Lecturer: Dr. Alexander Maxwell


This course is an upper division course focusing on the Habsburg Empire and its successor states, especially Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Hungary, and Poland. The course will teach political history and geography, examine mythic national histories in the region, and help students analyse historical sources critically. Central Europe is a diverse region with several different nationalities, the course will devote special attention to nationality questions. Since some students may take this course interested in a specific country, the assignments allow students to choose their own geographic focus.


Robin Okey Eastern Europe 1740-1980: Feudalism to Communism

Slavenka Drakulić How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed

Jaroslav Hašek The Adventures of the Good Soldier Švejk

Andrew Wachtel Making a Nation, Breaking a Nation

Timothy Garton Ash The Magic Lantern

Heda Kovály Under a Cruel Star

ASSESSMENT 75% Coursework, 25% Exam

Review Essay 25%

Students will be expected to write a five-page critical review of one of the following books:

Kirschbaum. Slovakia: The Struggle for Survival

Yaremko. Galicia-Halychyna (A Part of Ukraine): From Separation to Unity

Gazi History of Croatia

Otto Zarek The History of Hungary

These books are all polemical, motivated by ethnic/national pride: they are "mythic histories." The purpose of the book review is to give you practice in reading critically and sceptically. Sceptical, critical reading is important, as is the ability to recognise propaganda. Students may read a national history from another country in the region, if they bring this book to the instructor for approval.

Research paper 50%

The research paper (10 pages) should address a research question selected by the student, using at least four secondary sources. Then, the student must examine at least two primary sources to reach a conclusion. The bibliography must have at least ten printed sources (i.e. no webpages).

Final Exam 25%

The final will have two parts. The first part has a geography section, an "ID" section, and an essay. You will have a choice of three essay questions, you must answer one. This part of the exam, in other words, is exactly like the midterm. The second part includes four essay questions, one question each for Hašek, Kovály, Drakulić, and Brailsford. Students may choose which books to study in greater depth.




Tutorial Response form: Your name ___________________

This week’s reading was written by:


[ paragraph on author: nationality, gender, social class, ideology, etc. Which characteristics are relevant to the author in the text?]




Concerning the topic or topics , the author argues





The author bases his/her argument on evidence such as:











This text illuminates the past by showing the following things:














Week 1 Okey: "Feudal inheritance," "Enlightenment," (Chapters 1,2).

Introduction to course Monarchies: the Royal houses,

Ethnic histories Rechtstaat vs. Autocracy. Bureaucracy.

Who lives where Ethnic division of labour.

Learn modern borders: http://www.lizardpoint.com/fun/geoquiz/euroquiz

Then study these maps http://www.bham.ac.uk/1848/comments/hapsburg.htm


Do you understand this map? http://www.mek.iif.hu/porta/szint/egyeb/terkep/aushun19/aushun19.gif

Impress me by finding the mistake! http://www.hapsburg.com/historic/map-ah.gif



Week 2 Okey, "Storm and Settlement" (Chapter 3) Novel of the Week: Adam Mickiewicz Pan Tadeusz

The noble intelligentsia: Poland, Hungary Non-Noble intelligentsias: "national authors"

Széchenyi, Kossuth and Hungarian liberalism. Herkel, Kollár, Štúr, and Pan-Slavism

External models, "backwardness" Journalism, Matica Movements.

Selections from Johann Gottfried von Herder Ideas toward a Philosophy of History (from Adler, Menze, eds On World History: Johann Gottfried Herder) 128-149, 178-184, 187-208. Also read the texts from the following patriotic songs:

Arndt: "Where is the German fatherland?"


Sándor Petõfi. National Song, Diary p. 253-60 (9 pages)


Also: each student must bring to class one Central European patriotic song





Week 3 Novels of the week: Mor Jókai Dr. Dumany’s Wife or Boleslaw Prus The Doll

Read Okey "Liberalism and Nationalism" (Chapter 4)

Marx, Communist Manifesto (http://csf.colorado.edu/psn/marx/Archive/1848-CM/cm.html#Position)

Palacky’s letter http://www2.tltc.ttu.edu/kelly/Archive/New/palfranknew.htm

István Deák The Lawful Revolution (on Hungary).

