Otto von Bismarck

History 117 -- Europe in the Nineteenth Century

California State University, Sacramento
Department of History 
College of Arts and Letters

Fall 2000





Louis Napoleon Bonaparte

Catalog Description: Europe, 1815-1914. Consideration of historical trends in 19th century Europe.  Emphasis on Germany and France.  Attention is devoted to liberalism, conservatism and nationalism; the industrial revolution, national unification, nationalism, imperialism and the rise of socialism. 3 units.

The course has no formal prerequisites, although a background in modern western civilization (History 5 or 50) is helpful.

History 117 is intended primarily for History and Social Science majors and for students interested in European history in the nineteenth century.  It does not fulfill requirements in the CSUS General Education Program.  

The course focuses mainly on politics and society in France and Germany with some attention to cultural trends.  It stresses the differing political traditions in these two countries, and addresses some very interesting questions, such as:  Why was France more susceptible than Germany to revolution in the 19th century?  What happened to Germany, the "nation of poets and dreamers," in the course of the 19th century?  After several revolutionary upheavals and constitutional experiments, why did France choose the republic as its permanent form of government in the 1870's?  What was the impact of Otto von Bismarck on the political culture of Germany?  How did a great war emerge from the  progressive, technological, and seemingly pacific culture of 19th century Europe?

The course stresses an orderly presentation of historical material, informal class participation and critical thinking.  Students will be expected to absorb the basic factual data presented and to write three critical essays on 19th century historical issues.


Kaiser Wilhelm II

Instructor: George S. Craft

 More information is available on Dr. Craft's homepage. You may contact the instructor via e-mail at


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