Russia to 1917 Syllabus

History 356 Fall 2003

Individual (group) assignments:

Each of you is assigned to a small group (below).  Each group is responsible for reading and reporting on a section of this week's readings.  You do not have to meet as a group outside of class; we can take a few minutes at the start of class during which your group can decide how it wants to organize its report.


Here are the groups.  The assignments are listed next to each reading.

Group 1:  John Drake, Heidi Sheets, Joe Schreck

Group 2:  Shawn Brennan, Steve Colman, Jon Fredrick

Group 3:  Serena Elslager, John Hartman, Ryan Hinton

Group 4:  Monica Hughes, Matt Minmall, Bill Slater

Group 5:  Eric Litsch, Evan Miller, Jon Steese, Josh Lyons

Group 6:  Jeremy Magel, Dan Kelley, Brian Walsh, Phil Michael


Study Questions, Week 7

Kaiser & Marker, Ch. 14  GROUP 2, Report on Bennet and Raeff

Bennett, "Russia's System of Ranks":

According to Bennett, why did Peter create the table of ranks?

What does Bennett consider most important about the table of ranks?

How did Peter fill the highest ranks?

What benefits did rank bring? With noble rank?

Does Bennett consider Peter's reforms "new"? Explain.

What is Bennett's thesis?


Raeff, "Well Ordered Police State": Group 2

According to Raeff, what was Peter's goal after 1709?

How did Peter's reforms change the relationship between the state and society?

Why did Peter rule by direct command? Why did he "force" education on the nobility?

What does Raeff consider the results of Peter's rule?

What does Raeff mean by the "well ordered police state"? How did Russia's government differ from this ideal?

Does Raeff consider the Russian state after Peter "strong"? Explain.

What is Raeff's thesis.


Cracraft, Chapter 4   Group 3, Report on Anisimov and Sherbatov

Be ready to list the succession of rulers between Peter I and Catherine II and the years that they reigned. What does Cracraft tell you about each of these rulers?


Anisimov, "Empire of the Nobility":  Group 3

How did Elizabeth come to power? What was her "program" for rule? Explain.

How does A. describe the population and economy of 18th century Russia?

According to A., what sort of propaganda campaign did Elizabeth wage, and how has this shaped the writing of history?

Just how was this propaganda propagated? How did it shape the ideology of Elizabeth's reign?

Did Elizabeth reestablish Petrine institutions and principles? Explain.

What does A. tell us about Elizabeth's character and her effectiveness and a ruler?

How did the clergy react to Elizabeth's reign, and did the church become more tolerant? Did Elizabeth reverse Peter's "secularization" policies? Explain.

How did Elizabeth's government increase state revenues?

How did Shuvalov explain the need for indirect taxation? According to A., what were the results of Shuvalov's reforms?

According to A., who had profited from Peter's economic and tax policies?

How did nobles earn income, and how did Elizabeth's government help them? What does this tell us about the 18th century economy?

According to A., why did nobles want to lessen peasants' tax burden?

According to A., what was at the heart of the 18th century noble world view?

What sorts of demands did the nobility make upon Elizabeth? And how did laws under Elizabeth and Peter III change he nature of noble status?

Explain A.s main point about Elizabeth's draft legislation on serfdom.

What is Anisimov's thesis?


Shcherbatov Laments Corruption:   Group 3

Who was Shcherbatov? What did he think of Anna and her court?

What did Shch. think of Elizabeth and her court?

Based on this account, were patronage and family ties still important in politics?

What sorts of behaviors does Shch. criticize, and what does this tell you?

Explain Shch.'s opinion of Peter Shuvalov.

What sorts of examples does Shch. give of moral decline under Elizabeth, and what does this tell us?

How does Shch. explain the authorship of the "Emancipation of the Nobility"?

What lesson was Shch. trying to convey?


