History | Empire of the Tsars
D308 | 17502 | Eklof


A portion of the above class reserved for majors
Above class carries culture studies credit
Above class open to undergraduates only
D308:  REEI Graduate students register for REEI-R500

This course examines the Russian Empire under the Romanov tsars,
from Catherine the Great to Nicholas II and World War I (1762-
1917).  Students are introduced to basic events and themes in the
country’s political life, to the biographies of leading statesmen,
revolutionary men and women, and writers such as Chekhov, Tolstoy,
Dostoevsky (how their works depicted contemporary reality, but also
how their personal lives reflected the issues and ambiguities
plaguing Russian society).  Certain key events are treated in closer
detail: the Decembrist revolt, the Crimean War and Great Reforms,
the assassination and crisis of 1881, the Russo-Japanese War and the
Revolution of 1905 and World War I.
 
Attention is also given to policy dilemmas and ideologies:
liberalism, revolutionary socialism, conservatism, Panslavism and
anti-Semitism, and to changing relations between the state and
society, issues of empire, Russia as a Great Power in the modern
world, and the changing daily life of Russia’s diverse population
(its peasantry, factory work force, middle classes, and nobility).
 
Requirements:  Three equally-weighted exams, each of which has two
parts: a take-home essay and an in-class factual, short-essay exam.
For the take-homes you are given a choice of themes to write on; for
the in-class you will be given 10-12 topics to study, and I will ask
you to respond on 2-3 (twenty minutes each).  At one time later in
the semester you will be asked to attend a screening of a two hour
documentary on the reign of Nicholas II (1894-1917) 
 
Readings for purchase:

Evtuhov and Stites, "History of Russia: People, Legends, Events
(Part II)"

(I choose from this list each year)
"A Sportsman’s Sketchbook," Ivan Turgenev
"The Abolition of Serfdom," David Moon
"Five Sisters:  Women Against the Tsar," B. Engel
"A Radical Worker in Revolutionary Russia," Kanatchikov
"Russian Women, 1698-1917: Experience and Expression," ed. by Robin
Bisha et. all
 
Prerequisites:  Good students with no background in this course can
do well, but it is recommended that you do some background reading
from a basic text on Russian history before 1801, especially from
the time of Peter the Great (readings are available on the E-Res
list, password “states”-- see especially by Acton)