This course introduces students to the major themes and events of the History of East-Central Europe from the eighteenth to the twentieth century. Through close readings of primary sources students will draw their own conclusions on a number of major issues that divide specialists on the region. We will explore in particular the nature of Enlightened absolutism, the ideologies behind the 1848 revolutions, the rise of nationalism, the collapse of interwar democracies, and the modalities of power under state socialism.
Derek Sayer, The Coasts of Bohemia: A Czech History. Princeton N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1998.
Paul Robert Magocsi, Historical Atlas of Central Europe. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2002.
Discussions of Primary Sources
Medieval states and Christianity
Lives of Cyril and Methodius
Jan Hus and Charles IV
Letters of John Hus
Writings of Catherine II
Writings of Frederick II
Writings of Maria Theresa
Writings of Joseph II
Poland and the Enlightenment
J. J. Rousseau, The Government of Poland
Polish Constitution of 1791
Writings of the Partitioning Monarchs
Nicholas I, Imperial Manifesto on Poland
Byron, Cephalonia Journal
Treaty of London
Frankfurt National Assembly
Statistics on standards of living
Marx and Engels, Neue Rheinische Zeitung articles
František Palacký, Letter to Frankfurt
Marx & Engels, “The Prague Uprising”
Polish Democratic Society, Address to Frankfurt
Revolt in Budapest
Petofi, The National Song of Hungary
Louis Kossuth, Speech in Washington DC
Avram Iancu, Letters
Nicolae Bălcescu, Writings
Herder, On the Origin of Language
Herder, Philosophy of the History of Man
Béla Bartók, Essays
Smetana, My Homeland
Bohlman, The Music of European Nationalism
Njegoš, The Mountain Wreath
Mickiewicz, Crimean Sonnets
Iorga, A History of Romania
Lelewel, A History of Poland
Statistics on education in Vienna
Arnold Zweig, The Face of East European Jewry
Istóczy, Jews, the Iron Ring around our Necks
Ionescu, On Being a Good Romanian
Staniloae, “Theological Interpretation of the Nation”
Excerpts from Bjork, Neither German Nor Pole
Treitschke, History of Germany
Constitution of the Black Hand
Karl Kraus, Selections
Hašek, The Good Soldier Svek
Polish Minorities Treaty
Constitution of the Hungarian Soviet Republic
Roth, Bust of the Emperor
Masaryk, The Making of a State
Cuza, On Democracy
Von Salomon, The Outlaws
Kafka, The Penal Colony
Freud, Three Essays on Sexuality
Freud, Civilization and its Discontents
Reich, The Mass Psychology of Fascism
Codreanu, For My Legionaries
Mota, “To the Icon!”
World War II
Klukowski, Diary from the Years of Occupation
Rise of Communism
Resistance to Communism
Film: Ashes to Diamonds
Abrams, The Struggle for the Soul of the Nation
Film: Man of Marble
Kundera, The Joke
Havel, “The Power of the Powerless”
Was the “Enlightened despotism” of monarchs in East-Central Europe an attempt to reform outdated systems or a reactionary attempt to hold onto power in a changing world?
Balázs, Éva H. Hungary and the Habsburgs, 1765-1800. Budapest: Central European University Press, 1997. pp. 22-27.
Beales, Derek. Enlightenment and Reform in Eighteenth-Century Europe. London: I.B. Tauris, 2005. pp. 7-21.
Kann, Robert A. A History of the Habsburg Empire, 1526-1918. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974. pp. 174-187.
Ingrao, Charles W. The Habsburg Monarchy, 1618-1815. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994. pp. 150-209.
Israel, Jonathan I. Enlightenment Contested: Philosophy, Modernity, and the Emancipation of Man, 1670-1752. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. pp. 295-305.
Wandycz, Piotr S. The Price of Freedom: A History of East Central Europe from the Middle Ages to the Present. London: Routledge, 2001. pp. 105-134
Wilson, Peter H. Absolutism in Central Europe. London: Routledge, 2000. pp. 109-111.
Wuthnow, Robert. Communities of Discourse: Ideology and Social Structure in the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and European Socialism. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989. pp. 291-299.
What did the revolutionaries in Germany and the Habsburg Empire really want in 1848?
Evans, R. J. W. “1848-1849 in the Habsburg Monarchy,” in R. J. W. Evans and Hartmut Pogge von Strandmann eds. The Revolutions in Europe, 1848-1849: From Reform to Reaction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. pp. 181-205.
