Espitia, more than the others did. To fortify

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Espitia, Cesar L.

AP European History, Period 2
December 17, 1998
Peter, overall, was an important step for the Russians during his reign. Although he was a man of hatred due to his childhood, his quests to Westernize Russia were paramount. He brought numerous things from the west whenever he visited such great nations as France, among many others. He mimicked everything he was, at times imposing harsh edicts on the people of Russia in order for them to comply. Little by little, Peter began to gain power comparable to that of Louis XIV, by undermining everyone including the nobility.

Although Peter was very much barbaric by nature, he was humorous and civilized. Yet his greatest virtue was his jealousy for all the wealth the West had obtained. Therefore his curiosity took the best of him. He wished to know how and why everything worked and how he could improve it. It is true he absorbed all that he saw but his incorporations were utilitarian. He wished and sought everything that would make his country catch up to the West. This of course would prove to be a difficult task, one that incorporated innumerable amounts of bloodshed and torture throughout Russia. Reason being that the nation was extremely religious and thus hostile to radical changes in common life. Peter during his reign had a mind of a child, umprejudice to all that he saw. He even became tolerable of all religions and allowed them to build churches, all except the Jesuits. He though that they propagandized their religion far more than the others did.
To fortify his country, Peter put a lot of effort to give Russia a modern army, an efficient government, industry, commerce, and ports that could reach the world. Peter economized everything except human life. The first step he took to become an absolute ruler was to diminish his lavish lifestyle. He drastically cut all royal extravagances; everything including cooks, balls, receptions, etc. Unkingly as it may sound it did help raise his revenue; he even turned over his possessions in the name of the state. It even got to the point where his friends would pay for a share of the meal being eaten at a picnic, to the underpayment of his palace staff.
Women in Peters life were the same; he saw them as minor incidents in his life. He underpaid prostitutes for their services, yet he did have several mistresses and strumpets. Only one caught his eye and soul Catherine I. Catherine did what no other woman could, she got through all the anger of the Czars pitted soul and found a tender spot within. Catherine was first seen by Russia as a strumpet, and Peter never did formally recognized (although she had bore his children) until 1722, when he crowned her empress. Her influence over him was good in many ways. For one, he improved his manners and etiquette. She somehow managed to moderate his drinking to the point where if Peter had friends over and was extremely drunk, Catherine would only need command him quietly to come home and he obeyed. At other times Catherine I would be able to persuade the Czar to not torture or kill several prisoners.The one thing she never tried to do was influence politics. However, she did request of him to see that friends and family be provided for.
By this time Peter had gained absolute power yet he took it for granted. He agreed with many of what Louis XIV and Cromwell had said, taking into consideration that only one absolute ruler, without any noblemen, was necessary to serve the state. Peter saw himself not as a despot but as a servant to the state. In order to indirectly prove his power he had St. Petersburg built. It took years of intense labor and numerous deaths to complete the project. The palace was not only built upon a swamp, but also upon the bones and bodies of many of the peasant who helped build it. Mimicking Louis XIV, he ordered the noblemen to build houses around St. Petersburg in order to keep an eye on them. The boyars, under great protest, built them. Later on, he made St. Petersburg the capital of Russia because he hated the ecclesiastical atmosphere found in Moscow and he wished the noble to see the future of Russia through his window to the West.
Next Peter wished to build an army that would guard the Russian commerce through the Baltic Sea. This idea triumphed for a while, yet it was readily decimated because of Nature itself. See Russia is naturally a land-locked country. Yeah sure there is water tot he north of it, but it is frozen nearly all year. Furthermore, the merchant marine was disorganized and badly built. The ships began to fall apart because of the rotting wood and cracking masts. Due to this Moscow took its revenge and became the capital of Russia again.
