Students will explore significant historical events, places and objects of Germany in order to understand some of the reasons for the current political and cultural attitudes of Germany in a European context.

Objective 1: Where is Germany? & Imagining Germany

European history and political events: From Napoleon’s arrival at the Brandenburg Gate to the construction of the Berlin Wall, Germany has been at the heart of a divided Europe.  Cities and regions which were for centuries German now lie firmly outside its borders.  What does this mean for European Germans and how in such a diverse society did its philosophers, artists and storytellers imagine a German national identity?

 Objective 2: The Persistent Past & Made in Germany

Politically Germany had been a loose association of political units of different dialects and laws held together under the Holy Roman Empire.  Economically the Hanseatic League operated a loose structure, free market structure.  What modern day legacy of these structures is reflected in today’s Europe?  Germans have long been good at making complex things and precision engineering.  Why does technical training and craft skills have a greater presence in Germany than elsewhere?

 Objective 3: The Descent & Living with History

After 1871 Germany took on the previous French role of being the difficult European neighbour: too big for its borders.  The next seventy five years saw it inflict catastrophe and suffer catastrophe on an unprecedented scale.  How has Germany rebuilt itself economically, physically and morally?




Political history of the Holy Roman Empire

Lost capitals

Art, philosophy and food

The Hansa and the Iron nation

Marx, The Flag, and the Printing Press

Masters of metal and the Bauhaus

Money in Crisis

The Buchenwald Gate – purging the degenerate

Germans expelled

Out of the Rubble

A nation re-born – The Reichstag


Study trips:

Visit to Berlin (Tour report will be required)


 Students will be tested on the course material through self-directed research and weekly presentations, group tour reports and an individually written test.


Researched Presentations & EU Institutions 40%.  Tour Report 30%.  Final Written Test 30%