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A Window to the West Essay

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A Window to the West


History has it that the United States capital city of Washington D.C. was
designed with the intention of intimidating visiting foreign heads of state. The
creation of this city had purpose and reason; neither of which are very natural or
human. St. Petersburg was viewed by the Russian people in this context.
Typically a city grows from a small town to a massive metropolis with years and
years of expansion outward. The Russian people already plagued with
xenophobia, could not accept Peter the Great’s new city designed with Western
ideals and made by Western minds.
Peter the Great sought to bring his country into the modern and more
western world. By means of taxing old dress, and creating a table of ranks by
which upward mobility is possible and higher education institutions. Through his
travels throughout Europe Peter, yearned to update and facilitate Russia as a
respected power and as a modernized country.
In order to westernize Russia a physical connection had to be established
between the Old World Russia and the rest of Europe. The only way to
accomplish this feat, was to create trade and travel routes between the West
and Russia. After securing his borders, the next task “of expanding Russia’s
contacts and territory, especially in ways that would liberate Russia from its long
isolation as a landlocked country.”(Thompson 98) Contact with the west was
limited because of Russia’s lack of access to warm water seaports where trade
and travel between Russia and the West could take place. The need for warm
water seaports therefore shaped Peter’s foreign policy.
Peter attempted to gain access to the Baltic Sea by defeating Sweden,
the most powerful force in north central Europe...


... middle of paper ...


...is: Mouton & Co., 1975.
Larvin, Janko. Pushkin and Russian Literature. New York: Macmillan
Company, 1948.
Leiter, Sharon. Akmatova’s Petersburg. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania
Press, 1983.
Pushkin, Alexander. “The Bronze Horseman.” An Anthology of Russian
Literature from the Earliest Writings to Modern Fiction. Ed. Nicholas
Rzhevsky. New York: M.E. Sharpe, Inc., 1996. 118-31.
Shvidkovshy, Dmitri. St. Petersburg: Architecture of the Tsars. Trans. John
Goodman. New York: Abbeville Press Publishers, 1996.
Simmons, Ernest J. Pushkin. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1937.
Thompson, John M. Russia and the Soviet Union: An Historical Introduction
from the Kievan State to the Present. 4th ed. Boulder: Westview Press,
1998.
Voyce, Arthur. Russian Architecture: Trends in Nationalism and Modernism.
New York: Greenwood Press, 1948.


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