Peter the Great reforms

Biography of life of Peter Great, his childhood and late years. The reasons and preconditions of reforms of Peter in different spheres of the state. The characteristic of reforms, their value for history of Russia. Estimation of efficiency of reforms.

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Contents

  • 1. Peter's Life
    • 1.1 Youth and Accession
    • 1.2 Early Reign
    • 1.3 Later Years
  • 2. Reforms: What Determined Peter the Great to Start the Reformation?
  • 3. Political reforms
    • 3.1 Peter the Great's Reforms - Government
    • 3.2 Peter the Great's Reforms - Class Structure
    • 3.3 Peter the Great's Reforms - Women in Society
  • 4. Peter the Great's Reforms - Economy
    • 4.1 Peter the Great's Reforms - Monetary
  • 5. Military Reforms
  • 6. Peter the Great's Reforms - Religion
  • 7. Cultural and Educational Measures
    • 7.1 Peter the Great's Reforms - Education
    • 7.2 Peter the Great's Reforms - Culture
  • 8. How Effective were These Reforms?
  • References
  • Appendices
  • Introduction
  • peter reform
  • The 17th century is characterized by political and economic decline in Russia. It was promoted by wars with Sweden and Poland to a considerable extent. Those wars ended dramatically for Russia and brought economy of Russia into the disastrous state. Without doubt the rulers of Russia, Michail Fyodorovich and then Alexei Michailovich, tried to improve that situation. There was a number of the events which left a bright trace in the history of the country during the governing of the first tsars of the Romanovs. They stopped the criminality, adopted the Cathedral Code in 1649. Moreover there was a reunion of the Ukraine and Russia. Owing to these rulers Russia reached political stability. However the country needed a more progressive ruler.
  • After some changes in the reign the young tsar Peter got on the throne. Since the childhood he was notable for activity and inquisitiveness. The boy spent his childhood with the Germans. He liked their way of life; he liked their improvements in different spheres. That's why Peter wanted to change everything in his own country.
  • The activity of Peter the Great was very energetic. He tried to abolish of outmoded institutions, laws, abutments, mode and way of life. He attempted to concern every sphere of foreign and internal policy. Peter learned a lot for this and forced to learn other people.
  • Peter understood that his reforms would have enormous progressive importance. They would come toward public interests and needs, promote the considerable acceleration of the history development of the country and they would target on liquidation of its backwardness.
  • He understood clearly the importance of the development of trade and industry, so he aspired to get the output to the sea and regulate the relationships with foreign countries.
  • The theme of this project will be useful for people who are very interested in Russian history, in the achievements of Russian tsars.
  • The aim of the project is to answer the question: “What is the Essence of Reforms of Peter the Great”.
  • And for this it is necessary:
  • - to analyse Peter's childhood;
  • - to examine the reign of Peter the Great;
  • - to explain why tsar Peter start the reformation;
  • - to demonstrate reforms of Peter the Great;
  • - to prove the effectiveness of these reforms.
  • 2. Peter's Life
  • Peter the Great (in full Pyotr Alekseyevich), tsar of Russia from 1682 and emperor from 1721, was one of his country's greatest statesmen, organizers, and reformers. (Appendix 1). He was born in Moscow on June 9 (May 30, old style), 1672, the son of Tsar Alexis by his second wife, Natalya Kirillovna Naryshkyna. Unlike his half-brothers, sons of his father's first wife, Maria Ilinicna Miloslavskaya, (Appendices 2, 3) Peter proved a healthy and lively child. It is probably significant to his development that his mother's former guardian, Atamon Sergeyevich Matveyev, had raised her in an atmosphere open to progressive influences from the West.
  • 2.1 Youth and Accession
  • When Alexis died in 1676 Peter was only four years old. His eldest half-brother, a sickly youth, then succeed to the throne as Fyodor III; but, in fact, power fell into the hands of the Miloslavskys, relatives of Fyodor's mother, who deliberately pushed Peter and the Naryshkin circle aside. When Fyodor died childless in 1682, a fierce struggle for power ensued between the Miloslavskys and the Naryshkins: the former wanted to put Fyodor's brother, the delicate and feebleminded Ivan V, on the throne: the Naryshkins stood for the healthy and intelligent Peter. Representatives of the various orders of society, assembled in the Kremlin, declared themselves for Peter, who was the proclaimed tsar; but the Miloslavsky faction exploited a revolt of the Moscow streltsy, or musketeers of the sovereign's bodyguard, (Appendix 4) who killed some of Peter's adherents. Ivan and Peter were then proclaimed join tsars; and eventually, because of Ivan's precarious health and Peter's youth, Ivan's 25-year-old sister Sophia was made regent. Clever and influential, Sophia took control of the government; excluded from public affairs, Peter lived with his mother in the village of Preobrazhenskoye, near Moscow, often fearing for his safety. All this left an ineradicable impression on the young tsar and determined his negative attitude toward the streltsy.
  • One result of Sophia's overt exclusion of Peter from the government was that he did not receive the usual education of a Russian tsar; he grew up in a free atmosphere instead of being confined within the narrow bounds of a palace. While his first tutor, the former church clerk Nikita Zotov, could give little to satisfy Peter's curiosity, the boy enjoyed noisy outdoor games and took special interest in military matters, his favourite toys being arms of one sort or another. He also occupied himself with carpentry, joinery, blacksmith's work, and printing. The new Encyclopжdia. Britannica. Volume 25. 1994. 724 pages
  • Near Preobrazhenskoye there was a nemetskaya sloboda (“German colony”) where foreigners were allowed to reside. Acquaintance with its inhabitants aroused Peter's interest in the life of other nations, and an English sailboat, found derelict in a shed, whetted his passion for seafaring. Mathematics, fortification, and navigation were the sciences that appealed most strongly to Peter. There, Peter found men who could teach him things he wanted to know, as he was intelligent and eager for knowledge. From the age of twelve, with the help of skilled craftsmen at the German Quarters he began to learn trades. Peter hired the Dutchman Franz Timmerman as his tutor. From his earliest childhood Peter loved playing soldier. A model fortress was built for his amusement. At Preobrazhensky he called together the sons and grooms of the gentry and then called boys to volunteer from the next village of Semenovsky. He organized his playmates into small armies. (Appendix 5). He learned to judge people not by their titles, but by their qualities as individuals. By the time Peter was seventeen these play troops became the core of Peter's army. Занина Е.. « 95 устных тем по английскому языку». Айрис Пресс. М., 2003год. 320 стр.
