Peter and Petrine Contribution to Russia
Peter and Petrine culture represent a radical break with Russia's past because Peter the great inherited an administration that had a lot of serious challenges. Nonetheless, Peter and Petrine being performers, planned to address some issues that faced the Russians. Peter succeeded in most areas but also at the other end failed to achieve some problems. Like, most leaders, Peter faced opposition from other leaders. Rejection from opposition never stopped Peter from accomplishing his goal. Instead, it motivated him to work even harder. Peter aimed at modernizing and transforming Russia for the better. The transformation was based on bringing basics of European culture in Russia (Werb, 25).
Peter's and Petrine's contributions to Russia's history
Peter's rule was defined by battles with Sweden and the Ottoman. Afterward, the consecutive defeat from enemies, which were reminiscent of military losses brought about by his reign. This caused Peter to form a navy and transform the military, which could be a great step in winning the battle. These reforms included the following, establishment of the center of higher learning that replaced prikazy and created a Senate to manage government policies. Peter started a newspaper that was used to keep the public updated on matters concerning administration activities (Vladiv-Glover, 2). For instance, mapping all Russia and its resources to ensure control and extraction. Women attained some freedom under Petrine reign. Introduction of foreign influences to Russians for example, shaving of beards and initiation of new fashion (Rollberg, 335). Development of country's offensive and defensive capabilities by creating another navy and improving the existing army. Trade was developed due to the expansion of Russian territory. Peter ensured education was improved and Russians could get access to it. Peter also promoted the Russian culture by ensuring he changed the traditional ways of doing things. These reforms were achieved through several initiatives: modest systems for military, Russians marine armies and modernized the military to fit the western culture (Rollberg, 335). Petrine also ensured the administration was streamlined and mobilized Russia's economy and social resource.
Peter knew that the economy of Russia was in need of reform and this prompted him to travel to different developed countries in a bid to get better ways to develop his home country (Vladiv-Glover, 2). During those trips, Peter was able to learn so much. Peter was able to learn how to improve the economy, and this could help the Russians. Peter knew that if the country economy was stable, the Russians could not travel to other counties in search of job opportunities in countries where the economy was strengthened. Due to this reason, Peter thought to apply the western mercantilism to stimulate agriculture, industries, and commerce. During that time most industries were dominated by the state. Those enterprises were the source of capital, raw material, labor and also the purchaser of the final product (Zitser, 101). This was not enough to support the people of Russians so peter established factories that were producing a wealth of materials and products. Through the development of industries, Peter opened job opportunities. Hence Russians had no reason traveling to other countries, therefore, disagreeing with Klyuchevsky that peter ambitions represented a radical change to Russia.
Education was so essential to Peter that he could go against any odd. Education was only meant for the upper-class people, but Peter made it accessible to all people regardless of the class level. The general public found it so difficult to express themselves, and they were often left disappointed since they could not afford to get an education to improve their lives and thus continued to suffer in silence. The Russians only expressed themselves through painting. Peter wanted a modern army and navy that could be able to fit the evolving world. Peter travels had made him see the importance of education. For example, the knowledge of engineering that the naval officers needed to navigate. Petrine ensured that education reforms were continued during his reign (Rollberg, 335). Petrine had seen the importance of education introduced by Peter. For instance, Lomonosov was one among many people who were able to prosper under peter reforms.
Additionally, Peter's love for learning started since as a young boy, and his curiosity made him attain new knowledge and even started some schools, for instance, school of medicine, school of science and school of engineering .peter the great sponsored schools on secular lines where children, soldiers, and officers were admitted. Peter even permitted Russians to go abroad in search education. Due to lack of scientist in Russia, the schools had to be operated by foreigners (Werb, 25). This was one of the main reasons why Peter wanted Russians to be trained since developing foreigners was not his dream, but instead, he believed on Russians. Many young good men were advised to learn and experience the feeling of western culture. Peter encouraged Russians youth to learn the new technologies and economic theories so that they can be able to compete with the changing world. Broadening of knowledge was not a threat to peter, but instead, it was observed as a great benefit to Russia's development (Zitser, 101). During the reign of Petrine, the members of administration exerted pressure on the government and private entrepreneurs to continue the policies of skills training that was beneficial to the Russians.
Similarly, when Peter inherited the throne, the Russia was under-developed compared to successful countries. This was due to Russian nature of opposing modernization. Peter carried the reform that affected industry, economy, and administration. The reformation was aimed at bridging the gap between the western countries and Russia (Rollberg, 335). The church was at the heart of peter reforms. Russian was believed to be pagans due to their traditional ways. The high level of illiteracy in Russia made it even delicate in handling agriculture activities like handling machines used for farming. Petrine ensured that he introduced other farming methods and Russians were educated and could be able to operate the machinery (Vladiv-Glover, 2). This could help the Russians to increase their produce hence solving the issue of drought that was a big problem. Churches were a very wealthy institution that owned huge amounts swathes of land enough to rival the authority of the Russia's. The churches were managed by Prikaz who paid monks salaries and received all monastic revenues (Werb, 25). That revenue helped the Russia's in developing the growth of industries and economy.so peter thought controlling churches could help in getting revenues to at least boost their economy.
