A Companion to Europe 1900-1945 by Gordon Martel

By Gordon Martel

This quantity brings jointly a uncommon team of foreign students to debate the most important debates within the research of early twentieth-century Europe.

  • Brings jointly contributions from a amazing workforce of overseas scholars.
  • Provides an summary of present pondering at the period.
  • Traces the nice political, social and fiscal upheavals of the time.
  • Illuminates perennial topics, in addition to new parts of enquiry.
  • Takes a pan-European procedure, highlighting similarities and transformations throughout countries and regions.

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Extra resources for A Companion to Europe 1900-1945

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Rather than a history of progress, even the most cursory study of the Europe of the first half of the twentieth century also throws up startling incongruities. In the first place, significant regional and temporal variations are apparent when any single vector of change is considered. For example, while more than half of all Britons had been classed as living in urban areas by the mid-nineteenth century, it took until the 1930s for this proportion to be reached just across the Channel in France.

Other countries also began to instigate a diverse range of welfare initiatives. In England, the involvement of non-governmental agencies (including both the philanthropic organizations set up by the middle classes and the mutual assistance schemes set up by workers themselves) remained crucial at the turn of the century. However, while a mix of state/private agencies continued to administer welfare, state provision gradually rose to the fore. Britain introduced the first compulsory unemployment insurance scheme in 1911, pensions were administered by the government from their introduction in 1908, and local authorities were empowered to build and manage council housing.

Howard Zehr, for example, studying France and Germany, claimed that, rather than a rise in crime overall, modernization and urbanization caused a shift from violent crimes like assault to acquisitive crimes such as theft. Eric Johnson, however, has looked at Germany in detail and finds the reverse – that property offenses were declining in some urban areas during industrialization while violent crime was rising. No clear connection between patterns of urbanization and crime trends emerges. Moreover, many of the debates over urbanization and crime revolve around methodological issues.

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