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General History/Ap Euro: Tsar Peter the Great

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Question
Hi, I have some questions regarding Peter the Great and his Western travels and reforms:

1. Why was Peter the Great fascinated by Western culture? Why westernize Russia?

2. What had initially motivated Peter the Great to travel to Europe?

3. Why did Peter the Great feel Russian Culture should be westernized as well?

4. Were there any Western ideas he held back from Russia?

5. What was the overall impact of Peter the Greatís reforms on Russia?

Answering these questions would be much appreciated and help me understand Peter the Great and his European tour and reforms!

Answer
When Peter was young (Sophia ruled as regent until he reached age at which he could ascend throne) he spent a great deal of time in the Foreign Quarter.  He was fascinated by the knowledge and advances of the Westerners, particularly the Germans.  Russia was very backward, basically missing out on the Renaissance and Reformation.  Peter despised the fact that Europeans looked down on Russia as ignorant, unwashed and uncouth.  He also wished to  establish Russia as a great nation.  His travels in Europe were to educate himself about what worked in the West and to acquire experts in various fields to bring their skills to Russia.  He built a strong navy, reorganized his army according to Western standards, secularized schools, established more control over the conservative minded Orthodox Church, and introduced new administrative reforms.

Additional information:
http://www.studentpulse.com/articles/376/the-reign-of-peter-the-great

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/peter-the-great/peter-the-great-domestic-re

http://russiapedia.rt.com/prominent-russians/the-romanov-dynasty/peter-i/

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