This course will examine the development of modern nations and states in Eastern Europe from the late medieval era to World War I. The course will stress two main themes: first, the issue of 'backwardness': why is Eastern Europe less developed than Western Europe, and in what way? Second, we will explore the development of national and political consciousness among the people of Eastern Europe. In other words, how did people who 200 years ago did not even think of themselves as Poles, Romanians, or Bosnians come to value their nations so highly? We will consider the role of social and political forces within and outside Eastern Europe.