CONTEMPORARY WORLD, I: Global Wars (1900-50)





TEXTS -- George Orwell, Animal Farm (Signet Classics, 2004); Kevin Sites, In the Hot Zone: One Man, One Year, Twenty Wars (2007); and William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White, The Elements of Style (Longman, 4e, 2000).


CORE -- Visit this page for the second part of our syllabus (Connecting) and to get started with the crucial attitudes and perspectives for our course. 







THE PLAN (1929-39)




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CLASH OF EMPIRES (1900-29), I: Imperialism


THEME: Our study begins with European imperialism defined (1900) and challenged by the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05) on the eve of World War I (1914) and new senses of humanity explored by Cultures of Creativity.  Please study carefully all the require items to the left of the Optional entries.


THE WAR OF THE WORLD -- 1: The Clash of the Empires, segments 1-7 [14 minutes] (BBC: Niall Ferguson) [note: use your Catawba College network name (NOT full email address) and password to access this film through our library] and A New History of the 20th Century (Channel 4) for series details.  Optional: interview with Niall Ferguson (Carnegie Council).


IMPERIALISM -- History of Religion (Maps of War); Imperialism [14 minutes] (Crash Course World History); European Empires in 1900 (Norton iMaps); and European International Investment, 1914 (OUP).  Optional: Empire: Politics, Conquest, and Dissolution (1500-2000) (Wadsworth: World History Unbound); European Imperialism 1880-1900: Theory, Practice, Discourse (Wadsworth Modules); Empires before World War I and Beginning of World War I: German and Italian Empires in 1914 (Khan Academy); Maps in Time: From 1900 to 2000 (National Archives); American Empire (Norton iMaps); and American Imperialism (Crash Course U.S. History)Study at least two maps in two different categories:

PARIS 1900 -- 1900 (Paris: Capital of the 19th Century); World's Fair of 1900, Paris: study at least three photographs (A Digital Archive of Architecture); and Thomas Edison's L' Exposition Universelle de 1900 ŕ Paris [6.30 minutes].  Optional: Exposition Universelle (1900) (Wikipedia); 1900 (Les Expositions Universelles a Paris 1867-1900); Grand Palais and Petit Palais (Essential Architecture); Exposition Universelle. Paris Exhibition, 1900 (Old Paris in Photos), with 195 photographs; Paris World's Fair of 1900 (10 large photographs); and W. E. Burghardt Du Bois, The American Negro at Paris (1900).





II: Verdun


THEME: The First War to End All Wars (1914-18), Part I: Europe, focusing on the Battle of Verdun in France (1916).


THE WAR OF THE WORLD -- 1: The Clash of the Empires, segments 8-12 [13 minutes] (BBC: Niall Ferguson); A global guide to the first world war - interactive documentary: familiarize yourself with this resource (The Guardian); and World War I: the Global Theater and World War I: the European and Middle Eastern Theaters (Norton iMaps).


WORLD WAR I: Europe -- Europe Plunges into War (The Map as History); Archdukes, Cynicism, and World War I (Crash Course World History); World War I in Europe, 1914-1918 (McGraw-Hill: Maps in Motion); and Hitler in 1914 (Iconic Photos) Optional: The war to end all wars (BBC); The Great War and the Shaping of the Twentieth Century (PBS); The Origins of World War I (Wadsworth Modules); World War I (Khan Academy); World War One (Mapping History); European Alliances On The Eve Of The First World War, The Balkans, 1878-1914, The Schlieffen Plan, The Great War, 1914–1916, The Great War, 1917-1918, and World War I: the European and Middle Eastern Theaters (Norton iMaps); and Wilhelmine Germany and the First World War (1890-1918) (GHDI).


THE WESTERN FRONT -- The Western Front and the Birth of Total War (BBC) and Maps & Battles of World War I: Europe in 1914 and The Outbreak of War (PBS).  Optional1918 Western Front [60 minutes] and summary (BBC: 20th Century Battlefields, 2007); and The Western Front: A World War One Summary (The War Times Journal).

