Spring 2008

From Habsburg to Hitler: Bohemian Politics, 1848-1948

Listed in: History, as HIST-35


Jeremy King (Section 01)


(EU) This course explores the complex, sometimes comic, and ultimately tragic history of Bohemia, a territory that is located today in the Czech Republic, but previously was a part of the Habsburg Monarchy, of Czechoslovakia, and of Hitler's Third Reich. We will begin with the Revolution of 1848, and progress first through the stunning achievements and worrisome trends of Emperor-King Francis Joseph's 68-year reign, then through the horrors and hopes of two world wars, national self-determination, fascism, genocide, mass expulsion, and the onset of the Cold War. Throughout the course, emphasis will lie on understanding Bohemia's two national movements, Czech and German, as well as how those linked movements eventually succeeded, despite modest beginnings, in dominating Bohemian politics as a whole. Readings will come from many primary sources and a few secondary ones. Class meetings will feature a combination of lecture and discussion. Please come ready to ask questions and to answer them. Two class meetings per week. Second semester. Visiting Professor King of Mount Holyoke College.