Russia by Julia Wainwright
Map before and after Peter the Great's reign. 1689-1725
Russia Map.gif
http://wps.ablongman.com/wps/media/objects/262/268312/art/figures/KISH_16_375.gif

Economic Backdrop
The economy during Peter the Great and Catherine the Great's rules was largely influenced by the Tsar and nobility. They controlled most of the money and taxed the poor, which made them richer and kept the poor, without money. Some of Peter the Great's goals were to Westernize Russia's industries and agriculture. He succeeded in Westernizing industry by building many factories, but it was difficult to persuade farmers to use modern technologies and he gave up on reforming the agriculture.2 St. Petersburg, became a major seaport as Russia gained more access to European trade routes.1 Russia had many natural resources, but because of its harsh climate and large size, most of these resources remained untouched. Peter the Great created a new poll tax and used the money for an active foreign policy and to increase manufacturing and trade throughout the country. Catherine the Great also worked towards a Westernized Russia and created many reforms to continue to modernize agriculture and industry.

1 "Peter the Great (Peter I)" http://www.saint-petersburg.com/history/peter1st.asp
2 "Peter the Great- Domestic Reforms" http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/peter_the_great2.htm

Political Backdrop
Russia has been ruled by many "Houses" or royal families. Long before Peter the Great was Tsar, his ancestors, members of the House of Romanov, held power. After Theodore III died in 1682, Peter, the son of Alexis I, a former Tsar, and his half brother Ivan V ruled jointly. When Ivan died, Peter became the "Sovereign of all Russia."1 Peter the Great replaced Russia's old, unorganized government with a Senate that controlled all branches of administration.2 He also greatly improved Russia's foreign policies.3 After Peter the Great died in 1725, there were many Tsars, but none of them were as successful as Peter until Catherine the Great. She encouraged westernization and modernization in Russia and education for the elite.4 During her reign, Catherine created the Legislative Commission which allowed delegates from across Russia to discuss the problems they saw and the things they thought the country needed to solve these problems.5 Together, Peter and Catherine modernized Russia and brought many Western idea's into their country.

Catherine the Great



1 "Peter the Great" http://www.biography.com/people/peter-the-great-9542228
2 "Peter the Great" http://www.biography.com/people/peter-the-great-9542228
3 "Peter the Great" http://www.biography.com/people/peter-the-great-9542228
4 "Catherine the Great" http://womenshistory.about.com/od/catherinegreat/p/catherinegreat.htm
5 "Catherine II" http://www.biography.com/people/catherine-ii-9241622?page=2

Timeline


Aspects of Culture
Social Backdrop
During Peter the Great and Catherine the Great's reigns, the Feudal system controlled much of the population's lives. In the 13th century, many peasants became homeless and moved onto the land of rich Russians. By the mid 17th century the peasants, or serfs, were under complete control of the landowners. Most of the landowners were nobility, but the Tsars and religious groups also owned land.1 There were a large number of landowners and a larger number of serfs. The middle class was nearly non-existent, which caused a very unbalanced social class system. Most serfs were uneducated and once they became serfs, they were treated like slaves and were often sold to other landowners. Many people were also born into serfdom and one they were in it, it was hard to get out.

1 "Russian Serfs" http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/RUSserfs.htm

Education
Peter the Great began mass education in Russia during the beginning of his reign. When he was Tsar, Peter traveled to Germany and Holland and when he returned, wanted to establish a modern education system in Russia, like the ones he had seen during his travels. He brought many professionals into his empire and established secondary-schools, or gymnasias to educate his people.1 These gymnasias, which were originally co-educational and eventually were separated into boys and girls schools, were attended by children for between 10 and 12 years. When these schools were first being established, only people in high social classes could afford to send their children to them, but by the late 18th century many schools were opened for the general public. In the mid-18th century universities in Moscow and St. Petersburg were founded and students who completed secondary school could attend. After attending these universities for 5 years, students received a "Diploma of Higher Education" in a specialized area.2 Peter the Great made education a priority during his reign and many of the Tsar who succeeded him continued this trend.

