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   Course Title    History of Central and South-Eastern Europe
Lecturer    Natalia Kovalchuk
Institution    Lviv Ivan Franko State University
Country    Ukraine


I. Aim of the course

The intention of this course is to elaborate one of the central courses of the History department curricula avoiding a "one sided" national perspective, using comparative approaches towards the key issues of the history of the region, and considering them within a wider European context. The objectives of the course are as follows:

  1. to acquaint students with the main trends of social, economic, and political history of Central and South-Eastern Europe from ancient to contemporary times
  2. to discuss the core theoretical issues of regional importance, to estimate the role of the region in the history of the continent.
  3. to learn the main trends of Historiography on the subject

II. Role of the course in the overall degree curriculum

The course will be taught in Ukrainian during two semesters. It is aimed at students in the Department of History of the Lviv Theological Academy. The course in Central and South-East European History is compulsory for third year students. It is closely connected with the courses on World and Ukrainian history. On the one hand, the content of the course relies on students’ knowledge in the area of Ancient, Middle Ages, and Modern history, on the other - it helps students to virtually integrate regional and, particularly, Ukrainian history into a broader European context.

III. Methods used

The course consists of lectures and seminars. The latter are held in small groups and are supposed to explore key topics and problems of East-Central European History. Every seminar one of the students will have a presentation on the main topic of the week. Seminar discussions will be based on the weekly readings on a particular topic. Most of the required readings are in Ukrainian, Russian and English. Since most students by the 3rd year have sufficient English reading skills, this should not constitute a problem. In addition to individual presentations, students are expected to pass written tests at the end of the Fall and Spring semesters.

IV. Course content

Lecture 1. Introduction

Description of the course, its aim and objectives. The structure of the forthcoming lectures. Overview of literature and sources. Final requirements. Regions of Europe. The notion of Central Europe, definitions and boundaries.

Weeks 2-3. Population of the region from the Ancient times to the big resettlement of peoples. Characteristics of the territory – landscape and climate. The population of the region. The beginnings of tribal organization – social structure and culture. The process of ethnic genesis. Celts, Skiffs, Sarmatians, Thracians, genesis of Slavs. Ancient civilization of Greece and Rome and the peoples of the region – contacts and cooperation. Greek colonization, Balkans under Roman domination. Big resettlement of peoples – Germans, Huns, Avares and other tribes, their impact on Eastern European history.

Weeks 4-5-6. Christianity and the genesis of states

First Slavic states (Samo, Great Moravia). Byzantium and the Slavic peoples in VIII-IX centuries. Slavic colonization of the Balkans, creation of Bulgarian, Croatian, and Serbian states. Coming of Magyar tribes and the Arpades state. Creation and christianization of Czech and Polish states. Przhemyslides. Piasts. Social structure and political organization of the kingdoms of the region in the Early Middle Ages. Kievan Rus’.

Week 7-8. Countries of East-Central Europe in the Middle Ages

Creation of estate monarchies in Hungary and Czech lands. Holy Roman empire and its policy in the region. Consolidation of Ottoman empire. Czech kingdom under Karl IV. Territorial divisions and the consolidation of political power in Poland. Reforms of Kazimir III. The rise and crisis of the Slavic Balkan states. II Bulgarian Kingdom. Serbs under Stefan Dushan. City-states in Dalmatia. Turks and their Balkan invasion. Hertsegovina. Montenegro. The Hussites movement. International relations and dynastic politics in Central Europe. Polish-Lithuanian union. The dynasty of Jagellones in Czech lands and Hungary. The peoples of southeastern Europe and their resistance against Turk expansion. German states in the Baltic region. Moldavia, Valakhia and their relations with the Ottomans.

Weeks 9-10. Multinational states in XVI – XVIII c.

The union of Lublin. Polish Commonwealth. "Democracy of nobles" as a form of state organization. Sarmatic ideology. Inter ethnic relations, international politics. Reformation and counterreformation. Cossak wars. Habsburgs and the building of absolutist monarchy. Czech and Hungarian lands within the Habsburg empire. Austrian-Turkish wars. Special features of the social and economic development of the countries of East-Central Europe in Early Modern times. Agrarian economics, farms, the "second enslavement". Religion and culture of the region during Reformation and Baroque. The Kingdom of Prussia.

Week 11. Balkan nations in XVI – XVIII c.

