Course title:
The Enlightened Life and Eventual Death of Tsar Alexander II
David Price
Course ID:
Start date:
End date:
Timetabled sessions
Date Times Hours
Wed 17 Nov 2021 19:00 PM - 20:30 PM 1.5
Wed 24 Nov 2021 19:00 PM - 20:30 PM 1.5
Total sessions: 2
Total number of classroom hours: 3
Independent online hours: 0
Total hours: 3
Wed 17 Nov 2021
19:00 PM - 20:30 PM
Wed 24 Nov 2021
19:00 PM - 20:30 PM
Total sessions:
Total number of classroom hours:
Independent online hours:
Total hours:
Online Learning with Zoom and Canvas
Leads to qualification?    No
Level:     Level 2 (level information)
Is this course part of a programme of study?
Programme details
Programme title:
Programme aims:
Programme description:
Who is this programme for?
Optional Activity Start date End date Fee
£9.60 or free on some courses if you are in receipt of some benefits
What skills or experience do I need to join this course?
This course is for beginners
This course is for beginners
What else do I need to know? Is there anything I need to provide?
You will need an internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a webcam so that you can use the online learning platform, Canvas, and access a live Zoom session. If you’d like to understand more Zoom please visit:
Course aim:
How Alexander II of Russia modernised the country in the 19th century, introducing a number of major reforms, but nevertheless was the target of a number of assassination attempts and was finally killed in St Petersburg in 1881.
Course description:
Tsar Alexander II came to the throne in Russia in 1855, succeeding his father Nicholas I, a hardline ruler whose domestic and foreign policies were perceived as disastrous for the country. By contrast, Alexander proved to be a reforming monarch who brought feudalism to end, reformed the legal system, vastly increased the railway network, built roads and new schools, and devolved some administrative functions to the provinces. However, he was also capable of responding harshly to dissent, viciously suppressing a Polish revolt and creating a secret police organisation to spy on and undermine revolutionary activities. But he ultimately failed in the latter, as he experienced several attempts to assassinate him and one that succeeded, in St Petersburg in March 1881. This course will look at the man and his policies and why revolutionaries were determined to murder him despite his rule being far more liberal and beneficent than that of many of his predecessors.
By the end of the course I will be able to:
1. Explain why Russia's poor performance in the Crimean War prompted Alexander to emancipate the serfs.
2. Explain the purposes of the Trial of the 193 and some of its effects.
3. Identify the link between the unsuccessful assassination of Alexander in 1866 and Mussorgsky's composition, Pictures at an Exhibition.
4. Explain why Alexander's second marriage was considered scandalous.
5. Describe why Alexander's assassination was so disastrous for Jews in Russia.
How will I learn?

We expect you to attend your classroom sessions and make time to do any required learning activities on your own.

The WEA tutor will use a range of teaching and learning activities and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning. Your tutor will use tasks to see how you are learning, which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects, discussion, written or practical work. Your tutor will give you feedback on your learning and progress.

WEA Canvas online learning area

Whether your course is face to face or online, the WEA uses its online learning area, called Canvas, to support your learning. This includes using Canvas to think about and record your progress and to give your tutor and the WEA feedback on your course. Your tutor may put resources or activities on Canvas to use during or between lessons. If you want to understand more about our Canvas online learning platform please visit:

WEA online sessions/ courses- Zoom

If your course is online, you will join a virtual classroom using a weblink: the WEA uses a video-conferencing tool called Zoom. To use Zoom you will need a Laptop, Computer, Tablet or Smart phone which has speakers, a microphone and a video camera. For some courses, to submit work, we advise you to use a laptop or computer. For more information on Canvas and Zoom please visit

Information and advice

For more information and advice about our courses phone our support team on 0300 303 3464 or email:


We will ask you about any support you may need when you enrol. You can also telephone the Student Support Team on 0300 303 3464 or email The earlier you tell us about your needs the better. We will be able to provide help more quickly.

You can also find out about what support is available through our Student Handbook. This highlights what you can expect from WEA and what we expect from you.

For information about course fees and financial support whilst you study visit

For student support relating to specific learning need or disability visit

What next?

Your tutor will talk with you about what you could do following this course.

You can also find information on our website to support you to make decisions about what you can do next

You may benefit from speaking to the National Careers Service regarding your future career plans - call 0800 100 900 or visit their website