Peter The Great Vs. Catherine The Great Who Was Greater?

1130 words - 5 pages

During the strife and civil unrest of Russia, after the death of Ivan the Terrible in 1584, there was an prevailing demand for a powerful leader ready to rule and reestablish Russia to become more stable, more westernized, and most importantly, to become a reckonable force. Russia answered by providing a czar and a czarina to rebuild Russia and lead it away from the troubles it faced following its Mongolian rule--Peter the Great and Catherine the Great. These two rulers did precisely what was required for them to do for Russia to accelerate and become a nation able to boast its power.Like many other rulers who rule with an iron fist, Czar Peter I was not someone one would label amiable or even simply cold to others--he was cruel. He was a tall man who possessed a fiery temper, which he did not attempt to suppress. Peter I was cruel and ruthless to the point where he locked up his own son in prison under suspicion of infidelity and let him die there. On the other hand, Catherine the Great was well composed and well educated and tought herself the philosophies of Voltaire and various other well-known philosophers of her time. She was quite the opposite the characteristics--mental instability, immaturity, and inappropriate behavior--Peter the Great passed down to Catherine II's husband Peter III, which was the primary reason for Peter III and Catherine the Great's mutual hatred for each other.Despite the faults in Czar Peter as a person, he accomplished many great deeds in his reign, thus earning him the reserved title "the Great." Peter the Great knew unerringly what Russia needed from him to thrive. That included access to warm-water ports on the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea. Russia, being landlocked at very high latitude, has only frozen ports, which made outside trade near impossible. And thus, the Ottoman Empire was the wall they faced in obtaining warm-water ports. Peter realized that he needed two things to reach his goal; he needed help from the rest of Europe and a more efficient Russia. In 1697, Peter set out to accomplish his goal of defeating the Turks by going to Western Europe to form alliances with other countries interested in bringing down the Ottoman Empire. Although he was unable to accomplish this goal, the czar was able to become familiar with the culture, society, technology, and life itself of the West. Furthermore, he met leaders in many fields of activity and learned from scientists and artisans.Next, Peter followed the example given by the reorganization of the French army; Peter, too, reorganized his army and equipped it with more advanced weapons. He put his new military to the test in a lengthy war lasting 21 years with Sweden. The war resulted in the gaining of territory, which allowed access to the Baltic Sea. On this new territory, Peter established the city St. Petersburg along the Gulf of Finland. In addition, Peter relocated the capital from Moscow to the new city of St. Petersburg to bring the Russian government...

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