61)

  • Fronde: Parlement of Paris, nobles of the robe in first Fronde; nobles of the sword in second Fronde

IV. Louis XIV (1643/61-1715)

  • “L’état, c’est moi.” Sun King: quasi-absolute; removed top nobles from council, royal patronage
  • revocation of edict of Nantes, 1685; destroyed Huguenot churches and schools; diaspora
  • Jean-Baptiste Colbert, controller-general of finances: 1) mercantilism—increase quantity, improve quality of exports; 2) new luxury industries (tapestries, glass); 3) subsidized new industries; 4) built canals and roads; 5) raised tariffs (vs Dutch); self-sufficiency, buy nothing abroad, import substitution, autarky; 6) boosted merchant marine
  • but tax farming, sale of offices, exemptions for nobles and clergy, and high cost of wars
  • Versailles: 19 years to build, residence, offices, reception hall, home for high nobility and princes of the blood, court ceremony around Louis XIV: rising, dining, praying, only way to get offices, titles, pensions; mistresses; imitators
  • wars, for limited objectives along frontiers?
  • 1667-68: Triple Alliance vs invasion of Spanish Netherlands—Aix-la-Chapelle—Lille, etc.
  • 1672-78: Dutch War vs Brandenburg, Spain, Austria; Nijmwegen, 1678—Franche Comté
  • 1689-97: War of the League of Augsburg vs annexation of Strasbourg, etc. Ryswick, 1697—kept Strasbourg; bitter struggle: depression and famine, revolts
  • 1702-13: War of the Spanish Succession—Philip V Bourbon, grandson, became King of Spain; vs Britain, Netherlands, Austria, German states; Blenheim, 1704; Peaces of Utrecht, 1713 and Rastatt, 1714: Austria received Naples, Lombardy, Spanish Netherlands; Britain received Gibraltar, etc., Newfoundland, Nova Scotia

V. Louis XV (1715-74)

  • horizontal monarch; Madame de Pompadour; rumors and hostile literature; growing unpopularity
  • Fleury, peace, restored finances, road building
  • wars; returned Austrian Netherlands, lost Canada, Mississippi, India
  • mismanagement; “Après moi, le déluge.”
  • devots vs Enlightenment; culture, Louis Quinze style

VI. Louis XVI (1774-1793)

  • Marie Antoinette, famines, parlements, American Revolution, Turgot, finances


Early Modern Central and Eastern Europe

I. Rise of Prussia

  • Hohenzollerns, Brandenburg (Berlin), 1417; then Rhineland territories and East Prussia
  • Frederick William, the Great Elector (1640-88): General War Commissariat vs Estates, ran civil economy, too; standing army, iron discipline; Junkers enserfed peasants, tax-exempt, highest ranks in army and bureaucracy; mercantilism, Huguenots, Jews
  • Frederick the Great (1740-86): flautist, composer, writer, administrator, astute general, surprise tactics, violated treaties, enlightened despot, Sans Souci; law code eliminating torture (except for treason and murder); religious toleration, some press freedom; wars—militarism; Prussia a great power
  • Saxony, Bavaria, imperial towns, etc. of regional and cultural importance, lost ground to Prussia, but populous and important as commercial and intellectual centers

II. Austria-Hungary

  • Austria, Bohemia, Hungary: ruling dynasty and army linked them; siege of Vienna, 1683; Treaty of Karlowitz, 1699; Austrian Netherlands and Italy, 1713; multinational, but Slavs, Italians subordinated
  • Maria Theresa, 1740-80: Pragmatic Sanction; internal reforms
  • Frederick the Great attacked Silesia, War of the Austrian Succession, 1740-8, France and Prussia vs GB and Austria. Aix-la-Chapelle
  • Seven Years War: reversal of alliances + Russia; brilliant victories by Frederick, but Kunersdorf; death of Tsarina Elizabeth—Peter III, admirer, withdrew; French and Indian War—Quebec, war in India—Plassey, Clive, Treaty of Paris: France lost colonial empire
  • Joseph II (1780-90): well intentioned, dogmatic, clumsy, 6,000 decrees, 11,000 laws; abolished serfdom (1775 revolt), ended monopolies, etc.; new penal code ended capital punishment, all equal; State control of Church, closed monasteries; toleration; reforms undone after death, but precedents

III. Commonwealth of Poland-Lithuania

  • Jagiellons, Union of Lublin, 1569; elective monarchy, sejm, szlachta, liberum veto, no towns, foreign meddling, Ukraine
  • prosperity from Baltic trade, Second Serfdom, turmoil, hussars
  • First Partition, 1772, Russia got Jews in the Pale; Second, 1792; Third, 1795

IV. Russia

  • Kievan Rus, Ukraine, Steppe Frontier, Orthodox; Tatar Yoke; rise of Muscovy
  • Ivan the Terrible (1533-84)—tsar, Third Rome; Time of Troubles, foreign interventions, False Dmitris; Romanovs, 1613; enserfment, revolts, boyars, expansion, Siberia, Nerchinsk, 1689
  • Peter the Great (1689-1725): personality, Streltsy revolt, 1697 visit to Europe; Westernization of army, navy, military technology; vs boyars (Table of Ranks) and Church (Holy Synod, Old Believers); mercantilism, sumptuary laws, women could remove veils and mingle, off with beards; Great Northern War vs Sweden; Poltava, 1709—Baltic provinces, German barons; St. Petersburg
  • Elizabeth I (1741-62):personality, parties, stopped executions, after palace guard murders
  • Catherine the Great, 1762-96: German, murder of husband, lovers, Gregory Potemkin; enlightened despot, correspondence and payments to philosophes; reforms, Charter of the Nobility, 1785; Pugachev’s revolt, 1773-5, Cossacks vs knout; conquered Crimea, got right to protect Ottoman Christians


Baroque and Rococo

I. Late Renaissance Literature

  • Michel de Montaigne, lawyer, classicist, Essays, exploration of self, skepticism, “What do I know?”
  • William Shakespeare, 154 sonnets, 37 plays in blank verse (iambic pentameter without rhyme), Globe, Elizabethan theater, professional, intimate, subtle
  • François Rabelais, doctor, Gargantua and Pantagruel, satire
  • Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, picaresque novel

II. Baroque Art

  • origin: Portuguese barroco—irregular pearl; rejected the elitist, artificial Mannerism (maniera) of the late Renaissance (but El Greco a mannerist) in favor of the vision of the Counterreformation Council of Trent: art for the people, with drama, tension, emotion, exaggeration, motion, ovals (replacing classical circles), and spirals; most powerful in southern Europe, not in France or Protestant North; term “baroque” invented much later
  • Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt van Rijn, Gian Lorenzo Bernini (St. Teresa in Ecstasy), Diego Velázquez, Claude Lorrain, Nicolas Poussin
  • architecture: St. Peter’s, massive, ornate, domes, grand staircases; Versailles, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Christopher Wren

III. Music

  • polyphony, secular music, madrigals
  • opera: Claudio Monteverdi, Orfeo, multimedia, Deus ex machina
  • ornamentation, counterpoint, fugue, continuo bass + soprano (monody), virtuoso, violin, organ, harpsichord
  • Antonio Vivaldi, Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Friedrich Händel, oratorio, Messiah

IV. 17th Century Writers

  • Baroque theater: stage with proscenium arch, actresses, three unities
  • Pierre Corneille—patriotism; Jean Racine—Greek tragedies; Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (Molière), Tartuffe, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme
  • John Donne, Jesuit-educated, adventurer, lawyer, many children, converted to Anglicanism, minister, dean of St. Paul’s, metaphysical poetry
  • John Milton, classics + Bible, serious, Puritan tracts and pamphlets, Paradise Lost, blindness

V. Rococo

  • from rocaille, grotto of decorative shells; considered decadent and extravagant, typical of aristocrats and court of Louis XV: gallant, playful, light; Jean-Antoine Watteau, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, eroticism
  • William Hogarth, social criticism, moralistic; Joshua Reynolds, portraits
  • academies

VI. Conclusion

  • dramatic shift toward vernacular; bourgeois joined audiences; secular came to rival religious
  • German music on the rise
  • some all-time great masters


The Scientific Revolution

I. Enablers

  • science and philosophy of classical antiquity via Arabs, medieval thinkers, Humanists
  • artists, engineers, inventors, craftsmen
  • printing press, pendulum clock, telescope, microscope, barometer, thermometer
  • spread of education among laymen in vernacular
  • framework: Royal Society, Académie des Sciences, journals, libraries, labs, equipment, publicity
  • neoplatonism, magic, alchemy, Hermeticism, astrology

II. Revolt against Aristotle

  • from essences and deduction to measure, weigh, count
  • Francis Bacon: lawyer, induction, sensory data + experiment, organized group science, utilitarian

III. Mathematics

  • modern algebra, decimals, logarithms
  • René Descartes—analytic geometry; Cogito ergo sum. Dualism, certainty, mechanical explanations
  • Blaise Pascal—probability, “The heart has its reasons”, Jansenism

IV. Astronomy and Physics

  • Nicholas Copernicus: Concerning the Revolutions of the Heavenly Bodies, 1543; heliocentrism (Aristarchus) vs Ptolemy, epicycles, quintessence
  • Galileo Galilei: Padua, Tuscany, astronomer, 4 moons of Jupiter, sunspots, rough Moon; kinematics from medieval physicists; made eloquent case for heliocentrism and new science; recantation
  • William Gilbert, De Magnete: Earth a magnet
  • Tycho Brahe: precise naked-eye astronomy—excellent data on planetary movements
  • Johannes Kepler (1571-1630): imperial mathematicus and astrologer:  Mysterium Cosmographicum—neoplatonic polyhedra circumscribed by spheres described sizes of orbits of six planets; sought harmony; numerology—music/math/Nature/astrological consequences—horoscopes; three laws of planetary motion: 1) ellipses; 2) equal areas, varied speed; 3) square of period proportional to cube of mean distance
  • Isaac Newton (1643-1728):  calculus, vs Leibniz; Principia, 1687: three laws of motion: 1) inertia; 2) acceleration; 3) for every action there exists an equal and opposite reaction. Anywhere in the heavens or on Earth; gravity: The force of attraction between two bodies varies directly as the product of their masses and inversely as the square of the distance between them. Did not explain why—occult force? Action at a distance; optics: two-prism experiment, theory of color, reflecting telescope; alchemy, Philosopher’s Stone, breakdown, Bible code, prophecy, chronology, ancient wisdom; Master of Royal Mint, vindictive toward opposing scientists, greatest scientist?

