Summer 2015 - HIST 334 D100

The Making of Imperial Russia (4)

Class Number: 3574

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 11 – Aug 10, 2015: Tue, 11:30 a.m.–2:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including nine units of lower division history. Recommended: HIST 105 and 106.



An examination of major themes in Russian history up to the Revolution of 1917, including the emergence of the modern Russian state; the organization of the empire at the center and the periphery; the contest between imperial, national, and religious identities; social, economic, and cultural transformations; and the Russian Empire's involvement in world politics.


This is a study of Russia up to 1917. After briefly looking at the earlier period of Russia’s development, we will spend most of the semester examining the Russian Empire from its proclamation under Emperor Peter I (also known as “Peter the Great”) in the early 18th century until its collapse during the First World War. On the grander level, we will pay attention to the organization of the empire at the centre and the periphery; the contest between imperial, national, and religious identities; and debates among the Russians about the destiny of their country. We will examine the Russian Empire’s social and cultural transformations, multiethnic character, territorial expansion, imperial and colonial policies, economic strategies, and role in world politics. But as we pay attention these broader developments and contexts, we will also look at the lives of some ordinary folks, and ask ourselves: what was it like for them to be Russia’s subjects?


  • Tutorial participation 15%
  • Map Quiz 5%
  • Paper 20%
  • First test 20%
  • Second test 40%


Requirements and Grading:

There will be one (6- to 8-page) paper, a map quiz during the second week of the semester, short writing assignments, plus two in-class examinations



Nicholas V. Riasanovsky and Mark D. Steinberg, A History of Russia. 8th ed. Oxford University Press, 2011.

Olga Semyonova Tian-Shanskaia, Village Life in Late Imperial Russia. Indiana University Press, 1993.

Douglas Smith, The Pearl: A True Tale of Forbidden Love in Catherine the Great's Russia. Yale University Press, 2009.

Leo Tolstoy, Hadji Murat. Vintage, 2012.

Registrar Notes:

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