Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Advisory: Demonstrated proficiency in English by placement via multiple measures OR through an equivalent placement process OR completion of ESLL 125 & ESLL 249.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area IV: Social & Behavioral Sciences
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Analyze the rise of Russia from a tribal society to a world power.
  • Identify and assess the most significant themes in Russian history, focusing on culture, politics, and religion.
  • Evaluate the role of the individual in the history of Russia.


Russian political and social development from the 10th Century to present. Emphasis on post-revolutionary Russia and problems of authoritarian modernization, independence, political and economic integration and industrialization.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Analyze the general development of Russian political and social culture from the Appanage period forward.
B. Comprehend the formation of the autocratic bureaucracy and the creation of empire under the reign of the Romanovs.
C. Evaluate the cultural and artistic contributions of Russia to the world.
D. Assess the impact of Russian economic policies on Russia and the rest of the world before and after the Revolution.
E. Appreciate geographical expansion of the Russian state to 1917 and its subsequent multicultural diversification.
F. Define communist modernization and its implication for the Soviet Union, the United States, and the world.
G. Analyze the development of the communistic political system and its influence over subsequent communist nations.
H. Evaluate the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, and its implications for the United States and the world.
I. Effectively communicate in writing and orally the challenges and lasting legacies of Russia and the Soviet Union.
J. Describe the application of the scientific method in conducting research in areas relative to history.

Course Content

A. Formation of the Russian State.
1. Unification.
2. The Rus and the Riuriks.
3. Kiev.
4. Vladimir and Iaroslav.
B. Appanage Russia.
1. Novgorod, Tver, and Moscow.
2. The Mongols.
3. Ivan III, Vasili III, and Ivan IV.
4. Boris Godunov and the Time of Troubles.
C. The Rise of the Russian Empire.
1. Pre-Petrine.
2. Peter the Great.
3. Between Peter I and Catherine II.
4. Reforms and Revolt in the 19th century.
5. Slavophiles and Pan-Slavism.
D. Revolution of 1905.
1. Russo-Japanese War.
2. The October Manifesto.
3. Lenin's Bolshevism versus the Mensheviks.
E. First World War.
1. Involvement.
2. February Revolution and the Collapse of the Monarchy.
F. October Revolution.
1. Civil War.
2. Foreign Intervention.
G. Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin.
1. Domestic Programs.
a. The Red Army.
b. War Communism.
c. NEP.
2. Foreign Policy.
H. Stalin Triumphant.
1. Five Year Plan.
2. Collectivization of Agriculture.
I. The 1930s.
1. Purge Trials.
2. Rise of Fascism.
J. The Second World War.
1. Alliances and Betrayals.
2. The Western Front.
3. The War in the East.
4. Victory.
K. Communist Expansion.
1. Europe.
2. Asia.
3. Reactions: Containment, the Iron Curtain, and the Cold War.
L. Stalin's Successors.
1. The First Years.
2. The Thaw and Khrushchev.
3. The Freeze and Brezhnev.
M. The End of the Cold War.
1. Precursors: Andropov and Chernenko.
2. Mikhail Gorbachev.
3. The Fall of the Wall and the End of the Soviet Union.
N. Yeltsin and Putin.
1. Economic Changes.
2. A Shift to the Right.
3. Relations with the West and the World.

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

When taught as an online distance learning section, students and faculty need ongoing and continuous Internet and Email access.

Method(s) of Evaluation

A. Written Examinations, including a Final Exam.
B. Research Paper(s).
C. Oral Presentations and/or Class Participation.
D. Text Reviews and/or Analysis.

Method(s) of Instruction

A. Lecture
B. Discussion
C. Cooperative learning exercises
D. Oral presentations
E. Electronic discussions/chat

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Riasanovsky, Nicholas and Mark Steinberg. A History of Russia. 8th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Although this text is older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, it remains a seminal text in this area of study.


Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Reading:

1. 40-50 pages of weekly reading from the assigned text.

2. Supplemental readings from journal articles, monographs, or other historically relevant sources.

B. Writing:

1. Written papers and exams which allow students to demonstrate proficiency in the course SLOs.