  • Early in 1689 Natalya Naryshkina arranged Peter's marriage to the beautiful Eudoxia (Yevdokiya Fyodorovna Lopukhina). This was obviously a political act, intended to demonstrate the fact that the 17-year-old Peter was now a grown man, with a right to rule in his own name. The marriage did not last long: Peter soon began to ignore his wife, and in 1698 he relegated her to a convent.
  • By 1689 Peter had grown to the towering height of six feet seven inches, and was armed with a quick mind and boundless ambition. At this time Sofia attempted to murder Peter, but failed due to strong support for Peter from loyal Muscovites and foreigners. He removed Sophia from power and banished her to the Novodevichy convent; she was forced to become a nun after a streltsy rebellion in 1698. Though Ivan V remained nominally joint tsar with Peter, the administration was now largely given over to Peter's kinsmen, the Naryshkins, until Ivan's death in 1696. Peter, meanwhile continuing his military and nautical amusements, sailed the first seaworthy ships to be built in Russia. His games proved to be good training for the tasks ahead. The new Encyclopжdia. Britannica. Volume 25. 1994. 724 pages
  • 2.2 Early Reign
  • In 1693-1694 in http://russia.rin.ru/guides_e/11225.htmlArchangelsk the first Russian sea-ship was built and another one was ordered in Amsterdam. It was the ship made in Holland where the Russian red-blue-white flag was raised for the first time in real sea http://russia.rin.ru/guides_e/6983.htmlcampaign arranged by Peter in July 1694.2 http://russia.rin.ru/guides_e/6930.html
  • Shortly after assuming full power in 1695, Peter left on an unprecedented tour of Europe, in which he traveled undercover as a diplomat. Upon his return to Russia in 1698, Peter began his reign. Mackenzie, David, Curran, Michael W., “A History of Russia, the Soviet Union, and Beyond”, Wadsworth Publishing Company, Belmont, California, 1993. 74
  • Peter implemented sweeping reforms aimed at modernizing Russia. Heavily influenced by his western advisors, Peter reorganized the Russian army along European lines and dreamt of making Russia a maritime power. He faced much opposition to these policies at home, but brutally suppressed any and all rebellions against his authority, the rebelling of streltsy, Bashkirs, Astrakhan and including the greatest civil uprising of his reign, the Bulavin Rebellion. Further, Peter implemented social westernization in an absolute manner by implementing policies such as a "beard tax." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_the_Great
  • 2.3 Later Years
  • Peter I's last years were marked by further reform in Russia. On 22 October 1721, soon after peace was made with Sweden, he was acclaimed Emperor of All Russia. Some proposed that he take the title Emperor of the East, but he refused. Gavrila Golovkin, the State Chancellor, was the first to add "the Great, Father of His Country, Emperor of All the Russians" to Peter's traditional title Tsar following a speech by the archbishop of Pskov in 1721.
  • Peter's imperial title was recognized by Augustus II of Poland, Frederick William I of Prussia and Frederick I of Sweden, but not by the other European monarchs. In the minds of many, the word emperor connoted superiority or pre-eminence over "mere" kings. Several rulers feared that Peter would claim authority over them, just as the Holy Roman Emperor had once claimed suzerainty over all Christian nations.
  • Peter the Great did many important reforms for the Russian Empire, about which will be told in this project.
  • In 1724, Peter had his second wife, Catherine, crowned as Empress, although he remained Russia's actual ruler. All of Peter's male children died - the eldest son, Alexei, had been tortured and killed on Peter's orders in 1718 because he had disobeyed his father and opposed official policies. At the same time, Alexei's mother Eudoxia had also been punished; she was dragged from her home and tried on false charges of adultery. A similar fate befell Peter's beautiful mistress, Anna Mons, in 1724. Бойко В., Жидких Н. и др. «200 тем английского языка». «Бао-Пресс». М., 2002. 316 pages
  • Peter remained without proper education because of the unfavorable conditions of the childhood and instead of theological-scholastic knowledge got military-technical. Young sovereign represented unusual for the Moscow society cultural type. He did not like old customs and orders of a court Moscow life. However the close relations with "Germans" were formed. Peter did not love Sofia's government, he was afraid of the Miloslavs and streltsy. He supported them as Sofia's friends. Peter had firm will and character and these qualities helped him to rule Russia with a rod of iron, that allowed carrying out reforms.
  • 3. Reforms: What Determined Peter the Great to Start the Reformation?
  • Peter the Great, Tsar of Russia from 1682 until his death in 1725, knew very well that before him there had only been one Russian prince that had had the courage to travel outside of his country. This was the great duke of Kiev, Iziaslav, who in 1075 went to Mayence, as a guest of King Henry IV. For most Russians, crossing the border into another country meant treason. But even if the boyars and the clergy insisted that he should not go, Peter followed his own way. Indeed, he took his court to Amsterdam, Berlin, Vienna, Rome, Copenhagen, Venice, and London; but avoided France because Louis XIV was supporting the Ottomans - Russia's enemies at the time. His traveling court, the great embassy, included 250 persons. It left Moscow on March 10, 1697. The tzar was traveling incognito, under the name of Piotr Mihailov. When he reached Coppenbrьgge (a village that today is in Lower Saxony, Germany) he was invited for dinner at the princess Sophie of Hanover and her daughter, Sophie-Charlotte, princess of Brandenburg. The tsar was using his hands to eat, he stained everything with sauce, and he did not know how to use the napkin. However, the young Peter was determined to learn about as many cultural practices and conventions as possible. He ran from here to there; he stopped the carriage every few minutes to measure a bridge, to examine a wind mill, or to talk with the people at the sawmill; he went to shipping yards, he greeted the whale fishermen who came back from Greenland, he studied topography, he followed the anatomy courses of Professor Frederik Ruysch. He even took part in surgical interventions and bought his own medical kit, which he carried with him always. In London, fascinated by the parliamentary system, he secretly attended a meeting of the Lords.
  • Peter wanted to be a living encyclopedia, and to share everything that he studied with his fellow countrymen. However, he had to return to Russia because of a rebellion of the Streltsy.