Balkan peoples under Osman empire. Administrative-territorial structure and the system of power. The fate of the Christian Church. Islam. Turkish colonization. Montenegro and its resistance. Venetian domination over Dalmatia. Dubrovnic republic. Renaissance and Humanistic influences. Greek land under the Ottomans.

Week 12. Term test.

Weeks 13-14. Modernization and national movements in East-Central Europe

The problems related with nation building in East Central Europe. New ideologies and their spreading - Enlightenment, Romanticism, Conservatism, Liberalism. "Polish question" in the Russian empire, polish participants in the Napoleonic wars. Polish uprising. Capitalism and modernization on the Polish lands. Polish Romanticism. National movements in the Habsburg empire. Polish national movement. 1846 uprising. Czech and Slovak national revivals, "Austroslavism", "Illirism". 1848 revolution in the region. Hungarian revolution.

Weeks 15-16-17. From empires to national states – Southern and East central Europe in the second half of XIX – the beginning of XX century. Changes in economics, social structure and public sphere. Proletarian movement, Socialism, Marxism, Anarchism. Culture of Modernism. National question in the west of Russian empire. Polish uprising in 1863-1864. "Organic work" movement in Polish Kingdom. Polish political parties at the beginning of XX century: between socialism and nationalism. Russia and Baltic nations. Constitutional reforms and the national question in the Habsburg empire. Dualistic agreement of 1867 and the status of Hungary. Croatian-Hungarian agreement of 1868. German-Czech conflict. Polish-Ukrainian relations in Galicia. Balkans in the foreign policy of European countries and Russia. Crisis of 1875-1878. Bulgarian independence. Internal and foreign policy of new Balkan states. Balkan Wars.

I World War, collapse of the empires and establishing of independent states in Central Europe. Antante and the Polish question. Polish independence. Movements of the Baltic nations. Political crisis and evolution in Hungary. The proclamation of Czech republic. Yugoslavia.

Week 18. East-Central Europe during the inter-war period – between democracy and authoritarianism

Versailles system and the new borders of Europe. Polish republic. "Sanation" regime. Polish foreign policy. Authoritarian regimes in the Baltic states. Czech republic. Political and economical development. German minority. Horthy dictatorship in Hungary. The participation in pro-German coalition. Serbian domination in Yugoslavia. Ideology of "Yugoslavism". Political crisis before the war. Bulgaria. BZNS government and its reforms. Political crisis and social conflicts.

Weeks 19-20. East-Central Europe during World War II. Resistance movements.

Munich agreement of 1938. German occupational regime in Czech lands. Slovak state. Molotov-Ribbentropp pact. Occupation of Baltic states and Poland by Germany and USSR. Polish resistance movement. Warsaw uprising. German satellites in WWII – Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria. Occupation and resistance in Yugoslavia

Weeks 21-22. Establishments of communist regimes. East Central Europe in 1940s-1990s.

"Peoples regimes" and establishment of communist domination. Polish Peoples Republic. Crisis of socialist economics. "Solidarity" movement. Czechoslovakia. "Prague spring" and Soviet intervention. Revolution of 1956 in Hungary and the liberalization of the regime. Romanian society under the regime of N. Ceausescu. J. Tito and the Soviet-Yugoslavian conflict. Crisis of the Yugoslavian federation in the 1980s. Phenomenon of opposition "intelligentsia" in the countries of the region.

Weeks 23-24. Post-communist transformations in the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe – similarities and differences.

Post Communist transformation and public consciousness in the countries of East Central Europe. Political and economic reforms in Poland and Hungary. Establishment of Czech and Slovak states. Crisis of reforms in Bulgaria and Romania. Collapse of Yugoslavia and its impact on the situation in the Balkan region.

Week 25. Final exam.

