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Evolution of the Twentieth Century State

Module leader: TBA
One term (15 units)

Aims of the module:

  • To study the evolution of the state during the 20th century by focusing on three main models of the state: the liberal state (US and Britain); the Marxist state (Russia) and the fascist state (Germany and Italy).
  • To examine the ways in which the First World War and the Great Depression, the Second World War and the Cold War impacted on the 20th century state.
  • To provide the knowledge base required for more advanced courses in the History Major degree programme.
  • To introduce students to different theories and concepts of the state, some of which derive from the social sciences.
  • To relate models of the state to the specific historical contexts of Britain. America, Russia, Germany and Italy in the 20th c.
  • To introduce students to a comparative approach, comparing the responses of different states in different countries to the major events of the 20th century.
  • To gain some understanding of the nature of the state and the problems of balancing freedom and authority.

Course content

  • The First World War: Crisis of the Liberal State
  • The Liberal State 1919-1945: Britain and the US
  • The Liberal State 1945-1989: Britain and the US
  • Rise of the Fascist State: Germany and Italy 1920-1939
  • The Collapse of the Fascist State: Germany and Italy 1939-1945
  • Creation of the Russian Marxist State 1917-1941
  • Stalin and the Marxist State 1941-1953
  • The Cold War: The Liberal State versus the Marxist State

Key texts:

  • Clarke, P. Hope and Glory, Britain 1900-2000 (Penguin, 2007)
  • Leuchtenburg, W.E. Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal (Harper, 2009)
  • Lovell, S. The Soviet Union (Oxford University Press, 2009)
  • Service, R. Stalin (Harvard University Press, 2006)
  • Bosworth, R. Mussolini (Bloomsbury, 2010)
  • Kershaw, I. Hitler (Penguin, 2010)
  • Griffiths, R. Fascism (Continuum, 2005)