Two Individuals: What Changes They Brought About And Whether Or Not These Changes Had A Positive Or Negative Effect On That Nation Or Region

695 words - 3 pages

Throughout history, individuals have risen up and taken action to make changes in their nations and throughout the world. Many of these changes which have been brought about by these individuals created both positive and negative effects. In Russia, leaders such as Catherine the Great, and Joseph Stalin are prime examples of individuals who have brought their nations both positive and negative effects from their changes. Although both of these westernizers (people who wish to make their nations more like Western Europe) made their nations more modern, the price in which was paid by their nation for these changes have brought several negative effects.Catherine the Great was an enlightened monarch (a person who was an Enlightened monarch was one that ruled according to the writings of Voltaire, Fontenelle, Locke, etc.) who wished to create her nation a more modern place. She followed in the footsteps of her predecessor, Peter the Great who tried ...view middle of the document...

Catherine the Great's goal of a more liberal government failed as a result of this rebellion, and in its place, a stronger autocracy (rule by one leader) stood.Another change brought about by ruler Catherine the Great was to create Russia a more civilized nation in the fields of education and culture. She created schools, created a more general education system, encouraged publishing and journalism and founded hospitals. Catherine the Great's reforms were extremely successful. Other ways in which the empress was extremely successful were in her foreign policy in which she was able to expand Russia's empire, and her extremely efficient infrastructure. In works by Voltaire (a famous Enlightenment thinker) he speaks of Peter the Great and Catherine the Greater.Joseph Stalin was another individual in Russia who was able to create significant changes for the empire. Stalin wished to collectivize Russia (to place of the land in the hands of the state) created many disastrous results. Oppositions of Stalin's movement were killed. For example, the Kulaks, wealthy landowners in Russia were liquidated as a class. His emphasis on consumer goods placed Russians into a lower standard of living. It had been gathered by historians that the amount of people killed by Stalin's collectivization of Russia is at an estimated 10 million people.Stalin's westernization of Russia however was extremely successful. Stalin's five year plans created a greater amount of production for Russia and increased the nation's wealth. However, the results of this westernization was one in which the people of Russia suffered under Stalin's oppressive rule.Catherine the Great and Joseph Stalin created Russia to be a more westernized nation at a lofty price. Their accomplishments can be seen as both positive and negative, for although Russia became more modern under their rule, the people of Russia (especially those of the lower classes) became more and more oppressed. Throughout history, individuals have changed the lives of the people of their times, and by far Catherine the Great and Joseph Stalin are prime examples of that.

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