Content will include discussion of the following topics:
What explains the disasters that befell Europe in the first half of the twentieth century?
In what ways were the world wars a motor for change in the history of the twentieth century?
To what extent were the two world wars distinct and different conflicts, and in what ways were they related to each other? In particular, how did the First World War and its aftermath lay the
foundations for World War II?
In what ways did Europe's internal conflicts between 1914 and 1945 have global implications?
What was the appeal of communism, in terms of both its promise and its achievements? To what extent did it fulfill that promise?
Why did the communist experiment, which was committed to equality and a humane socialism, generate such oppressive, brutal, and totalitarian regimes?
What is distinctive about twentieth-century communist industrialization and modernization compared to the same processes in the West a century earlier?
What was the global significance of the cold war?
"The end of communism was as revolutionary as its beginning." Do you agree with this statement?
In what ways did the colonial experience and the struggle for independence shape the agenda of developing countries in the second half of the twentieth century?
To what extent did the experience of the former colonies and developing countries in the twentieth century parallel that of the earlier "new nations" in the Americas in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries?
How would you compare the historical experience of India and China in the twentieth century?
How has the experience of modern development in the third world differed from that of the capitalist West and the communist East?
To what extent did the processes discussed in this chapter (economic globalization, feminism, fundamentalism, environmentalism) represent something new in the twentieth century? In what respects did they have roots in the more distant past?
In what ways did the global North/South divide find expression in the twentieth century?
What have been the benefits and drawbacks of globalization since 1945?
Does the twentieth century as a whole confirm or undermine Enlightenment predictions about the future of humankind?
"The twentieth century marks the end of the era of Western dominance in world history." What evidence might support this statement? What evidence might contradict it?