The reign of Peter the Great saw Russia evolving from a medieval state into a modern, western state. Peter’s reforms, domestic policies, and foreign policies allowed for Russia to become a legitimate competitor in the global world and to become a power in Eastern Europe. Peter’s reign had a positive, forward effect on the Russian land.
Before we acknowledge Peter’s triumphant reign, it is important that we look at the years before he ascended the throne. 1682 had Peter and his half brother Ivan both legitimate heirs to the Russian throne from their father Alexis, they became co-tsars. However, the boys were both underage and their sister Sophia was appointed regent upon their behalf ...view middle of the document...
Because of this, Peter, in 1689, had the power to topple Sophia and Golitsin with his trained army loyal only to him.
Peter’s two regimens gathered, in his army one private was worth one major or general in the normal army, and swiftly defeated Sofia and Golitsin. Sofia was required to become a nun and Peter emerged as the tsar with Ivan still a co-tsar but he was not a threat.
Peter had a generally positive effect on the evolution of Russia, he introduced several domestic reforms that allowed Russia to become a competitor in Western Europe. One of Peter’s largest changes were the church reforms he instilled on the Orthodox Church. More than anything Peter desired for Russia to become a modern country too and in order to do that he would need support of the church. However, the church declined the thought of modernisation so Peter took matters into his own hands and put the church into a government branch called Monastyrskii Prikaz, this put the church under full control of the state, the complete control of Peter. In 1721 a regulation was passed that in order to serve the state, the clergy had to preach to the congregations the divinity of Peter and how Russia’s populations was to treat him as such.
Education was another reform Peter felt was important if Russia was to ever become modernised. Peter founded several schools in Moscow including the School of Navigation and Maths, Medicine, Engineering, and Science to educate the population, especially military officers. Peter felt that the officers needed to be educated as a result of his own travels to the west where all military officers held some formal education in science and maths. These educational reforms aided in the transformation of Russia into a more modern state like its western neighbors and allowed Russia to expand its territory and become the Russian Empire. This, naturally, gave more legitimacy to the Russian state and allowed for Peter’s hopes of modernisation to begin to come true. In addition, Peter established a newspaper called “Vedomosti” for the rest of the educated public so they could see Russia was no longer caught in the rut of medieval times. Peter also encouraged the cultural diffusion of western states in which young men would shave off their beards and people to wear western clothes; the Boyars were expected to have western parties and gatherings. The desire for Peter to make Russia a western state was detrimental to much of his support from the nobility of Russia because the changes were made in such a fast manner. He was incredibly aggressive about reforming Russia into what the western states already were, so much so that when his reign ended Russia got...