HIS 241
Unit 8:
The Decembrists

An unfortunate family dispute between Nicholas (on the right) and his older brother Konstantin (on the left) over who should be the next ruler of Russia after the death of their brother, Alexander I, provided Russian radicals with the opportunity to stage a badly-planned revolt in 1825.

Nicholas I
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What you must do in this unit What you can do in this unit
  • Read the notes by Professor Hammond on the state of "Russia in 1825" and then his lengthy remarks on the Decembrists--These are very good. (*.pdf files)
  • Read chapter 21 from Mary Platt Parmele (1843-1911) A Short History of Russia (1907, 4th edition).  This is optional reading.
Some videos that you can watch for this unit
  • The Decembrist revolt of 1825 (At the very least, this gives you some images.)
  • Who knew that there was a website, www.executedtoday.com! Here is the entry for Pavel Pestel and the Decembrists.
  • Russian Imperial History 16/20
  • For extra credit please suggest to your instructor a relevant video for this unit of the course. Send the title of the video, the url and a brief explanation of why you find the video interesting and applicable to the material that is being studied in this unit.
Extra Credit Options
  • For 50 points maximum extra credit, read Anatole Mazour, The First Russian Revolution, 1825: The Decembrist Movement, Its Origins, Development, and Significance (1961) and write a one-page paper explaining the roots of the Decembrist societies (and their differences).
  • For 50 points maximum extra credit, read Patrick O'Meara, The Decembrist Pavel Pestel: Russia's First Republican (2003) and write a one-page paper in which you explain the main ideas of Pestel to reform Russia.



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