The Russian Empire 1700-1917

Course Dates: 26/09/22 - 31/10/22
Time: 19:30 - 21:00
Location: Online
This module examines the history of the Russian Empire from the reign of Peter the Great to the Revolution of 1917 and the rise of Lenin to power.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £50.00

This course has now started

Course Code: HEH91

Started Mon, eve, 26 Sep - 31 Oct '22

Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Lines open Monday-Friday 12:00-18:00

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This module examines major themes in the history of tsarist Russia between two major crises. In 1613, the election of the first Romanov tsar, Mikhail, marked the end of Russia’s ‘Time of Troubles’ when the state nearly collapsed. Two and half centuries later, the then mighty Russian Empire was defeated by Britain, France and the Ottoman Empire in the Crimean War of 1853-56. In between these crises, Russia’s tsars acquired considerable power over their population and a vast empire.

This course considers how the Romanov tsars were able to construct and consolidate autocratic power and how they exercised it. First, we will look at how the Romanov dynasty was established under the ‘boy-tsar’ Mikhail and then grew stronger under his successors in the 17th century. We then discuss the role of key personalities (Peter the Great and Catherine the Great) who, in a drive to ‘modernise’, drew upon western European technology and culture to shape and strengthen their empire, and examine how they expanded and consolidated the Russian Empire. Finally, we will look at the role of Russia in the Napoleonic Wars and discuss the massive cultural and social changes that took hold of Russian society in the mid-19th century when new forms of intellectual and political resistance to autocracy gradually emerged.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

• What factors contributed to the rise and expansion of the Russian Empire.
• How did Romanovs run their empire?
• How did they manage diversity?
• What was the secret of their success, and what ultimately caused the empire's fall?
• How does the Russian Empire compares to other contemporary empires?

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Recognise important characters and turning points in Russian history.
• Become acquainted with key specificities of Russian culture and political tradition.
• Describe key developments in the rise of the Romanovs and the factors which contributed to the eventual fall of the Russian Empire.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is an introductory course and does not assume any previous study or reading although you will need a good grasp of English to keep up with the topics. As with most of our history and current affairs courses, intellectual curiosity and an open mind are more important than specific previous knowledge.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

This is a live online course taught via Zoom. You will be taught by tutor presentation with images, maps and video clips. There will be opportunities for group discussion and some tutor-guided analysis of documents. You are encouraged to look at materials for each session on Google Classroom before each class.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You will find a notebook (or electronic device) useful if you wish to make notes. A ring binder or other folder could be useful for storing handouts
You will need:
-Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
-A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don’t have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

You will find many courses on empires in our British, European and World history areas. You might like to looke at HWH59 The rise and fall of Empires 1940-1991 and HWH93 The Ottoman Empire.

Spyridon Tsoutsoumpis

Spyros Tsoutsoumpis is an Associate Lecturer at Lancaster University. His research explores the intersection between paramilitary violence and nation building in the Eastern Europe, the Near East and the Balkans. His publications include: A history of the Greek resistance in the Second World War: The People’s Armies (Manchester University Press, 2019), and ‘The Lords of War: Violence, governance and nation-building in north-western Greece’ (European Review of History: Revue européenne d'histoire, 2021), and Paramilitary Violence and Nation Building during the Greek Civil War (Routledge, 2022). At City Lit, Spyros teachers history, with an emphasis on imperial and global history, and particularly the Second World War and the Cold War.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.