The only permanent reform during Peters reign was the army. Before Peter the entire army was dependent upon peasants led by their lords. This army was poorly disciplined, and armed. In building a standing army, the boyars were undermined, yet the soldiers were equipped with the latest technology. The reason he took such a forward step was because he needed it in opening the Baltic, and transforming the Russian economy and government.
One of the most remarkable things that Peter did that no other ruler did was to improve the status of woman. He encouraged them to learn, remove their veils, dance, sing, make music, etc. He issued edicts forbidding prearranged marriages, and requiring at least a month and a half of between betrothal and marriage in order to insure that the couple does love each other before being wed. However from this women did have more illegitimate births and since there was great opposition to Peter especially from the religious groups and clergy, this would be used against him.
Within religion, Peter abolished patriarch after the death of Patriarch Adrian. He left the place void until he finally filled it with a new position, the Holy Synod. This official would only be able to comply to whatever Peter the Great said not the church. All properties of the church were turned over to the Czar, and ecclesiastical courts were curtailed. The bishops were now appointed by the bureaucracy and miracle centers became limited. Furthermore, Peter being tolerant of religion allowed several religions to assemble churches in the Nevski Prospekr, which came to be known as Prospect of Tolerance. This in turn made terminated the Middle Ages of Russia.
Besides this the economy of Russia grew immensely under Peter. A new class of aristocrats rose, these would be the new leaders of the new economy that Peter would build based on industry, taxation, commerce, etc. The first thing he did was to cultivate all the natural resources that Russia had to offer. Tobacco, mulberry and vine were cultivated along with the breeding of horses and sheep. Besides these iron was mined to the point that in 1710 Russia ceased to import iron, it had enough to become an exporter of the product. He brought foreign artisans and managers and prodded the Russians of every rank to learn the new methods of industrial arts. All those who didnt want to comply were threatened with torture. During this time the amount of factories grew to 233; the most ever seen in Russia ever. High protective tariffs were imposed to shield the industries from foreign nations. However, the merchant class demanded more from the Czar, and wished to be treated less like serfs. In 1723 Peter complied in an edict and raised the social status of that class. Wars, however, forced the ruler to allow the government to monopolize various industries. Taxation became exhaustive. Nearly everything became taxed; even those men who wished to retain their beards. Peter, however, did not include the nobility and clergy. All this, overall, devastated the coinage.
As part of the Cultural Revolution, Peter imposed on the Russians many new ideals of the West. He modeled the new Russian alphabet after that of the Greeks, angering many of those that belonged to the Orthodox Church. He finally allowed the publication of the first Russian newspaper, Gazette of St. Petersburg. He ordered printing presses to be brought to Russia and people to work them. Many of the scriptures and books found in Russia were changed to the new alphabet. He built a grandiose library that was filled all the latest books of the West. He further allowed the building of science and technical schools that would improve the intellectual capacity of those in Russia. Noble children were sent to these schools, and after his death an expedition was formed that would finally solve the enigma of Russia and North America being united. Vitus Bering later carried out the expedition across the Pacific Ocean.
The aftermath of all the things Peter did somewhat reverse everything he had done. The Russians were used to the bad conditions they had lived in prior to Peter, but under his rule things got extremely worse. Crime spread and begging continued, although Peter tried to stop this by setting up relief centers, yet this didnt help much. Everyone in Russia had extreme hatred towards Peter; many even wanted to kill him. This, however, never even dented Peters spirit. This was seen when he even tortured his son Alexis. Alexis was tortured until his death during 1718.
In the long run, Peter tried to make things better for Russia. Some of the things that were implemented during his reign lasted, and later modified. He dragged Russia kicking and screaming, into a new age of Westernization. Although in his mind he wished to do good, it turned out to be somewhat worse, yet it has to be accredited to him that during his reign the people were united (unfortunately against him), and the economy flowed smoothly.

