Peter the Great
The road to modernizing Russia
The First Step Towards Modernization
Peter inherited the throne at age 10, but didn't actually gain power until he was 17 in 1689. He spent much of his time in the "German Quarter" in Moscow, where many Europeans lived in Russia. He learned of the new technology that the monarchs of Europe were using to raise powerful empires. In 1697 he traveled west to see the empires for himself.
New Reforms for Russia
While in Europe, Peter was inspired by European ideas such as Parliament. Peter liked that subjects could openly and truthfully speak to their leaders. He brought back with him teachers, doctors, experts in many other fields to begin the policies of westernization.
Peter dreamed of expanding Russia and strengthening his military. In order to do this, he brought institutions, such as the church, under his control. He also forced the noble men to join the military or serve the state. To make the reforms he wanted to get done finished, he had to act with force. He imported Western technology and improved education for Russians by setting up academies for subjects such as math and science. In order to pay for these ambitious reforms, Peter improved exports and waterways to improve trade. Anyone who apposed his ideas was crushed, tortured and executed. Any rebellions were suppressed by Peters' strong military
Expanding Russia's Borders
Ever since the beginning of Peter's rule, he has had strong policies for strengthening the military. One of his finest accomplishments was having the greatest military in all of Europe, he also built a incredible Navy from nothing. His plan was to expand Russia to the West and the South. In 1700, Russia started a war with Switzerland, that at first looked like they were going to lose, but he eventually turned the tides and won the war, expand into the Baltic sea.
After the War
After the victory over the Swedish, Peter built a new capital city called St. Petersburg. It became the Russian equivalent of Versailles. The Peter started blazing trails east, signing a treaty with China to define their borders. They gained the Bering straight and moved as far east as California.
After Peter's death in 1725, he had left a long legacy behind. He had expand Russia and its military along with modernizing it. He also connected Russia to Europe and increased trade, leading Russia to the super power it is today.