About Karl Qualls

This blog was founded by Karl Qualls, Professor of History at Dickinson College. Karl has received the Constance and Rose Ganoe Memorial Award for Inspirational Teaching, Gamma Sigma Alpha National Honor Society Professor of the Year, and Student Senate Professor of the Year. He is the author of numerous articles and chapters, including a chapter in the textbook Russia and Western Civilization: Cultural and Historical Encounters (M.E. Sharpe, 2003) written in collaboration with his colleagues at Dickinson College. He is also author of the monograph From Ruins to Reconstruction: Urban Identity in Soviet Sevastopol after World War II (Cornell, 2009). His most recent book is Stalin’s Niños: Educating Spanish Civil War Refugee Children in the Soviet Union, 1937–1951 (Toronto, 2020). He teaches Russian, German, Italian, and eastern European histories, as well as courses on European dictators, urban history, historical methods, the Holocaust, and more.

Welcome to HIST 254, Spring 2015

This is the location where we will be posting our thoughts on the blog. Make sure to create a descriptive yet enticing title, grab your readers’ attention in the first sentences, and use a professional voice in your writing. You must select the category for our course and add appropriate tags (e.g. author name, topic of the post (e.g. industrial revolution, etc.), title of document(s) read, etc.). Check current tags to see if someone else has already used a similar tag. Aim for consistency in tagging. That is, if there are existing tags for “revolution” do not add “revolutions.” This defeats the purpose of tagging.

Welcome to our course!

Welcome to our course on Europe between the two world wars. If you haven’t yet looked to see what our course is and is not going to be about, please check here. Our syllabus will provide even more detail. This will be our base for the course blog posts. Remember that you MUST select the category “HIST 234” for your post to be seen here and for you to thus get credit for it. Please also uncheck the “uncategorized” category. Please tag the blog as necessary, but first check to see if a similar tag has already been used so as to avoid a proliferation of nearly identical tags and thus rendering a useless tag cloud.

What was Peter the Great Trying to Do?

Peter the Great is often times credited for transforming Russia and his reign is viewed as a great watershed moment in Russian history. As you read the two articles and two primary sources for Friday, think about how Peter’s reforms could lead to progress for Russia. Comment in 200-400 words, with specific examples, on how Peter’sTable of Ranks and Spiritual Regulation promoted progress. You may also comment on any limitations you see in the reforms’ abilities to reach the intended goals.

History 253 Exam

What would you like to be asked in your oral exam? Here is your opportunity to contribute to the exam. Please submit at least two essay-type questions via the comment section of the blog. These should not be narrow, factual questions, rather they should be open-ended questions dealing with central themes of our course. Preferably, they should cross several eras. See the current exam guide on Moodle for suggestions.


I want to extend a welcome to all  my new students. Depending on the course in which you are enrolled, you will be using this blog either frequently or sporadically. I encourage you to set aside some time in a quiet location so that you can familiarize yourself with the blog features well before your first post or comment is due. Always remember to select the correct category for your course and name and add tags as appropriate.

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