Course overview

A three week online course with historian David Price. If you have an enthusiasm for history and culture, this course will be of interest”. We will look at the lives and reigns of the last three Tsars; and questions are invited for those who wish to for discussion. The course will also show online images. A look at the history of the Russian Empire from the end of the Crimean War until the February Revolution of 1917, concentrating on the personalities and decisions of the last three Tsars – Alexander II, Alexander III and Nicholas II – and how these three rulers affected the course of history for more than 120 million people living in the empire.

Course description

How the Russian Empire had the opportunity to modernise under Alexander II but how hi assassination ushered in a period of reaction and a consolidation of rule by divine right under Alexander III and Nicholas II. We'll examine the paradoxical reign of Alexander II, apparently a reformer but nevertheless still restricted by tradition; known for bringing an end to the Crimean War, the emancipation of the serfs, local government reforms, and possibly considering constitutional reform, he was also ruthless toward the peoples of the Caucasus, and suppressed nationalism in Poland. We'll see how his son Alexander KIII had an uneasy relationship with his father but reacted strongly to his father's assassination by cracking down on the rights of the Jews and turning a blind eye to pogroms against them. While he was a strong leader, his son Nicholas II was weak and unsuited to rule, having come to power unexpectedly early because of his father's death at the age of 49. We'll see how Nicholas seemed to blunder his way through his time as Tsar, and eventually took the ultimately tragic decision to become commander-in-chief of the army during the First World War and leave his wife Alexandra to govern the country, advised by Rasputin.

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All of our digital content, teaching and learning activities and assessments are designed to be accessible so if you need any additional support you can discuss this with the education experts during your enrolment journey and we will do all we can to make sure you have optimal access.

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