HIS 241
Questions to Consider while reading the textbook
and studying a unit's material

Unit 1    Introduction and Themes in Russian history
  • What are the main geographical features of Russia?
Unit 2    Origins of Rus'
  • Why did the first Russian state emerge in the south, i.e., present-day Ukraine?
  • Why did Kievan Rus' fail to last as an organized political entity?
Unit 3    Rise of Moscow and the Gathering of the Lands
  • How did the Mongols affect the development of Russia?
  • Why did the grand princes of Moscow succeed in expanding and consolidating their power?
Unit 4    Ivan IV and the Time of Troubles
  • What role did Boris Godunov play in the Time of Troubles?
  • How did Muscovite Russia compare with other European states of the period?
Unit 5    The Petrine Revolution
  • Why did Peter the Great seek to Europeanize Russia?
  • Did Peter the Great meet any resistance to his reform efforts?
Unit 6    Catherine the Great
  • Did the Legislative Commission have any real impact on the reform of Russian government and law?
  • How did the European Enlightenment affect Russia?
Unit 7    Alexander I and Napoleon
  • What did Alexander I see as the purpose of the Holy Alliance?
  • How were the first and second parts of the reign of Alexander I similar and/or different?
Unit 8    Decembrists
  • What did the Decembrists hope to achieve through their uprising?
  • Was the Decembrist Revolt a revolution?
Unit 9    Nicholas I and Official Nationality
  • How did the ideology of Official Nationality fit the Russia of Nicholas I?
  • How much did Russia change (or stay the same) during the reign of Nicholas I?
Unit 10    A Marvelous Decade
  • What were the main points of Petr Chaadaev's critique of Russia?
  • Compare and contrast the main ideas of the Slavophiles and Westernizers.
Unit 11    Alexander II and the Great Reforms
  • Why did Alexander II undertake the Great Reforms?
  • What role did Russia play in the Balkans during the reign of Alexander II?
Unit 12    The Revolutionary Movement
  • Why did the populist movement that emerged in the 1860s turn ever more radical and revolutionary as it developed?
  • Why did an opposition movement arise in Russia while the government was embarking on a reform program?
Unit 13    A Golden Age of Russian Culture
  • What accounts for the explosion of Russian creative artistic achievement in the second half of the nineteenth century?
  • What, if anything, was particularly "Russian" in the works of Turgenev, Tolstoi and Dostoevskii?
Unit 14    Reaction and Modernization under Alexander III and Nicholas II
  • What were some of the characteristic features of Russia's industrialization of the 1890s?
  • How did Russian industrialization affect Russia's social structure and economic base?
Unit 15    Whither Russia in 1900?
  • Could Russia be considered an advanced, modernized country by 1900?



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