V. Chemistry and Biology

  • Paracelsus: attack on Galen, humors—diseases not from imbalance; each is different and needs diagnosis; “All things are poison, and nothing is without poison. It is the dose alone that makes a thing not a poison.”: pharmacology/toxicology
  • Robert Boyle: rejected alchemy but did it; experiment>theory; volume varies inversely with pressure
  • Andreas Vesalius, Anatomy, 1543; Anthony Leeuwenhoek—microscope, bacteria


18th-Century Economy

I. Agricultural Revolution

  • open field system: 2+1 fallow or 1+1 fallow and common had poor output, bad harvests, famine, malnutrition, disease susceptibility, death; but community-oriented
  • Dutch: eliminate fallow by replenishing nitrogen with turnips, clover, alfalfa—fodder for larger, more numerous livestock—meat, milk, manure; but for intensive farming, needed to enclose common; drainage, canals, dikes; commercial farming, great surpluses of high-quality food
  • English: imitated Dutch, empirical research (Jethro Tull), seed drill, selective breeding, enclosure acts, sheep for textile manufacturing; tenant farmers paid landless low wages for long hours—proletarianization; migration to cities as low-cost labor

II. Population Growth

  • 1700: 120 million; 1790: 190 million
  • decline in infant mortality; inoculation, etc., childhood more respected
  • better food supply: vigor, immunity, less famine
  • end of plague: brown rat; cordons vs epidemics; sanitation
  • economic growth

III. Atlantic Economy

  • overseas trade grew much faster than trade within Europe; GB beat out Dutch; Jamaica, Bermuda, Barbados; French competition
  • slave trade most profit able; British dominated
  • triangular: European manufactures/African slaves/colonies’ sugar, tobacco, cotton, timber, iron
  • 9-12 million slaves from Africa, two-thirds in 18th Century
  • brutality, mortality, most to Caribbean and Brazil, high mortality in sugar industry
  • Quakers, women protested: France abolished during Revolution; GB in 1808

IV. Mercantilism and Its Critics

  • British Navigation Acts: imported goods must use British crews or ships of producing country (vs Dutch); monopoly on trade with colonies; boosted merchant marine and navy
  • Physiocrats: François Quesnay: land the only source of wealth, and only agriculture and mining can increase wealth. Single tax on land vs mercantilists’ stress on bullion; laissez-faire—free play of supply and demand; natural economy vs mercantilists’ government intervention; problem of freeing grain trade vs government protection of common people’s access to food
    1. Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776:
    2. condemned protective tariffs—free trade
    3. labor theory of value (not bullion or agriculture)
  • State should not intervene in economy (just army, police, costly public works); liberty of individual; economic liberalism in the European sense; the Invisible Hand; vs business conspiracies
  • Mercantilism remained strong on Continent
  • expansion from 1720 until 1900


Society in the Ancien Regime

I. Marriage and Family

  • nuclear family, delayed marriage to set up on land; boys and girls to town, domestics
  • community controls over premarital sex: forced (shotgun) marriage, pressure/punishment
  • primitive birth control; illegitimacy explosion, Germany: 1750—2%; 1850—25%
  • cottage industry—early income; mobility—towns: earlier marriage, illegitimacy
  • women kept in place, but some gained education, wrote on behalf of women; philosophes ignored

II Children and Education

  • nursing and wet-nursing
  • foundlings and infanticide
  • neglect of children, abuse: Spare the rod and spoil the child. Overwork
  • Rousseau—tender, but gave his own children to orphanages
  • trend toward better treatment, end of swaddling
  • Catholics and Protestants competed in education; state slowly made mandatory; literacy spread; religious books (chapbooks), fairy tales, almanacs

III. Food

  • wheat and rye bread @ just price; frequent famines (crop failures, maldistribution, hoarding, riots)
  • peas and beans; very slow acceptance of potato and corn
  • very little meat, milk, Vitamins A and C
  • rich—carnivores, drinking, gout
  • white bread, sugar, tobacco, rum, brandy, vodka, gin, caffeine

IV. Medicine

  • folk medicine including herbs, faith healers, pharmacists, doctors, surgeons, midwives
  • purging and bleeding, nostrums, laudanum, magnets, Anton Mesmer
  • forceps: M.D. > midwife
  • hospitals crowded, dirty, contagion; mental hospitals savage
  • cordon sanitaire vs plague (disappeared after Marseilles and Moscow outbreaks) and zoonoses
  • inoculation vs smallpox; vaccination, Edward Jenner, 1798

V. Religion

  • Catholic governments sought control over national churches, papacy declined; Jesuits dissolved, 1773
  • Protestants: Pietism, Moravians, Zinzendorf, John Wesley—Methodism, revivals
  • Catholics: piety, Baroque art, Rococo churches, pilgrimages

VI. Leisure

  • Carnival—rituals of reversal
  • taverns, blood sports, bull baiting, dog and cock fights; street theater
  • fairs: now paid tickets; nobles, clergy, bourgeois withdrew from communal festivals
  • theaters, opera houses, patrons, high culture

VII. Culture

  • novels: Pamela, Tom Jones, The Sorrows of Young Werther
  • art: Rococo to Neoclassical
  • music: piano, orchestra, Mozart, Haydn, secular, opera


The Enlightenment

I. Background

  • Scientific Revolution: Reason, Nature > traditional religion; find scientific laws for society (social science); improvement, Progress, Newton, Locke
  • skeptics
  • Bernard de Fontenelle, secretary of Académie. Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds—popular science vs priests
  • Pierre Bayle, Huguenot, skepticism; Historical and Critical Dictionary—textual criticism; religion and morality not necessarily related
  • travel literature: cultural relativism; Noble Savage

II. Four Great Philosophes

  • Montesquieu (1689-1755), noble, lawyer; Persian Letters; The Spirit of the Laws: comparative government; England—separation of powers; nobles and parlements are needed
  • Voltaire (1694-1778), bourgeois, Jesuit education, studied law; playwright, jail, exile, financial success, Marquise du Ch telet, Cirey, Newton vs Leibniz, Ferney, correspondence, publications, Frederick the Great, not democrat, Écrasez l’inf me: fanaticism, intolerance, superstition; Candide
  • Denis Diderot (1713-84), bourgeois, Jesuit education, eclectic; Encyclopédie, 28 volumes, censor, critical, technologies
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-78), born in Geneva, watchmaker father abandoned him, composer, classics, supported by women, neglected children; emotions > reason—Romanticism, anti-salon, moody, solitary, paranoid tendencies; The Social Contract—General Will, coercive democracy (Calvin + Plato), Émile: natural education, childhood special, learn by doing/experience, countryside, heart, Sophie as helpmate; seminal thinker: fame, eloquence, fundamental rethinker; deviant in terms of impoverishment; impact on Fr. Rev., Romantics, education, Marxism (unacknowledged)

III. Social Thought

  • Cesare Beccaria. On Crimes and Punishments, 1764; vs torture and unusual punishments; vs capital punishment; certainty, not severity of punishment deters
  • women: philosophes ignored women or put them in their place; Mary Wollstonecraft: women have reason, so they are entitled to same rights in education, economy, politics
  • Jews: edicts of toleration, emergence from ghetto; Baruch Spinoza precursor; Ethics: God is almost the same as Nature; secularism—Bible criticism; Moses Mendelsohn, toleration, assimilation into society, but with distinctive Jewish community
  • Muslims: mostly hostile commentary; Voltaire, Fanaticism, or Mohammed the Prophet; Lady Mary Wortley Montagu praised Ottoman society, inoculation
  • slavery largely ignored; Haiti
  • deism; atheism, Baron d’Holbach

IV. Framework

  • salons, coffee houses, newspapers, reading clubs, lending libraries, learned societies, secret societies—Freemasons, book market, smuggling books, pornography, universities were backwaters except in Scotland and Germany
  • Immanuel Kant. Critique of Pure Reason, Critique of Practical Reason, “What is Enlightenment”, Dare to know, categorical imperative; sensory data + inner structure—transcendental idealism
  • America: Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, impact of Revolution and state constitutions