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Categories: Dance

Towards crown.The hostility during Sophia’s regin was

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Towards the end of the seventeenth century Russia differed very little from what it had been at the end of the fifteenth. During the reign of Peter the Great Russia’s desire for change and a quest for progress was reaching levels comparable to those of Europe. Peter the Great is associated with the movement of Russia from the Medieval world to the Age of Enlightenment. Throughout the centuries historiographical debate has been in progress. There was a debate between historians who consider Peter the Great as a great Tsar of Russia and those who perceive him as an autocratic tyrant. Scholars ask if Peter the Great did indeed open the ‘Window to the West,’ ans if so what kind of window, and what aspects of the West? The interpretation of Russia’s past remains a subject of debate among historians. Image and accomplishments of Peter the Great with each generation produce different attitudes. What views are put forward by Peter’s contemporaries and modern historians? How did advocates and opposition portray the reign of Peter the Great? These are important questions to ask in an explanation on how Peter the Great was seen in the eyes of his contemporaries and of modern historians.
In order to understand the image of Peter the Great and his significance it is necessary to know his background and the influences that shaped his life. Peter the Great was the fourteenth child of Alexei Mikhailovich, born in Moscow on May 30, 1672.Tsar Alexis died when Peter was four years old. His mother raised Peter.Tsars’ Alexis son from his first marriage, Feodor Alekseevich succeeded to the throne but his reign did not last long. On April 27, 1682, Tsar Feodor died. In line to succeed him were, his brother Ivan and Peter who was his half-brother. Peter was only ten years old. With the assistance of the semiprofessional musketeers garrisoned in Moscow, sister of Feodor, Sophia, seized power and declared herself regent, proclaiming both Ivan and Peter co-tsars. Sophia was in conflict with the family of Peter’s mother and she forced the boy to reside on one of the suburban estates of the crown.The hostility during Sophia’s regin was significant influence on Peter’s development as a Tsar.

Peter grew up away from the constricting atmosphere of the Kremlin, and he was left to his devices under his mother’s supervision. Peter was a lively and energetic boy compared to his other siblings who were sick and weak. From his early years he was interested in military games, fire, bombs and fireworks. He organized his own “play regiments” and war games by enlisting gentlemen’s sons. He also had contact with foreigners and was fascinated with their way of life. His education started around the age of seven. One of his tutors was Nikita Zotov, who was a kind clerk, literate man who knew the Bible well but was not a scholar. While Zotov was teaching Peter to read and write, he told him stories of Russian history; of battles and heroes. Peter’s education was less classical then that given to Feodor or Sophia.By the time Peter reached manhood, he was basicaly a self taught man since he chose what he wished to learn. His lack of formal education would be reflected in the decisions and situations with which he had to deal with during his rule.
Number of features of Peter’s childhood and youth makes it possible to see his intellectual development. At the age of sixteen, Peter was introduced to a dutchman, named Timmerman who became his second tutor. Under Timmerman’s guidance he was learning arithmetic, geometry, and the sciences of fortifications and artillery. Timmerman had also introduced him to sailing which became one of the favorite interests for Peter.Early contacts with Timmerman and other foreigners had opened his mind to the technological West. Overall, Peter early in his childhood, was cut off from the typical old Russian environment, ideas, customs and traditions of government of a Muscovite Tsar. This lack of knowledge of political and moral ideas, about the people, government and a ruler’s obligations to his subjects was reflected in his reign.

Peter’s growing interests in foreigners and the western atmosphere which he was found of, disturbed his mother, Natalia. In order to convert Peter she had hoped that marriage would change his perspectives. Peter married Eudoxia Lopukhina in 1689, who was chosen by his mother.Unfortunately the match was a disaster, since the couple did not have much in common. However, through this marriage, Peter had two sons but the second died at age seven months. Most of the time Peter was away from his wife engaged in work on boats and sailing. Peter the Great was not interested in his family, he was very much interested in an atmosphere which was open to progressive influences from the West.

