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Sioux Falls Atheists endorse War, Peace, and Power for covering 500 years of
War, Peace, Power, and the Diplomatic History of Europe. How this history
was to set the stage for what was to occur elsewhere in the world.

War, Peace, and Power
Diplomatic History of Europe, 1500-2000
Lectures by Professor Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius

War, Peace, and Power (2007) - 36 lectures, 18 hours
War, Peace, and Power at TheGreatCourses.com

For much of the past five centuries, the history of the European continent has been a history of chaos, its civilization thrown into turmoil by ferocious wars or bitter religious conflicts - sometimes in combination - that have made and remade borders, created and eliminated entire nations, and left a legacy that is still influencing our world.

Is there an explanation for this chaos that goes beyond the obvious: political ambition, religious intolerance, the pursuit of state power, or the fear of another state's aspirations? Can we discover a hidden logic that could possibly explain the Thirty Years' War, the Napoleonic Wars, two World Wars, and other examples of national bloodletting? Is it possible to formulate a meaningful rationale against which to order a history as tumultuous as Europe's, gaining insights that enrich our understanding of Europe's past and future, and perhaps even of ours as well?

In War, Peace, and Power: Diplomatic History of Europe, 1500–2000, Professor Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius answers these questions and more as he offers everyone interested in the "why" of history a remarkable look into the evolution of the European continent and the modern state system. In 36 provocative lectures, he allows us to peer through the revealing lens of statecraft to show us its impact on war, peace, and power and how that impact may well be felt in the future - an approach that historians have been using for thousands of years.

"Diplomatic history is one of the oldest varieties of historical analysis," Professor Liulevicius notes. "Indeed, it's sometimes traced back all the way to Thucydides and the vision that he offered of Greek state interaction and politics.

"Diplomatic history offers a tremendously powerful intellectual tool to understand how states relate to one another. Because states are still relating with one another today, it is of undiminished relevance for our own times. ...

"As we conclude our course, we'll be able to ask, 'Where is Europe headed today, and what implications will follow for the world at large?' as we survey what had begun as a European state system [but which] has now become a global system of states in international politics."

Learn How Europe's Most Pivotal Moments Shaped History

Far more than just a history of ambassadorial missions and other diplomatic efforts, this course re-creates Europe's most pivotal historical moments - in the context of their times - showing how contemporary pressures and historical precedent combined to influence individuals, governments, structures, and even non-state organizations.

These events would happen not only on history's bloodiest battlefields but also in quieter settings where so many of the factors that would govern Europe's future would be set into place:

  • You'll see how the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia, negotiated at the first great diplomatic conference of modern times, not only brought to a close the ordeal of the Thirty Years' War but also overthrew existing ideals and claims of universal authority to create the European system of independent sovereign states, setting into motion new concepts of international law that would codify the new politics of power.
  • You'll experience the dawn of Europe's "classical balance of power," as the 1815 Congress of Vienna - amidst the exuberance and glitter of great balls and banquets - responds to the defeat of Napoleon with its creation of the so-called Concert of Europe, a new order opposed to revolution and based on conservative solidarity that would keep Europe from general war for nearly a century.
  • And you'll be in Paris in 1919 for the aftermath of the shattering of the Concert of Europe, as the victorious allies gather to draft a comprehensive Paris Settlement - including the Treaty of Versailles - meant to build a new and lasting European order on the ruins of the old.

Each of these key points on history's timeline represents an attempt to establish a lasting idea of order in the European world, a task with which Europe's states have been wrestling since the birth of modern diplomacy in Renaissance Italy.

Professor Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius, Associate Professor of History at the University of Tennessee, holds the Hendrickson Professorship in the college of Arts and Sciences for 2007-2009. He earned his B.A. from the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Liulevicius has won the University of Tennessee's Excellence in Teaching Award. He has published numerous articles and a highly praised book, War Land on the Eastern Front: Culture, National Identity, and German Occupation in the First World War.

36 Lectures - 30 minutes each

1: Foundations of Diplomacy 19: Italian Unification
2: Europe in 1500 - Ancient and New Monarchies 20: German Unification
3: Renaissance Statecraft in Italy 21: The Bismarckian System
4: Religion and Empire 22: High Imperialism
5: The Thirty Years' War 23: The Reconfigured World of 1900
6: The Peace of Westphalia, 1648 - A New Era 24: Balkan Instability
7: French Superpower 25: The Outbreak of World War I
8: The Great Powers 26: World War I - Total War
9: Northern Earthquake 27: The Paris Settlement
10: 18th-Century Competition 28: Interwar Europe
11: Revolutions 29: Europe into Crisis
12: Napoleon's Glory and Defeat 30: World War II
13: The Congress of Vienna 31: Aftermath and Peace Plans
14: The Concert of Europe System 32: The Cold War Begins
15: Eastern and Western Questions 33: Blocs and Decolonization
16: The Challenge of 1848 and Napoleon III 34: The European Project
17: Britain's Empire 35: The Fall of the Wall
18: The Crimean War 36: Post–Cold War to the Present


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War, Peace, and Power
Diplomatic History of Europe, 1500-2000
Lectures by Professor Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius

Sioux Falls Atheists endorse War, Peace, and Power for covering 500 years of
War, Peace, Power, and the Diplomatic History of Europe. How this history
was to set the stage for what was to occur elsewhere in the world.