Russian History 1825-2000                                                   Alexander Maxwell
 
This course discusses Russian history from the 1825 to the present. It focuses heavily on cultural history, particularly in the nineteenth century, but also covers the main political events in recent Russian history. It also discusses the history of non-Russian nationalities in Russia and the USSR, attempting to include Central Asian and Russian-Jewish history in the course readings.  It is a reading-intensive, upper division course.
 
Class structure:  This course meets for four hours a week (not counting the supplementary readings), for three lectures and one discussion section.  The discussion sections will be devoted to class readings.  Students are expected to contribute actively to discussions.
 
Required readings:        Stephen Kotkin Steeltown USSR
                                    Orlando Figes Natasha’s Dance
                                    Martin McCauley The Soviet Union, 1917-1991 (2nd edition)
                                    There will also be an extensive course reader/reserve book list
 
Grading system:  midterm 20%  essay 40%  final 30%  discussion section 10%
 
The midterm and final have the same format, with two parts.  In the first part, students will answer ID questions on various key terms and concepts.  In the second part, students will select one of three essays to answer in class.  The final will include an additional cumulative essay.
 
The essay is 12 pages long (times new roman, double spaced, font size 12, footnotes included, not counting bibliography, maps or charts). Students must identify a historiographic problem or controversy, making reference to at least three historians, and then discuss primary sources in light of this controversy, making reference to at least three different primary sources.  In total, students must cite ten non-internet sources. A list of suggested topics will be given out, but students are encouraged to choose their own topics with the approval of the instructor.
 
The map quiz is graded as part of the discussion sections.
 
 
 
Supplementary readings in Russian Literature:  Companion course
 
Students with a special interest in Russian culture may receive extra course credit by reading works of Russian belles lettres during the first 12 weeks of the class.  We will meet for one hour each week to discuss these books as contributions to Russian intellectual history.  Students must write a research essay based on those works in the last weeks. This is intended for senior students majoring in Russian language, Russian history, or Russian studies.  (It might be designed in cooperation with, and cross-listed in, a Russian language department.)
 

Discussion Sections:
 
Attendance is not mandatory for lectures, but is mandatory for discussion sections on all weeks except week 1 and week 8 (the midterm review session).  To count as “present,” students must BOTH be present AND have a one-page response paper about the readings for that week’s discussion section, printed in bold letters on the syllabus. The response paper is pass-no pass, it is not graded for content, which should encourage students to give their honest opinions. However, no credit is given for the response paper if the student is not present.
 
The two map quizzes will be graded pass-fail as part of the discussion section.  Both quizzes include five basic geographical features, students must correctly identify all five. Students who do not pass will be marked as absent an extra day for each quiz they do not pass. The geographic features students are required to know are: Moscow, Leningrad/Petersburg, Ukraine, Poland, the Ural mountains, Uzbekistan, Siberia, the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, the Crimea.
 
The response paper has two objectives.  It encourages students to complete the reading by the discussion section, and it helps them to critically analyze primary and secondary sources. These skills are important for the research paper, but also for a liberal arts education generally.




Week 1                                                                                                  Supplement: Tolstoy War and Peace (1)
M            Intro to class: Russia’s geography, population
F              The old social order: Nobility, clergy, raznochintsy, the mir.
F              Diversity of Russian Agriculture: State peasants, Obrok, Barshchina, black earth, Cossacks.
Figes, “European Russia,” 1-69.
               
Week 2                                                                                                  Supplement: Tolstoy War and Peace (2)
M            The service state and the army. Napoleon’s invasion of Russia.
W            The discontented nobility: Decembrism (1815) and its aftermath.
F              Nicholas I “the stick” and his early years. “Paradomania” and the state peasant reforms.
Fonvizen “The Minor” (~40 pages)
Figes, “Children of 1812” 69-118
 
Week 3                                                                                  Supplement: Lermontov A Hero for our Time
M            The Russian Empire in Siberia, Alaska, and Central Asia
W            Islam in Russia: Ottoman-Russian relations after Kuchuk kainarji (1774), war in Caucuses
F              Russian diplomatic relations with the rest of Europe: The Holy Alliance
Moshe Gamer Muslim Resistance to the Tsar, 23-46, 113-129, 167-191 (62 pages) Figes, “The Descendants of Genghiz Khan”, 358-410; Map quiz 1
 
Week 4                                  Supplement: Radischev Journey from Saint Petersburg to Moscow
M            The beginnings of the Russian Intelligentsia: Radischev, Westernizers and Slavophils
W            Non-Russian intelligentsias:  Ukrainians, Poles, Jews, Tatars
F              The Holy Alliance in action: Poland 1830, Hungary 1848.
Figes, “Children of 1812” 119-146;  Herzen My Past and Thoughts, 132-184 (52 pages)
              