1 "Peter the Great" http://www.biography.com/people/peter-the-great-9542228
2 "Public Education in Russia from Peter I to the Present"
http://www.sras.org/russian_public_education

Artistic Innovation
In the late 17th century, Russian art began to drastically change. Before Peter the Great's reign, art in Russia was dominated by religion and the church.1 During the beginning of his reign, Peter the Great brought European artists into Russia. The Europeans influenced many Russian artists and they began to combined Western style portraits and images of saints. These paintings were called "parsuna" coming from the Latin word for mask.2 In the 18th century portrait painting became very popular. Many of Peter the Great's nobility wanted paintings of themselves in their palaces. They wanted these portraits to not only look like them, but also to represent their position is society. They also wanted these paintings to bring out their "spiritual" and " inner qualities."3 Prints and engravings, which were easy to create became popular as a form of propaganda.4 Art was an important part of the culture in Russia.


Catherine the Lawgiver in the Temple of the Goddess of Justice by Levitskii in 1783. http://web.ku.edu/~russcult/visual_index/images/painting_1600_1880/09catherinegreat.jpeg
Catherine the Lawgiver in the Temple of the Goddess of Justice by Levitskii in 1783. http://web.ku.edu/~russcult/visual_index/images/painting_1600_1880/09catherinegreat.jpeg




Panorama of the Summer Gardens in St. Petersburg. View from the Neva River. By Alexei Zubov in 1717. http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_En/03/hm3_6_2d.html
Panorama of the Summer Gardens in St. Petersburg. View from the Neva River. By Alexei Zubov in 1717. http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_En/03/hm3_6_2d.html




Tree of the Russian State by Ushakov in the mid 17th century. http://web.ku.edu/~russcult/visual_index/images/painting_1600_1880/01treeofrussianstate.jpeg
Tree of the Russian State by Ushakov in the mid 17th century. http://web.ku.edu/~russcult/visual_index/images/painting_1600_1880/01treeofrussianstate.jpeg




Agreement on the Royal Succession by Grigory Musikiysky 1717 (Hermitage Museum) http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_En/03/hm3_6_2a.html
Agreement on the Royal Succession by Grigory Musikiysky 1717 (Hermitage Museum) http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_En/03/hm3_6_2a.html




Vladimir and Rogneda by Anton Losenko in 1770. http://web.ku.edu/~russcult/visual_index/images/painting_1600_1880/0718thcenthist.jpeg
Vladimir and Rogneda by Anton Losenko in 1770. http://web.ku.edu/~russcult/visual_index/images/painting_1600_1880/0718thcenthist.jpeg




Peter I Against a Scene of the Battle of Poltava by Philippe Behagle and Ivan Kobylyakov in 1722 (Hermitage Museum) http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_En/03/hm3_6_2b.html
Peter I Against a Scene of the Battle of Poltava by Philippe Behagle and Ivan Kobylyakov in 1722 (Hermitage Museum) http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_En/03/hm3_6_2b.html


1 "Russian Culture" http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_En/03/hm3_6_2.html
2 "Russian Art from the 17th to the 20th centuries"
http://web.ku.edu/~russcult/visual_index/russianart17-20.html
3 "Russian Art from the 17th to the 20th centuries"
http://web.ku.edu/~russcult/visual_index/russianart17-20.html
4 "Russian Culture" http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_En/03/hm3_6_2.html

Classic Literary Texts
Beginning with Peter the Great's reign and continuing through Catherine the Great's, Russian literature was greatly influenced by Western cultures.1 European classics and philosophy became very popular among the high class. During this time literature also began to become less influenced by religious themes. Antiokh Kantemir, Vasiliy Trediakovskiy, Mikhail Lomonosov, and Aleksandr Sumarokov were all dominant Russian writers during the mid 18th century that made Western writing styles more popular in Russia.2 Also during this time Gavriil Derzhavin was changing Russian poetry by making it more Western.3 Russian Literature changed a lot during Peter and Catherine's rules, but it would not be what it is today without these changes.










1 "Literature" http://countrystudies.us/russia/43.htm
2 "Lieterature" http://countrystudies.us/russia/43.htm
3 "Literature" http://countrystudies.us/russia/43.htm

Religion
The main religion in Russia is Orthodox, which believes it is the true church of Christianity. In the mid 17th century, Patriarch Nikon reformed the Russian Orthodox church to make it more like the Greek church. This was called the Russian Patriarchate. The people who refused to reform and instead chose to continue practicing Russian traditions become known as the "Old Believers."1 In 1721, Peter the Great abolished the Russian Patriarchate and appointed the Holy Synod.2 The Holy Synod was a group of state officials who administrated the church and kept the it under close state supervision. Because of this new connection between the church and the state, the Orthodox religion became less influential in the everyday lives of people during the 18th and 19th centuries.