VERDUN -- The Battle of Verdun: Introduction, Battle Animation, and Historian Commentary (PBS); Battle of Verdun: 21 February 1916-July 1916 and What caused Verdun to be the longest battle of WW1? (BBC); Verdun: Shell Shock [1.30 minutes]; and Mitterrand and Kohl at Verdun (22 September 1984) (Iconic Photos) Optional: The Great War, Episode 11: Hell Cannot Be So Terrible [40 minutes] (BBC, 1964); Verdun [50 minutes] (History Channel); Verdun: The Nightmare (Deadly Battles of World War I); Visualizing Verdun (France at War); Verdun 1916 map (Bereznay); Ossuaire de Douaumont: official site and WW1 Battlefields; and Shell Shock during World War One (BBC).


CULTURES OF CREATIVITY -- Conflict Map: 20C Wars (Nobel Prize).




III: Gallipoli


THEME: The First War to End All Wars (1914-18), Part II: the Middle East, focusing on the Battle of Gallipoli in Turkey (1915-16).


MIDDLE EAST -- Imperial History of the Middle East (Maps of War); The Middle East at the Beginning of the 20th Century (The Map as History); The Middle East during World War One (BBC); and World War I: the European and Middle Eastern Theaters (Norton iMaps) Optional: The Great War, Part 24: Allah Made Mesopotamia and Added Flies  [40 minutes] (BBC, 1964); The Mesopotamia campaign (The National Archives); The Mesopotamian Front and The Palestine Front (; WW1 lectures Academy); The Turkish Army at War: A Photo Essay (World War One); and Why border lines drawn with a ruler in WW1 still rock the Middle East (BBC).

GALLIPOLI -- Battle for Gallipoli, February 1915-January 1916 (BBC); The First World War, Episode 4: Jihad (1914-16) [minute 19.42-35.28] (BBC, 2003); Gallipoli: introduction, animated map, Historian Commentary, and Hasan Etem (PBS); and Gallipoli: Why do Australians celebrate a military disaster? (BBC iWonder).  Optional: The Gallipoli campaign (The National Archives); The Gallipoli Front (; Gallipoli Campaign and ANZAC Day (Khan Academy); Gallipoli (Turkey in the First World War); Gallipoli, the Documentary Movie by Yavuz Can for Turkuaz TV [10 minutes]; Gallipoli: The First Day (ABC); Australia in World War One and From Gallipoli to D-Day (BBC); Peter Jackson - Restored Gallipoli Film - ANZAC Day [3 minutes]; Australia in World War One (BBC); Gallipoli: The First Day (ABC Australia): a rich 3D documentary; and Battle of Gallipoli, 1915-1916 (The Art of Battle: Animated Battle Maps).





IV: Versailles, Istanbul, and Petrograd


THEME: Attempts to redefine the post-war world, focusing on the Treaty of Versailles (1919), Turkey, and Russia (1917-20s).


THE WAR OF THE WORLD -- 1: The Clash of the Empires, segments 13-19 [19 minutes] (BBC: Niall Ferguson).


VERSAILLES -- The Great War and the Shaping of the Twentieth Century (PBS): Part 4: Hatred & Hunger/War without End, Voices: Woodrow Wilson (The Versailles Treaty [text, audio, and Historian Commentary]), WWI Casualty and Death Tables, and Then and Now: The Shaping of the 21st Century Optional: The Ending of World War One, and the Legacy of Peace (BBC) and Treaty of Versailles Shopping Spree [10 minutes] (Tom Richey).  And study at least one topic:


ISTANBUL -- Kemal Atatürk (BBC) and Middle East, 1919-1935 (McGraw-Hill: Maps in Motion)Optional: A Point of View: Democracy and Islamic law (BBC); Turkey: A brief history (The Guardian); and Empire and Turkey and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and the Turkish War for Independence (Khan Academy).  And study either the Armenians or Greeks:

PETROGRAD -- War and Revolution in Russia 1914-1921 (BBC) and Russian Revolution and Civil War, 1905-1922 (McDougal Littell) Optional: Lectures on Twentieth Century Europe, 5-7 (The History Place) and "A New World Arisen": Russia's Revolutions, 1900-1924 (Wadsworth Modules).





