Western Civ Response #2

Western Civ Response #2 - Wyatt McCallum History 210-1...

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Wyatt McCallum 11/17/10 History 210-1 European Civ Peter the “Great” As shown in our class discussion, the popular view of Peter the Great is a negative one. Although no one can argue that Peter brought Russia up to speed technologically with the rest of Europe, critics fault the cost at which this was achieved. They cite his destruction of the church system, his brutal repression of many revolts, and his use of serfs to build his great empire. The main critique of Peter is that he “sold out” to the west by doing away with Russian traditions and bringing in foreigners to rule the country. This lack of popular support caused few of his reforms to last beyond his lifetime, but is this negative view of Peter justified today? If we look at this situation as we did with Columbus’s situation in the New World, the answer is no. Today, serfdom seems barbaric, but it had been a system in Russia for many centuries, and like slavery in the United States, it was hard to change. His use of the serfs to construct St. Petersburg and to serve in the newly created standing army was justified by 17
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Western Civ Response #2 - Wyatt McCallum History 210-1...

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