Cracraft, pp. 151-153 AND Kaiser & Marker, pp. 230-232 (Emancipation of Nobility):  Group 4 will report on this reading and on the Rabiniwitch essay on the family (below)

How does Peter III describe Peter I and Elizabeth in this decree? Why?

In exactly what ways did this document "emancipate" the nobility? Explain how and why this was significant.

Kaiser & Marker, Ch. 15

Charts and tables on economic development:   GROUP 5 will report on these tables and on the Kahan essay

#1. Explain the general changes in Russia's balance of imports and exports.

#2. Which exports increased, which decreased, and what does this suggest?

#3. How might the movement of export prices explain table #2?

#4. What does this table suggest about the viability of serfdom, and how does table #3 help us understand the balance of corvee and quitrent?

#5. What does this suggest about changes in land use?

#6. What seems anomalous here, and how can we explain it?

##7-8. Was per capita grain consumption rising or falling?

#9. What seems anomalous here, and how might we explain it?

#10. What do these figures suggest about changes in agriculture and trade?

#11. What do these figures suggest?


Kahan, "Character of Russian Economy": Group 5

According to Kahan, what factors shaped 18th century life?

What disasters faced 18th century Russians, and why?

Explain the annual cycle of rural life as laid out by Kahan.

What factors influenced market formation? How does Kahan explain the growth of markets? What hindered their growth? What was the state's role?

Why were bazaars and fairs so important to Russia's economy?

Explain how itinerant trade worked?

What is Kahan's thesis?


Mironov, "Price Revolution":   Group 6 will report on Mirnov and Poshkov

What caused Russia's "price revolution"?

How did Russia fit into the 18th century world economy?

What facilitated the growth of Russia's 18th century exports? What did Russia export and why?

How did prices influence the development of towns and the distribution of industry?

How did prices influence the development of the craftsman and merchant "class"?

How did prices shape the lives of noble landowners? How does this help us understand the use of barshchina (corvee)?

What is Mironov's thesis?


Kaiser & Marker, Ch. 16

Poshkov on Merchants and Artisans:  Group 6

How does Poshkov explain the importance of merchants, and how does the Tsar treat merchants?

According to P., what determines a group's status? What should be the function of each estate?

According to P., how do merchants behave, and how should they behave?

Explain P.'s views on foreign trade and foreign traders.

According to P., how do craftsmen behave and how should they behave?

Explain P.'s view of state economic policy.

What do you think P. intended as the message of this text?


Freeze, "The Disintegrating Parish":   GROUP 1: Report on Freeze, Crummey, and Gorodetzky

How does Freeze explain church-state relations in the 18th century.

What questions will Freeze answer?

What were the traditional functions of the parish?

Who traditionally controlled the local church?

How did the functions of and control over the parish change in the 1700s?

Did the parish fade away as a religious organization?

How did bishops exert control over the "weakened" parish?

What is Freeze's thesis?


Crummey, "Vyg": Group 1

How did Vyg leaders understand the relationship between Old Believers and the rest of Russian society?

What was the conceptual model for Vyg?

How did the Vyg father adapt to the problems of growth?

How and why did Denisov change Vyg policies?

How was the community run?

What was the function of Leksa, and what does this tell us about support for the Old Belief?

Did Old Believes reject patriarchy?

Describe daily life at Vyg.

Describe the Vyg attitude towards sexuality and towards authority.

Why is this community of historical importance?


Cracraft, pp. 146-150:

Gorodetzky, "St. Tikhon": Group 1

According to Gorodetzky, why is St. Tikhon so important? Explain the core of Tikhon's theology.

What problems do you see with this essay?


Rabinovich, "Russian Urban Family":   Group 4

Why is it hard to determine the size and organization of the 18th century family, and what kind of sources does R. use?

Who lived in Ustiuzhna? How large were their families? How were families organized?

Were multi-generational families common? Explain.

At what ages did men and women marry? Explain.

What is Rabinovich's thesis?

Russia to 1917 Syllabus