 THE PLAN (1929-39), I: USSR and USA


THEME: The Interwar Era of Totalitarian States during the Great Depression, Part I: 'murica, Russia, and India (1929-39).


THE WAR OF THE WORLD -- 1: The Clash of the Empires, segments 20-23 [10 minutes] (BBC: Niall Ferguson).


USSR -- Joseph Stalin: National hero or cold-blooded murderer?: study through "1934-39: Stalin’s Great Terror" (BBC iWonder) and The Soviet Union (Norton iMaps).  Optional: The Age of Totalitarianism: Stalin and Hitler (The History Guide; Russia in the 20th Century (Mapping History); Moscow Canal to the Volga River: map for a cruise; and Soviet Posters 1917-1991 And study any two topics:

USA -- The Great Depression and The New Deal (Crash Course US History).  Optional: LecturePoint: U.S. History, Lecture 8: Depression and the New Deal (1929-1940); FDR and the Depression (A Biography of America); The Great Depression (Mapping History); New Deal Network (The Roosevelt Institute); Picturing the 1930s (Smithsonian Institute); The Great Depression (Modern American Poetry); The Great Depression [30 minutes] (PBS: America in the 20th Century); and America on the Sidelines: The United States and World Affairs, 1931-1941 (Teaching American History).




II: Germany and Japan


THEME: The Interwar Era of Totalitarian States during the Great Depression, Part II: Germany and Japan (1929-39).


THE WAR OF THE WORLD -- 2: A Tainted Victory, segments 1-9 [19 minutes] (BBC: Niall Ferguson).


GERMANY -- Adolf Hitler: Man and monster: study through "Nuremberg Laws" (BBC iWonder); Politics in Europe, 1930s and German and Italian Expansion, 1935-1939 (McGraw-Hill: Maps in Motion) and Unemployment in Europe, 1932 (Holt, Rinehart, and Winston) Optional: The Age of Totalitarianism: Stalin and Hitler (The History Guide); Rise of Hitler and the Nazis, Rise of Mussolini and Fascism, and Nazi Aggression and Appeasement (Khan Academy); Nazi Germany (1933-1945) (German History in Documents and Images); The Political Revolution of the 1930s (Mapping History); Ethnic Minorities in East-Central Europe, 1930 (OUP); Aggression in Europe to 1939 (Pearson: MapMaster); and The Democrat and the Dictator [53 minutes] (Bill Moyers).


JAPAN -- Japanese Expansion, 1933-1941 (McGraw-Hill: Maps in Motion) and The Long March, 1934-1935 (Norton iMaps) Optional: Imperialism, 1885-1975: "Asia-Pacific: 1931-1945: Japanese domination" (Wadsworth Modules); The Japanese Empire in Asia, 1933 (Norton iMaps); Political Protest in Interwar Japan, Part I and Part II (MIT Visualizing Cultures); Civil War in China, 1927-1936 (Pearson); and Overview of Chinese History 1911-1949 [11 minutes] (Khan Academy).





 THE KILLING SPACE (1939-50), I: Come and See


THEME: The beginning of the Second War to End All Wars (1933-45), focusing on the German invasion of the USSR (1941-42).


WAR OF THE WORLD -- 2: A Tainted Victory, segments 11-15 [11 minutes] (BBC: Niall Ferguson).


WORLD WAR II -- The War goes global, June 1941-end 1942 (The Map as History) and World War II (Crash Course World History).  Optional: World War II, Part I (Crash Course U.S. History); World War II, 1939-41: Western Europe and Eastern Europe (The National Archives) [6 minutes]; LecturePoint: U.S. History, 10: WWII: Battle Front (1939/41-1945); World War II: The Start of the Second World War; World War II (McGraw Hill: Interactive Map); Inside World War II: A Global Perspective and The WWII Experience (History); and World War II alliances animated map (Wikipedia).

EASTERN EUROPE -- Study the red topics and at least one other topic:



II: Stalingrad and Midway


THEME: Turning points in the Second War to End All Wars (1933-45), focusing on the Battles of Stalingrad and Midway (1942).


