CS: The Habsburg Legacy

Timothy Olin's picture

It is impossible to comprehend the problems that confront modern east central Europe without understanding the region's history.  This course will examine its special evolution and problems from the perspective of the multinational Habsburg and Ottoman empires, and the countries that replaced them in the twentieth century.  Individual topics will show how: geography played a key role in setting east-central Europe apart from the rest of the Continent;  centuries of warfare between the Christian and Moslem worlds forced massive population shifts that created the region's current, hopelessly mixed ethnic map; the character of the Habsburg and Ottoman empires slowed the evolution of western models of government; religious antagonisms between Protestants, Catholics, Orthodox Christians and Moslems ultimately led to today's numerous ethnic conflicts; both German and Russian influence have deep and extensive historic roots.