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The Expansion of Russia. Peter the Great & Age of Absolutism. The First Tsar. Ivan IV “the terrible” (b. 1530 / r. 1533 – 1584) Advised and abused by boyars (3 to 16 yrs) Took individual power in 1546 – crowned himself Tzar ( Caesar ) in 1547

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The Expansion of Russia


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the expansion of russia

The Expansion of Russia

Peter the Great & Age of Absolutism

the first tsar
The First Tsar
  • Ivan IV “the terrible” (b. 1530 / r. 1533 – 1584)
    • Advised and abused by boyars (3 to 16 yrs)
    • Took individual power in 1546 – crowned himself Tzar (Caesar) in 1547
    • In 1549 he called together a zemskii sobor, assembly of the land,
    • In 1550 established a new law code.
    • Updated the army and defended Russia's eastern borders from the Mongols and added new lands in the 1550
  • 1560, wife Anastasia Romanov dies (No, not that Anastasia)
    • Ivan increasingly unstable
ivan the terrible
Ivan the Terrible
  • After 1560 - Paranoid and delusional
    • Kills eldest son, Ivan
  • Helped to depopulate areas of central Russia
    • Massacre of boyars
    • Peasants flee east --south – “Cossacks”
    • “all the people consider themselves to be kholops, that is, slaves of their Prince”
time of troubles
Time of Troubles
  • 1584 Ivan IV dies
  • 1598 – 1613 Time of Troubles – no clear heir
    • Relatives murder one another
    • Swedish and Polish armies invade
    • Cossack bands attack nobles and officials
  • Zemskii Sobor (feudal estates)elect Michael Romanov, (Ivan IV’s grandson) 1613-1645
    • Completes “enserfment” of the peasants
    • 1625 law states killing a peasant = destruction of property
  • Alexis - 1645-1676:
    • 1646 serfs legally bound to estate
      • Serf / Cossack uprising led by Stephen Razin 1667
    • Old Believers rise up against the reform ideas of Russian patriarch Nikon; threaten to break away from the church
      • Church became dependent upon the state in order to gain protection from enraged peasantry

Early conflict btw. tradition and moderniza-tion

peter romanov the great
Peter Romanov “THE GREAT”
  • Born in 1672
  • 6 ft. 9 --- “giant”, “barbarian genius”
  • 1682 - Joint ruler with half-brother Ivan V (mentally handicapped) – but half-sister Sofia acts as regent – exiles Peter!!!

(1682-1689)

  • Returns but Sofia tries to have him murdered – Peter escapes - gains the throne; ruled alone 1689 – 1725
peter romanov the great6
Peter Romanov “THE GREAT”
  • Brilliant – Creative – Skilled
    • Great Embassy: toured Europe 1696 – 1697 with 250 officials and nobles!!!
    • fascinated by Dutch and English
    • Recognizes “backwardness” of Russia; recruits 1000 foreign experts for service positions
    • 1698 returned to revolt of streltsi (tsar guards of noble classes, very politically active – opposed to reform and any threat to their own power) –instigated by Sofia; streltsi massacred; Sofia recedes to convent
  • 1698 rebuilt army from ground up; several foreign officers
    • recognizes need to have a “European” fighting force
    • Almost continuously at war w/ Ottomans and Swedes
peter the great expansion
Peter the Great: Expansion
  • War with Ottomans: Russia vs. Turks and Tartars - Black Sea
    • not successful, Russian army to weak.
  • War with Swedes: “The Great Northern War” 1700-1721
    • Allied with Denmark/Poland
    • Sweden powerful in N. Europe – scattered lands Germany, Finland, Estonia
    • 21 year conflict vs. Charles XII of Sweden (r. 1697-1718)
      • 1709 – decisive Russian victory at Poltava (Ukraine)
      • 1721, Teraty of Nystadt – Russia annexes Estonia and Livonia and Karelia
      • Russia has access to the Baltic! “Window to the West”
  • Wars lead to modernization of Russia – militarily first - professional
      • 200,000 regular troops – drafted for life!!!!
      • 100,000 special forces of Cossacks and foreigners!
      • Schools to train new military personnel
peter the great
Peter the Great
  • Improving the cities:
    • St. Petersburg: new capital on Baltic
      • Baroque example of links btw. politics / architecture / urban development
        • wide open avenues – uniform buildings
      • government offices; nobles must build here
    • Built from an outpost – to replace Moscow
    • Separate areas for nobles, merchants, artisans… (favorable terms for settling)
    • Marvel of modern engineering
    • Showplace for the tsar
      • Nobility paid for it
      • Built on the backs of the serfs
peter the great12
Peter the Great
  • Created the “Empire of Russia”
    • 1711 abolishes the duma (parliament)– replaces with Senate of 10 members
    • 10 territorial gubernii (governments)
    • Abolishes hereditary succession (doesn’t trust son, Alexei)
      • Russia referred to as: state w/o a people
    • 1717 – Creation of 8 administrative colleges: tax collection, foreign relations, war & economic affairs
    • 1722 - Table of Ranks: ability in“state service” / military determines one’s social position& privileges
peter the great religion
Peter the Great & Religion
  • Secular control of the Russian Orthodox Church – radical reorganization
    • Patriarch replace with Holy Synod (several bishops under the leadership of lay procurator general)
    • Church now responsible for carrying out the secular demands of the tsar
peter the great14
Peter the Great
  • Westerners and Western ideas flow into Russia – paving the way for Enlightenment and rule of his wife, Catherine (not the Great!!)
    • resistance to foreigners from nobility and serfs
    • Alexei (son) vows to reinstall old Russian traditions
      • 1718 imprisoned and executed
  • 1725 Peter dies – leaves no successor!!
  • Peter left behind an uneasy Russia – poor and weak, angry
    • Great divide between poor and nobility
    • It will be another 30 years of noble and military factions deciding who will reign in Russia