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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 4
Absolute Monarchy in Russia Peter the Great Modernizes
• In the early 1600, Russia was far behind the more
In advanced western European nations.
• By the end of the century, tsar Peter the Great, turned
turned Russia into a leading power.
• In 1697, Peter traveled to Western Europe to learn
In about it for himself.
• Peter embarked on a policy of westernization, that is
westernization that the adoption of Western ideas, technology, and
culture. Peter forces westernization
• Many in Russia resisted Peter efforts to westernize
• To impose his will, Peter became the most autocratic
To of Europe’s absolute monarchs.
• All Russian institutions were under Peter the Great’s
• He forced the boyars—landowning nobles—to serve
boyars—landowning the state in civilian or military positions. He even
forced them to shave their beards and wear Westernforced
style clothing. Peter Expands Russia’s
• Peter built up Russia’s military power and extended
Peter the borders.
the • To increase Russia’s trade with the West, the
To Russians needed a warm-water port.
warm-water • The nearest port was on the Black Sea in the
The Ottoman Empire. Peter however could not defeat the
Ottomans. • In 1700, Peter began a long war against the kingdom
In of Sweden, after early defeats he eventually defeated
Sweden and won territory along the Baltic Sea.
Baltic Building St. Petersburg
• On the land won from Sweden, Peter built a
On magnificent new capital city, St. Petersburg.
magnificent • Peter wanted this new capital to be a “window to the
West • He forced tens of thousands of serfs to drain the
He swamps so that he could build the city. Thousands
died in the process.
died • St. Petersburg became a great symbol of Peter’s
St. effort to forge a modern Russia.
effort Peter the Great’s Legacy
• Peter’s legacy was mixed. • He had expanded Russia’s territory, gained ports
on the Baltic Sea, and created a mighty army.
on • He also ended Russia’s long period of isolation.
Russia became involved in the affairs of Western
Europe. • After Peter died Russian nobles soon ignored his
policy of service to the state.
policy • Peter used terror to enforce his policies. His
policies increased the growth of serfdom, which
actually widened the gap between Russia and the
West which he sought to narrow.
West Catherine the Great
Catherine A German princess by birth, Catherine came to
German Russia at age 15 to wed the heir to the Russian
throne. She learned Russian, embraced the Russian
She Orthodox faith, and won the loyalty of the
people. In 1762, a group of Russian army officers loyal
In to her deposed and murdered her mentally
unstable With the support of the military Catherine
With ascended to the throne.
ascended Catherine’s rule
Catherine’s Catherine the Great followed Peter’s lead in
Catherine embracing Western ideas and expanding
Russia’s She reorganized the provincial government,
She codified the laws, and began state-sponsored
education for both boys and girls.
for She was a serious student of the French
She thinkers Enlightenment. She was considered to
be an “enlightened despot.”
be Catherine the Ruthless
Absolute Catherine exempt the Boyars from taxes and allowed
Catherine them to increase their stranglehold on the peasants.
them When peasants rebelled against serfdom, Catherine
serfdom Catherine took firm action to repress them. Under Catherine
even more peasants were forced into serfdom.
even Waging the Russo-Turkish war against the Ottoman
Waging Empire gained her a warm-water port on the Black
Sea in 1774.
in The Partitions of Poland
The The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth had once
The Polish-Lithuanian been a great European power.
been The divided Polish government was ill- prepared to stand up to the increasing might
of its neighbors, Russia, Prussia, and Austria.
of To avoid fighting one another, in 1772,
To Catherine the Great, Frederick the II, and Joseph
II, agreed to partition or divide up Poland.
partition In 1793 & 1795 the three empires each took
In more Polish territory and the independent
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