Mini Extended Essay
To many scholars and historians, Tsar Peter Alexeyevich, or Peter the Great, is considered one of the most influential European Leaders of the modern world. During his time as emperor of the Russian Empire, he traveled all over Europe, seeking new ideas and innovations that would help to modernize Russia. His travels let him gain a plethora of knowledge about the European culture, and he sought to implement this new knowledge in Russia. Once he returned to Russia, he revolutionized it into a European superpower, implementing many social, economic, and political domestic reforms as well as revolutionizing Russia’s foreign policy; his new innovations even helped overcome the Swedish Empire, a major European power at that time, in the Great Northern War. Throughout the course of his governance over the Russian Empire, Peter the Great established many new domestic and foreign policies which benefited both internal welfare and international relations for Russia. So, to what extent did Peter the Great affect the social structure and political growth of the Russian Empire?
Peter the Great revolutionized the Russian Empire into a European Superpower during his reign by defeating the Swedish Empire in the Great Northern War and modernizing Russian relations with the rest of Europe. Peter the Great became Tsar of Russia after the death of his brother Ivan. He inherited a nation that was severely underdeveloped compared to European countries, which were prospering both culturally and economically, as the Renaissance and the Reformation had just occurred in Europe (“Bio.com”). At first, he did not seek to improve conditions in Russia; he sought to expand its borders by taking over the Black Sea and parts of Turkey, which was the center of the Ottoman Empire. At the time, the Ottoman Empire was an international superpower that controlled a major part of Southeastern Europe, Northern Africa, and the land of the Fertile Crescent. Peter knew that his army and navy could not attack and defeat such an impenetrable force, so he sent a large Russian delegation, called the “Great Embassy”, to explore and seek out modernized European countries to request aid in his conquests during the Russo-Turkish war (Cracraft). Peter also came along, working under the incognito name of “Peter Mikhailov”.
The Great Embassy traveled to many European countries, such as France, Austria, and Great Britain, seeking for aid. Their hopes were dashed, as many of these countries were either allies with the Ottoman Empire, or did not want any conflict with such a strong force. Although they did not succeed in obtaining assistance, the Grand Embassy carried on to more-Western countries. On their visit to the Netherlands, Peter gained a plethora of knowledge about shipbuilding from the Dutch East India Company, who, at the time, had the largest shipyard in the world. He used this new knowledge to later build a new and improved Russian...