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The Thirty-Year European Civil War. Reflections on a Historical-Political Topos

The «Thirty-Year European civil war» has become a topos used to describe the age of the world wars. Believing in the necessity to adopt a more precise historiographical contextualization, the author reconsiders some assumptions behind the idea of the «Thirty-Year European civil war»: firstly, he underlines the heterogeneous roots of the many wars occurred from 1914 to 1945; secondly, he highlights how the process of «brutalization of the world» began only after World War I; finally, he emphasizes how the rise of European fascisms was not entirely due to the communist threat. In the end, the author questions the teleological nature of the topos and suggests reassessing the usual sharp opposition between the confrontational years following World War I and the alleged pacific post-World War II period.

Keywords: Thirty-Year European Civil War, World Wars, Fascism, Communism