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From One Leader To Another Essay

949 words - 4 pages

During the late seventeenth century Russia underwent drastic transformations in order to westernize their medieval states. The idea of westernization caused chaos within the Imperial Empire; people in power were mentally unstable and would travel outside of palace gates in order to get what they wanted, a determined and curious young boy came into power changing everything, and a young lady not of Russian blood became queen and finalized everything.
Ivan the Terrible was a mentally unstable ruler who abused his power by using fear to hold Russia together; he had gained power through fear. Even though Ivan trusted no one and killed his own son he did contribute to building a new and improved Russia; he also further centralized royal power. He threatened the boyars by limiting their privileges and granted land to nobles in exchange for their service in the military. Ivan conquered 50 square miles a day expanding Russia making it two times as large as England, Spain, and one other country combined together. As Russia was expanding Ivan was introducing new laws that tied Russian serfs to the land. He also organized a type of government enforcement called oprichniki. The oprichniki were agents of terror who would enforce the czar’s will. Having these agents would be considered one of Ivan’s weaknesses because the idea of agents of terror who would enforce his law shows how much Ivan didn’t trust whoever was around him. Ivan the Terrible was extremely paranoid; he was highly desperate to establish a unified state and establish diplomatic ties with Europe. Ivan did everything in his will to gain this.
Peter the Great was among the first to bring modernization into the medieval states of Russia. At the age of ten he came to the thrown with a curious mind; he was a child interested in military, science, medicine, technology, and western culture. Peter spent most of his time learning about his interest inside of Moscow’s Foreign Quarters where a lot of Dutch, English, and Scottish artisans and soldiers lived. When he was old enough he traveled outside of Russia to Europe to study western technology for a year. Upon his return he wasted no time in introducing Russia to western ideas. The people of Russia were expected to act and look like Europeans. First Peter had a decree to change the calendar to follow the Eastern Orthodox Church meaning that on January 1 they were to count the year 1700 since the birth of Jesus. Then he created two decrees that occurred with four years of each other that dealt with looking like a European. The first decree of the two came into terms in 1701, it stated that everyone of high rank, excluding the clergy and peasants, had to wear German clothes and ride German saddles. If they dared to disobey they...

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