Versailles to Brexit: The Economies of Europe 1919-2019

Ref: C3742865

Was there an inevitability about the Brexit decision? Did it reflect long-standing differences in economic experiences, doctrines and policies over the century which has elapsed since John Maynard Keynes denounced the economic consequences which he felt would flow from the Versailles Treaty of 1919? We shall deploy the analytic insights of economic theory and of history to understand current controversies.

Course aim

To allow participants to understand the differences in economic history and policy which led to the UK 's late entry to, difficulties with, and now withdrawal from the European Union

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for improvers
  • This course has been devised to the requirements of the members of two previous economics courses, but new members who have done some economic theory to A-level standard will be welcome,

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the key differences in economic policy-making and history which led to very different economic structures in UK and mainland Europe by 1919
  • Demonstrate an understanding of what led to the economic problems of the interwar years, and so influenced postwar policy
  • Discuss the forces which led to movements for unification in Europe in the immediate postwar period, and the UK's reasons for staying out.
  • Analyse the debate on Britain's future relation with Europe from an EU perspective as well as from the British points of view

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • Extensive notes will be issued each week, which students will be expected to read before they are explained further in the subsequent class

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • In addition to the extensive and specially-written notes, the tutor wioll provide a 'book box' containing about 40 relevant books which students can borrow to read at home.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • Students are strongly encouraged to keep up to date with a fast moving situation as the formal date of Brexit nears by reading good newspapers, especially 'The Economist'.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information
  • .There are many good on-line courses in economics which those who have taken this course should be equipped to tackle

Download full course information sheet

Versailles to Brexit: The Economies of Europe 1919-2019


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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