Fall 2019 - HIST 334 D100

The Making of Imperial Russia (4)

Class Number: 4916

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 3 – Dec 2, 2019: Tue, 11:30 a.m.–2:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 16, 2019
    Mon, 3:30–6:30 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Michael Lanthier
    Office: AQ 6242
    Office Hours: T15:00-16:00
  • Prerequisites:

    45 units, including six units of lower division history. Recommended: HIST 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%
  • Response papers (3 x 5%) 15%
  • Essay outline 10%
  • Essay 25%
  • Final examination 35%



Nicholas V. Riasanovsky and Mark D. Steinberg, A History of Russia.  9th ed. New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019.

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

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

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