The Russian Empire, 1689-1917 (HIH2210A)

30 credits

This module explores a period when Russia transformed from an isolated ‘barbaric’ country into one of Europe’s most powerful states. You will start by looking at the modernising reforms of Peter the Great and Catherine the Great in the 18th century. These transformed the politics, economy, society, and culture of the country, whilst enabling Russia to extend her empire further into Europe and Asia. You will then analyse the pressures that forced further reform under Alexander I and Alexander II in the 19th century, the problems of modernising an autocratic, multinational empire, and how failures contributed to the growth of the revolutionary movement. Finally, you will examine the first decades of the 20th century and Russia’s experiences of revolution in 1905, experiments with constitutional monarchy prior to 1914, the impact of the First World War, and the emergence of revolution in 1917. You will not require any prior knowledge of the period.