Empires, Nations, and their Aftermath: Central and Eastern Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries
HIST 437 Empires, Nations, and their Aftermath: Central and Eastern Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries
This course will introduce the modern history of Central and Eastern Europe through the prism of nationalism. First, attention will be paid to the relationship between nation and empire, specifically in the cases of the Habsburg and Russian empires. Themes addressed will include how empires incorporated, divided or excluded heterogeneous territories and peoples, and how the existence of multi-ethnic empires influenced nationalism and national movements in Central and Eastern Europe. Students will be encouraged to discuss parallels with the Ottoman case. The second main topic of the course concerns the role of nationalism in the breakup of empires, as well as the fate of their legacy in the form of the resulting successor-states. In other words, this part of the course will deal with the emergence of nation-states and the survival of nationalism in inter-war Europe, including the rise of National Socialism. Finally, without accepting the often-emphasized similarities of the dissolution of the Soviet Union with that of the Russian, Habsburg or Ottoman empires, the course will conclude with reflections on the role of nationalism in and after the collapse of the Communist bloc.