1 "The Orthodox Church of Russia" http://www.cnewa.org/default.aspx?ID=17&pagetypeID=9&sitecode=HQ&pageno=1
2 "The Russian Orthodox Church" http://countrystudies.us/russia/38.htm

Architecture
In 1703 Peter the Great moved the capital of his empire from Moscow to St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg was designed based on European architecture later known as Petrine Baroque.1 This style of architecture was inspired by Swedish, Danish, and Dutch buildings being built at the time. Peter the Great's original Winter Palace as well as the rococo Winter Palace and the Smolny Cathedral were all designed by Italian architects using the Petrine Baroque style of architecture.

1 "Petrine Baroque" http://www.rusartnet.com/russian-artistic-movements/18th-century/baroque/petrine-baroque



The Smolny Cathedral. Designed by Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli for the Empress Elizabeth in St. Petersburg http://www.cathedral.ru/smolnii_sobor/
The Smolny Cathedral. Designed by Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli for the Empress Elizabeth in St. Petersburg http://www.cathedral.ru/smolnii_sobor/



Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. Designed by Bartolomeo Rastrelli in 1754 http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_En/05/hm5_1_1b.html
Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. Designed by Bartolomeo Rastrelli in 1754 http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_En/05/hm5_1_1b.html



The Menshikov Palace. Many European architects worked together to design this palace for Prince Alexander Menshikov in 1710. http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_En/03/hm3_9_1a.html
The Menshikov Palace. Many European architects worked together to design this palace for Prince Alexander Menshikov in 1710. http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_En/03/hm3_9_1a.html


Observations about what we have learned.

Before this project I did not know much about Russia during this time period. I learned about Peter the Great and Catherine the Great and what they did to become "Greats." I also learned that finding information on the internet is not as easy as it sounds. Finding specific information is difficult and sometime you cannot find what you are looking for. Researching on the internet takes time and patients. I had to look through a lot of information to find what I wanted. Although there is a lot of information about this time period in Russia, a lot of it is from unreliable sources or is not what I needed. The internet can be time saving, but it can also be very time consuming when sorting through all of the information that is out there.

Biblography


A&E Television Networks, "Peter the Great." Last modified 2012. Accessed November 2012.
http://www.biography.com/people/peter-the-great-9542228.

A&E Television Networks, "Catherine II." Last modified 2012. Accessed November 2012.
http://www.biography.com/people/catherine-ii-9241622?page=2

Curtis, Glenn. Library of Congress, "Russia." Accessed November 2012. http://countrystudies.us/russia/.

Lewis, Jone. About.com, "Catherine the Great." Accessed November 2012.
http://womenshistory.about.com/od/catherinegreat/p/catherinegreat.htm.

McMillan, Peter. Spartacus Educational Publishers Ltd, "Russian Serfs." Accessed November 2012.
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/RUSserfs.htm.

Trueman, Chris. HistoryLearningSite, "Peter the Great - Domestic Reforms." Accessed November 2012.
http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/peter_the_great2.htm.

Roberson, Ronald. CNEWA, "The Orthodox Chruch of Russia." Accessed November 4, 2012.
http://www.cnewa.org/default.aspx?ID=17&pagetypeID=9&sitecode=HQ&pageno=1.

State Hermitage Museum, "Russian Culture." Last modified 2011. Accessed November 2012.
http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_En/03/hm3_6_2.html.

Stillings, Renee. SRAS, "Public Education in Russia from Peter I to the Present." Last modified 2005. Accessed November
2012. http://www.sras.org/russian_public_education.

World History: The Modern Era, s.v. "Czars of Russia, 1462-1917," accessed November 4, 2012. http://worldhistory.abc-
clio.com/.

ZAO "Saint-Petersburg.com", "Peter the Great (Peter I)." Accessed November 2012. http://www.saint-
petersburg.com/history/peter1st.asp.