History (HIST) 384

Europe Since 1945 (Revision 1)

HIST 384

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Humanities

Prerequisite: None; but HIST 216 and HIST/GLST 367 are strongly recommended.

Precluded Course: GLST 384. (HIST 384 is a cross-listed course—a course listed under 2 different disciplines—GLST 384. HIST 384 may not be taken for credit by students who have obtained credit for GLST 384).

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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HIST 384 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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This course provides students with a broad survey of the political, economic, social, cultural and intellectual history of Europe from the end of the Second World War to the early years of the twenty-first century. How did Europe recover from the devastation of the Second World War? Why was the United States of America so involved in the affairs of postwar Europe? How did the Soviet Union achieve hegemony in Eastern Europe? What was the Cold War? Why was there a social and cultural revolution in the 1960s? What political and economic conditions brought about the establishment of the European Union? Why had Communism and the Soviet Union disappeared by the early 1990s? These and other searching questions are explored through a mix of primary and secondary readings.


  • Unit 1: War's End: Deliverance or Discord?
  • Unit 2: Aftermath: The Division of Germany and the Rebuilding of Europe
  • Unit 3: Beginnings: The Onset of the Cold War, the Expansion of the Soviet Empire, and the Creation of the Two Germanies
  • Unit 4: The Cultural Condition of the Old Europe and the Economic Promise of the New Europe
  • Unit 5: Advances and Retreats: The Revival of Adenauer's West Germany, End of Empire for the United Kingdom and France, and the Soviet Invasion of Hungary
  • Unit 6: Affluence and Alienation: From Economic Prosperity and Consumerism to Social and Cultural Revolution in Western Europe
  • Unit 7: Radical Politics and Social Dissent: From the Paris-Sorbonne to Prague Spring
  • Unit 8: Recession, the Red Army Faction, the Red Brigades, and the Rapprochement Between the Two Germanies
  • Unit 9: Changing Western Europe: Thatcher's United Kingdom, Mitterrand's France, and the Expanding European Community
  • Unit 10: Changing Eastern Europe: Gorbachev's Revolution and the Erosion of Soviet Authority
  • Unit 11: Endings: The Reunification of the Two Germanies, the Collapse of the Soviet Union, the End of the Cold War, and the Disintegration of Yugoslavia
  • Unit 12: A New Century and New European Problems
  • Unit 13: The Future of Europe


To receive credit for HIST 384, you must obtain at least 50 percent on the examination and achieve a final course composite grade of D (50 percent) or better.

Activity Weighting
Discussion Forums Questions 10%
Assignment 1 15%
Assignment 2 15%
Assignment 3 30%
Final Exam 30%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Blair, Alasdair. The European Union since 1945, 2nd ed. Harlow, UK: Pearson Education Limited, 2010.

Fowkes, Ben. Eastern Europe 1945-1969: From Stalinism to Stagnation. Harlow, UK: Pearson Education Limited, 2000.

Gökay, Bülent. Eastern Europe since 1970. Harlow, UK: Pearson Education Limited, 2001.

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

Other materials

The course materials include two study guides and a reading file.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the HIST 384 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least D (50 percent) on the entire challenge examination.

Activity Weighting
Part I: Exam 50%
Part II: Exam 50%
Total 100%

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Revision 1, June 16, 2011