STUDY QUESTIONS 

1. What factors compelled Tsar Alexander II to emancipate the 
serfs in 1861? What were the basic features of this emancipation, 
and of the major reforms that followed it? Why did they lead to 
so much unrest and dissatisfaction, and eventually to Alexander's
assassination? Explain.

2. In Russian history, reforming rulers were often followed by 
reactionaries. Compare and contrast the reactionary policies of 
Paul I, Nicholas I, and Alexander III. How did each reign seek to 
prevent further change and undermine previous reforms? Discuss 
and explain the reasons for their successes and failures.

3. From the seventeenth century onward, the Russian state was 
periodically rocked by internal revolts and rebellions. Compare 
and contrast the Pugachev Rebellion, the Decembrist Revolt, and 
the radical movement of 1863-1881, paying particular attention to 
their origins and causes, the character of the rebels, the 
methods they used, and the reasons for their failure. 

4. From 1700 through 1856, Russia was involved in numerous wars.
Describe and evaluate Russia's role in the following conflicts: 
The Great Northern War of 1700-1721. The Seven Years War of 1756-
1763. The Russo-Turkish Wars of 1768-1774 and 1787-1792. The 
French invasion of 1812. The Crimean War of 1853-1856. Explain why 
each war turned out the way it did.

6. Describe, compare and contrast the reforms carried out
under Peter I, Catherine II, and Alexander II, and the impact
of these reforms. Which ruler's reforms, in your view, had
the greatest impact, and why? Explain and defend your views.

7. Despite its relative poverty and backwardness, Tsarist Russia 
managed to produce an extraordinarily diverse and vibrant culture. 
Identify and discuss the significance of the following: Mikhail 
Lomonosov. Alexander Pushkin. Nicholas Gogol. Ivan Turgenev. Fedor
Dostoevsky. Leo Tolstoy. Peter Tchaikovsky.