Alexander Victory Column
Aleksandr Column (Александровская колонна), St. Petersburg,
completed in 1834 to commemorate the victory over

The Simpler St. Petersburg
Map Assignment


Check out my digitized St. Petersburg map from 1897 (the map is actually quite large, maybe 30" x 24" or so). I use this map in several of my courses, including as an extra credit assignment in my history of Russia classes.

The decade of the 1890s was a time of sweeping transformation of the Russian capital city of St. Petersburg, as rapid industrialization encouraged by Count Serge Witte, the Minister of Finance, brought the establishment of large factory complexes to the city and the creation of working class suburbs to house the hundreds of thousands of workers needed for those factories. Count Witte was a firm believer in the need for railroads in Russia, and to build railroads, Russia needed a developed network of heavy industry. St. Petersburg became the central point of Russia's industrial network.

In a two-page paper, explain what you can discover about St. Petersburg at this time from looking at and analyzing this old map. We can learn a lot from old maps, and this is an excellent quality map for us to work with. (Even if you don't know French, you can still pick out most of the prominent features of the map, such as water and railroads. The colors on this map are simply spectacular!) You should aim for finding at least ten interpretative comments/items about the city from this map.

You should also watch my video remarks about this assignment.

Here are some formal requirements for your paper:

Your assignment should be submitted on Blackboard following the directions for submitting assignments.