Course Description

European History

HIEU 3752

Evolution of the International System from Napoleon to the Cold War (1815-1963)

Spring 2016
This course traces the evolution of the international system from the Napoleonic era through the first stages of the Cold War.  It emphasizes the domestic roots of international behavior and will pay due attention to industrial developments, economic and financial constraints, and the changing nature of warfare, as well as to formal diplomatic structure.  We will focus on the principal European countries during the nineteenth century when they played the leading role in maintaining the balance of power.  We will direct increasing attention to the United States, Japan, China, and other extra-European powers as they began to figure importantly in diplomatic outcomes as the twentieth century proceeded.
The class meets for two seventy-five minute lectures per week (TR 11:00-12:15). There are two formal written requirements – a paper and a final examination.
Students in HIEU 3752 will be asked to write a short but polished review essay (seven to eight pages double-spaced) on some major topic covered during the term.  They should base the essay on two substantial scholarly books with either contrasting or complementary interpretations.  Scholarly books rest on documented original research.  Popular treatments or textbooks provide no substitute for them.  An extensive supplementary list of readings will be placed on the Collab website in order to help students find appropriate books on the subject of their choice.  You are not, however, limited to books on the supplementary list or even to the topics covered by the supplementary list.  Note that the readings on the required list may not be used.  The Times Literary Supplement and the New York Review of Books publish review essays that serve as exemplars of the genre desired.  You should spend from one-third to one-half of your space setting out the authors’ theses and the balance of the paper advancing your own interpretation or synthesis.  Before handing in their papers, students should consult the latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style (available on the Alderman Library website) and follow the rules specified in that volume for capitalization, spelling, footnotes, and bibliography.  

Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904


(434) 924-7147
(434) 924-7891
M-F 8am to 4:30pm
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