The French Revolution and Napoleon

I. Ancien Régime

  • privilege and inequality; First Estate—130,000 prelates and clerics—10% of land, churches, abbeys, convents, tithe, revenues, tax-exempt/gift, Gallican church, rise of anticlericalism, secularism; Second Estate—350,000—25-30% of land; military, nobles of the sword, nobles of the robe; judiciary, parlements, bureaucrats, tax-exempt; Third Estate: rich bourgeoisie shared economic interest with nobles; urban workers concerned with inflation, poverty, bread riots; peasants—some well off, others burdened with seigneurial dues and corvée, enclosures, food shortages
  • causes of Revolution:
    1. frustration at failure of monarchy to reform abuses
    2. revolution of rising expectations
    3. poverty, bad harvests
    4. ideas of philosophes, supported by example of new American republic
    5. 13 parlements refused to register edicts
    6. immediate cause: collapse of government finances, expenses for American Revolution

II. End of Ancient Régime, 1789-91

  • first Estates General since 1614: cahiers of grievances; vote by order or by head? June 17—Third Estate declared itself the National Assembly; June 20—Tennis Court Oath—won’t disband until constitution; common people joined: July 14—stormed Bastille to counter Louis XVI’s military moves; peasant revolts—seized land, destroyed charters; riots, new rulers in cities; Great Fear
  • end of Ancien Régime: Aug. 4, Assembly abolished privileges of nobles, clergy, towns, provinces; and seigneurial rights; Aug. 26—Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen; Oct. 6, crowd brought Louis XVI to Paris; Church secularized, lands confiscated, alienating Catholics; 83 departments
  • nobles fled, skirmishing on frontier, unrest in countryside

III. Radical Revolution, 1791-94

  • Jacobins: Liberté, égalité, fraternité; June 1791, Louis XVI fled, captured; Legislative Assembly; war with Austria; sans-culottes, Commune, George Danton—mass executions, Girondins—provinces; Jan. 1, 1793—Louis XVI executed; Commune executed leading Girondins
  • Terror—Maximilien Robespierre, Committee of Public Safety; army of 1,169,000, levée en masse, victory in 1794, women, dechristianization, calendar, metric system, 50,000 guillotined, July 28, 1994—Robespierre executed
  • 1794-99:  Thermidor: Directory, Paris insurrection, conspiracies, Napoleon’s coup in 1799

V. Napoleonic Europe, 1799-1815

  • Napoleon’s personality, management style, Italy, Egypt, First Consul, 1804—emperor
  • domestic: Concordat of 1801, Code, efficient tax collection, new aristocracy, enlightened despotism, but out of date, mercantilism (Continental System); in some senses fulfilled reforming goals of the Revolution, but in other senses (dictatorship, spies, hierarchy, concessions to Church) undermined them
  • wars: brilliant generalship, e.g., Austerlitz; French empire, dependent states, allies; meritocracy, equality?, toleration, nepotism, French nationalism aroused others, spread of democratic ideas; Trafalgar, British advantages, vs Spanish uprising, invasion of Russia; Elba, Waterloo, St. Helena

V. Lessons Learned: 1) Revolutions follow fairly predictable course. 2) Many illusions, great disillusionment. 3) The Revolution eats its children. 4) A dashing dictator can elude scrutiny and win popular approval. 5) Even genius has its limits. 6) Many come to miss the benefits of the Old Regime.


Industrial Revolution

I. Great Britain

  • why, vs Continent, China, India, Ottoman Empire—long, slow pre-factory growth in all, but more in GB
    1. agricultural revolution: surplus food, other products, laborers
    2. population growth
    3. capital (5% interest vs 30% in China, long horizon, pro-risk), central bank, credit facilities, stock market
    4. coal and iron: charcoal to coal, smelting—cast iron; puddling to burn away impurities
    5. transport: canals, sea, then railroads
    6. government provided laws protecting property, few restrictions (but successful calculated ones like anti-Dutch Navigation acts), political stability, laissez-faire
    7. empire, navy, merchant marine: secure supply of raw materials; markets
    8. social structure permitted mobility and engagement in business (no nobility)
    9. science and technology, patents, technical societies

II. Cotton Textiles

  • replaced wool and linen; underwear for everyone at moderate price
  • cottage industry vs guilds; putting out
  • inventions: flying shuttle—weaving; water frame—spinning
  • factory: long, regular hours, shifts, repetitive, boring, accidents, tough regulations (Methodism tamed workers), pollution (externality)
  • steam engine—James Watt, 1760s

III. Transportation

  • roads, bridges, canals
  • railroads, steam locomotive
  • steamships/steel
  • civil and mechanical engineering

IV. Industrialization on Continent

  • Disadvantages
    1. lost ground during wars, 1789-1815
    2. GB dominated world markets for industrial goods
    3. GB’s advanced technology too hard to understand
    4. private banks had liability, so risk-averse to big projects
    5. government officials and landowners suspicious of industrialization
    6. infrastructure of tolls, customs, guilds; but France had best roads
    7. social rigidity hampered mobility of labor
  • GB banned artisans and skilled mechanics from travel abroad until 1825; banned export of textile machinery and other equipment until 1843. But many slipped abroad; William and John Cockerill in Belgium; Continental entrepreneurs, private banks; slow, steady growth to 1850 on basis of putting out and craft economy and capital
  • Governments intervened
    1. tariffs on British manufactures
    2. Belgium, independent in 1831, iron and coal
    3. 3. Built canals, roads, bridges
    4. 4. French government built railroads; Prussia guaranteed railroad bonds—military, Ruhr
    5. 5. tech schools
    6. 6. grants to entrepreneurs
    7. 7. financed factories
  • incorporated large industrial banks
  • Friedrich List, National System of Political Economy; national unity vs free trade; Zollverein, 1834

V. Impact of Industrial Revolution

  • growth of cities: GB > 50% urban by 1850; filth, smell, no sewage, crowding, pollution, disease, crime, prostitution; Edwin Chadwick, Poor Law Commission, Report on the Condition of the Laboring Population of Great Britain, 1842; led to Public Health Act, sanitation; public transportation
  • unions and reforms: bad conditions in factories and mines; Combination Acts of 1799 and 1800; but strikes and sabotage, Luddites; Grand National Consolidated Trades Union, 1834; Chartism: People’s Charter—universal suffrage, secret ballot; reports and commissions; Factory Acts, 1802, 1819, 1833; rise of socialism
  • negative consequences:
    1. environmental damage
    2. harm to health
    3. breakdown of community
    4. dehumanization and alienation
  • positive consequences
    1. material prosperity—increase in real wages
    2. new technological capabilities
    3. push for equality and for universal education and welfare


Romanticism, 1770-1850

I. Philosophy

  • reaction vs Enlightenment’s Reason: intuition, imagination, feeling, dramatic intensity, horror, dreams, drugs; fear of industrialization
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau: society and prosperity have corrupted human beings; Back to Nature: humans, Nature, and society (community) should be organically interrelated (Platonism)
  • Immanuel Kant: Dare to know. Transcendental Idealism
  • Critique of Pure Reason: vs Locke’s knowledge from sensory experience: mind actively imposes its own categories of understanding and forms of sensibility
  • Critique of Practical Reason: beyond phenomena is a sphere of moral and esthetic reality known via feeling (practical reason) and conscience; the Categorical Imperative
  • Arthur Schopenhauer: Kantian, aesthetics; art (esp. music) transcends painful existence; genius

II. Literature

  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe—The Sorrows of Young Werther, Faust, lyric poetry
  • Sturm und Drang
  • medieval history and folklore: Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen
  • novelists: Walter Scott, Alexandre Dumas, Victor Hugo
  • Thomas Carlyle, hero theory of history
  • Gothic literature: Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
  • poetry: poets should follow creative impulses vs classical form; William Wordsworth: living Nature, childhood world of imagination; Lord Byron: divorce, lover, iconoclast, champion of liberty, death in Greece; John Keats

III. Art

  • artist expresses inner feelings; abandons classicism for warmth, emotion, movement; Nature mysterious unruly, infinite, awesome, the sublime
  • J.M.W. Turner—moods of Nature; Eugène Delacroix—harem ladies; Francisco Goya—picaresque, horrors of war
  • neo-Gothic architecture; Biedermeyer sentimentality

IV. Music

  • arouse emotions, dynamics, expressive vs classical restraint; folk music, Lieder
  • Beethoven—bridge, composer/virtuoso as hero, Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, Berlioz (programmatic), Brahms, Italian opera, Tchaikovsky, Wagner
  • bourgeoisie paid for concerts; sentimentality, melodrama

V. Religion

  • John Wesley—vs Anglican High Church; Moravians, preaching, Methodism, inner peace, revivals, emotions, fits, singing
  • Catholic revival—Jesuits, fervor, vs new things
  • Friedrich Schleiermacher—religion not dogma or ethics—a feeling of absolute dependence on an infinite reality; each world religion has a unique version
  • Soren Kierkegaard—anti-Hegel: individual; agonized post-Lutheran; life backwards, forwards

VI. Political consequences: Stress on individual and emotion could lead to liberal and revolutionary attitudes. But rejection of Reason favored conservatism. Romantics prefigured both the hippie movement and the modern conservatives’ rejection of secular liberalism


19th Century Political Thought

I. Liberalism: middle class vs reactionaries, traditionalists

  • Jeremy Bentham: Utilitarianism: the greatest happiness of the greatest number, hedonic calculus, pleasure vs pain of society; legal and social reforms, Panopticon, animal rights
  • Thomas Malthus, Essay on the Principle of Population; population will always outgrow food supply; war, famine, disease, prudential restraint; more correct for past than present and future
  • David Ricardo, stockbroker, Principles of Political Economy, 1817; iron law of wages; population growth makes wages sink to subsistence level
  • John Stuart Mill, upbringing; On Liberty; On the Subjection of Women; middle class; liberty of individual, civil liberties, separation of church and state, peaceful opposition in representative government, fear of government and masses

II. Nationalism and Historicism

  • Johann Gottfried Herder vs French cultural dominance; society developed organically; study history—unique characteristics of nation—nationalism: common language, customs, threats vs provincialism
  • Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel: Prussian professor
  • nation as expression of the Weltgeist in history; world-historical events
  • dialectic: thesis, antithesis, resolution/synthesis
  • Enlightenment had shallow universalist assumptions
  • find meaning in history, including the seeds of the future: World history is the world court.