1848: From Paris to Europe The Hungarian Revolution

The abolition of Serfdom Jellačić and the Croats

The German and Slavic Parliaments Štúr, Hurban and the Slovaks


Week 4: Okey, "Economy & Society" (Chapter 5) Zsigmund Móricz Be Faithful unto Death

Schools and literacy, reading vs. writing Nationalist dogmas and Mythic Histories

Multi-lingualism, assimilation. Slide show of nationalist propaganda

Reform Judaism and modern Anti-Semitism.

At this point, students should choose to focus their readings on either the Balkans or on the Habsburg Empire. Students thus have a choice of Homework. Students interested in the Habsburg empire should the sources on Transylvania, students interested in the Balkans should read the sources on Macedonia. The discussion sections, however, unite Balkans and Central Europe, and students should be prepared to discuss comparatively. For tutorials, students should answer the following questions:

1. What facts do the competing arguments hold in common? Where are the disagreements of fact?

2. How do the national historians treat historians from the opposing side? From "neutral" countries?

3. Why do the competing arguments emphasize antiquity, instead of recent history?

Habsburg readings (Transylvania)

Kazar "facts against fiction" http://www.hungary.com/corvinus/lib/faf/toc05.htm

Balogh "Separating myths and facts" http://www.hungary.com/corvinus/lib/rum.htm

"Transylvania is Hungarian!" http://members.fortunecity.co.uk/magyarhun/

Romanian Embassy "General Survey" http://www.romanianembassy.dk/romania/istorie.html

"Transylvania: Ancient Romanian Land" http://www.posada-online.com

Balkan readings (Macedonia)

Intro to Macedonian questions http://www.bulgaria.com/VMRO/pirinsko.htm

Map http://www.macedonian-heritage.gr/Maps/MapRegionToday.html

Greek sources http://www.macedonia.info/FALLACIESANDFACTS.htm

Macedon. source (read conclusion) http://www.makedonija.info/ancient.html#Ethnic

Bulgarian source http://www.bulgaria.com/VMRO/document.htm

Petition of Macedonian Refugees http://www.gate.net/~mango/Egej_petition1.htm

Description of legal conflict http://www.mhrmc.ca/news/98/rainbow2.html

"Real Macedonia" (Greek) arguments http://truth.macedonia.gr/arguments.html


Week 5

Neoabsolutism: The Bach Regime Ottoman decline and Balkan revanchism

The Ausgleich and Nagdoba. Trialism. The occupation of Bosnia.

Peace and Prosperity The Balkan Wars.

Compare maps: - http://astro.temple.edu/~barbday/Europe66/resources/nationalitieshabsburg.htm

- http://lazarus.elte.hu/hun/maps/1910/nepek.gif

- http://www.thomasgraz.net/map-ethn.htm

Essay on Popovici (especially read the biography) - http://lgi.osi.hu/ethnic/relations/1/mariust.html

Map of Popovici’s plan - http://www.thomasgraz.net/map-popov.htm

Jeremy King, "The Nationalization of East Central Europe" in Staging the Past, 112-142

Habsburg readings

Bogdan: "Aust-Hung Experiment" - http://www.net.hu/corvinus/lib/bogdan/bogdan11.htm

Beust: Memoirs of the Ausgleich - http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1867beust.html

Mark Twain "Stirring Times in Austria" - http://www.h-net.msu.edu/~habsweb/sourcetexts/twain1.htm

Text of the Nagdoba - http://www2.h-net.msu.edu/~habsweb/sourcetexts/nagodba1.htm

Jan Neruda, "How It Came to Pass," in Prague Tales, 204-27.

Balkan readings

Durham High Albania - http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/durham/albania/albania.html

(esp. "The Land and the Law," "The Coming of the Constitution")

Young Turk Manifesto - http://www.firstworldwar.com/source/youngturkproclamation.htm

Foundation of IMRO - http://www.bulgaria.com/VMRO/founding.htm

IMRO Statutes - http://www.bulgaria.com/VMRO/bmork.htm

Brailsford Macedonia: The Land and its People "Village life, Orthodox Church, Races of Maced." 42-109.

A Turkish perspective: Mango Attaturk "An Impatient Young Turk" 80-100.


Week 6 Okey "Politics 1870-1918" (Chapter 6)

Novels of the week: Ivo Andrić A Bridge on the Drina; J. Hašek. The Adventures of the Good Soldier Švejk

Sarajevo and the First World War The Russian Revolution.

