The exam is in two sections. Select one question from EACH section to address in an essay, each approximately 3-4 pages long. Essays must be typed, double-spaced, with standard font size and margins. [The exam will thus be a total of 7-8 pages]. In each essay, be sure to present an argument and to support it with dates, decrees, events, statistics, and interpretations drawn from lectures as well as the relevant readings. Absolutely NO outside material may be used, and your exam must be entirely your own. Citations for your evidence may be parenthetical [author of text and page number, or lecture and lecture date, in parentheses, at the end of the sentence for which a citation is needed.] Exams are due at the start of class on October 12, electronically, via Drop Box on Canvas. Late exams will be accepted only in exceptional circumstances and will face severe grade penalties.
PART ONE. THE PETRINE REVOLUTION. Select ONE
1. Cracraft quotes historian Charles Tilly to the effect that “States make wars, and wars make states.” Use Cracraft, Hosking, and lectures to discuss how this applies to the Russia of Peter I and the way his wars prompted change in so many different areas, particularly military, economic, and administrative. How was Peter’s “revolution” paid for? How do Cracraft and Hosking regard the high costs of these reforms?
2. Cracraft is a great admirer of Peter’s “cultural revolution,” which he situates within a broader European context. Discuss at least THREE of Peter’s major cultural innovations [topics to consider might include education, architecture, imagery, printing and language, to name a few],being sure to explain why Cracraft finds this cultural revolution so important. Then draw on lectures and Hosking, as well as Cracraft, to consider some of the less positive cultural consequences of these innovations. What would you consider the most problematic of these unintended consequences?
PART TWO. Select ONE
1. In the Captain’s Daughter, Alexander Pushkin paints a picture of Catherine II as a just and compassionate ruler. To what degree does this portrait of Catherine correspond with the reality of her reign prior to 1789? In your opinion, did she treat all her subjects well, or did her justice and sympathies extend more to the noble estate than to humbler classes? Draw on Hosking, Pushkin, and lectures for your discussion, being sure to consider in detail at least 3-4 laws, decrees, and/or institutions affecting nobles, peasants, and other commoners.
2. We have seen that many Russians rejected application of Western ideas and practices in Russia, or else wanted to take them in directions that autocratic rulers did not approve. Drawing on lectures and readings, discuss in some detail at least TWO examples of such instances, making sure that one of them is the Pugachev rebellion. [Other choices could include resistance or plots under Peter I, the case of Alexander Radishchev, or the Decembrist rebellion]. In each case, be very specific about what was being objected to and/or what policies were being advocated, on what grounds, and how the government responded to these challenges. Do you see any common themes in your cases, or is each different and unique?
3. The 1812-14 War against Napoleon, which Russians refer to as the “Patriotic War,” is considered one of the most important events in modern Russian history. Draw on Hosking, Lieven and lectures to first narrate, briefly, the actual events of the war. The discuss why the war was so important–militarily, politically, symbolically– being sure to consider the role of various social groups in the conflict, including the peasantry. Keeping in mind the role of myth, in your opinion does this war deserve to be called a “patriotic” war, and why or why not?