  • Fascinated by the Western culture and thought, he decided to implement a series of reforms in order to completely change his country after the European model. This change, however, would agitate the spirits among the Russian population, whose traditions were about to change dramatically. James Cracraft. “The Revolution of Peter the Great”/ Harvard University Press. 2003. 248 pages.
  • Westernization was on Peter the Great's agenda for Russia's course in history. He reformed government, made changes in the church, and influenced Russian society.
  • Peter the Great's influence upon Russian history cannot be underestimated. His reforms Westernized Russia even while they strengthened traditional institutions like the monarchy and the feudal system. Peter the Great revolutionized the way government, religion, class, military, and women's roles would function in the Russian Empire. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reforms_of_Peter_I_of_Russia
  • Peter was worried that Russia was a backward country. It was characterized by political and economic decline in Russia. Peter ordered to send the Great Embassy (Velikoe Posolstvo) - about hundred of nobles with ambassadors status, who were wandering round Europe to find out how it was life going over there. During the Great Embassy they saw different innovations in foreign countries, so the tsar decided that these innovations must be forwarded in Russia too. Peter wanted to improve the old system and to give Russia more cultural European forms.
  • 4. Political reforms.
  • 4.1 Peter the Great's Reforms - Government
  • Peter the Great secured more power for himself, and changed his title from “tsar” to “emperor.” He also eliminated the duma body, made up of boyars, and replaced it with a Western-style senate. To put Russia on a path of progress, Peter the Great initialized the development of institutions, like technical colleges and academies, of which the government had oversight. Peter decided to completely improve Russia. He ordered to send the Great Embassy - about hundred of nobles with ambassadors status, who were wandering round Europe to find out how it was life going over there. Peter pretended to be a worker, serving this embassy - just to feel the real life. When he was back in Russia, he decided to make it like Europe, like Holland and Amsterdam, which he loved the most. He began with the capital. He knew he couldn't improve Moscow which was definitely Russian, so he decided to build a new city. Peter chose nice strategic place at the bank of Baltic Sea, but it was a swamp all over there. Without any complain, Peter ordered to get there thousands of peasants to cover the swamp with ground. Thousands of people died because of the hard work. The seat of the Russian government also changed - with the founding of St. Petersburg, the capital city was moved from Moscow to Peter's “Window to the West.” (Appendix 6, 7)
  • In 1722, Peter created a new order of precedence, known as the Table of Ranks.(Appendix 8) Formerly, precedence had been determined by birth. In order to deprive the Boyars of their high positions, Peter directed that precedence should be determined by merit and service to the Emperor. The Table of Ranks continued to remain in effect until the Russian monarchy was overthrown in 1917.
  • Russia was essentially divided into three with regards to divisions of government: local, provincial and central. Аксенова М. «Энциклопедия для детей. История России и ее ближайших соседей. От древних славян до Петра Великого» том 5 М., "Аванта+" 2000. -с. 685
  • Local government: In January 1699, towns were allowed to elect their own officials, collect revenue and stimulate trade. The gift of greater powers of local government was deliberately done in an effort to reduce the power of provincial governments. The work of local government was co-coordinated by the Ratusha based in Moscow. In 1702, towns were governed by an elective board which replaced the old system of elected sheriffs. By 1724, this was again changed so that towns could govern themselves through elected guilds of better off citizens. On paper these reforms were fine. But in reality the power of the local landlord and the provincial governor was immense and difficult to break.
  • Provincial government: In December 1707, Russia was divided into 8 guberniia. Each was lead by a Gubernator who had full power within his guberniia. Each guberniia was further divided into districts called uezdi. By November 1718, the number of guberniia had increased to 12 and each one was divided into 40 provintsiia which were then further divided into districts. A gubernator was directly answerable to Peter the Great.
  • Central government: To begin with, Peter was advised by a council and his orders were carried out by 40 departments in the Prikazy. Some had specific functions while others had vague responsibilities which could overspill into other departments making for inefficiency.2 http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/peter_the_great3.htm
  • In 1711, Peter appointed a 9 man senate which evolved into a chief executive and the highest court of appeal. It was supervised by army officers on Peter's behalf until 1715 when an Inspector-General was appointed who in turn was replaced in 1722 with a Procurator-General who was the most powerful man in Russia after Peter.
  • The Prikazy was abolished in 1718 and replaced with a scheme borrowed from Sweden whereby 9 colleges were established with a specific function to cover the whole of Russia. Each college was run by 10 to 12 men and all their decisions were collective.
  • As early as 1711, an Oberfiscal was appointed aided by a staff of fiscals who had to be secret appointments as they had the task of checking the honesty and integrity of government officials.
  • All careers were open to the talented and educated - though, invariably, this favoured the side of the nobility. There were 14 steps in the military's promotional ladder whereas the civil service had just 8. Those who reached the top step in both ladders were automatically granted hereditary noble status. However, the system did not operate as it should have as those at the top or nearing the top of the promotion ladder did nothing to encourage those mid way up the ladder in terms of developing their career as they were seen as a threat to those at the top. Баканова И.Ю., Береговая Н.В. и др., «Английский язык: Большой справочник для школьников и поступающих в вузы». М., «Дрофа», 1998. 624 pages