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In 1689, Sophia’s regency ended when once again she tried to take full control of Russia. Peter expelled her from the palace and sent to the Novodevichi nunnery. Many of her close associates were executed or exiled.Peter returned from hiding to Moscow but at that time he was not interested in ruling the country. He appointed a group of ministers with whom he left state matters for another five years before he took the reins of government into his own hands.

From 1690 foreign influences were increased in Peters way of life. In 1691 for the first time a Russian tsar, Peter the Great adopted Western dress.Two of Peter’s close foreign friendships were with Patrick Gordon and Franz Lefort. Their education and their information about ways of life, science, and Western institutions were always of great interest for Peter. He was attracted and enjoyed the company of foreigners mostly because of the greater social, sexual, and intellectual freedom. He recognized his own drives and energy among the ambitious and adventurous foreigners who came to Russia. During his time spent in the company of foreigners he acquired mechanical skills and accumulated as much knowledge as he could. His military establishment was reorganized on the Western model, and his “play regiments” were transformed into regiments of the Guards.This improvement of military force was going to help him in defeating Russia’s enemy.

In 1696, after his mother and Ivans death he took over the actual governance of his realm. Peter’s violations of the customs and his decision to visit western Europe shocked the Muscovites. Opposition groups and the signs of revolt were very quickly discovered and dealt with. People were arrested, torture, exiled to Siberia or executed.Nothing was going to stop Peter from going abroad. In August 1697 Peter left for journey to the West. He was the first Russian ruler to do so. His journey created not only sensation in Russia but in the countries he passed through. He visited Germany, Holland where he spent several months improving his knowledge of shipbuilding and navigation. He also visited England and Vienna. While on his journey he bought scientific instruments, books, and many curiosities. Peter was successful in furthering his knowledge and in laying the groundwork for regular technical and intellectual exchanges.In his diplomatic efforts he did not succeed. Peter returned to Moscow in August 1698. He brought back not only material things but also a new vision of change for Russia.

The new visions or “transformation” of Russia that Peter the Great was determined to create throughout the years of his reign, received positive and negative assessments from his contemporaries and historians. By transformation Peter the Great meant “modernization.” Peter wanted for Russia to become part of Western Europe in political, economic and cultural sense. Change, for Peter included acceptance of the technology and the outlook of the West. Change also meant absolutist state with the absolute monarch and his centralized bureaucratic state. The monarchs like Peter the Great, sought to follow the pattern set by Louis XIV of France in building and strengthening the machinery of a centralized royal government.Enlightened despots believed their own interests could best be served by internal dynastic reforms. Measures designed to promote the development of the economy not only increased the wealth of their subjects but also provided the treasury with more revenues to finance larger armies. By restraining the power of the nobility and church, building up a trained and salaried officialdom, and rationalizing administrative procedures, these monarchs were able to strengthen the central government.The era of Peter’s reign was a period of transformation in Russia’s position as a great power. How effective and influential were the changes has been argued by many historians.
Numerous scholars as Miliukov, Kliuchevsky, Anderson agrees on the fact that the actual reform that Russia experienced during Peter the Great reign was one of militarization and mechanization. According to Miliukov, Kliuchevsky, Anderson and others “war and its effects central not merely to Peter’s foreign policies but also to his domestic achievements and failures. Without a grasp of this fact no real understanding of his reign is possible.”The demands on the new armed forces had both positive and negative effects. Historians have struck, and continue to strike different balances between these effects.

