Peter the Great or Peter I, czar of Russia, reigned from
(1672-1725). In many ways he bettered the country
of Russia, but in other ways he hurt Russia. The ways in which bettered the country outweighs the bad
effects put upon Russians during his reign. Most of the ways that he improved the country stemmed from
him forcing Western European culture on his people. One of the ways in which he bettered Russia was that
he expanded their land. Land expansion meant that Russia became bigger that the rest of Europe and Russia
now had sea and fresh water ports important for trade. He also improved education, the military, and
transportation. Some of the negative aspects of Peterís rule was that the Russians taxes increased and their
standard of life had decrease. At all cost and with his perseverance Peter had made Russia a European
Peterís greatest accomplishment was that he educated many of the would be illiterate Russians. Russians
were at the highest point of education that they had ever been. He standardized a simpler Russian alphabet
and introduced Arabic numerals. He started Russian academies for higher education. For the Boyards he
made the college aged people to go out of the country for five years to study at a school in a Western
European school. For the first time in Russian history there were the publishing of newspapers. He also
changed the calendar to agree with the current calendar, the Gregorian.
Peter next best accomplishment was that he expanded the state and therefor encouraged trade. Until the
middle part of his reign Russia was land locked which meant that they had to hope that the other countries
would let them through their country and water to go other countries seeking trade. The only way they
could trade was with neighboring countries and that was still not good. Through wars with other countries
such as Sweden they acquired lands that would give them seaports. With this came the establishment of a
large seaport called St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg brought along the establishment in Russia of newly
invented canals, stone roads, and drainage systems. The success was due to no pay labor of the peasants
and the nobles having to spend time in that city. The city became known as the window to Europe.
The accomplishment that is both good and bad was the implementation of a strong standing army. The
main reason for why it was good was that it gave Russia victories in wars that resulted in land gains for
trading. He added the Kossacks to the military that was a great move because these men were great
horsemen. Something else had grown from his army policy that benefited that peasants the nobles were also
put in the army. Because of this the peasants through his military merit advancement policy could become
nobles. Everyone at this time were equal in status. The reason for why it was bad was that it gave Peter
absolute control over everyone. 85 to 90 percent of the revenue rose by taxes were given to the military.
There were also three tax hikes to pay for his many wars and his troops. People did not realize it but their
lives could have been at stake with any false actions.
Peter the Great was bad in that he was very cruel to the people of Russia. He heavily taxed everyone, so the
serfs had to pay taxes for themselves and their owners. In the case of St. Petersburg the serfs had build
without pay and those who did not build paid taxes. Peter was so mean that he tortured his son to death and
that the people of Russia were saying some bad stuff under their breath about Peter. Due to the frequent
wars the people that he drafted for the army had great chances of dying in action. In wars with the Turks he
had lost some of their pride.
Peter the Great of Russia was a great Czar whose actions helped the country more than it hurt the country.
He expanded the territory of Russia and trade with it. He also introduced Russia to Western culture. From
that came education and inventions. He was also known for having a great military and winning many
battles. In at least one major way he hurt the country, he raised taxes three times.
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