  • Collegia had been created since 1717 in place of the former prikazes as central offices of the state authority with clearly defined competences, and collective (collegial) system of making decisions and responsibility for their execution. At the head of each collegium stood its president, and to the making of their boards went vice-presidents, councillors and assessors; vice-presidents often were foreigners. At first there were created nine Collegia: three "capital" or "royal" - of Foreign Affairs, War and Admiralty, - here economical - of Mines, Manufactures and Trade, - and three financial -of Revenue, Expenditure and Control. Most of the collegia had foreign names, chiefly originating from the German language. So, for example, the Collegium of Mines was called Berg-collegia, of Manufactures - Manufaktur-сollegia, of Control - Revision-collegia etc. Later organization of the collegia used to change; some collegia were abolished (for example the Revision-collegia, which was amalgamated with the Senate), some were created as necessary, like for example the Justitz-collegia (for administration of the judicial system) or the Collegium of Russia Minor, and some others were transformed into completely different offices, as it happened to the Spiritual Collegium. In 1708 in Russia was introduced a new administrative division into eight big provinces: Moscow, Ingermanland (later Petersburg), Smolensk, Kazan, Azov, Siberia, Kiev and Archangel. Later the administrative division changed, the number of the provinces increased, and their borders were uneven. At the head of the provinces stood governors - the highest representatives of the local administration, enjoying broad, but never clearly defined, competences. The provinces in their turn were divided into the lands, and the lands into the counties. And this division used to go through many transformations; also changed the structure of the local administrative bodies attached to the governors - as a rule their members were elected by the local nobility. http://www.cozy-corner.com/history_eng/events_Petr%20I_peter_reforms.htm
  • In the sphere of the legal and judicial system there were more experiments and temporary legislations than substantial and permanent changes. Among others in the epoch of Peter the Great there were created district courts in ten biggest Russian cities. Peter did not codify the laws - legally the Legal Code (Sobornoye Ulozheniye) of 1649 was still valid. State crimes of all kinds were under the jurisdiction of so-called Preobrazhenski Prikaz, whose head was one of Peter's closest and most trusted associates, prince Fyodor Romodanovskiy. Of course, neither the highest office of the czar's secret police nor its head enjoyed much sympathy of the people, chiefly due to their investigation methods. As the prikazes were abolished, also this one was transformed into the Secret Office. Reforms enabled centralization of the state apparatus and consolidated czar's autocracy, having unequivocally subordinated all the organs of the state authority and state institutions to the czar's will. Implementation of such tendency did not leave even the Orthodox Church aside, the more so that the clergy, and especially the new patriarch Hadrian (1690-1700), openly sabotaged the reforms. Peter tried to neutralize their influence through appointing to bishops clergymen from Russia Minor, especially those, who studied in Kiev and were more predisposed towards some Western habits. And after Hadrian's death Peter did not allow for election of a new patriarch. For several years the metropolitan of Ryazan, Stephen Yavorskiy, remained the locum tenets of the patriarchal throne. In 1721 the office of the patriarch was abolished and replaced by the Governing Synod transformed from the Spiritual Collegium, and in 1726 it was again transformed into the Holy Synod, whose board included, apart from secular officials (president and vice-presidents), also clerical ones. To the making of the Synod also went a secular official, ober-procurator, who represented the monarch and was empowered to control the works of the Synod. The Synod exercised its authority in the questions of interpreting dogmas, issuing liturgical decrees, administration of the churches and monasteries, management of the Church property, prosecution of heretics and old-ritualists, Orthodox propaganda among non-Orthodox and non-Slavic peoples, and Church censorship. Yavorskiy became the first president of the Synod, and among the first vice-presidents was Theophan Prokopovich. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_history%2C_1682%E2%80%931796
  • 4.2 Peter the Great's Reforms - Class Structure
  • Peter the Great's Table of Ranks would haunt noblemen, civil servants, and literary protagonists for decades. The fourteen ranks established a system of class order that depended more upon an individual's government service than birthright. Each rank carried with it a special uniform. Moving up in rank was of utmost importance to the nobleman of Petrine Russia, because it afforded him greater respect, more authority, and luxuries and privileges not offered to those belonging to lower ranks.2Valliere, Paul. Change and Tradition in Russian Civilization. Westland: Hayden-McNeil Publishing, Inc., 1995
  • 4.3 Peter the Great's Reforms - Women in Society
  • Prior to Peter the Great's Westernization of Russia, Russian women lived in relative seclusion. When women appeared in public, they traditionally wore garments that covered their bodies entirely, except for the face. Russian women of upper classes even lived in separate sections of their families' houses. Peter the Great started a girls' educational academy, encouraged Western fashion sensibilities (including low-cut dresses and corsets), and brought women into society by popularizing balls and other social events.
  • Reforms enabled centralization of the state apparatus and consolidated tsar's autocracy, having unequivocally subordinated all the organs of the state authority and state institutions to the czar's will. Implementation of such tendency did not leave even the Orthodox Church aside, the more so that the clergy, and especially the new patriarch Hadrian (1690-1700), openly sabotaged the reforms.
  • In local government, in January 1699, towns were allowed to elect their own officials. Three years later, another law decided that towns would be governed by an elective board, which replaced the old system of elected sheriffs, and in 1724 the tzar decided that towns could govern themselves through elected guilds of better citizens.
  • Concerning the provincial government, in 1707 Peter divided Russia into 8 provinces called guberniia; each guberniia was then divided into districts called uezd. Further divisions followed during the next years, until they came up with 12 guberniia, 40 provintsiia and a great number of uezd. The Gubernator - the leading person of a gubernia, was the one who answered directly to Peter the Great.
  • For the central government, the tzar made available a number of jobs. All careers were open to the talented and educated - though, invariably, this favored the side of the nobility. However, Promotion in the civil administration or the military in theory was on merit. Those who reached the top step in both ladders were automatically granted hereditary noble status.
  • Women were allowed to take part at social events, and the engagement became compulsory. After seeing the customs in England Peter decided that women should be allowed to attend social gatherings and mingle with men.
  • 5. Peter the Great's Reforms - Economy