The eastern front: Tannenberg to Brusilov Ukrainian, Polish and Czechoslovak armies.

The Italian intervention. The consolidation of Soviet power.

Liulevicius. War Land on the Eastern Front, esp. "The ‘Kultur’ Program" 113-144.

There aren’t many readings this week, because you’re supposed to work on your "mythic history" paper.

Week 7 Aurther Koestler Darkness at Noon

The Paris Peace Conference Trianon and Hungary: "nem nem soha!"

Czechoslovakia, Poland, and German minorities. Béla Kun and Horthy’s counter-revolution.

Hlinka at Paris: Slovak disenchantment. Attatürk and the birth of ethnic cleansing.


Map: 1914 - http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/euro1914.htm

Losses – statistics - http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/ww1-loss.htm

Wilson’s 14 points - http://www.lib.byu.edu/~rdh/wwi/1918/14points.html

From Masaryk "indep. Bohemia" - http://www2.h-net.msu.edu/~habsweb/sourcetexts/masaryk2.htm

Bonsal on Armenia - http://www.hungary.com/corvinus/lib/bonsal/bonsal14.htm

Keynes on Versailles - http://socserv2.socsci.mcmaster.ca/~econ/ugcm/3ll3/keynes/peace.htm

Stephen Bonsal Suitors and Supplicants: The Little Nations and Versailles.

Schwabe Woodrow Wilson, Revolutionary Germany and Missionary Peacemaking.

Week 8 Okey "Independent Eastern Europe" (Chapter 7) Novel: Hrabal I served the King of England

Italy and the "mutilated victory" German rearmament, economic growth, admirers.

D’Annunzio and Rijeka/Fiume Munich "people of whom we know nothing."

Yugoslav domestic politics. Poland and the beginning of the Second World War.

Baruch Wachtel. Making a Nation, Breaking a Nation. 19-31, 38-53, 63-106. (70 pages)

Week 9 Okey "From Hilter to Stalin" Novel: Borowski This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen.

German occupation, the Holocaust. The Communist Parties come to power.

Partisan warfare: Poland and Yugoslavia. Czechoslovakia’s coup d’etat.

German defeat, Soviet victory. Tito and Titoism.

Heda Kovály. Under a Cruel Star. 5-92. (87 pages)

Just for fun: Animated Battle Front - http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/ww2-eto.htm

Various Propaganda Leaflets - http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/parole.htm

Casualties - Map - http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/ww2-loss.htm

Edeiken on the Einsatzgruppen - http://www.holocaust-history.org/intro-einsatz/

Brustein on Hitler voters - http://www.english.upenn.edu/~afilreis/Holocaust/party-motives.html

Himmler’s orders for Secrecy - http://www.holocaust-history.org/auschwitz/19440524-weisse/

White: Discussion of death count - http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/war-1900.htm

Be sure to click on White’s "Percentages" chart and read "Proportionality."






Week 10 Novel: Tibor Fisher Under the Frog

Stalin’s death, Imre Nagy, and 1956. Everyday life under socialism: the queue.

Socialism with a human face: Aleksandr Dubček. The black market. Obsession with the west.

Poland and Solidarity, Lech Wałęnsa The cadres as a new class.

Discussion: Everyday life under Socialism

See site on mass gymnastics: http://www.osa.ceu.hu/galeria/spartakiad/online/index2.html

Milovan Djilas. "The New Class" The New Class, 37-69 (32 pages)

Slavenka Drakulić. How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed. Chapter 2, 3, 5, 9: "Pizza in Warsaw, Torte in Prague," "Make-up and other crucial Questions," "On Doing Laundry," "The Strange Ability of Apartments to Divide and Multiply." p. 11-32, 43-54, 82-92. (52 pages)

Week 11 Read Okey "Epilogue" Novel: Milan Kundera The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Dissidents: Václav Havel. The return of nationalism.

Economic decline, the Gorbachev doctrine. Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.

1989: the collapse of Communism. RESEARCH PAPERS DUE!

The Political morality of post-totalitarianism

Václav Havel The Power of the Powerless, Ch 1-13 (~34 pages)

Timothy G. Ash. The Magic Lantern.

Jozef Škvorecký "Are Canadians Politically Naïve?" Talking Moscow Blues (c. 10 pages)

Charles Ingrao. "Ten Untaught Lessons about Central Europe."