Sunday, November 9, 2008

To what degree and in what ways was Peter the Great successful in westernizing Russia?

Peter the Great did westernize Russia by building factories and mills to supply his army and initially improve the defense of his country but he overlooked something. Yes, he did accomplish a great deal towards the creation and strengthening of the national state of landlords and merchants. But he completely ignored the condition of peasants who at that time had become immersed in serfdom. Westernizing Russia had caused serfdom to multiply across the country. Peasants may not have been a huge concern of Peter's but they were still apart of his country and therefore depended on him.

6 comments:

Cote Laramie said...
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Cote Laramie said...

I absolutely agree. He really did have a "state without it's people". Isn't it interesting , how the country that is the most cruel and repressive toward it's peasants/lower-class, who are the majority of it's population, is also the country that becomes the heart of communism centuries later. The incredibly repressive rule of Peter is just ridiculous. People are not going to just sit around and be treated atrociously forever. They WILL rebel, and rebel, and rebel until conditions change. No matter how long it takes, things will change if people want them. That's what will IS.

SamStewart said...

I agree that Peter didn't concern himself with the troubles of the peasants, but something can be said for peasant opportunities during his reign. It was much, much more common for a peasant to rise up through the social and economic ranks under Tsar Peter than in other societies of the time.

Cote Laramie said...

although this is true, many of the people in the state-service that had been peasants or of low class were foreigners and had more privileges than Russians themselves. At least I think so.

Hanjae Lee said...

Although I agree with you that Russian peasants were still immersed in serfdom while Peter the Great was westernizing Russia, I am not sure if Peter "failed" to reform the serfdom system. Personally, I believe that Peter "chose not to" reform the serfdom system of Russia. And perhaps it is because Peter chose to ignore the peasants that the Russia grew rapidly as a country. He must have put the country over the peasants.

Lena said...

I agree with Hanjae, I think that Peter over looked the peasants in order to finish his otehr projects. He saw no immediate reason to give the peasants better treatment, and obviously serfdom was working, so why not leave it be?