Undoubtedly that a fundamental reform in sphere of economy was carried out during the reign of Peter the First. By typical opinion of historians, industry and trade were on the second place after army for Peter and his activity as a reformer was notable for large scale and foresight. Industrial building of Peter's epoch was proceeding at an unprecedented pace for that time: not less two hundred manufactories of different profiles appeared from 1695 till 1725 and that was ten times more than at the end of XVII century, and there was more impressionable growth of total volume of output as well.1 Богословский М.М. Петр Великий. - М., 1956. - с. 281.

Peter was aware that the internal economy of Russia needed reforming. His travels abroad had convinced Peter that Russia was too backward. As tsar he wanted to apply western mercantilism to stimulate agriculture, industry and commerce. A richer Russia could only benefit the position of the tsar as more could be taxed and invested into the military. A further strengthened military would further enhance his power. In fact, Peter achieved less than he would have liked to but he did quick start the economic growth of Russia that was witnessed in the Eighteenth Century.2 http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/peter_the_great2.htm

The state dominated all forms of industry. The state combined creation of its own industry with organization of its own trade - mainly to get profit from popular goods inside the country and to import such goods, which could bring money to the state to purchase ships, weapon, raw materials, equipment for industry.

The state captured trade by the most primitive, but very effective way - introducing monopoly for purchase and sale of some goods both inside the country and outside it.

The first monopoly was monopoly for salt. The decree of the first of January 1705 proclaimed that everyone to the treasury could supply salt, the treasury would sell it at price two times more or the treasury might let one or some merchants to sell salt.3 Павленко Н.И. Торгово-промышленная политика правительства России в первой четверти XVIII века. // История СССР., 1978, №3. - с. 159.

Monopoly for sale of goods had particular importance. The introduction of prohibited goods also practiced in XVII century, but it had just huge scales during Peter's time, it enveloped almost all kinds of goods which Russian merchants sold to foreigners in Archangelsk and brought abroad through other ports and towns. Among such goods taken in the treasury's sale there were: hemp, linen, linen seeds, bread, bristle, pitch, potash, caviar and isinglass, wood, chamois leather, rhubarb, fat, wax, sailcloth, iron.4 Спиридонова Е.В. Экономическая политика и экономические взгляды Петра I. - М., 1952. - с. 276.