III. Socialism

  • Utopians: vs private property and competition
  • Count Henri de Saint-Simon—collectivism; intellectual and industrial elites would replace government; doers vs parasites
  • Charles Fourier—cooperatives (phalansteries), fanciful, abolition of marriage
  • Robert Owen—entrepreneur, model enterprise, New Lanark, New Harmony
  • Pierre-Joseph Proudhon—printer, peaceful anarchist rather than exactly utopian: Property is theft.

IV. Karl Marx (1818-83)

  • born in Trier, comfortable middle class; lawyer father converted; Hegelian at U. of Berlin; Ph.D in philosophy from Jena; radical editor of liberal paper, suppressed; exile
  • Paris debates, Communist Manifesto, 1848; revolutions
  • London, Das Kapital; First International
  • Friedrich Engels, son of cotton manufacturer, The Conditions of the Working Class in England; financial patron, writings
  • Marx a philosopher, not a man of action; original synthesizer of others’ ideas
  • dialectic from Hegel, but material, not ideas; economic class determinism and class warfare drove history
  • sought dictatorship of the proletariat—classless society; ruthless scorn for liberal ethics, but did not necessarily espouse a bloody revolution
  • harsh, vehement attacks on other Leftists; led to social democracy, Russian Revolution and communism, Stalin and other totalitarian rulers, taught even non-Marxists the importance of economic class
  • seminal thinker: marginal (ethnic Jew), dogmatic, paranoid—always hunted beneath the surface, financial woes—didn’t earn a living except some journalism


Revolutions and Unifications, 1815-71

I. Reaction

  • Congress of Vienna—success vs general war; Klemens von Metternich: balance of power and spies; Bourbon restoration; German Confederation, Prussia got Rhineland; Holy Alliance vs change
  • Concert of Europe: crushed revolts in Spain, Italy; 1820s—Latin American revolutions; British and Americans blocked repression; Greek Revolution, 1821-1830; popular cause, Navarino, Russia seized Moldavia and Wallachia
  • 1830: Belgians vs Dutch, neutrality; French revolution, Louis Philippe; Algeria; Polish revolt crushed

II. Reform in Great Britain (United Kingdom)

  • Corn Laws, Peterloo Massacre (Tories)
  • rotten boroughs, pocket boroughs, Reform Bill of 1832 (Whigs); Chartism
  • potato famine in Ireland

III. Liberalism and Nationalism

  • liberty and equality in Liberalism vs socialists/radicals
  • nationalism: urbanization, mass education, communicate in standard language, bring strangers together, new holidays, patriotic parades; up to 1850, closely linked to Liberalism; problems: us vs them, national mission, irredenta, superiority, racial thinking

IV. 1848—Springtime of Peoples

  • France: discontent, barricades, Louis Philippe fled; provisional government, workshops, closure caused revolt, crushed in June Days, Second Republic, Louis Napoleon president, eventually emperor
  • Germany: liberal wave in response to French revolution; new governments; Frankfurt Assembly—include Austria? Offered Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia crown, but ordered Prussians home; reaction
  • Austria-Hungary: March demonstrations, Metternich fled; Panslav Congress; army crushed Prague and Vienna liberals; Franz Josef, 1848-1916; freed serfs; Hungary—Louis Kossuth; Russians crushed

V. Second Empire under Louis Napoleon

  • clever, poor judgment, 97% voted for him as emperor; economic growth, rebuilt Paris
  • adventures: Crimean War, 1854-6: protection of shrines; Russia invaded Moldavia and Wallachia; France, GB, Turkey, Piedmont captured Sevastopol; Russian logistics woes; Mexican empire

VI. Risorgimento

  • Giuseppe Mazzini; Piedmont-Savoy, Victor Emmanuel II, Count Camillo di Cavour with France vs Austria, 1859; Giuseppe Garibaldi took Sicily and Naples—Kingdom of Italy, 1861; Rome, 1871
  • fragmented, North grew, Mezzogiorno lagged, disillusionment with political maneuvering

VII. Unification of Germany

  • Otto von Bismarck (1815-98): Junker, law degree, ambassador, opportunist, iron + blood, Realpolitik
  • Danish War, 1864; Austrian War, 1866: isolated AH, provoked it to declare war over Schleswig-Holstein; Prussian breechloading needle gun and better railroads—Königgrätz; Prussia controlled North German federation; military agreements with South Germans
  • Franco-Prussian War, 1870-1: isolated Louis Napoleon; Hohenzollern to Spanish throne, withdrew, Bismarck rephrased Wilhelm I’s refusal to apologize to insult French; France declared war (prime minister: “We go to war with a light heart.”) Sedan—Napoleon and army captured; lost Alsace-Lorraine
  • Versailles, Jan. 18, 1871: Wilhelm I declared Kaiser of the Second Reich; immensely powerful
  • Paris Commune: radicals and anarchists; executions, red/white bitter class antagonism


Eastern Europe, 1815-1914

I. Russia

  • serfdom and rural sector: little more than slaves, uprisings, backwardness, failure in Crimean War, nobles’ resistance; Alexander II (1855-81): abolition, 1861; half land, high price; zemstvo, mir, exports; Slavophiles, narodniki vs Westernizers, Alexander Herzen; assassination of Alexander II
  • industrialization: population growth; railroads, industry, proletariat; Sergei Witte, minister of finance, mercantilist; Transsiberian, Far East, Western capital and technology, steel and coal in Ukraine, petroleum in Baku; conquest of Central Asia
  • Revolution of 1905—Nicholas II, 1894-1917; Russo-Japanese War, 1904-5, Tsushima Straits; unrest, Bloody Sunday, general strike—got civil rights; Duma, 1906; tsar backtracked, dismissed; authoritarian regime, secret police; liberals and revolutionaries to Siberia, underground, exile, anti-Semitism, pogroms
  • intellectual and cultural zenith: Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Turgenev, Chekhov, Tchaikovsky, opera, art, architecture, education, science, Mendeleev, Pavlov, Jewish intellectuals

II. Austria-Hungary

  • nationalities: Germans, Magyars, Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, Ruthenians, Croats, Slovenes, Serbs, Italians, Romanians, Jews, Roma; cross-cutting religions, class interests
  • war and politics: Prussia, 1866; end of role in Germany, shift to Balkans; loss of northern Italian possessions, subordinate to Prussian ally; Ausgleich of 1867: kaiserliche und königliche: common army, finances, emperor/king; Magyarization; rise of Slavs (Czech Renaissance), Russian interest, disintegrative pressures
  • economy: industry in Bohemian lands, Galicia, Vienna; middle class, proletariat; emancipation of serfs, 1848; Hungary agrarian; railroads
  • culture: Vienna’s creative intellectual life: Freud, literature, music from Strauss to atonalism, art
  • general: links included economy (Danube), intermarriage, multilingualism, shared culture, loyalty to Kaiser, prevalent Catholicism, army

III. Balkans

  • independence: Serbia, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria—horrors; Great Powers, Istanbul, Panslavism; religions and national myths; railroads, agriculture; Macedonia (Salonika); Bosnia-Herzegovina; Albanians (Kosovo)
  • Congress of Berlin, 1878: Russian-Turkish War, 1877-8; B-H to A-H (occupied); ethno-religious 3-way split; Caucasus
  • Balkan Wars: 1908—Young Turks; A-H annexed B-H, 1908; 1912: Serbs, then Bulgarians defeated Ottomans; Greece took Salonika; 1913: Serbs and Greeks beat Bulgarians
  • factors making Balkans contentious
  • decline of Ottoman Empire: inescapable, messy, latent power of Turks: numbers, military prowess, refugees, nationalism
  • meddling of Great Powers: 1) Russia vs A-H: Panslavism and spheres; 2) Russia vs Ottomans and GB—Straits, protector of Christians; 3) A-H vs Serbia over Bosnia; 4) German ambitions in Middle East; Berlin-Baghdad railroad; 5) GB (Cyprus); Italy (Dodecanese, Dalmatia, Trieste)
  • ethnic claims (geography, history), hatreds, atrocities; especially Macedonia and B-H
  • religious hatreds and rivalries: Muslim vs Christian; Greek Patriarchate vs Exarchate vs Catholics
  • militarism, especially Bulgaria
  • lack of democratic tradition: illusions (Megali Idea), demagoguery, dictatorships, assassinations


Ottoman Empire and Balkans

I. Expansion

  • Turks from Central Asia via Persia: ghazis in Anatolia and Balkans, and Christian renegades; Constantinople/Istanbul, 1453—largest city; Belgrade, 1521; Mohács, 1526; Vienna, 1529
  • Kanuni Sultan Suleiman (the Magnificent) (1520-66)
  • North Africa, Egypt
  • Hejaz—custodian; also custodian of Holy Land; Yemen, “To die in Yemen.”
  • Caucasus and Mesopotamia, Gulf
  • French alliance

