History 4375 —  Spring 1997
G. Shanafelt


The great questions of the day cannot be solved by speeches and majority votes . . . but by blood and iron.
                                                                                                                         Otto von Bismarck
There must be, not a balance of power, but a community of power; not organized rivalries, but organized peace.
                                                                                                                         Wodrow Wilson

Reading Assignments

Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers
Garrett Mattingly, The Armada
James Joll, The Origins of the First World War, 2nd ed.
Kenneth M. Jansen, ed., Origins of the Cold War, 2nd ed.
Eyre Crowe, “Memorandum on the Present State of British Relations with France and Germany”

Course Requirements

War and Peace are the subjects of this course, which covers the development of the modern state system as it evolved from the time of the Renaissance in Europe to the present day.  What makes a state weak or strong? What causes war?  What causes peace?  How have statesmen worked to advance the interests of their states through both war and peace?  What are the chief motive forces that govern how sovereign states perceive their interests and relate to other states?  What has been the role of individual leadership, economic development, and plain accident on the course of developments over the centuries?  If some of these questions receive answers by the end of the semester, then the course will have fulfilled its goals.

It goes without saying that you are expected to come to class having completed the weekly reading assignments.  Your grade in this course will be computed as follows: 25% on each of three noncomprehensive tests and 25% on a 10-page typed, double-spaced paper.  The paper will be an essay comparing two primary documents from recent diplomatic history: Eyre Crowe's 1907 memorandum on Germany and George Kennan’s 1946 “Long Telegram” on the Soviet Union.  The tests will be roughly 40% objective and 60% essay. The final exam will be in actuality simply the third test; it will not be comprehensive.

Proposed Class and Reading Schedule

Jan 14 
Jan 16
Origins of the European State System
The Rise of the Habsburgs
Kennedy, xv-xxv, 3-72
Mattingly, 1-109
Jan 21
Jan 23
The Crises of the 16th Century
From the Armada to the 30 Years War
Mattingly, 110-244
Jan 28
Jan 30
Louis XIV and the Shopkeepers
Politics and War in the 18th Century
Mattingly, 245-334, 397-402
Kennedy, 73-115
Feb 4
Feb 6
The French Revolution and Napoleon
The Vienna Settlement, 1815
Kennedy, 115-139
Feb 11
Feb 13
Metternich’s Europe
Kennedy, 143-169
Feb 18
Feb 20
Napoleon III and Cavour 
Bismarck and Blood and Iron
Kennedy, 170-193
Feb 25
Feb 27
Bismarck’s Europe
Kennedy, 194-249
Joll, 1-9, 42-145
Mar 4
Mar 6
The Making of the Ententes
The Bones of a Pomeranian Grenadier 
Kennedy, 249-256
Joll, 146-198
  [Spring Break]
Mar 18
Mar 20
Wilson, Lenin, and the New Diplomacy
The Versailles Settlement, 1919
Kennedy, 256-291
Joll, 10-41, 199-240
Mar 25
Mar 27
The End of Collective Security
Kennedy, 291-320
Apr 1 
Apr 3
To Die for Danzig
Kennedy, 333-343
Apr 8
Apr 10
The Road to Pearl Harbor 
The Diplomacy of the Grand Alliance
Kennedy, 320-333, 347-357
Apr 15 The Cold War— I Kennedy, 357-437
Jensen, vii-95
Apr 17
Apr 17
The Cold War — II
Apr 22
Apr 24
The Fall of the Wall
A New World Order?
Kennedy, 438-540
Apr 29