What is the course about?
At the end of the 19th Century Russia was an empire ruled over by an autocratic Tsar. However in 1917 two revolutions swept the empire and by the end of that year the Bolsheviks (the smallest of Russia’s 3 main radical parties) had taken power, setting into motion changes that would lead to the creation of the Soviet Union. This course explores why the imperial government crumbled so quickly in February 1917 and how a small group of revolutionaries were able to take power in October.
What will we cover?
* 19th century Russia and the autocracy
* the Russian radical tradition
* the 1905 revolution
* the impact of World War 1
* the February Revolution
* the Provisional Government and the Petrograd Soviet
* the October Revolution.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
1) Explain how autocracy functioned in the Russian context
2) Explain why the Tsar abdicated in February 1917
3) Identify the challenges faced by the Provisional Government
4) Explain how the Bolsheviks were able to take power in October 1917.
5) Analyse and discuss primary and secondary documents.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
No background knowledge is expected- this is an introductory course. You will need to be interested in modern
European history, be willing to read and discuss short texts in class and have an open and critical mind.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
A mixture of lecture, Q & A, source work, pair/group and class discussion. A comprehensive bibliography will be
given at the beginning of the course. Also (brief ) reading materials will be given at the end of each session. Please note, that supplementary reading is not a course requirement, but you will get more out of the course if you do
some extra reading .
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
None, but you may want to bring a pen and paper/notebook for any notes you would like to make during class sessions.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
HH166 - The Russian Civil War: 1917-1922, is the follow-on course from this one on the Russian Revolution.
For further details on other history courses, please go to the Build website: bildutrapagaran.info.
General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details