I. Mandatory readings.

  1. Istorija pivdennyh I zakhidnyh slovjan. Pidruchnyk. Kiev, 1998.
  2. Istorija yuzhnyh I zapadnyh slavian. Kurs lektsij. Moscow, 1998.
  3. Kann, Robert A. A history of the Habsburg Empire, 1526-1918. - Berkeley ; Los Angeles ; London : University of California Press, 1977. - XIV, 648 p. ; 24 cm.
  4. Kloczowski, Jerzy. Europa slowianska w XIV-XV wieku. - Warszawa : Panstwowy Instytut Wydawniczy, 1984. - 464 s. ; 25 cm.
  5. Magocsi, Paul Robert. Historical atlas of East Central Europe / cartographic design by G.J. Matthews. - Seattle ; London : University of Washington Press, 1998. - XIV, 218 p. ; 31 cm. - (A history of East Central Europe ; volume I)
  6. Rothschild, Joseph. East Central Europe between the Two World Wars. - Seattle ; London : University of Washington Press, 1977. - XVIII, 420 p. ; 24 cm.
  7. Wandycz, Piotr S. The price of freedom : a history of East Central Europe from the Middle Ages to the present. - London ; New York : Routledge, 1993. - 330 p. ; 23 cm.
  8. Carpatica – aktual’ni pyannia istoriji, istoriohraphiji I cul’tury krajin centralnoji I pivdenno-skhidnoji Europy. Uzhhorod, 1993.
  9. Istorija zahidnyh I pivdennyh slovjan z davnih chasiv do XX st. Kurs lectsij I navchal’nyj posibnyk. Kiev, 2001.
  10. Istorija zahidnyh I pivdennyh slovjan XX st. Kharkiv, 1998.
  11. Miroslav Hroh, Social Preconditions of National Revival in Europe. A Comparative Analysis of the Social Composition of Patriotic Groups among the Smaller European Nations (Cambridge, 2000).

Recommended readings.

  1. Applebaum, Anne. Between East and West: Across the Borderlands of Europe.- New York: Pantheon Books, 1994.- XXI+314 p. ; 24 cm.
  2. Ash, Timothy Garton. The magic lantern: The revolution of '89 witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague.- New York: Random House, 1990.- 156 p.2
  3. Grant R.G. The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall.- Hong Kong: Mallard Press, 1991.- 160 p. ; 31 cm.
  4. Johnson, Lonnie R. Central Europe : enemies, neighbors, friends. - New York ; Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1996. - 340 p. ; 23 cm.
  5. Judah, Tim. The Serbs : history, myth and the destruction of Yugoslavia. - Second edition. - New Haven ; London : Yale Nota Bene ; Yale University Press, 2000.- XVIII, 382 p. ; 20 cm.
  6. M. Gross. On the Integration of the Croatian Nation. In East European Quaterly, XV, 1981..
  7. Lampe, John R. Yugoslavia as history : twice there was a country. - Cambridge : University Press, 1996. - XX, 421 p. ; 23 cm.
  8. Nielsen, Niels C. Revolutions in Eastern Europe : the religious roots. - Maryknoll : Orbis Books, 1991. - VIII, 176 p. ; 24 cm.
  9. Norem, Owen J.C., D.D. Timeless Lithuania. - Chicago : Amerlith Press, 1943. - 299 p. ; 23 cm.
  10. Eastern Europe : politics, culture, and society since 1939 / edited by Sabrina P. Ramet. - Bloomington ; Indianapolis : Indiana University Press, 1998. - 426 p. ; 23 cm. - (East European Studies History and Politics)
  11. Ethnicity and religion in Central and Eastern Europe / edited by : M. Cracium, O. Ghitta. - [?. ?.] : Cluj University Press, 1995. - 402 p. ; 21 cm.
  12. Think tanks in Central and Eastern Europe : a comprehensive directory. - Washington ; Budapest : Freedom House, 1997. - XII, 236 p. ; 21 cm.
  13. Osvoboditel’noje dvizhenije narodov Avstrijskoj imperiji. Moskow, 1980.
  14. Vakalopoulos, Konstandinos A. Modern history of Macedonia, (1830-1912) / foreword by A.E. Vacalopoulos. - Thessaloniki : Barbounakis, 1988. - 295 p. ; 24 cm.
  15. Walters, E. Garrison. The other Europe : Eastern Europe to 1945. - New York : Dorset Press, 1988. - XIV, 430 p. ; 22 cm.
  16. XVIII viek : slavianskije I balkanskije narody I Rossija. Moscow, 1998.
  17. Avtoritarnyje rezhymy v Central’noj I Vostochnoj Europe (1917-1990). Moscow, 1999.
  18. Vostochnaja Europa v documentah rossijskih arkhivov 1944-1953. Vol.1-2. Moscow-Nowosibirsk, 1998.
  19. Sugar, Peter F. Southeaster Europe under Ottoman Rule, 1354-1804. - Seattle ; London : XVIII, 366 p. ; 24 cm. - (A history of East Central Europe ; Volume 5)



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