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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Glennys J. Young
SISRE 444
Seattle Campus

Imperial Russia: 1700-1900

Development of Russia from Peter the Great to Nicholas II. Offered: jointly with HSTEU 444.

Class description

This course offers an introduction to Russian history from the reign of Peter the Great (1689-1725), the first tsar to be given the title “Emporer,” to the Revolution of 1905, which challenged Russia’s “Old Regime.” Athough we will examine the origins of the autocracy’s crisis, this course will not cast the history of Imperial Russia as the inevitable road to the revolutions that occurred in 1905 and 1917. The following will be some of our central themes: the emergence of a specific Russian “modernity” as Russia selectively imported from Western Europe ideas, political practices, and technology in order to overcome its “backwardness” and catch up with the West; religious and ethnic identity, as well as conflict, in a “multicultural” Empire; and the history of women and the family.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Readings will include the following: Nicholas Riasanovsky, A History of Russia; Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons; David Ransel, editor and translator, Village Life in Late Imperial Russia; Reginald Zelnik, editor and translator, A Radical Worker in Tsarist Russia: The Autobiography of Semen Ivanovich Kanatchikov. There will also be a reader.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Three 5-7 pp. papers, a final exam, and participation in class discussions.

Each paper: 20%. Final: 30%. Class participation: 10%.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Annamarie Berdick
Date: 05/30/2002