II. Empire

  • military: devshirme, Janissaries; annual expeditions of large armies; second-hand technology; wars vs Persia; Steppe Frontier; naval wars vs Venice
  • political: indirect rule; unity of Muslims; grand viziers, harem politics, succession struggles, mutinies, corruption
  • social: Turks, millet; dhimmi; People of the Book; no military service but poll tax, toleration; mixing of Muslim peoples
  • economic: booty, taxes; commerce and industry left to Greeks, Jews, Armenians; trade with Asia; outflanked by Portuguese and others; no innovation
  • intellectual and religious: osmanlica; ulema, Sunni/Alevi/Sufi; conservatives vs printing press, tech school; no science or translations; culture from Persia, Arab lands: beautiful art, architecture
  • in general, a great “universal” empire, a serious threat to southern Europe, toleration and different customs and people permitted periods and spheres of peace and prosperity

III. Balkans

  • humiliating suppression of peoples, but many converts and collaborators, some economic development (Salonika), Orthodox churches maintained national identities
  • Moldavia and Wallachia—Phanariots; Greek, French influences on Romanians
  • Serbia/Bosnia—conversions; pashas, zadruga, knez, hajduks, horses, clothing, Military Frontier
  • Greece also partly under Venice until Ottomans conquered Cyprus and Crete
  • many Albanians converted; few Bulgarians did

IV. Slow Decline of Ottomans

  • siege of Vienna, 1683; loss of Hungary, Crimea; internal corruption and stagnation
  • loss of Polish ally; Persian wars
  • could not keep up with new European military technology and tactics, economic dynamism, rise of Russia
  • but Ottoman Empire nonetheless remained surprisingly resilient


Mass Society, 1850-1914

I. Population

  • 1850—270 m; 1910—460 m; 60 m emigrants
  • medical discoveries, environmental improvements: vaccinations, improved sanitation, nutrition, pasteurization

II. Urbanization

  • 6.5 m in London, 1900; mass migration to cities
  • sanitation and public health, private baths, housing, transportation, pollution, redesign, e.g., of Paris
  • department store, yellow press, telephone, electricity, paid entertainment

III. Class

  • upper; lost monopoly of officer corps and power in parliaments, but tipping the hat, accents, snobbery, etc. remained
  • middle class: progress, hard work, entrepreneurialism, vertical and horizontal mobility, science, morality, petty bourgeoisie, nationalism; Victorian Age; “rising middle class”

IV. Workers

  • women—right to work vs domesticity; unions and socialists opposed; sweating; prostitution
  • socialist parties: Wilhelm Liebknecht and August Bebel—German Social Democratic Party (SPD), 1875; Second International, 1889; revisionism—Eduard Bernstein, Evolutionary Socialism, 1899
  • unions: 1870s—right to strike; trade unions for collective bargaining; rising pay; Bismarckbenefits
  • anarchists: at first peaceful abolition of state and social institutions; Mikhail Bakunin—violence; assassinations
  • syndicalism in Southern Europe

V. Education

  • Greek, Latin Gymnasium; technical high schools
  • primary school increasingly compulsory
  • nationalism, language, civics, secularism
  • Northern Europe had 100% literacy by 1900

VI. Racism and Antisemitism

  • from Renaissance on, denigration and arrogance based on color, language, stage of civilization
  • 1850-1945: great age of European racism
  • Arthur de Gobineau, Essay on the Inequality of the Human Race, 1853-4—Aryans (Indo-Europeans); justification of colonialism, slavery
  • cranial measurement, racial typing, eugenics, Social Darwinism
  • antisemitism:
  • traditional: religious, economic, Martin Luther
  • emancipation—assimilation; Ostjuden—Yiddish, pogroms, Pale, migration
  • Alfred Dreyfus Affair—French antisemitism
  • Karl Lueger, mayor of Vienna; Richard Wagner
  • unsettling social changes: blame the Jews; racial, religious, financiers/Bolsheviks/upwardly mobile professionals; Protocols of the Elders of Zion
  • Zionism—Theodor Herzl, The Jewish State. 1896; where? Palestine
  • emigration to America; assimilation and intermarriage


Intellectual History, 1850-1914

I. Natural Sciences

  • Background: explain technological advances: steam engine led to thermodynamics; professionals, R&D labs, growing faith in science
  • chemistry: atomic theory, Dmitri Mendeleev—periodic law; chemical and pharmaceutical industries
  • life sciences
    • 1. evolution
      • J-B Lamarck, 1809—species evolve; environment causes acquired characteristics
      • geology: Charles Lyell: Earth much older, slow change > catastrophism
      • Charles Darwin (1809-82)—amateur; On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection, 1859; survival of the fittest, Herbert Spencer—Social Darwinism
      • Gregor Mendel—genetics
    • 2. healthcare: Louis Pasteur: microorganisms cause fermentation; Pasteurization; germ theory of disease; Joseph Lister—antisepsis; anesthesia: ether and chloroform
  • physics: Michael Faraday—amateur, magnetic induction, electrochemistry; electromagnetic theory, x-rays, and radioactivity; Max Planck—quantum theory; Albert Einstein—relativity, matter and energy interchangeable; Werner Heisenberg—uncertainty principle

II. Social Sciences

  • August Comte: positivism—development of society led to science; now to social science
  • sociology: Max Weber: bureaucratization; Ferdinand Tönnies, Community and Society; Gustave LeBon: The Crowd, irrational activism, group vs individual; Georges Sorel: Reflections on Violence (1908)—general strike
  • psychology
  • Sigmund Freud, 1856-1939: biography, classics, literary, bisexual, cocaine, hypnotism; conceptual thinking, seminal: id, ego, superego—repression, denial, latency; childhood sexuality—Oedipus Complex; dream as wish-fulfillment; free association, Unconscious, therapy cult—psychoanalysis; often crude, misunderstood, criticisms, impact of theory in different fields
  • Carl Jung: archetypes, collective conscious/unconscious, myths, world cultures, Nazism

III. Church under Siege

  • Biblical criticism; geology—Earth much older; Friedrich Nietzsche—heroism vs religious weakness; secularism of urban life; state-supported education—nationalism; Kulturkampf; Vatican I: Pius IX—papal infallibility, 1870; Leo XIII—encyclical Rerum Novarum, 1891

IV Realism in Literature

  • rejected hypocrisy and dullness of bourgeoisie
  • rejected sentimentality of romantics: prose > poetry; ordinary life; social issues
  • Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot; George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), Middlemarch; Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary; Émile Zola, Germinale; Charles Dickens, Bleak House

V. Art: Impressionism: modern life, Nature, color, light, Éduard Manet, Claude Monet, Pierre-August Renoir, Edgar Dégas; Post-Impressionism: Paul Cézanne, Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin; Cubism: Pablo Picasso—Modernism; Abstract Art: Vassily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich

VI. Music—Debussy; Modernism: Igor Stravinsky, The Rite of Spring; Arnold Schoenberg, atonality


The New Imperialism

I. Background: Economic Growth

  • Second Industrial Revolution: steel, chemicals, electricity, light bulb, telegraph/telephone, radio, internal combustion engine, photography and film; cartels, scientific management
  • Germany and US overtook GB, 1850-1900; Depression, 1873-1894
  • mass society: department stores, socialist parties—Revisionism, syndicalism; impact on families, women’s rights; Victorian Era
  • global market: Suez Canal, 1869, and Panama Canal, 1914; transoceanic cables, steel steamships, trade grew 25x from 1800 to 1913, radical rise/gap in standard of living
  • Great Migration: Europe’s population from 188 m in 1800 to 432 m in 1900 + 60 m emigrants, 45% to US; 1 in 3 returned; Jews and Irish didn’t; young, skilled peasants and artisans; energetic, enterprising; migrant workers—Italians to France and Argentina

II. Causes, Motives, Justification of New Imperialism

  • economic: J.A. Hobson, Imperialism: A Study, 1902; V.I. Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, 1916; competition eliminates inefficient, leads to monopoly; surplus capital persuades governments to gain colonies for higher profits from investment, raw materials, and new markets; Lenin said rising wages of European workers (aristocracy of labor) + war lead to revolution + communism. But most investment abroad went elsewhere; colonies were not important markets; all powers got vital raw materials elsewhere; few colonies were profitable (India was); still, hoped would cure depression; entrepreneurs persuaded governments to bail out failing companies: mercantilism; industrial growth boosted demand for tropical products—ivory, rubber, palm oil, minerals
  • military: 1) competition for ports, fueling stations, bases, strategic territory; 2) deflection from European confrontation: Bismarck supported French grab of Tunisia; 3) military and technological superiority: organization, tactics, repeater rifle, machine gun; quinine, steamship, telegraph: growing disparity of power; 4) military men wanted career opportunities
  • political: conservative politicians manipulated jingoism to reduce political and social tensions; colonies conferred Great Power status: “A place in the sun”
  • social: colonies to absorb excess population (but most went elsewhere); Social Darwinism
  • religious and cultural: missionaries, botanists, civilizing mission, White Man’s Burden
  • so multicausal; sometimes one factor predominated; rationales frequently misled, unintended consequences, false consciousness; anti-colonialism—free trade movement; problem of prioritization

III. Asia

  • China: Opium War, 1841-2: Hong Kong, treaty ports; Boxer Rebellion, 1900
  • Japan: Matthew Perry, 1853; Meiji Restoration
  • India: Sepoy Rebellion, 1857; replaced East India Company; Indian National Congress, 1883
  • French—Indochina; Dutch—Indonesia; US—Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Alaska
  • Russia: Central Asia and Caucasus; border treaties with China

