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Code HIST 434
Term 201501
Title Russian History I : Tsarist Russia (from the 17th Century to 1917)
Faculty Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Subject History(HIST)
SU Credit 3
ECTS Credit 6.00 / 6.00 ECTS (for students admitted in the 2013-14 Academic Year or following years)
Instructor(s) Jan Hennings,
Detailed Syllabus
Language of Instruction English
Level of Course Undergraduate
Type of Course Click here to view.
(only for SU students)
SPS102 SPS101

This is a survey course on the general history of Russia from its early beginnings with the Muscovite state until World War I. It will begin with a general discussion on the geographical characteristics of Russia and the cultural peculiarities of the Russian population. Here the emphasis will be on the Eurasian dimension or character of the Russian lands. Strictly historical lectures will begin with Muscovy over 1450-1598, and will continue into the ''Time of Troubles,'' leading to the rise of the Romanov dynasty.The next issue will be the modernizing efforts of Peter the Great, and the political and social effects of these Petrine reforms (1682-1740). In the course of reviewing the policies of ''enlightened reform'' pursued by Catherine the Great (1762-1796), Russian expansionism against Poland and the Ottoman empire, as well as popular reactions such as the Pugachev Rebellion (1773-1775) will also be taken into account. Over the period between 1801-1855, the Napoleonic wars (1805-1815) and their impact, autocratic conservatism, and the Crimean War (1853-1856) will be highlighted. For the second half of the 19th century, attention fill focus on the emancipation of the serfs (1860), other administrative reforms and economic development accompanying expansion in Central Asia and Far East, and the emergence of a revolutionary opposition. The turbulent period of 1890-1914 will be discussed in terms of rapid industrialization, general poverty and popular unrest, defeat in the Russo-Japanese war and the subsequent 1905 revolution. The last weeks of the course will be devoted to World War I and the coming of the 1917 February and October revolutions.


To familiarise students with the developments and overall shape of the history of medieval, Muscovite and Imperial Russia.

Learning Outcome

(a) Historical argument and practice: a basic understanding of medieval, Muscovite and Imperial Russian history and the ability to close read selected primary sources and to discuss secondary literature that situates these materials in their historical contexts, (b) an ability to identify and explain major themes in Russian history, (c) a capacity to take higher or more specialised courses in Russian/European history; (c) Russia and the West: an ability to examine critically the perception of Russia and Europeanist/anti- Europeanist discourses

Programme Outcomes
Common Outcomes For All Programs
1 Understand the world, their country, their society, as well as themselves and have awareness of ethical problems, social rights, values and responsibility to the self and to others. 5
2 Understand different disciplines from natural and social sciences to mathematics and art, and develop interdisciplinary approaches in thinking and practice. 5
3 Think critically, follow innovations and developments in science and technology, demonstrate personal and organizational entrepreneurship and engage in life-long learning in various subjects. 3
4 Communicate effectively by oral, written, graphical and technological means and have competency in English. 5
5 Take individual and team responsibility, function effectively and respectively as an individual and a member or a leader of a team. 4
1 Develop a thorough knowledge of theories, concepts, and research methods in the field and apply them in research design and data analysis.
2 Assess the impact of the economic, social, and political environment from a global, national and regional level.
3 Know how to access written and visual, primary and secondary sources of information, interpret concepts and data from a variety of sources in developing disciplinary and interdisciplinary analyses.