History | Last Tsar: Imperial Russia 1894-1917
J300 | 0385 | Eklof


Above section COAS intensive writing section and also requires
registration in COAS W333

The life and times of Nicholas II, Imperial Russia's last Tsar (1894-
1917).  We begin with his biography, investigate the personal
tragedy that shaped his life and affected the entire country; we
turn to geopolitics, the issues and choices confronting Russia's
rulers at the turn of the century;: the political structures, ruling
elite and Empire. We study the program of industrialization adopted
to bring Russia squarely into the modern world, the crisis in the
countryside that ensued, the rise of the liberation movement, the
1905 Revolution, establishment of a representative parliament [the
Duma]; the bold Stolypin reforms, and the later drift in policy on
the eve of World War.  We look at Russia's participation in World
War I, its leadership at the time, the rise of opposition to
autocracy, and the events leading to the collapse of the autocracy.
In this course I try to create an understanding of the dilemmas
facing those who ruled Russia and their vision of the Empire's
future; of the relationship between the private and the public; of
the experiences of those whose lives were lived "outside" of
politics, and of the way in which Russian society evolved, and was
mobilized into politics during the dramatic events of the late years
of the Romanov dynasty. During the first half of the class you will
read a lengthy popular biography of Nicholas and Alexandra which
focuses on the "interior" or private dimension of the Romanovs; as
well as at a very short, dense, and up to date history of the period
written by a professional historian [Hutchinson].  During the second
half you will read a sprawling, semi-academic, history  (Figes) of
the same era which incorporates largely unsympathetic biographical
sketches of the country's leaders with fascinating descriptions of
life "below" as seen by workers [kanatchikov]
peasants [semenov], women revolutionaries [kollontai], etc.   This
second part will also take the story beyond the collapse of the
autocracy to cover the tumultuous events of 1917 itself, from the
establishment of the Provisional Government to the Bolshevik
Revolution.  The task of your paper will be to take an issue,
development, important event, and analyze the treatment of this
topic using these three sources to understand conflicting
perspectives and treatments.

REQUIREMENTS; Attendance and Participation , written responses, and
two take-home exams (each the equivalent of 3-5 page, single space
theme
papers)


READINGS:

John Hutchinson, Late Imperial Russia (Longman: NY, 1999) Orlando
Figes, A People's Tragedy (Penguin: NY, 1998) Robert Massie,
Nicholas and Alexandra (Dell: NY, 1967) Articles on E-Reserve