IV. Africa

  • Egypt: Khedive sought investment; debt, riots in 1882, British occupied, Khedive puppet
  • by 1880, Algeria, South Africa, Mozambique, Angola colonies
  • British took Rhodesia; Boer War, 1899-1902
  • Leopold II, Belgian Congo
  • Berlin Conference, 1884-5: effective occupation
  • Sudan, 1898; Omdurman—11,000 tribesmen and 28 British killed, Fashoda Incident
  • Ethiopia vs Italy—Adowa, 1896

Alliances and Crises, 1871-1914

I. Alliances

  • Bismarck too successful, Germany too strong after 1871; isolate France vs revanchism for Alsace-Lorraine; keep Russian and Austria-Hungary from clashing in Balkans
  • Russian victory over Ottomans in 1877-8, but Congress of Berlin blocked and infuriated Russia
  • alliance of Germany and A-H vs Russia, 1879; Triple Alliance with Italy, 1882
  • 1890—Wilhelm II dismissed Bismarck, refused to renew Reinsurance Treaty with Russia
  • Franco-Russian Alliance, 1891; loans and arms, Germany faced 2-front war
  • UK: Splendid Isolation, Boer War, 1899-1902; German naval build-up, Alfred von Tirpitz; Anglo-French Entente, 1904; Moroccan crisis, 1906—Germany as bully
  • Anglo-Russian Agreement, 1907—Triple Entente; Second Moroccan crisis, 1911

II. Balkan Wars

  • nationalism destroying Ottoman Empire in Balkans and perhaps A-H, too
  • Congress of Berlin, 1878: Bosnia-Herzegovina occupied by A-H; Serbia and Romania independent; Bulgaria—autonomy; Russia backed Slavs
  • First Balkan War vs Ottomans, 1912
  • Second Balkan War vs Bulgaria, 1913—Macedonia, Albania
  • Austria-Hungary feared that it might be next

III. Outbreak of World War I

  • June 28, 1914—Gavrilo Princip of Serbian Black Hand assassinated Archduke Ferdinand at Sarajevo; July 23—after receiving German blank check, A-H sent ultimatum to Serbia; July 28—A-H declared war on Serbia, which had Russia as protector
  • wider war: July 28—Tsar Nicholas II ordered partial mobilization vs A-H; impossible not to mobilize against Germany, too, so July 29 ordered full mobilization; Aug. 3—Germany executed revised Schlieffen Plan for fast knock-out blow vs France, which had mobilized—violated Belgian neutrality vs 1839 guarantee; Aug. 4—UK declared war—Triple Entente; Italy remained neutral
  • cheering crowds expected quick victory, but in reality it was to be a long, terrible bloodbath and the end of the old Europe

IV. Interpretations

  • Feeling surrounded and in relative decline, German leaders thought they had to strike soon—sought casus belli.
  • Conservative forces in Germany and Russia were threatened by social unrest. To hold on to power, they gambled on war to rally the masses and preserve privileged position. Threatened by ethnic separatism, A-H gambled out of desperation.
  • Longstanding German striving for domination caused war—Griff nach der Weltmacht.
  • Evolution of European state system and bellicose nationalism made general war a likely event.
  • Errors and miscalculations led to a general war that nobody wanted.
  • Deep negligence by all great powers. No proper civilian control over war planning (war is too important to be left to the generals), no recognition of horrors of general war with advanced technology (except Friedrich Engels), and no serious proactive diplomatic efforts to reduce tensions and solve problems. In spite of its great strength and interest in peace, U.S. played no role.


World War I

I. Western Front/Eastern Front

  • Belgium, Battle of Marne; Tannenberg/Masurian Lakes (Paul von Hindenburg/Erich von Ludendorff)
  • trench warfare: attacks vs machine guns; shelling; Somme, Verdun; slaughter, disillusionment
  • new technology: gas, tanks, aircraft, barbed wire, radio

II. Wider War

  • naval: Jutland, U-boats—unrestricted submarine warfare
  • Ottomans and Bulgaria joined Central Powers: mass deportation of Armenians, genocide, 1915; Gallipoli campaign; Arab Revolt and British move from Egypt; Italy joined Entente, 1915
  • entry of US, April, 1917 in response to unrestricted submarine warfare, a reckless gamble

III. The Home Front

  • total war: government planning set production priorities; rationing, price and wage controls; Italy joined Entente, 1915; Germanyrationing raw materials, synthetics (Ersatz); severe caloric restriction—750,000 Germans starved; many Russians, too; women in workforce (43% of labor force in Russia)
  • egalitarianism: jobs for poor, women; equality in death
  • censorship and propaganda—atrocities in Belgium
  • Easter Rebellion in Ireland, 1916; strikes, protests; Italian, French troops mutinied; A-H exhausted

IV. Russian Revolution

  • Nicholas II, Alexandra, Rasputin (murdered in 1916); terrible losses, hunger
  • March 8, 1917: Petrograd women marched, riots, soldiers joined crowd, Duma declared Provisional Government and Nicholas II abdicated
  • Alexander Kerensky—pursue war vs Petrograd Soviet, agitation vs officers; soldiers voted with feet
  • Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, 1870-1924: destroy capitalism by violent revolution; revolution could occur even in a backward country (peasants); elite of professional revolutionaries—Bolsheviks
  • Leon Trotsky, Nov. 6 coup; congress of soviets, by 390 of 650 delegates, gave all power to soviets and appointed Lenin head
  • Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, March, 1918—large territorial losses imposed by Germans

V. End of the War

  • Ludendorff’s 1918 offensive initially successful—but 2 million Americans
  • Bulgaria, Turkey, A-H out; strikes, revolts in Germany; Kaiser abdicated; republic—armistice, 11/11
  • founding of Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, independent Poland
  • moderate German Social Democrats—murder of Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg—no revolution, but German Communist Party

VI. Treaty of Versailles, etc.

  • Wilson’s 14 Points—idealism, national self-determination and rights; League of Nations
  • David Lloyd George, Georges Clemenceau: war guilt, vindictive, reparations, security
  • Treaty: Germany lost colonies, territory; army of 100,000, reparations; protested but signed, 6/28/19
  • other treaties with Austria (St. Germain), Hungary (Trianon), Bulgaria (Neuilly)
  • Middle East: secret agreements, Sykes-Picot, League mandates; French took Syria and Lebanon; UK—Iraq, Palestine, Jordan; Balfour Declaration, 1917 on Jewish homeland; Greek-Turkish war
  • US Senate refused to ratify Versailles or join League; US and UK refused to ally with France


Fascism and Nazism

I. Interwar Economy

  • German reparations: 1921, $33 b; one payment, then refusal; French occupied Ruhr
  • inflation: Nov. 1, 1923: $1 = DM 4.2 t; political uprisings in Germany, wiped out savings
  • US investments, loans—Dawes Plan, 1924; Gustav Stresemann
  • Locarno (1925) guaranteed Germany’s Western frontier and generated good feeling; Germany entered League, 1926; but RapalloGerman-Russian secret military cooperation, 1922
  • Great Depression:   domestic difficulties; Wall Street crash—US investors pulled out of Germany, spread Depression; 1932—40% of German workers unemployed (in a high control need culture)

II. Italian Fascism (the big story of the 1920s)

  • 550,000 killed in WW I; huge debts; nationalism
  • Benito Mussolini—teacher, socialist editor; 1919—Fasci italiani di combattimento; turmoil, strikes, parliamentary deadlock; business and agricultural leaders, middle class feared socialism/communism; squadristi—Black Shirts; party of order; parliamentary; Oct. 1922—Mussolini PM—march on Rome
  • 1926—dictatorship of Il Duce: armed forces, monarchy kept spheres; 1929 Lateran Accords with Vatican; Catholicism state religion
  • new Roman Empire; rhetoric vs reality; attacks on Albania, Ethiopia
  • authoritarian vs totalitarian; Fascism and corporate state; model for others; irrational activism

III. Nazi Germany

  • Weimar Republic: many hostile to democracy; Hindenburg president from 1925; middle class insecure, feared communists; inflation, temporary stability and success, then Depression
  • Adolf Hitler, 1889-1945:  likely some Czech ancestry; high school dropout; decent artist; Wagner: true artist as outcast, will to power, grandiose; antisemitism: reading, Karl Lueger—demagogue; Aryans—German nationalism and racism; Jews and other inferior races to be deported, liquidated:  WW I: deliverance, dispatches, gassed, mild Traumatic Brain Injury?; save Germany from Jews and Bolsheviks—Dolchstoss; Munich—renamed party National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP)—Nazi; SA—Sturmabteilung—Brown Shirts
  • Beer Hall Putsch, 1923; Ludendorff; go legal route
  • Mein Kampf: Social Darwinism; Lebensraum; then Führerprinzip; appeal to youth; swastika, flags, ceremonies, speeches (logorrhea)
  • Third Reich
  • Chancellor Heinrich Brüning couldn’t form working parliamentary majority—1930: relied on decrees by Hindenburg;
  • Nazis appealed to class interests, while Hitler promised to free Germany of classes and party infighting;
  • 1932—Nazis won 230 seats, plurality; right wing: industrialists, landed aristocrats, generals, bureaucrats thought Hitler would save them from Communists—pressured Hindenburg to make him chancellor, with safeguards; Hermann Göring minister of interior
  • 1933: Reichstag Fire: Hindenburg gave government emergency powers; in March, Nazis got 288 seats but not majority; got Enabling Act passed—legal basis for dictatorship; Gleichschaltung, then crushed SA (1934)
  • propaganda: Being German—strong Germany, Teutonic, Nuremberg party rallies, enthusiasm; Jews, communists scapegoats
  • Anarchical Authoritarianism management style
  • economy: rearmament solved unemployment
  • Terror: Schutzstaffel (SS)—Heinrich Himmler
  • Hitlerjugend
  • antisemitism/pro-Aryan, step by step: exclusion from professions; Nuremberg laws (excluded Jews from citizenship and intermarriage); wear star, banned from business; 1938—Kristallnacht; concentration camps