Peter challenged Russian values with his reform, the traditionalist in specific and fashion which was opposed by orthodox. They believed that reform were threats to their religious beliefs and practices. Some of these practices included the shaving of beards by men. (Zitser, 101) These reforms applied uniformly across the Russians but the upper classes people were affected most. In this case, the upper-class people were looked upon by lower class for example in fashion. Peter believed that if the upper-class adopt the new fashion, it will create a great impact on the lower class people. Peter intention was to abolish the Russians tradition way of living that was outdated and could not fit in the evolving world ( Rollberg,335). The young generation embraced new fashion very well. This helped them in facing other people from different countries who don't understand Russians traditions. The societal reforms which were considered offensive were planned to reform fashion and interaction of people among the genders in open places. Before Peter, boys and girls were prohibited from interacting except with an elderly intervention.
This reform helped the Russians widely since it created a breakthrough for even foreigners to travel to Russia to invest and felt the Russians had developed both economically and socially. Peter was so much concerned on how foreigners viewed the Russians (Werb, 25).peter adored the Russians women hence introducing laws and legislation that protected the women. In these laws women had a right to dissolve the forced marriage as it was not the case before Peter reform. For instance, peter marriage to Evdokiia was not according to peters choice, but his family arranged it against his desires. Petrine ensured that men who abused women's dowry were taken to court and charged. Peter rejuvenated Russian values and painting which created interest in education where St. Petersburg was the main artistic center.
Peter introduced the system Table of Ranks that replaced the boyars. The highest position in Russian was hereditary. Table of Ranks being introduced, allowed everyone to work their way up to administrative hierarchy with sufficient hard work and skills. Regardless when peter reforms were not introduced, where commoner people were not allowed to work in the bureaucratic pyramid (Werb, 25). This has been a big success to Russians. Peter introduction of governing state that replaced boyar council. The Senate coordinated various government organs and also supervised the collection and expenditure of revenue. According to the research, this became the best institution, especially in law administration (Vladiv-Glover, 2). Peter organized the army according to western standards. Before Peter, the soldiers relied on the militia of the streltsy and the Russian corps. Streltsy was involved in several rebellions against peter since the group was abolished. Peter was very fair in selecting the officers from nobility, he also enlisted peasant and townspeople into the other ranks hence ensuring fairness at all levers (Vladiv-Glover, 2).
Weapons were invented according to the latest standards and officers were required to make their men proficient in combat from the skill they got from schools introduced by Peter. Modernizing the army made Russia a naval power and it's was able to strengthen its position. Petrine main reasons for reforms was to win the war (Rollberg, 335). Peter helped to form a grand alliance that comprised of Russians, Denmark, and Saxony against the Swedish Empire leading to the big Northern war the war lasted for twenty-one years. After a successful northern war, the Russia become a dominant power in Europe.
Through diplomacy and skillful statesmanship, Peter was able to expand the Russia territory and make it a major European power. Russia was able to extend their boundaries since it gained access to eastern shores of the Baltic after the war. This was Peter greatest success, and this led to the growth of the economy of Russia. This was all acquired through peters travel abroad and his curiosity to European culture (Werb, 25).peter also gave Russians a right to elect municipalities of their choice since he released that the townspeople had no power to select leaders. Russians believed leaders were elected from upper classes assumption that Peter changed. This reform was furthered by the establishment of the Head of Magistrate that controlled the distribution of finances and tax collection.
Peter and Petrine culture represent a radical break with Russia's past because Peter and Petrine inspirations were often connected to war and the consolidation of their autocratic rule. Peter used important measures in implementing some of his reforms. Nevertheless, peter changes on education still had a larger implication (Zitser, 101). Peter wanted to modify ingrained behaviors, as well as to run Russia more competently to make Russia modern and part of western countries. The action of building and promoting learning in Russia could create a lot of impact on Russians in term of their economy. Peter and Petrine actions within their country were innovative and significant and ensured fairness at all times. Education was introduced to Russians to improve growth and economy. The growth was felt in many areas like in society and soldiers, where the Russians were to express themselves and handle farming machinery and other technologies (Werb, 25).
Therefore Peter and Petrine made positive reforms to Russia since they believed in making their country the best. Nevertheless, their transformations were achieved although they were followed by many challenges, for example, resistance from orthodox who believed they wanted to challenge their religious belief. They also faced mockery and civil disobedience more so from men as they were forced to shave their beard. Their reforms helped Russia in expanding their territory, improve economy and culture (Zitser, 101). Russian culture was too traditional and outdated hence peter reforms modernized it to fit in the western countries. This was enough evidence that Peter and Petrine reforms were beneficial to the Russians.
Rollberg, Peter. ""Peter the great, statism, and axiological continuity in contemporary Russian television."" Demokratizatsiya 22.2 (2014): 335.
Vladiv-Glover, Slobodanka. ""Introduction: Socialist Realism as Genealogy of an Era."" Transcultural Studies 9.1 (2013): 1-3.
Werb, Daniel, et al. ""A socio-structural approach to preventing injection drug use initiation: rationale for the PRIMER study."" Harm reduction journal 13.1 (2016): 25.
Zitser, Ernest. ""Tour de Force: Irina and Dmitrii Guzevich's Analytical Bibliography of Tsar Peter's Grand Embassy to Europe."" E-Journal of Eighteenth-Century Russian Studies 1 (2013): 99-106.