HIS*111*12 Description

Introduction to History

In 2017 we commemorate one hundred years of possibly the most important political upheaval of the twentieth century--the Russian Revolution. This course will introduce students to the tools and techniques of the historian's craft through a focus on the events in Russia in 1917. Using an array of primary sources and scholarly literature, we will investigate the causes of the fall of the tsarist autocracy in February, the strengths and weaknesses of the Provisional Government as it sought a Western-style liberal democracy, and the coming to power of an avowedly communist government in October. Students will examine alternative interpretations of the revolution and conduct their own research on a topic of their own choosing related to the events of the revolutionary year. There is no prerequisite for this course. This course introduces students to the discipline of history by exploring compelling themes or problems in history. Through study of different topics, each section instructor will teach students the core methodological skills of historical analysis and interpretation. Students are expected to appreciate differing interpretations of the same historical questions. Students will study appropriate primary and secondary sources in the field, and learn the basic analytical and writing skills historians use to interpret the past.