IV. What factors enabled Hitler to seize power?

  • Great Depression: unemployment 43% in 1932; industrial production fell by 50% from 1929 to 1932; Hitler rejected free market and advocated government programs to bring recovery while he fostered image of mainstream politician, downplaying racist nationalism and anti-Semitism
  • Appealed to youth: Hitler only 40 in 1929; most aides much younger than other German politicians; future-oriented national recovery, exciting new opportunities, personal advancement
  • Poor performance of Weimar Republic’s government: normal government had broken down by 1930; rule by decree (Article 48); Br?ning’s ultraorthodox spending cuts worsened economic crisis
  • Communists refused to cooperate with Social Democrats, yet their image spread fear of communist revolution; rivalry and ideology separated Germany’s leftist parties; Stalin: Fascism as last stage of monopoly capitalism leading to communist revolution, so ordered hard line vs Social Democrats
  • Hitler promised army and big business increased military spending, big contracts, strong measures against workers; they wanted to use him, but he used them; conservative, nationalist politicians, too
  • Evil Genius of Adolf Hitler: clever lies, charismatic oratory, opportunism, ruthlessness, propaganda

V. East European authoritarianism

  • little democratic tradition; small middle class; landowners feared land reform; Depression
  • Marshal Joseph Pilsudski military dictator in Poland, 1926
  • Yugoslavia—royal dictatorship in 1929; all rest followed except Czechoslovakia; Masaryk/Beneš
  • Nazi Germany foisted mercantilist economic agreements on East Europeans

VI. Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939

  • rightwing dictatorship—1936—Popular Front government
  • Francisco Franco, military revolt
  • Russia supported Left; Italy and Germany Right
  • dictatorship to 1975, but out of World War II


The USSR, 1917-1941

I. Civil War

  • Lenin closed Constituent Assembly (Socialist Revolutionary majority) after one day, Jan. 1918
  • Bolsheviks held central Russia; after murder of tsar and family, Whites had no clear program or unity; Trotsky—tough Red Army, atrocities by both sides
  • war communism; Cheka/NKVD/KGB—foreign and domestic; half-hearted foreign interventions; Bolshevik victory; emigration

II. Rise of Stalin

  • New Economic Policy (NEP), 1921-27 vs famine; swift recovery
  • Lenin died, 1924; Trotsky (and Nikolai Bukharin)—permanent revolution; finally exiled
  • Josef Stalin (Dzhugashvili)—socialism in one country; falsified revolutionary deeds and ties to Lenin; general secretary of Party; bureaucracy; Comintern vs socialists
  • First Five Year Plan, 1928—rapid industrialization
  • collectivization of agriculture (kolkhoz) vs kulaks, resisters, famine—6-10 m dead; 12 m left for cities

III. Society and Culture

  • black bread, vodka, housing shortages, lines, blat
  • idealism—Stakhanovites; first socialist country; huge hydroelectric projects, giganticism
  • social benefits: pensions, free medicine—poor drugs but decent spa medicine, free education, day-care centers, no unemployment
  • women—work, education, medical doctors, job + kids + housework, hero mothers
  • art: abstract, experiments—then Socialist Realism, Maxim Gorky, writers’ union, conform for career
  • repression of Orthodoxy; churches became museums; collaboration; Jews tolerated
  • propaganda: repetition, slogans, from childhood, much positive, cult of personality, ubiquitous, censorship, xenophobia, effects
  • informers, class resentment, jealousy, internal passports, dossiers, pressure to join CP

IV. Great Purge/GULAG

  • Sergei Kirov, Politburo member, assassinated, 1934; arrests, expulsions from party, labor camps; Stalin had ordered the assassination, it appears
  • show trials, 1936-38: Bukharin and other former officials—ritual confessions of shortcomings in party; interrogation, torture, threats to family; families were arrested, sent to camps, shot; traitors, spies, wreckers, old Bolsheviks; “enemy of the people”; witch hunt
  • after CP, then government bureaucrats, armed forces; to settle old scores, to gain political advantage over rivals, to exert control over lower levels and provinces
  • 1937 on: 8 million arrests; millions executed or died in camps; Stalin went after central party elite, while local groups fingered their own targets; Stalin paranoid but also had to fear enemies; wanted to consolidate power; New Soviet Men loyal to him
  • after WW II, new purges; GULAG Archipelago: kulaks, WW II prisoners, many others
  • In fact, no threat, no plots, no sabotage, no spying. So why? Totalitarian society must always be fighting real or imagined enemies.


World War II

I. Appeasement, 1933-39

  • Hitler said only wanted to change the “unjust” system of Versailles, and only by legal means; knew France and UK had no desire for war: appeasement
  • March 1935—declared military draft, Versailles null; March 1936—marched into demilitarized Rhineland; last chance to stop; UK did not support France; use Hitler vs communism
  • 1935—Mussolini attacked Ethiopia; sanctions; 1936—Rome-Berlin Axis; Japan (Manchuria)—Anti-Comintern Pact
  • March 1938—Anschluss with Austria
  • Czechoslovak-French alliance; Maginot Line; Sudeten Germans; Neville Chamberlain; Beneš would not accept Soviet aid or fight; Munich Agreement, “peace for our time”; border regions occupied
  • March 1939—Germans occupied central Czech lands; France and UK allied with Poland
  • German-Russian nonaggression pact, August 23; secret zones in Eastern Europe
  • Sept. 1 invasion of Poland; UK and France declared war Sept. 3; Blitzkrieg; USSR took Eastern Poland; 1940—took Baltic republics, attacked Finland in Winter War

II. Axis Offensives, 1939-41

  • Sitzkrieg; Denmark, Norway, Netherlands conquered
  • fall of France; Henri-Philippe Pétain—Vichy regime; Charles de Gaulle—Free French
  • Battle of Britain—Winston Churchill; U-boat war; North Africa; Lend Lease
  • Germans into Balkans, April 1941, to bail out failed Italian attack on Greece
  • June 22, 1941—attacked USSR; underestimated Soviet armed forces, mistreated civilians; after great successes, stopped by cold and Red Army
  • Dec. 7—Pearl Harbor attack; Germany declared war on US

III. New Order

  • racial doctrine—Nordics, Latins, Slavs—subhumans; Lebensraum—resettlement
  • Holocaust
  • step by step, Hitler’s goal since 1918
  • SS mass shootings in Ukraine; gas chambers at death camps in Poland
  • 6 m Jews, 5 m others put to death: Roma, communists, POWs, homosexuals, mental patients, crippled, Resistance fighters
  • responsibility: laughing sadist Hitler, exhilarated by his own audacity; ordinary Germans—some soldiers trapped, but others hated Jews and many were indifferent; anti-Semites in Eastern Europe
  • German economy
  • not fully mobilized until 1943; women at home; empty factories; some slave labor, but starved POWs instead of using as slave labor; relatively few Jews as slave laborers—priority to camps
  • Combined Bombing Offensive (CBO): economic warfare; anti-civilian, 500,000 killed; Dresden wiped out; did not break morale but took toll, including Luftwaffe
  • Allies produced far more tanks, etc; Germany could not arm, equip, train, and provide manpower; Hitler starved Wehrmacht; funds to SS

IV. Allied Offensives, 1942-45

  • Big Three: Europe First; military victory > eventual political settlement; unconditional surrender
  • US aid to UK and USSR; giant US economic and military potential; US/UK dominated seas
  • total mobilization of UK effective—women
  • USSR: factories to East, rapidly productive; Russian patriotism; Red Army well led, high numbers (Nas mnogo), terrible casualties—20 m soldiers and civilians died
  • Resistance: not effective for combat; but attrition, tying down troops, sabotage, intelligence, morale, counterpropaganda; however, many Europeans sat out war, and quite a few informed
  • Eastern Front: Leningrad, Stalingrad, Kursk; long German defensive—main war; Second Front
  • North Africa—El Alamein; invasion of Italy; June 6, 1944—Normandy invasion
  • May 1945: Hitler’s suicide; May 7—unconditional surrender
  • nuclear bombing of Japan brought August 14 surrender; Russia took Sakhalin, Kuriles

V. German Mistakes

  • Economic
    1. Did not completely mobilize war economy soon enough.
    2. Did not draft women into economy until 1940s, especially 1943.
    3. Starved and shot Soviet POWs instead of using them as slave labor.
    4. Wasted resources to destroy Jews, who could have boosted economy in ordinary jobs or as slave laborers.
    5. Diverted supplies from army to SS and other units.
  • Political
    1. Permitted endless bureaucratic infighting and duplication.
    2. Alienated populations of occupied territories, especially in USSR, where many were initially against Stalin.
  • Strategic
    1. Failed to destroy British and allied forces at Dunkirk.
    2. Fought Battle of Britain vs high odds (stack of contingencies: RAF, Royal Navy, beachhead, conquest, US support), yet failed to target grievous British vulnerabilities:  fighter plane production, electrical grid, sealanes that could have been cut by bombers from France and Norway.
    3. Declared war on US, sparing it dilemma over Europe First vs Pacific War.
    4. Did not coordinate with Japan vs USSR.
    5. Wasted Rommel’s Nordafrika Korps in fruitless campaign.
    6. Delayed attack on USSR to handle Balkans sideshow, yet didn’t prepare for winter.
    7. Put too much effort on north and south in 1941 attack on USSR, and did not attack Moscow and main Soviet forces in Spring 1942.