The new Petrine institutions were developed in the process of mobilizing the resources of the country and organizing the army. The demands of army and navy inspired many of the changes that took place during he reign of Peter the Great. With the creation and maintain of the army, Peter had few problems. One of them was supplying men for the army. New system of recruiting which was more effective and enduring was created. Volunteers and peasant conscripts were enlisted on large scale in order to form new regiments. By these means there was twenty-seven new infantry regiments and two of dragoons formed. This is one of the examples to show Peter’s efforts to increase his country’s military power. In 1705, a decree was established to recruit more young man between fifteen and twenty years old, fit for service.Recruiting on the massive scale imposed heavy burdens on the Russian people. Great importance was also assigned to regimental officers. Training schools became the most important military institutions in Russia. In organizing the army Peter discovered that the old framework of Muscovite government was not adequate for his needs.
In the process of mobilizing the military Peter the Great transformed the administrative structure of the state. The administrative structure had its roots in the Mongol era of medieval Russia. Traditionally, Tsars looked for advice to the Boyar Council which was old-fashioned and conservative institution. The main departments, prikazy, were the central administration, with various functions, often complex and overlapping.From 1699, Peter started to make some efforts in improving the structure. The Boyar Council lost its importance, and was replaced by tsar’s trusted subordinates. New departments were created, the Preobrazhenskii Prikaz, the office of the political police was one of the most feared of all Peter’s innovations which was created in order to detect and crush disloyalty and opposition in Russia. In the 1711, the supervising and regulating force, the Senate was set up, to run the government in absence of Peter the Great.
The other innovation of Peter the Great was dividing the empire into eleven gubernii, which where subdivided into about fifty provintsii and number of didtickty.Peter’s administrative apparatus was in many ways borrowed from the Swedes. The new system was not working out the way it was planed. In theory the army was supposed to cooperate with the civilian authorities but in fact administration passed into the hands of the army. By 1725, army was gathered provisions and taxes, rounded up recruits and runway serfs, policed the countryside and meted out its own military justice.Many of the administrative changes were ineffective and temporary. The changes influenced the nature of the tsardom and the society.

One of the most radical reforms of Peter the Great was the abolition of the Patriarchate and the establishment of the Holy Synod. Peter the Great had a typical attitude towards religion as an absolutist ruler of the eighteenth century. He resented the Church’s ignorance, conservatism, and the wealth. In Russia, the Church had enjoyed great influence and its head, the Patriarch of Moscow, was the most influential and powerful individual after the Tsar. When the Patriarch Adrian died in 1700, therefore, no successor to him was appointed, and church property was placed under the control of a new Monasteries Department.This meant that much of the income from it could be used for secular, and above all military purposes. In 1721 a new controlling body for the church, the Most Holy Directing Syndod, was set up.It had no real independence, and it was a symbol of the final subjection of the church to Peter’s control. He was not interested in reforms of doctrine or worship, his goal was to deprive the Church of its spiritual independence, and to make it one of the departments of the Absolutist State. Under Peter the Church became the agency through which the state extended its control over the minds of its subjects. The changes in the Russian Church provoked bitter resistance among the people. Peter’s autocratic power had been asserted in the spiritual as well as in the secular sphere.

The reign of Peter the Great had crucial importance for the history of Russian education. In the Muscovite state the service to the state was the leading duty, and Peter regarded education as a preparation for service or even service itself. Russia’s goal during Peter’s reign was to Westernized, to spread technology, knowledge, and education was the means to achieve that goal.The knowledge included technological and scientific knowledge of the West, not the Orthodox doctrine and learning of the Church. Education and learning had existed in Muscovy, but the had been focused on religious concerns and were propagated on an individual basis by clerks or church readers. It was Peter the Great who introduced secular schooling. He did it primarily in order to meet his own needs for technically trained personnel to operate the ships and maneuver the army he had created. Beyond these immediate needs he realized that the new state will require educated men to continue the work of modernization he had begun.Early in his reign, Peter sent groups of young nobles abroad to England, Holland and elsewhere, to acquire skills such as languages, seamanship, or mechanics. This experiment met with various oppositions. The first school he created was the Academy of Mathematics, later renamed Navigation, in 1701 in Moscow.Peter the Great also established an Academy of Science as both a research institute and an institution of higher education, open to the cultural elite of the empire. Other training schools were set up to provide instructions in various specializations. Education was a first step in the ladder of state service.

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