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Louis Xiv And Peter The Great

1537 words - 7 pages

As you wrote in the assignment sheet, Louis XIV and Peter the Great both wanted to do great things. They had many goals in common, as well as many different goals, and, though the two had much in common, worked in very different ways to achieve said goals.
They were both autocrats, believing that all decisions concerning the countries in which they lived should be made by them. They both wanted to expand their countries—not only physically, in the context of gaining more and more land, but also building up strong armies and increasing their countries prestige. They both invested a lot of time and money into the creation of their own “places,” for Louis XIV, Versailles, and for Peter the Great, St. Petersburg (specifically the Hagia Sofia.) They both also put a great deal of time, effort and energy into the military forces where they ruled. Louis IV did this with the help of Turenne, the marshal general of France. Peter the Great created the first Russian navy, reorganized the army, got rid of the Streltzky, and adopted the western idea of colleges. To provide for all this expanding of his military, Peter the Great introduced many new taxes, including a soul tax—a tax for simply being alive.
Peter preferred to live comfortably, and didn’t have a need for extravagance as much as Louis XIV did. But that didn’t mean he didn’t think big. Peter’s main goals were to modernize Russia, and to make it a major European power—a force to be reckoned with—and also to gain control of the church. He tried to achieve these in many different ways. One way he attempted to make Russia more powerful was by westernizing the country. He traveled all over Western Europe, learning about the culture, more modern practices and way of life. Since European countries like Sweden, Holland and France were extremely powerful at that time, and Russia was still old fashioned and stuck in the past, when he became Tsar, he decided to change this by adopting Western ways of doing certain things, and forced Russians to change, too. He made the court language French, and not too long later, Russian nobles could not understand their own country’s common language. He opened many schools, encouraging and modernizing many industries, educating people in many areas such as math and medicine, encouraging research in math and science. Schools created for educating people about artillery was a way Peter tried to improve Russia’s military. The size of the Russian military increased, Russian weaponry was improved, and western officers were brought in. He ordered all men to cut off their beards, (which later turned into a tax on having one) created a senate for when he was away and couldn’t make decisions, reorganized the army and created the first Russian navy, created assemblies as a way of socializing, and brought in many people from the west to teach skills like art to Russians. He wanted to adopt western mercantilist policies, such as state control over goods...

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