WAR OF THE WORLD -- 2: A Tainted Victory, segments 16-20 [9 minutes] (BBC: Niall Ferguson).


20th CENTURY BATTLEFIELDS (BBC) -- Study either Stalingrad and summary or Midway and summary [60 minutes each], if not both.


USSR -- World War II: Eastern Europe, 1942-1945 (The National Archives) [2 minutes]; The Soviet-German War 1941-1945 and Hitler's Invasion of Russia in World War Two: begin with "Battle of Stalingrad" (BBC); and Joseph Stalin: National hero or cold-blooded murderer?: begin with "1932-1943: Stalin loses his wife and son" (BBC iWonder).  Optional: 1943 (Seventeen Moments in Soviet History) and Ingush elders recall the horror of deportation (BBC).


Stalingrad -- The Nazi Tide Stops (Seventeen Moments in Soviet History) and Stalin’s Son (Iconic Photos).  Optional: Battle of Stalingrad [22 minutes] (A&E: Command Decisions); Stalingrad (Animated Battle Maps Archive); Effects on Climate on Combat in European Russia and Stalingrad (All World Wars: Soviet War Paintings); Taking the camera to Stalingrad – German documentary (Gott mit uns: German Military History, 1848-1945); and Fedor Bondarchuk, Stalingrad (2013).

MIDWAY -- World War II in Asia and the Pacific, 1941-1945 and The Battle of Midway, 1942 (McGraw-Hill: Maps in Motion); and Catawba Alumnus Pilot of Famous Flying Dud.  Optional: The Battle of Midway (BBC); Battle of Midway: The Japanese Attack and The American Counterattack (US Navy History) [9 minutes]; and World War II Pacific Animated Maps with The Battle of Midway Island (History Animated).


CULTURES OF CREATIVITY -- Optional: With Fascism on the Doorstep: The Nobel Institution in Norway, 1940-1945 (Nobel Prize).





III: Dresden and Hiroshima


THEME: The fighting end of the Second War to End All Wars (1933-45), focusing on the destruction of Dresden (Germany) and Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Japan) (1945).


WAR OF THE WORLD -- 2: A Tainted Victory, segments 21-28 [15 minutes] (BBC: Niall Ferguson).  Optional: The Second World War (Norton iMaps: America) and The Second World War (Norton iMaps: Western Civilization).


EUROPE: Dresden (13-15 February 1945) -- Western Europe, 1942-1945 (The National Archives); World War II: the European Theater (Norton iMaps); British Bombing Strategy in World War Two (BBC); and Adolf Hitler: Man and monster: begin with "1941: New enemies" (BBC iWonder).  Optional: The Bombing of Germany (PBS: American Experience); Remembering the Dresden Bombing (BBC, 2005); Remembering Dresden: 70 Years After the Firebombing (The Atlantic: World War II In Photos); Winston Churchill and the Bombing of Dresden (The National Archives); Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities (World War II Database); The Bombers and the Bombed: Coventry, England in 1940 and Lubeck, Germany in 1942 (BBC); and Build a Rocket (NOVA).

PACIFIC: Hiroshima (06 August 1945) -- Asia, 1939-45 and Pacific, 1939-1945 (The National Archives); World War II: the Pacific Theater (Norton iMaps); Japan: No Surrender in World War Two, Hiroshima remembers atomic bomb, and The 'sanitised narrative' of Hiroshima's atomic bombing (BBC); and A tricycle, a toddler and an atomic bomb (CNN).  Optional: Pacific Theater (Teaching American History); 24 Hours After Hiroshima [50 minutes] (National Geographic Explorer); World War II Pacific Animated Maps (History Animated); Hiroshima, Part 1 and Part 2 [50 minutes each] (BBC); Photographs of the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by The Manhattan Engineer District (All World Wars); and Ground Zero 1945: Pictures by Atomic Bomb Survivors and A Schoolboy's Story (MIT Visualizing Cultures: Throwing off Asia).  And study at least one topic:

CULTURES OF CREATIVITY: Nobel Peace Prize -- 1944: International Committee of the Red Cross and The Red Cross Movement (Nobel Prize).  Optional: Prisoners of War and The Red Cross: Three-Time Recipient of the Peace Prize (Nobel Prize).





