The Story of Peter the Great of Russia Essays

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Peter the Great of Russia, had great influence on his country where the term “Westernization” is concerned. In this context, Westernization means to be on par, or at least able to compete or hold one’s own, with the West, namely Europe. Although, much of the foundation of his reforms were laid before he took the throne, Peter changed the infrastructure of Russian society, improved the army, and started a thorough process of Westernization, not the least of which concerned the style of dress he expected. Catherine the Great carried on his legacy to an extent, though there were significant changes in the privileges of the nobility and an increased de-urbanization of Russia. Peter the Great’s reforms did transform Russian society, but the main alterations that he affected were concentrated in the noble class, although the duties of serfs increased and changed in nature due to the privileges nobles were afforded both during Peter’s reign and particularly after. The groundwork for Peter’s reforms was put in place by several rulers of Pre-Petrine Russia, whose work was continued and greatly expanded upon by Peter the Great, many of whose actions in turn were continued and expanded upon by Russian rulers that followed him, especially Catherine the Great, even though there was a disconnect from some of Peter’s reforms at times.

There were reforms that attempted to make Russia more “Western” prior to Peter’s reign. It was “in 1668… [that] the first naval fleet” was created, although it did not last (Freeze 87). Also during Tsar Aleksei’s reign, the influence of his wife, who was “open-minded about the West”, caused their attendance of “the first theatrical performance in Russia,” which occurred in 1672 (Freeze 87). Following Tsar Alekse...

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...y the West, especially through the reign of Catherine the Great.

Works Cited

Field, Daniel, trans. "The Pugachev Rebellion: Selected Documents." N.p., 26 Jan. 2009. Web.
12 Feb. 2014.
Freeze, Gregory L., ed. Russia: A History. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009. Print.
Kahan, Arcadius. "The Costs of "Westernization" in Russia: The Gentry and the Economy in the
Eighteenth Century." JSTOR. JSTOR, n.d. Web. 12 Feb. 2014.
Kaiser, Daniel H., and Gary Marker, eds. Reinterpreting Russian History: Readings, 860-1860's.
New York: Oxford UP, 1994. Print.
Peter the Great: Cartoon. Digital image. The Granger Collection. The Granger Collection, NYC,
n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2014.
Riha, Thomas. Readings in Russian Civilization. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1969. Print.

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