History 4265 —  Spring 2011
G. Shanafelt

Modern Germany
Weimar Eagle

Reading Assignments

William Carr, A History of Germany, 1815-1990
A.J.P. Taylor, Bismarck, The Man and the Statesman
Alan Bullock, Hitler: A Study in Tyranny, abr. ed.
Anna Funder, Stasiland: Stories From Behind the Berlin Wall

Course Requirements

This course deals with German history in the last two centuries. Its main focus is what has been known to historians as the “German Problem”, the extent to which Germany does or does not belong to the mainstream of Western Civilization and how Germany has been integrated (or failed to be integrated) into the political fabric of the rest of Europe. Many of these questions seemed to be laid to rest in 1945 with the end of the Third Reich and the division of Germany. How much they are, in fact, dead issues now that Germany is reunified will be explored explicitly in the last part of the semester, but obviously that issue will be present implicitly throughout the course.

It goes without saying that you are expected to come to class having completed the weekly reading assignments. Though the course is mainly lecture in format, everything will make more sense if you keep up with the work. Your grade in this course will be computed as follows: 25% on each of two noncomprehensive tests during the semester, 25% on the final examination, and 25% on a 6-8 page typed, double-spaced paper examining a selected issue in German history in greater depth than it is covered in the course. Late papers will have their grades decreased two percentage points for every day they are late, including weekends. If the professor believes that students are not preparing adequately for class, he reserves the right to give unscheduled quizzes (which will be announced one class meeting in advance).

When the course is over, the successful student will be able to

1. Refine and discuss the main themes of German history before the 19th century;
2. Explain the nature of the German political and social system of the Reich created by Bismarck in 1871;
3. Explain the interaction of the personal and structural factors that brought Hitler to power in 1933;
4. Understand similarities and differences between World War I and World War II;
5. Explain the similarities and differences in the respective development of the BRD and DDR and the eventual process of reunification;
6. Summarize the difficulties of contemporary Germans in defining their history and identity since reunification, using Berlin as an example.

Students with Diabilities

McMurry University abides by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which stipulates that no otherwise qualified student shall be denied the benefits of an education “solely by reason of a handicap.” If you have a documented disability that may impact your performance in this class and for which you may be requesting accommodation, you must be registered with and provide documentation of your disability to the Disability Services Office, located in Old Main Room 102. Arrangements will be made for students needing special accommodations.

State Board of Educator Certification Standards for Teacher Education Candidates

If you plan to minor in Curriculum and Instruction, with a teaching concentration in History 8-12, or in Social Studies 8-12, this course provides partial fulfillment of the following standard of the TEKS competencies:

Standard IV. History: The social studies teacher applies knowledge of significant historical events and developments, as well as of multiple historical interpretations and ideas, in order to facilitate student understanding of relationships between the past, the present, and the future.

Proposed Class and Reading Schedule
Jan. 18
Jan. 20
The German Problem
The Historical Legacy — I
Carr, vii-x, 1-31
Taylor, 9-52
Jan. 25
Jan. 27
The Historical Legacy — II
1848: Unification vs. Revolution
Carr, 32-60
Taylor, 53-122
Feb. 1
Feb. 3
Blood and Iron: Unification Achieved
Bismarck’s Reich: Politics and Society
Carr, 61-118
Taylor, 123-193
Feb. 8
Feb. 10
Bismarck’s Reich: Diplomacy
The Impact of the Industrial Revolution
Carr, 119-162
Taylor, 194-230
Feb. 15 Germans and Jews
Feb. 22
Feb. 24
The World of Kaiser Wilhelm
Carr, 163-211
Taylor, 231-274
Mar. 1
Mar. 3
The War to End War
The Failed Revolution, 1918
Carr, 212-251
Mar. 8
Mar. 10
Weimar: The Search for Stability
Weimar Culture
Carr, 252-295
Mar. 14-18 Spring Break
Mar. 22
Mar. 24
Fascism and the Rise of the Nazis
The Nazi Seizure of Power
Carr, 295-312
Bullock, chs. 1-4
Mar. 31 Nazi Germany: “The German Revolution”? Carr, 313-339
Bullock, ch. 5
Apr. 5
Apr. 7
The Road to Großdeutschland
Hitler’s Europe
Carr, 340-365
Bullock, chs. 6-12
Apr. 12
Apr. 14
The Final Solution
1945: End of the German Problem?
Bullock, chs. 13-14
Apr. 19
Apr. 21
Germany Divided: The BRD
Germany Divided: The DDR
Carr, 366-392
Funder, 1-66
Apr. 26
Apr. 28
Film: “The Lives of Others”
Finish “The Lives of Others”
Funder, 67-183
May 3
May 5
...And the Morning After
Carr, 393-402
Funder, 184-282
May 10 FINAL EXAM (8:00-10:00)