IV: Auschwitz


THEME: The human costs of freedom, focusing on Holocaust victims and victors (1933-45).


THE HOLOCAUST -- The Final Solution (The Holocaust, The Shoah) (The Map as History) and The Holocaust, 1939-1945 (McGraw-Hill: Maps in Motion) Optional: The Holocaust year by year (BBC iWonder); The Death Camps, 1941-1945 (OUP); Introduction to the Holocaust; The Holocaust: A Learning Site for Students, Mapping the SS Concentration Camp System over Space and Timeand Final Solutions: Murderous Racial Hygiene, 1939-1945 (USHMM); The Holocaust (Yad Vashem); Memory of the Camps and Shtetl (PBS); Where Were the Camps?, Hitler’s “Final Solution”: Jews Marked for Death, and Deportation Railways (Norton iMaps); and Deportation and Settlement, 1939-1944 (McGraw-Hill: Palmer).

AUSCHWITZ -- Auschwitz: a short history of the largest mass murder site in human history (The Guardian); Article and animated map (USHMM); Auschwitz Birkenau: introductory paragraph and video [3 minutes] (UNESCO World Heritage Sites) and here; and Aerial video of Auschwitz-Birkenau (BBC).  Optional: Auschwitz: 70 years since concentration camps liberated (BBC); Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State (PBS); and The Sonderkommando Photos (Iconic Photos); Interactive Map of Auschwitz (BBC); A Virtual Tour of Auschwitz/Birkenau ( A Cybrary of the Holocaust); Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum: History; and Escape from Auschwitz (PBS).


THE RIGHTEOUS AMONG THE NATIONS -- Rescue: story and Animated Map (USHMM) and The Righteous among the Nations (Yad Vashem).  Optional: Stories of Moral Courage (The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous) and Righteous Gentiles (PBS Frontline: Shtetl).  And at least one of the Righteous:

FOUR FREEDOMS -- Franklin Delano Roosevelt, "The Four Freedoms" (06 January 1941): recording and text (American Rhetoric: Top 100 Speeches); and Free Speech Personified: Norman Rockwell's inspiring and enduring painting (Bruce Cole).  Optional: the first page of Norman Rockwell, Freedom of Speech, The Saturday Evening Post, 1943 (Picturing America) and all four paintings at Norman Rockwell and the Four Freedoms (America and World War II); and Rockwell's Four Freedoms (Saturday Evening Post).


CULTURES OF CREATIVITY: Nobel Peace Prize -- 1986: Elie Wiesel.  Optional: The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity.





V-VI: Animal Farm


THEME: Coming to grips with the post-war world through political realities and Orwell's vision (1943-50).


Day I


ORWELL -- George Orwell, Why I Write and Preface to the Ukrainian Edition of Animal Farm (March 1947) [also available on BBD]; George Orwell and The Last Man in Europe (The History Guide); and Animal Farm - Book Summary & Analysis (Thug Notes).  Optional: Orwell, Future of a Ruined Germany: Rural Slum Cannot Help Europe (8 April 1945) and You and the Atomic Bomb (19 October 1945); George Orwell [117 minutes] (1984); and The Red Cross Movement: Prisoners of War Game (Nobel Prize): a game based on the Third Geneva Convention (1929).


Day II


COLD WAR -- Europe and the Cold War (McGraw-Hill: Maps in Motion) and Territorial Changes in Europe After the Second World War (Norton iMaps) Optional: Deportation and Settlement, 1945-1950 (McGraw-Hill: Palmer); The Cold War, Decolonization in Africa, Postwar Alliances: The Far East, Europe, North Africa, The Middle East (Norton iMaps); and The Cold War (Mapping History)And study at least two topics:

PORKOPOLIS -- For fun, visit the Website dedicated to pigs, including this wise insight about optimism.




Dr. C. McAllister, Catawba College, Salisbury, NC


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