Monarch Essay, Research Paper
Peter the Great was born on 1672 and died in 1725. As a Russian leader, he is famous for transforming Russia into a leading European power.
He had a power symbol to display his great supremacy. To further modernize Russia, he built a whole new capital of St. Petersburg. The new city was magnificent and had enormous cost in human lives and treasure and was named after himself. In 1712, he made it the chief city of his empire, which was a fitting title for the newest of European great powers monastery. He also symbolically brought back from Vladimir the remains of Alexander Nevski and put him in a fine new religious community in which he dedicated to his memory.
He also controlled religion. He got rid of the highest church office and built his own system to control the church. He extended the toleration to religious protestors and took land away from these monasteries. He even ordered the men to shave when the church favoured beards.
Peter the Great created a larger, powerful army and a navy. He even went as far as drafting nobility s and peasant infantrymen for life. Any metal he could find, including church bells, was melted down to make cannons. He also imported new and more skilled foreign officers and modernized the weapon and the military training.
Peter saw himself as God-like. The fact that he was a Czar made him almost God-like and he used this authority to forcibly modernize the nation. He also saw him self as the prime servant of the nation. In the later years, he also accepted the title emperor and the great which put him above the rest.
He controlled nobility. He demanded state service from all his nobility and drafted them for life. He forced thousands and thousands of Russians to build St. Petersburg without pay. Also with the threat of execution, he forced thousands of Russian noblemen to build stone mansions on this new city.
Peter s plans also included heavy taxation. During wartime, taxation was unbearable and lead to civil wars (1705-1707). Also in efforts to pay for his wars, he placed taxes on coffins, on beehives, beards, bathhouses and everything else that didn t seemed to make money. He also with the help of the army, took six years to investigate and register all people who were taxable.
Peter also controlled the economy. He brought in new industries, modernized mining in the Ural Mountains such as for great copper and iron deposits, built roads and canals, and even invited experts from foreign countries to guide new enterprises. He imposed high taxes and kept profitable business for himself. He also built many manufacturing establishments at government expense. He developed a textile industry and urged the manufacture of glass and leather.
Peter also liked to expand. His first goal was to secure Russia and to gain access to the sea. He conquered the Turkish port of Azov on the Black Sea but later was forced to return it. He then went to war with Sweden for twenty years. He gained possession of most of Livonia and part of Finland. Finally he turned eastward and went to war with Persia, from which he gained two ports on the Caspian Sea.
Peter the Great also had a large beauraucracy. He reformed the Russian s system of government by dividing the country into fifty provinces and founding a Senate to handle state financial, legal and administrative affairs. Moreover Government ministries were created to administer commerce, income, war, manufacturing and other activities. But every government plan had to be approved by Peter who was not willing to share the power.
Peter the Great, for 32 years pushed to the path towards modernization. He was the Emperor of All Russia and basically had all the elements of an absolute monarch.