Peter the Great Paper

Submitted By msquad5000
Words: 3055
Pages: 13

Peter the Great, as his name implies was an exceptionally significant figure and monumental leader in Russian history. Peter tried to act as a revolutionary by attempting to change the Russian Government, Religion, Military, and Economy. Although his main goal was to revolutionize Russia, Peter only minimally reformed the Russian society in those areas. In addition, Peter tried to modernize education and the social ways of Russia, but his attempts at westernization brought about no fundamental change. Peter tried to drastically change his government by establishing the Prikazy to carry out his orders. His efforts failed when the Prikazy only made the central government extremely inefficient. Peter also tried to westernize his local and provincial governments but again his efforts failed and all that changed was really the names of the positions. The church was also one of Peter’s biggest concerns. He put the control of the church properties, priests, and revenues into the hands of the Prikazy. Through this government committee, Peter controlled the church. Under Peter the church was no longer associated with the Russian religion but rather an institution run by Peter and his government. However, this action was only a reform because Peter’s church was not able to keep control for long. Another way Peter reformed the church was by perverting the religion and placing himself as a God-like figure. Also Peter took away much of the church’s income to benefit the military. This was merely a reform because the money did not last as long as expected. Through new military policies, Peter aimed to make the Russian army the strongest in the world. Although a little successful, most of Peter’s revolutionary reforms did not drastically improve the military. Peter focused mainly on having the best military and navy in Europe, and his desire was world domination rather than being concerned for the well being of his soldiers. In order to improve the education of his army Peter instituted schools of navigation and engineering. However, this did not have much of an effect on his army due to the fact that they only educated soldiers that could afford to attend these schools. Peter also attempted to westernize Russia by forcing his people to shave their beards and have more social events. The attempts only aggravated his people. However, whilst these changes and attempts of westernization appear drastic, they were merely brief reforms. This classifies Tsar Peter of Russia as a reformer more than a revolutionary. Peter would have liked to completely reorder and drastically improve Russian Society, but in essence he only brought brief changes to Russian religion, government, education, economy and military. Peter, in the area of government, was constantly cluttering its form by adding and subtracting committees and branches that would overlap. Peter attempted to divide his government into three focuses, Central, Provincial and Local. Within the Central Government and at the start of Peter’s reign the Tsar’s knowledge of politics was slim he often relied on his counsel for advice (Anisimov 57). As time went on Peter ignored his advisors and the helpful advice from the Senate. Peter created friction between Senators so that their system would become corrupt, which would lead to Peter ruling absolutely with out the advice of anyone (Cracraft 99). Also, Peter ensured that all government decrees were signed under his name to accentuate his absolute power (Cracraft 56). The Chancelleries Peter created known as the “Prikazy” carried out Peter’s orders. The Prikazy made the Central Government extremely inefficient because some groups of the Prikazy were given specific orders and some were given very vague details of their positions. Because they were unsure of their jobs some Chancelleries would often interfere with other departments within the government and caused the government to be incompetent (Raeff 22). Peter started with forty