Postwar Europe

I. Cold War

  • Big Three
  • Teheran, 1943: Second Front; later: Churchill-Stalin—spheres in Balkans
  • Yalta, Feb. 1945: German zones of occupation; heavy reparations to USSR; USSR to declare war on Japan; Eastern Europe—free elections but pro-Soviet
  • Potsdam, July 1945, Truman: Soviet troops, local communists, coalition government; Truman demanded free elections; Stalin—nyet
  • Bring the boys home/talk tough; Churchill’s 1946 Iron Curtain speech/Containment
  • CPs in France, Italy—criticisms, strikes; Greece and Turkey: Truman Doctrine
  • Marshall Plan $13 b to Western Europe; Stalin refused for Eastern Europe, purged noncommunists, trials; Berlin Airlift
  • NATO, 1949 (confront Soviets, contain Germany); Warsaw Pact later; Soviet nukes, communists took over in China, Korean War

II. Western Europe: Revival and Unity

  • Federal Republic of Germany (FRG): Nuremberg Trials, denazification, 13 m refugees, displaced persons, impoverishment, black market, inflation; Christian Democrats—Konrad Adenauer; social democracy—welfare state; joined NATO
  • UK, France, Italy welfare states; France under de Gaulle exited NATO in 1958, nuclear deterrent
  • European Union: Jean Monnet—European Steel and Coal Community—Treaty of Rome, 1957: European Economic Community (EEC-Common Market)/European Free Trade Area (EFTA); UK reluctant to drop special ties to former colonies and US, but in 1970s became deeply involved in European Community (EC), finally European Union (EU)
  • rapid economic growth; protected agriculture; American and Japanese challenges
  • decolonization: 1) demand for independence; 2) defeats of French, UK, and Netherlands in World War II; liberation movements; 3) anti-imperialism stronger in a chastened Europe; 4) need to rebuild
  • India, Indonesia, Indochina, Israel, Suez crisis, 1956; Algerian war and independence, 1954-62; neocolonialism in Africa

III. USSR and Eastern Europe

  • Stalin’s last years, 1945-53: purges, GULAG, ideology, cult of personality; Stalinism in Eastern Europe; nationalization, purges, suppression of middle class; COMECON, planning; only Josip Broz Tito kept Yugoslavia independent
  • destalinization: Lavrenti Beria; Nikita Khrushchev’s secret speech to 20th Party Congress in 1956—crimes of Stalin; thaw
  • consumer goods, economic boom
  • dissidents, samizdat, jokes, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, peaceful coexistence
  • Hungarian revolt, 1956; Berlin Wall, 1961; Sino-Soviet split, 1961; Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962
  • stagnation and decline: Leonid Brezhnev, 1964-82, military build-up; Prague Spring—Alexander Dubcek, socialism with a human face; invasion; Brezhnev Doctrine
  • serious slowdown, shoddy work, apparatchiki, radishes, rising corruption, alcoholism, criminality

IV. Détente

  • relaxation of Cold War tensions: FRG/GDR; Willy Brandt, mayor, SPD, chancellor, 1970: Ostpolitik; Poland—treaty of reconciliation; treaties accepting boundaries; Helsinki Accords, 1975; accepted existing borders, human rights provisions; US build-up, Evil Empire speech/Star Wars


Collapse of the Soviet Bloc

I. Factors

  • Military: very high defense expenditures; couldn’t compete with US technology and economy; from Sputnik to Star Wars, space, private sector dynamism; Afghan War; poor morale
  • Political: fossilization, gerontocracy under Brezhnev; hollowing out of CPSU, cynicism, single party
  • Prison House of Peoples; Eastern Europe—pull of West; Muslims in south
  • dissidents; appeal of outside world; tired of dictatorship of proletariat + people’s democracy
  • Mikhail Gorbachev, 1985-1991: Glasnost’—criticism, revise Soviet history
  • Economic—Perestroika: stagnation, failure of planning in spite of material incentives, behind West, environmental pollution, Chernobyl’, environmental groups; shoddy products, poor service, poor work morale; corruption, black economy; defense sector > consumer sector
  • Social: decline in health: alcohol, cigarettes, pollution, poor food, third-class medicine; end of Russian population growth, aging; bureaucracy, restrictions (internal passports), cold public life vs family + friends
  • Intellectual and Religious: scientists, engineers, doctors, managers wanted better; freedom + religion > ideals of Russian Revolution and dogmas of Marxism

II. Collapse

  • Poland—Solidarity under Lech Walesa in Gdansk from 1980 on; Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II; military dictatorship but liberalization
  • Gorbachev: withdrew from Afghanistan, campaigns vs alcohol, etc., arms control
  • Hungary—peaceful transition, investment; GDR—to Hungary to cross border; Gorbachev refused to back GDR regime vs demonstrators; opened Wall, then tore it down; Oct. 3, 1990—reunification
  • Czechoslovakia—Václav Havel—Velvet Revolution, split
  • Romania—violent overthrow of Nicolae Ceausescu and security forces
  • Yugoslavia fell apart; Albania, Bulgaria
  • USSR: nationalities in union republics pressed for independence; Lithuania declared independence—Gorbachev tried to stop, failed; Great Russian nationalism—Russian Federation under Boris Yeltsin; attempted coup of August 1991; Dec. 1991—end of USSR; replaced by Commonwealth of Independent States; end of Cold War

III. New Russia

  • great loss in territory, population, and economic resources; more reliance on Siberia; emigration of most Jews and many scientists and engineers—major brain drain; immigration of Russians and guest workers from former union republics; population decline from poor health and cultural despair
  • privatization, oligarchs, mafia, corruption, investment, Western culture + reaction to it; tremendous boost from world demand for natural resources
  • Vladimir Putin, ex-KGB, crafty power assertion over governors, oligarchs, liberal forces, with popular approval; police state, but still much more open than under communism; revamping of military

IV. New Eastern Europe

  • Baltics independent, quarrels with domestic Russians and Russia, entry into EU and NATO
  • Ukraine independent; questionable viability, Russian minority, Crimea, economic potential
  • East Central Europe (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary) into EU and NATO
  • war and ethnic cleansing in Yugoslavia—defeat of Serbian nationalism; Bosnia and Kosovo
  • brought socialist mentality and practices into EU but also appreciation of democracy


The New Europe

I. Intellectual and Religious

  • science: scientists in war effort: radar, jets, computers, nuclear bombs, rockets; Big Science; Soviets—Sputnik, 1957; cosmonaut, 1961; brain drain to US; US superior in tech biz (e.g., biotech); Concorde, nuclear energy, renewables; specialization, teamwork, alienation
  • Communism’s fellow travelers, disillusionment; Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon; George Orwell, Animal Farm, 1984
  • Existentialism vs rationalism; Martin Heidegger, Being and Time; Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea; Albert Camus, The Plague: death, fear, anxiety, alienation, “Man is condemned to be free.”; outdated—now postmodernism and beyond
  • expansion of universities: all classes, 1968 revolts, Europeanization
  • Americanization, English, pop culture
  • practice, deplore consumerism, tourism; but brought down Communism in Eastern Europe
  • environmentalism—Greens; pollution, oil embargo, 1973-4, nuclear fears; natural products
  • challenges to established churches: prosperity, political ideologies, environmentalism, gender politics, indifference, competing creeds; poor attendance, dechristianization; Vatican II—vernacular, ecumenical

II. Social

  • less rigid class structure: meritocracy of managers + technocrats, exodus from farms, white collar jobs, national health systems, welfare state
  • women: emancipation, postwar baby boom, then decline; females in jobs, discrimination; divorce; women’s movement—Simone Beauvoir, The Second Sex
  • generational change: informality, less stress on national differences + prejudices; cars, gadgets, leisure, vacations

III. Economic

  • crisis of 1970s, 1989s: monetary fluctuations, off gold; two oil shocks; conservatism—Margaret Thatcher; lost ground to US and East Asia, slow growth, yet great prosperity
  • impact of expanded market, Euro, globalization, long-term strengths
  • Financial Crisis, 2008 and ongoing

IV. European Unity

  • background: France + Germany sought cooperation after failure of League and two world wars; US + NATO; France + UK developed nukes; FRG didn’t; saw economic advantages—leave politics until later
  • stages: 1951—European Coal and Steel Community; 1957—Treat of Rome: European Economic Community (EEC)—Common Market—free trade, no tariffs, free flow of capital and labor; 1959—EFTA; 1973—UK, Ireland, Denmark; 1993—Treaty of Maastricht—European Union; common foreign policy, court, European Parliament, Commission; 2004—10 East European countries; dissension
  • a great success; peace, integration of Germany and Eastern Europe; endless problems: vs Brussels’ rules, Eurocrats, Turkey, Russia, costs of Common Agricultural Policy

V. New Agenda

  • problems: 1. terrorism; 2. relations with US; 3. globalization/language + culture; 4. low birth rate + aging; 5. immigration; 6. welfare state vs free enterprise; 7. environment and energy; 8. assimilation of East Europeans; 9. financial crisis; 10. dechristianization…but not war
  • assets: large; educated population; proud cultural heritage; peace


Kenneth J. Dillon is an historian who writes on science, medicine, and history.  See the biosketch at About Us.

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