In 1718, two colleges were created for commerce and mines and manufacturing. Under state direction, factories of all types were developed.

Prices were fixed by the state and the state had the right to be the first purchaser from the producers - but at a price fixed by the state. Private businesses could make a profit only on the surplus of produce which the state did not want and many successful enterprises were simply taken over by the state.5 http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/peter_the_great2.htm

5.1 Peter the Great's Reforms - Monetary

The monetary reform was aimed at creating the monetary system that would satisfy political and economic conditions of the new era. This reform began in 1698 and has become one of the first large-scale reforms carried out by Peter the Great. To a certain extent that reform laid the foundation for many other reforms and developments since it regulated rather chaotic and archaic monetary system that existed in Russia in the 17th century and provided an opportunity to increase state income ensuring growing cost of the Northern War. The reform started when the weight of an old silver kopeck was diminished in 1698 and new small copper coins, mites, half-mites and dengi, were introduced into circulation in 1700. http://www.goznak.ru/eng/site.shtml?id=125 In the course of the reform a flexible system of nominals was introduced. It included golden coins (a 10-roubles coin (“chervonets”), since 1718 a two-roubles coin); siver coins (a rouble coin, half a rouble coin (“poltina”), quarter a rouble coin (“polupoltina”), a 10-copecks coin (“grivennik”), a 3-copecks coin (“altyn”); copper coins (a 5-copecks coin (“pyatak”), a 1-copeck coin (“kopeika”) and fractions of a copeek).After that silver and gold coins of the new design were put into circulation while pre-reform coins continued to be minted in limited numbers until 1718. The correlation between coins made of different metals were strictly defined and for the first time in international practice the basis of the monetary system was the decimal system (1 rouble was equal to 100 kopecks). The new Encyclopжdia. Britannica. Volume 25.1994

Peter the Great paid special attention to the technical improvement of coinage. A coin is one of the major elements of the state power and the quality of its technical and artistic performance has always had an impact on prestige of this or that state abroad. However, the level of coinage in Russia in the XVIIth century was far behind the European level. During his trip to Europe, Peter the Great paid a special visit to the London Mint, where he carefully studied details of the coinage process. And it was then that Peter the Great ordered to purchase spindle presses for stamping coins in Russia.

A significant result of the monetary reform of Peter I in the 18th century became an introduction in Russia to the new cultural custom of rewarding decorative and issuing commemorative medals. During the first period of work of the Kadashevskiy mint, apart from the first gold and silver coins, the first Russian medals were minted. Assimilation of the new European custom was helped by the old Russian tradition of the pre-Peters time to decorate warriors with conferred golden coins. The first decorative medals were minted for the participants in the victorious battles of the Russian army. Searching to inform Europe of the Russian victories, Peter I commissioned a famous medallier from Augsburg F.G.Mueller to create a series of commemorative medals devoted to the defeat of Sweden in the Northern War. http://www.hermitage.ru/html_En/04/b2003/hm4_1_f.html

The state dominated all forms of industry. It combined creation of its own industry with organization of its own trade mainly to get profit from popular goods inside the country and to import such goods, which could bring money to the state to purchase ships, weapon, raw materials, and equipment for industry.

The monetary reform was aimed at creating the monetary system that would satisfy political and economic conditions of the new era.

6. Military Reforms

Peter the Great's military reforms massively modernized Russia's Army and Navy. By his death in 1725, Russia's military was a force to be reckoned with. These reforms supplemented the reforms that were going on at a general domestic level.

The Russia army was both enlarged and made into a professional unit by Peter the Great. Peter had a very clear idea about the direction of his foreign policy and he needed a strong army to execute this. A strong army would also make his own position much stronger and free him from the threat of coups.

Before the rule of Peter the Great, the Russian army had been amateur. It was basically based on villagers going into battle to defend the Motherland, lead by village elders with no or little knowledge about military leadership. There were some professionals in the army but they were few and far between. The Streltsy and the Cossacks were professional units but they were officered by foreigners.

Peter the Great took the bets parts of both systems and introduced a standing army in 1699. All soldiers received similar training so that the army had uniformity. The Streltsy was abolished. Peter the Great had hated it ever since it had backed a joint rule between Peter and Ivan. Two new elite Guards regiments were created - the Preobrazhenskii and the Semeovskii. These were officered by elite. From 1705 on, both nobles and serfs could be conscripted for life long service in the army. By 1725, Russia had 130,000 men in the army. Discipline was savage but by the death of Peter, the army was up to European standards though untested in Western Europe.

The navy was essentially Peter the Great's creation. The navy was based on the moth of the River Don and then expanded to the Baltic Sea. As Russia lacked the necessary expertise, Peter the Great brought in foreign experts and by 1725, Russia had 48 ships of the line and 800 galleys. The officers in the navy were foreign but the crews were Russian.