 
Week 5                                                                                                  Supplement: Goncharev Oblomov
M            Ottoman Politics, Religion, and the Crimean War.
W            Nicholas I’s death, Alexander II.
F          The Great Reforms and the abolition of serfdom. The zemstvo.
Figes “The Peasant Marriage” 217-264
Decree of Feb 19 1861  http://artsci.shu.edu/reesp/documents/emancipation%20manifesto.htm
 
Week 6                                                                                  Supplement: Turgenev Fathers and Sons
M            Russian nobility’s response to the end of serfdom
W            The radical Russian intelligentsia: Socialism, populism, “going to the people.”
F              The zemstvo liberal. Russian “capitalism.”
Pobedenostsev “Falsehood of Democracy” Riha 409-429 (34 pages total) Katerina Breshkovskaia “Going to the People” Riha, 357-371; Figes “In Search of the Russian Soul,” 325-354
 
Week 7                                                                                  Supplement: Cherneshevsky What is to be done?
M            Alexander III and conservatism.
W            Nicholas II and his advisors. Witte and the Railroad empire in Manchuria.
F              The emerging Russian working class.  The Bund.
Wallace  Russia on the Eve of War and Revolution, ch. 8-10 (60 pages) The Durnovo Memorandum  Riha 457-470 (13 pages). Stolypin’s Report of 1906 http://www.dur.ac.uk/~dml0www/stolypin.html
 
Week 8                                                                                  Supplement: Shalom Aleykhem In the Storm
M            The Russo-Japanese war and Russia’s defeat. The Revolution of 1905.
W            The Duma. Stolypin’s “wager on the strong.” Optimism and Pessimism
F              Midterm
[In discussion section:  review for midterm]
 
 
Week 9                                                                                  Supplement: Solzhenitsyn August, 1914
M            Russia in the First World War. Tannenberg, the Brusilov offensive. Trench warfare in the east.
W            The fall of the Romanovs, the provisional government. Revolution in the countryside.
F              Lenin’s life and pre-revolutionary career. The Bolshevik party to October 1918.
McCauley “Revolution” 1-37 Declaration of 3 March 1917 http://www.dur.ac.uk/~dml0www/provgov1.html
Trotsky. History of the Russian Revolution. “Capture of the Winter Palace” (around 40 pages)
 
Week 10                                                                                    Supplement: Gorky Mother
M            Land, Peace, Bread. Brest-Litovsk. German defeat, War with Poland.
W            The civil war in Ukraine, the Caucuses, Turkestan, Baltic. Makhno vs. Pilsudski.
F              War in the countryside: Greens, Whites, Reds. Why the Bolsheviks won.

Declaration: rights of Toiling and Exploited…http://www.dur.ac.uk/~dml0www/decright.html; Chokaev’s memoir  http://www.uea.ac.uk/his/webcours/russia/documents/chokaev1.shtml;  McCauley Revolution 37-45.
 
Week 11                                                                                  Supplement: Zamyatin We
M            Economic Catastrophe and NEP. Socialist social policies in the cities. Socialist arts.
W            Lenin’s death and the power struggle between Trotsky and Stalin.
F              Experts and Proletarians in the Stalinist system. The great Terror.

Allan Monkhouse Moscow, 1911-1933, 93-147 (54 pages)  McCauley “New Economic Policy,” 48-77.
 
Week 12                                                                               Supplement: Bulgagkov Master and Margerita
M            Collectivization of agriculture, the Ukrainian famine, and Soviet Industrialization.
W            Soviet Diplomacy from the Cominern to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.
F              The Nazi invasion, occupation policy. Nationalism vs. Communism.
McCauley “The Thirties” part of “Great Fatherland War,” 78-152
Tchernavin “I speak for the silent”, Zdanov “Adventures of an Ape”
 
Week 13
M            Partisans and the countryside. Stalingrad-Kursk-Berlin.
W            The beginnings of the cold war, the doctor’s plot, and Stalin’s death.
F              Khruschev and destalinization. “Virgin Lands.”

McCauley “Great Fatherland war (conclusion),” “Last Years of Stalin.” 152-202    
Kuznetsov. Babi Yar 21-37, 149-166, 362-389 (61 pages)
 
Week 14                                                                                                                                                              
M            Khruschev’s fall. The Cuban Missile Crisis. The Cold War abroad.
W            Brezhnev and his social contract. Corruption, giganticism, and stagnation.
F              Islam in the USSR. The invasion of Afghanistan. Andropov and Chernenko.

Kotkin Steeltown, USSR 1-53 (53 pages)Figes “Russia through the Soviet Lens,”489-521, McCauley, “Brezhnev” 216-315.
                                                                                                                                                          
Week 15 
M            Gorbachev, Glasnost and Peristroyka.
W            Yeltsin and the coup. The CIS. Economic collapse.
F              Chechenya and Putin’s Russia.

Kotkin Steeltown USSR, 161-203 (42 pages)    McCauley “The Gorbachev Era,” 344-368
 
Final exam: Time, Place                                                        Happy holidays!