Online Registration

A History of Ukraine

This course will offer a history of Ukraine and its people, and their struggle for independence which has lasted over 1000 years. We will begin with Kievan Russia and the conversion to Orthodox
Christianity in 988 C.E. We will then discuss the period of Ukraine's conquest first by the Mongols in the early 13th century, and then by the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania in the 14th century. In the 17th and 18th centuries, eastern Ukraine was taken over by Russia while the western areas, initially under Poland, became part of the Habsburg Empire. In the 20th century, after the Bolshevik Revolution overthrew the Russian Romanov dynasty in 1917, Ukraine tried to establish its independence, but failed.

Throughout its complex history, many different peoples lived in the land of modern-day Ukraine, not just Ukrainians, but Cossacks, Poles, Jews, Russians, Greeks, and others. Consequently, there were many ethnic, political, and religious conflicts. Finally in 1991, Ukraine gained its independence. Ukraine's freedom, however, has been repeatedly threatened by Russia which took over the Crimea and the area of Donetsk and Luhansk in 2014 and then invaded in February 2022. In this course, we will discuss important cultural and political leaders in Ukrainian history as well as recent events and the prospects for Ukraine's future.

Louise Loe is Professor Emerita of History at JMU where she taught from 1973-2020. Her areas of specialization include Russian History, European History and Modern Human Rights. She received a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University.

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