The Russian Navy defeated Sweden's navy under Charles XII and its potential for success sufficiently alarmed George I of Britain. http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/peter_the_great1.htm

Military expenditure was high but it was met out of direct taxation. Revenue was expanded three times to pay for the military and wars. 85% of royal income was taken up in this way. Direct taxation was levied on households but this could be avoided by a number of houses grouping together as one `house' and therefore paying the demands of just one house. Thus, the collected revenue did not keep up with the growth in population and therefore the growth in required houses.

In November 1718, Peter the Great introduced a soul tax on all males (except the clergy and nobility) with the Old Believers paying double. Peter the Great, as with the overthrown Golitisin, saw the Old Believers as a throw back to a time in Russia Peter wanted to move on from.

If a male from a village took flight to avoid paying the tax, the village itself had to make up the loss. Therefore, neighbors had a very good reason to keep a close eye on the whereabouts of a male neighbor when the soul tax was due for collection. It became the army's responsibility to compile a list of all males in Russia. This was such a vast task, that it was not completed until 1724.

Military reforms were also financed by indirect taxes on beards, horse-collars, bee-hives etc. Royal monopolies were farmed out. Peter the Great, it seemed, would do anything to raise the necessary capital to finance his military reforms. Алексин А.Г., Жаркова Л.М. «Что такое? Кто такой?» М., «Педагогика - Пресс» 1993. - с 384.

Peter established a regular army on completely modern lines for Russia in the place of the unreliable streltsy and the militia of the gentry. Service was for life. The troops were equipped with flintlock firearms and bayonets of Russian make; uniforms were provided; and regular drilling was introduced. The Army Regulations of 1716 were particularly important. For the navy, Peter's reign saw the construction, within a few years, of 52 battleships and hundreds of galleys and other craft; thus a powerful Baltic fleet was brought into being. Several special schools prepared their pupils for military or naval service and finally enabled Peter to dispense with foreign experts.

7. Peter the Great's Reforms - Religion

Eastern Orthodoxy and the power of the church had long played an important role of authority in Russia. The Orthodox Church was, by Peter the Great's decree, suddenly under government supervision by the appointment of the so-called Chief Procurator, who was a secular representative of the government within the Church.

In 1700, the head of the church, Patriarch Adrian, died. Peter did not replace him. In 1701, the control of church property was handed over to a government department called the Monastyrskii Prikaz. This received monastic revenues and paid monks a salary. The simple fact that it was a government department meant that it was subordinate to the will of Peter. In 1721, the church hierarchy was officially abolished by the Ecclesiastical Reservation and the church was placed under the control of the Holy Synod and was fully linked to the state. The 1721 Regulation specifically stated what the clergy could do; in essence, it was designed to control their daily life so that they became an apparatus of the state. The task of the clergy was seen as two-fold: to work for the state and to make their congregations totally submissive to the state by convincing them that Peter was all but God-like to ensure the population of Russia's total subordination to the crown.1 http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/peter_the_great2.htm

Previously, the Russian Tsars had exerted some influence on church operations; however, until Peter's reforms the church had been relatively free in its internal governance. Following the model of the Byzantine Empire, the Tsar was considered to be the "Defender of Orthodoxy". In this capacity he had the right of veto over the election of new bishops, and upon the consecration of new bishops he would often be the one to present the crozier to them. The Tsar would also be involved in major ecclesiastical decisions.

During this time, the church lost much of its landed wealth, and a system of clerical education was established for the first time in Russia. Tsar Peter inflicted numerous reforms on his country with the help of Archbishop Theophan Prokopovich, Peter's ally in his reform of the Russian Orthodox Church. The reforms were designed to create and pay for a new government and a military and naval system that would enable Russia to trade with, compete with, and, as necessary defend Russia's European interests by force of arms. The ruthlessness with which he implemented his governmental and tax collection reforms, and the forced buildup of his new capital city, St. Petersburg, augured poorly for the independence of the church.

The Russian patriarchate was not restored until Tsar Nicholas II gave his permission for the calling on an All-Russian Sobor (Council) for the purpose of electing a new patriarch. Plans for the Sobor were made before the February Revolution and the Tsar's subsequent abdication on 15 March of that year. However, the assembly met despite the onset of the revolution, and on 21 June 1917, the Sobor elected St. Tikhon as Patriarch of Moscow. А.Г.Алексин, Л.М.Жаркова «Что такое Кто такой» М., Издательство «Педагогика - Пресс» 1993год.383 стр

Monasteries lost territory and were more closely regulated, resulting in a reduction in monks and nuns numbers from twenty-five thousand in 1734 to fourteen thousand in 1738.

A new ecclesiastic educational system was begun under Peter the Great and expanded to the point that by the end of the century there was a seminary in each eparchy. The result was that more monks and priests were formally educated than before, but their training was poor preparation for their ministry to a Russian-speaking population steeped in the traditions of Eastern Orthodoxy. Catherine even saw that the salaries of all ranks of the clergy were paid not through the church but by the state, with the result that the clergy became effectively employees of the state. http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/peter_the_great3.htm

In 1701, the control of church property was handed over to a government department called the Monastyrskii Prikaz. Th church was placed under the control of the Holy Synod and was fully linked to the state. During this time, the church lost much of its landed wealth, and a system of clerical education was established for the first time in Russia. Monasteries lost territory and were more closely regulated.

