History 345

HIST 345
Czarist Russia

Catalog Entry

HIST 345
Czarist Russia
Three hours lecture: (3)

Prerequisite: Three hours of History at the 100 level.

Russian history from formation of the Kievan State through fall of the Romanovs.

Detailed Description of Content of Course
I. Kievan Rus
•    Origins, Geography, and People (the Chronicles as primary source)
•    Consolidation and expansion
•    Trade patterns
•    Conversion to Christianity
•    City-states
•    Social classes
•    Succession crises and resultant decline
II. Eras of Appanage and the Tatars
•    Mongol rule over Rus
•    Structure and deterioration of principalities
•    Lithuania as an expansionistic neighbor
•    Novgorod
III. The Rise of Moscow
•    Relations with Tatars
•    Expansion
•    Ivan I and III
•    Land and labor
•    Relations with neighbors
IV. Ivan the Terrible (IV)
•    The reforms and the terror
•    The Oprichnina
•    Ivan's concepts of czar
•    His accomplishments and limitations
V. The Time of Troubles
•    Succession crises
•    Foreign Invasions
•    Emergence of the Romanovs
VI. Imperial Russia
•    Church schism
•    Peter I and Catherine II
•    Motives and methods
•    Russia under Peter and Catherine
•    Expansion
•    Growing contacts with the west and internal reactions against westernization
•    See-saw status of nobility
•    Economy and evolution of serfdom
•    Modernization efforts
VII. Russia in the 19th Century
•    Alexander I and Napoleon
•    Nicholas I, the Decembrists and reaction
•    Autocracy, Orthodoxy, Nationality
•    Alexander II and the Great Reforms (serfdom, justice, the army)
•    The Crimean War
•    Alexander III and reaction
•    Growing dissident traditions
•    Economics
•    Russia's foreign relations
•    Expansion
VIII. Nicholas II and the Fall of the Romanovs
•    The state of Russia circa 1900
•    The Russo-Japanese War and the 1905 Revolution
•    Constitutional monarchy
•    World War I and abdication of the czar

Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The class meets three hours a week. A textbook is required by the instructor, and additional readings are required. Teaching methods involve a mix of lecture and discussion. Visual aids such as maps, films, and slides are used to supplement the lectures and discussions.

Goals and Objectives of the Course

a. Students will be able to discuss the rise and changes in Russian political, cultural economic and social phenomena from 900 to 1900.
b. Students will practice thinking critically and analytically about historical issues, acquire a broader knowledge and deeper understanding of pertinent historical events and processes, and cultivate a familiarity with the concepts of historical argument and interpretation.
c. Students will develop disciplinary research skills by designing strategies to locate and analyze primary and secondary source evidence, processing and organizing the resultant data, and composing proper citation and bibliographical entries.
d. Students will apply their critical thinking, research, and compositional skills to the creation and presentation of thesis driven essays that discuss, for example, historical social, economic, political, and/or cultural developments and that address issues such as the causes and consequences of historical change and continuity.
e. Students will also gain an appreciation of the problems of cross-cultural historical interpretation.

Assessment Measures

Knowledge and understanding of the material covered in this course will be measured using an array of assessment tools that may include, among other things, class attendance and participation, written examinations, formal writing assignments of various types, and informal writing assignments. All exercises are designed to expand the student's ability to evaluate historical events and to develop his or her ability to compose persuasive arguments.

Other Course Information


Review and Approval
Date Action Reviewed by
October  2010 Reviewed and Approved by Sharon Roger Hepburn