Europe Since 1945

Humanities & Social Sciences
Course Code
HIST 3305
Semester Length
Max Class Size
25 (writing intensive)
Method(s) Of Instruction
Course Designation
Certificate in Global Competency
Industry Designation
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
History 3305 examines the political, social, and cultural history of Europe from the end of the Second World War until the present. Key themes include the Nazi legacy and recovery from the ruins of war; the origins and course of the Cold War; decolonization and its socio-cultural ramifications; European integration and its discontents; the collapse of Soviet Communism; Americanization and anti-Americanism; major social and cultural developments - ranging from 1960s youth rebellion to today's resurgence of populist ethnic nationalism; and the future role of Europe in a changing world.
Course Content

A sample course outline would include the following topics.

Note: Content may vary according to the instructor’s selection of topics.


  1. Introduction: Europe and its World
  2. Europe in Ruins: The Legacy of World War, Nazism, and the Holocaust 
  3. A Bipolar World: The Origins of the Cold War
  4. Reconstruction and Consumerism: Beginnings of West European Recovery
  5. Real/Existing Socialism: The Soviet Bloc and De-Stalinization
  6. Stepping Down: Decolonization and Post-Colonialism
  7. From Rome to Brussels: Steps toward European Integration
  8. 1968: Youth Rebellion on Both sides of the Iron Curtain
  9. Helsinki and the Oil Crisis: Promise and Stagnation in the 1970s
  10. Cold War 1980s Redux: Peace Marches and the Dual Track
  11. Die Wende: The Fall of the Berlin War and Dissolution of the USSR
  12. Closer, Deeper, and War-Torn: The “Common European Home” of the 1990s
  13. Europe’s Renaissance? Sidelined in the Global War on Terror
  14. Europe’s Uncertain Future
Learning Activities

Class sections will be divided between lectures and seminar discussions. The seminar discussion sessions will serve as a forum for the analysis and discussion of scholarly literature and as a testing ground for student hypotheses. The instructor will encourage students to elaborate, refine and revise ideas. Discussion sessions will also include tutorials in conducting historical research, the exploration of primary source documents, and practice in oral presentations. Participation in both lectures and seminar discussions is required for the successful completion of the course.


Methods may include:

  • lecture/discussion
  • group work
  • peer review
  • independent research
  • instructor feedback on students’ work
  • individual consultation
  • presentation (individual or group)
Means of Assessment

Assessment will be in accord with the Douglas College Evaluation Policy. Specific evaluation criteria will be provided by the instructor at the beginning of the semester and will vary according to the instructor’s assessment of appropriate evaluation methods.


An example of one evaluation scheme: Any combination of the following totalling 100%


Primary source document analyses


Research proposal and annotated bibliography


Research essay


Comparative book review


Seminar presentations


Class participation


Final examination




Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course, the successful student will be able to:


  1. Examine historical sources critically and analytically. These sources include not only survey texts and scholarly articles, but also short monographs and extended primary sources. Students are required to read in the course subject area beyond the texts assigned by the instructor.
  2. Create and communicate personal interpretations of historical problems. This course is writing intensive. Forms for communication of personal interpretations include research proposals and annotated bibliographies, research essays (from 3000-5000 words), comparative book reviews, shorter interpretive essays, historiography analyses, primary source studies, and final examinations or final summative assignments.
  3. Analyze the ideas of other students and the instructor in both tutorials and seminars both independently and in cooperation with other students.
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Course Readers may be chosen from the following list, to be updated periodically.

An instructor’s custom Course Reader may be required. Additional online resources may also be assigned. Additional reading lists and links to specific resources also may be provided online or in the instructor’s course outline. 

Blair, Alesdair. The European Union since 1945. London: Routledge, 2010.

Fulbrook, Mary, ed. Europe Since 1945. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Hitchcock, William. The Struggle for Europe: The Turbulent History of a Divided Continent. 1945-2002. New York: Doubleday, 2002.

Judt, Tony. Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945. London: Penguin, 2005.

Kaelble, Hartmut. A Social History of Europe, 1945-2000: Recovery and Transformation after Two World Wars. Providence, RI: Berghahn Books, 2012.

O’Rourke, Kevin. A Short History of Brexit: From Brentry to Backstop. London: Pelican, 2019.

Stone, Dan, ed. The Oxford Handbook of Postwar European History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Ther, Philipp and Charlotte Hughes-Kreutzmueller. Europe since 1989: A History. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016.

Wakeman, Rosemary, ed. Themes in Modern European History since 1945. London: Routledge, 2003.

Wegs, J. Robert and Robert Ladrech. Europe Since 1945: A Concise History. 5th ed. Boston: Bedford/St Martin’s, 2007



One 2000-level History course, or permission of the instructor


No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for HIST 3305
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU HIST 131 (3)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU HIST 3XXX (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU HIST 3XX (3)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU HIST 3XXX (3)
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU HIST 1XX (3)
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO HIST 2nd (3)
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV HIST 370 (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC HIST 3XX (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV HIST 3XX (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC HSTR 3XX (1.5)

Course Offerings

Summer 2023