8. Cultural and Educational Measures

8.1 Peter the Great's Reforms - Education

Education also had to be modernized if Russia was going to survive as a power in Europe. Peter wanted a modern army and navy that would be feared throughout Europe. The officers in the military had to be educated or this would never be achieved. While on his travels as a youth, Peter had seen the importance of the knowledge of science and maths for military success. The correct use of artillery needed knowledge of angles; the building of fortifications needed knowledge of engineering. Naval officers needed to know how to navigate.

In addition, Peter decided that all of the children of the nobility should have some early education, especially in the areas of sciences. Therefore, on February 28th 1714, he introduced the decree on compulsory education which dictated that all Russian children of the nobility, of government clerks and even lesser ranked officials between the ages of 10 and 15 must learn basic mathematics and geometry and that they should be tested on it at the end of their studies.

In 1701, the School of Navigation and Maths was founded in Moscow. This was run by British teachers. In the same year, similar schools were created for artillery and languages. In 1707, a School of Medicine was created and in 1712 a School of Engineering. Thirty maths schools were created in the provinces and in 1724; a School of Science was established though the lack of scientists in Russia meant that it had to be initially staffed by foreigners. Many young noblemen were encouraged to do as Peter had done - go to Western Europe and experience what it was like and also learn. They were encouraged to learn about the latest technology, economic theory and political science. He believed that these young educated noblemen were of great benefit to Russia's development. The new Encyclopжdia. Britannica. Volume 25. 1994. 724 pages

8.2 Peter the Great's Reforms - Culture

Peter I ordered to all his boyars to cut their beards. Then he applied the same law to all the men in the kingdom, except the clergy (Decree on Shaving, 1705). For those who refused, the tzar fixed a fee. (Appendix 9) He also decided upon the clothes that the Russians were to wear (the Decree on Western Dress, 1701), inspiring from the French, Saxon, or German fashion; another fee was fixed for those who would not obey. People complained that the new clothing style was not suitable for the harsh weather in Russia.

Another major change would come with the reformation of the calendar. He didn't go as far as changing to the Gregorian calendar, because it was the one used in Rome, and it was not appropriate for a Christian Orthodox country like Russia; however, he adopted the Julian calendar, which had a delay of 11 days (the change to the Gregorian calendar will only take place on February 1st, 1918, by the USSR government). So he decided that on January 1st, 1700, people should ornate the gates of their houses and take part at the Church masses. The population was more confused than troubled.

A newspaper the "Vedomosti" was established for the educated public in 1703. In this year the new alphabet was created. It was issued by the state. Peter believed that military leaders had to be educated but that a loyal public should also be if Russia was to shake off its reputation of being steeped in medievalism. 2 http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1E1-Peter1-Rus.html

On February 28th 1714, Peter the Great introduced the decree on compulsory education. In 1701, the School of Navigation and Maths was founded in Moscow. In 1707, a School of Medicine was created and in 1712 a School of Engineering. Thirty maths schools were created. Peter did many useful things for the culture of his country.

He ordered to all his boyars to cut their beards. He also changed the type of clothes of the Russians. For the educated Public a newspaper “Vedomosti” was established. In the year 1703 the new alphabet was created. The major change came with the reformation of the calendar, when he adopted the Julian calendar.

9. How Effective were These Reforms?

In theory they were major achievements. Russia, pre-Peter, had a backward and barely functioning structure of government. Peter attacked this as he believed it hindered Russia's progress and modernisation. However, by 1725, little had changed. Why was this? Peter had to take some of the blame here. He was an autocrat and he believed that everything should go through him. He was unwilling to delegate and allow people to take a final decision. He stifled initiative and such was his reputation, everybody worked in the way Peter wanted them to work. Few had the courage to buck the system in case they incurred the well-known wrath of the tsar. Another major failing was that once an order had been issued by Peter, no-one evaluated whether that order had been carried out and if it had, to what extent it was successful. It was assumed that if an order came from Peter it would be carried out and that it would be carried out well.

Peter's transformations in the sphere of culture, way of life and customs were of pronounced political character, and there were conducted by force. The interests of the state, which was developed according to the strict monarch plan, were of the main Peter's concern when performing those reforms. The introduction of European customs by Decrees, tearing apart ancient Russian cultural traditions was to emphasize the difference of principle of The Russian Empire - the great state of the European type, whose creation took (in theory) only a quarter of the century. http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1E1-Peter1-Rus.html

Summing up Russia of that time needed any reforms. Historians d not have a united opinion about economical policy of Peter the First. Some of them think that it has artificial character and manufactories in Russia were an abnormal outgrowth, artificially engrafted to the economic organism of the country and which survived only owing to constant support and care of the government, but after the death of Peter most of these enterprises were closed, that fact proved their lack of vital capacity. But other historians think that there were serious natural preconditions: well-developed home market, national private capital, and skillful manpower. Results of scientific research of last years show that if many little textile factories could not bear competition with peasant home production, larger enterprises of this branch worked till less the middle of XVIII century. On the one hand the economic policy of Peter the First was very hard for all classes of Russian people; they all paid a great price for this industrial development. On the other hand from historical point of view the economic reforms of Peter the First enabled Russia to overcome the economic backwardness and made Russia a powerful Empire.


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