Russian and Chinese Empire-Building [1450-1750]. AP World History Notes. Russia Today. Former Soviet Region Compared in Latitude & Area with the United States. Russia’s Time Zones. Topography of Russia. Rich Soil of the Steppes. Chernozen Soil. Siberia “Permafrost”.
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AP World History Notes
Russian state centered on the city of Moscow
Conquered a number of neighboring Russian-speaking cities
Continued to expand south and east of Moscow
Brought together a wide variety of different peoples and cultures
Ivan III Tearing the Great Khan’s Letter Requesting More Tribute in 1480.
Examine the portrait of Russian king Peter the Great & find things in the painting that help show his accomplishments
Russia’s was influenced by the Byzantine Empire but was conquered by the Mongols
Ivan III successfully liberated Russia from the Mongols & ruled as the first czar
(“caesar” or “king”)
Over time, czars expanded Russia’s borders, increased their power over the nobles, & created an absolute monarchy
By the time Peter the Great became czar in 1682, Russia was a large empirePeter the Great
Russia was isolated from Western Europe & knew very little about the new ideas of the Renaissance
While European nations grew wealthy from trade, made cultural advances, & had strong economies…
…Russia had no advanced industry, no overseas colonies, & an economy of small-scale farmers
Most Russians were feudal peasants working for nobles (called boyars)
Czar Peter the Great wanted to modernize & “Westernize” Russia to catch up with Europe
In disguise, Peter toured Europe to learn new ways to modernize Russia
While in Europe, Peter learned new ideas about shipbuilding, manufacturing, gov’t organization, city planning, music, & fashion
When he returned from Europe, Peter imposed new reforms to Westernize Russia:
Adopted European fashions by banning beards for men & veils for women
Adopted a European calendar
Improved farming techniques
Used mercantilism as an economic policy
Modernized the army & navy
Created iron & lumber factories
Made himself head of the Orthodox Church (like Henry VIII in England)
Peter expanded Russia’s borders & built a new “European-style” Russian capital at St. Petersburg
As a result of Peter the Great, Russia became a more advanced, Western nation
But, modernization was a slow process & Russia had not fully industrialized by World War I
During World War I, revolutionaries overthrew the monarchy & created a radical new gov’t based on socialism
Russian empire building was motivated by the desire to subdue the pastoral peoples of central Asia and establish greater security.
Remember their historical encounter with The Mongols?
WHAP is not all about "Leaders" & "Men" or in this case "Women, too."
It is about ideas, comparisons, themes, & concepts.
In this case, the main point is that Russia expanded quickly. Fur trade and the riches of the eastern territories drove this expansion as much, or more so than the leaders did.
But their stories are pretty interesting, aren't they?
Profits were the chief incentive for Russian expansion
Had a similar toll on native Siberians as it had on Indians
Dependence on Russian goods
Depletion of fur-bearing animal
Russians didn’t have competition, so they forced Siberians to provide furs instead of negotiating commercial agreements
Private Russian hunters & trappers competed directly with Siberians populations
Expansion made Russia a very militarizedstate
Colonization experience was different from the Americas
Conquest of territories with which Russia had long interacted
Conquest took place at the same time as development of the Russian state
The Russian Empire remained intact until 1991 (more on the Soviets in CH 22)
Both driven by demands of the world market
Both had similar consequences for the native populations that participated in them - both native Siberians & Native Americans suffered from new diseases & dependence on the goods for which they traded furs.
However, the trades also differed in that Native Americans dealt with several competing European nations who generally obtained their furs through commercial negotiations. No such competition existed in Siberia, where Russian authorities imposed a tax or tribute, payable in furs, on every able-bodied Siberian male between 18 & 50 years of age.
A further difference lay in the large-scale presence of private Russian hunters & trappers, who competed directly with their Siberian counterparts.
“Soft Gold” or animal furs were often used as payment, money, & source of barter: Great value.
Animal populations declined because of hunting. While natives in both America and Russian Siberia were greatly impacted by foreign disease.
Muscovites is to Russians as Europeans is to Native Americans. In Siberia there was competition, Muscovites forced tribute.
Yasak: fur tax that the natives of Siberia were forced to pay to the tsarist government of Russia. The political independence & economic prosperity of nomadic peoples came to an end.
CompareNorth Americanfur trade&Siberian fur trade.