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Home > History home > Prospective students > Undergraduate > Nationalism, Democracy and Minorities in Central Europe, 1918-1939
More in this section SecondandThird Year Courses

Nationalism, Democracy and Minorities in Central Europe, 1918-1939


Value: one unit


Dr Rudolf Muhs


Taught through weekly two-hour seminars 


Oral Presentation + Handout (10%), Best 2 Essays out of 3 (20%) and 3-hour Exam (70%)


During the two decades after the First World War the newly established or reconstituted countries of Central Europe (Germany, Austria, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary) were troubled by a multitude of problems. The aim of this course is to highlight the causes and consequences of the failure of parliamentary government and liberal institutions to take a firm hold: the legacy of war with its cult of violence and the militarisation of politics; the dilemma of counterrevolutionary regimes in pre-revolutionary societies; the difficulties of nation-building in multi-ethnic states; the pathology of modern culture and the handicap of backwardness; the flaws of authoritarian rule and the attraction of Italian fascism as a model for the New Right; the perils of mass politics without democracy; the appeal of communism and the reasons for its defeat. Setting the case of Germany in a wider context will help you realise what this country had in common with its smaller neighbours and what made it different, culminating in the triumph of Nazism and the unleashing of the Second World War.


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