Freifeld, Alice. Nationalism and the Crowd in Liberal Hungary, 1848-1914. Washington DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2000. pp. 58-87.
Namier, Lewis. 1848: The Revolution of the Intellectuals. Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, 1964. pp. 27-39.
Sked, Alan. The Decline and Fall of the Habsburg Empire 1815-1918. London: Longman, 1989. pp. 53-60.
Taylor, A. J. P., The Course of German History: A Survey of the Development of Germany since 1815. New York: Capricorn Books, 1962. pp. 65-89.
Vick, Brian E. Defining Germany: The 1848 Frankfurt Parliamentarians and National Identity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002. pp. 19-43, 206-218.
Wandycz, Piotr S. The Price of Freedom: A History of East Central Europe from the Middle Ages to the Present. London: Routledge, 2001. pp. 156-165.
Why did East Central Europeans abandon old ways of identifying themselves (such as religion, locality, class) and embrace national identities during the nineteenth century?
Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso, 1991. pp. 6-44.
Bjork, James E. Neither German nor Pole: Catholicism and National Indifference in a Central European Borderland. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 2008. Pp. 1-9, 77-89.
Brown, Kate. A Biography of No Place: From Ethnic Borderland to Soviet Heartland. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003. Pp. 38-47.
Gellner, Ernest. Nations and Nationalism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1983. pp. 53-58.
Himka, John-Paul. Galician Villagers and the Ukrainian National Movement in the Nineteenth Century. New York: St Martin’s Press, 1988. pp. 204-215.
Popova, Irina. “Representing National Territory: Cartography and Nationalism in Hungary, 1700-1848,” in Nancy M. Wingfield ed. Creating the Other: Ethnic Conflict and Nationalism in Habsburg Central Europe. New York: Berghahn, 2003. pp. 19-30.
Sherwood, Peter. “‘A nation may be said to live in its language’: Some Socio-historical Perspectives on Attitudes to Hungarian,” in Robert B. Pynsent ed. The Literature of Nationalism: Essays on East European Identity. Basingstoke: Houndmills, 1996. pp. 27-37.
Stauter-Halsted. The Nation in the Village: The Genesis of Peasant National Identity in Austrian Poland, 1848-1914. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2001. pp. 185-215.
Why did democracy fail in East Central Europe during the interwar period?
Berend, Ivan T. Decades of Crisis: Central and Eastern Europe before World War II. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998. pp. 185-202.
Borsody, Stephen. The New Central Europe. Boulder: East European Monographs, 1993. pp. 49-58.
Crampton, R. Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century. London: Routledge, 1997. pp. 31-38.
Davies, Norman. God’s Playground: A History of Poland. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982. pp. 393-426.
Kirk, Tim. Nazism and the Working Class in Austria: Industrial Unrest and Political Dissent in the “National Community.” Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996. pp. 30-43.
Laqueur, Walter. Fascis : Past, Present, Future. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. pp. 16-27.
Mann, Michael. The Dark Side of Democracy: Explaining Ethnic Cleansing. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005. pp. 61-69.
Riley, Dylan J. The Civic Foundations of Fascism in Europe: Italy, Spain, and Romania, 1870-1945. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010. pp. 120-140.
How was power reorganized and redistributed in East Central Europe under state socialism?
Abrams, Bradley F. The Struggle for the Soul of the Nation: Czech Culture and the Rise of Communism. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004. pp. 276-288.
Bucur, Maria. Heroes and Victims : Remembering War in Twentieth-century Romania. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009. pp. 165-171
Connelly, John. Captive University: The Sovietization of East German, Czech and Polish Higher Education, 1945-1956. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000. pp. 208-214.
Crampton, R. Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century. London: Routledge, 1997. pp. 240-254.
Kenney, Padraic. Rebuilding Poland: Workers and Communists, 1945-1950. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1997. pp. 204-229.
Kenney, Padraic. A Carnival of Revolution: Central Europe, 1989. Princeton N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2003. pp. 7-11
Kligman, Gail, and Katherine Verdery. Peasants Under Siege: The Collectivization of Romanian Agriculture, 1949-1962. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011. Pp. 408-415.
Shore, Marci. Caviar and Ashes: A Warsaw Generation’s Life and Death in Marxism, 1918-1968. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006. pp. 305-314.
Verdery, Katherine. What Was Socialism, and What Comes Next? Princeton N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1996. pp. 19-30.