• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Does Peter I of Russia deserve the title 'The Great'?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Does Peter I of Russia deserve the title 'The Great'? Peter I of Russia was bestowed with the title 'The Great' in 1721 by Chancellor Golovkin. There are only three examples in European history of contemporaries being offered the same title: the Great Elector after he resurrected Brandenburg-Prussia from the Thirty Years War; Frederick the Great who turned Prussia into a European force and Catherine who built on Peter's progress, transforming Russia into the predominant power of Europe. Opinions as to whether Peter also deserve the title ' Great' has remained largely polarised. Lindey Hughes and Alex de Jonge argue that, on the whole, Peter does deserve the prestigious title. Anderson and Kliuchevsky disagree saying that Peter was largely a favour. This essay will argue that Peter does, in some respects, deserve the title whereas in others he does not, based on an examination of the different factors that could make a monarch 'Great': the grandeur of royalty, large scale political changes, the quality of his domestic rule, his popularity, military achievements and whether his reputation lasted. ...read more.

Middle

If he never used Frederick the Great's phrase 'the first servant of the state', he came very close t it when he struck out 'the interests of his Tsarist Majestry' from a draft decree and replaced it with 'the interests of the state' as a proper object of a soldier's loyalty. However, the statement of Peter being an enlightened monarch must be with caution. The Enlightenment is argued my some as not having met him and many of his reforms were generally introduced as a result of immediate necessity, rather than as part of a rational plan. The popularity of a monarch is regarded by some as being a prerequisite for being given the title 'Great'. Peter recognised that he lacked this, saying to a foreign ambassador 'I am represented as a cruel tyrant'. Traditional clergy saw Peter as an anti-Christ, while in the church in general there was distrust of his anti-clerical measures, secularization and westernisation program. The traditional nobility were alienated by the introduction of state service by the cost of war with Sweden and by the apparent westernization. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lastly, Peter's gain of the Baltic also resulted in the demise of Russia's traditional enemy, Sweden. Lastly, a monarch's 'greatness' can be found by assessing whether their reputation lasted after their death. At first he was the subject of a cult, proliferated by Feofan Prokopovich and later figures including Catherine the Great. During the nineteenth century views began to polarise. He was either the source of all Russian progress or a destroyer of tradition and culture. During the twentieth century views became even more ambivalent, he was portrayed on the one hand as the ultimate representative of the exploitative western system and on the other as one of the great heroes of Russian history who personally worked alongside his compatriots. Therefore, the impact of Peter the Great on Russian society and imagination is unbroken, his only serious rival being Lenin. Like Peter, Lenin's reputation was launched by the creation of a personality cult. But Lenin's cult was destroyed by the collapse of the ideology to which it was tied. Peter has now re-emerged as the key figure in Russian history as point symbolised in 1991 by the restoration to Leningrad of its original name, St Petersburg. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Historical Periods section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Historical Periods essays

  1. The Enlightenment Essay

    "Francis Bacon is known for his association with empiricism, experiment and induction. He made careful observation of the natural world and collected as much data as possible and then he would draw conclusions or general laws" (Norton). Descartes' method took the opposite approach.

  2. What was the impact of the Norman Conquest

    However, the Barons were not able to grant all the knights themselves, therefore they too shared their land, and gave a fraction of plots (manors) towards men who promised to serve as knights. The Baron often lived in a castle at the centre of his estates on his own province (demesne), whilst the knights stayed in their manors.

  1. Why Was King Alfred So Great?

    Clearly this proves his intelligence, and willingness to work for victory as opposed to allowing other to simply do his bidding. This further implemented Alfred's desire for fairness and justice, something that was prevalent throughout his social reform policies. Alfred made sweeping changes to the operation of his main army,

  2. Strategy in Cortes' conquest of Mexico

    Indeed, Montezuma, at the behest of his Spanish captors, had exhorted his subjects to cease their attack on the Spaniards. The Aztecs ignored Montezuma's pleas, instead redoubling their efforts against the Spaniards. This was, as Thomas observes, "a different kind of war from what they were accustomed."23 This was an

  1. The First English Civil War

    On the extreme right of the Parliamentary army, which stood in the open ground of Enborne Heath, took place a famous incident. Here, two of the London regiments, fresh to war as they were, were exposed to a trial as severe as that which broke down the veteran Spanish infantry at Rocroi in this same year.

  2. The structures of the Soviet State were created by Lenin and abused by Stalin. ...

    Many saw Lenin's New Economic Policy as a "major transformation that was occurring politically, economically, culturally and spiritually"14 and that, by 1928, "agricultural and industrial production had been restored to the 1913 (pre-WWI)

  1. Despite frequent changes in policy, Russian and Soviet governments were spectacularly unsuccessful in securing ...

    aimed to improve living standards and the second (1933-37) and third (1938-41) aimed to highlight and thus, amend, Russia?s weaknesses[24]. Industrialisation was relatively successful as by the late 1930?s many workers conditions had improved and they had acquired better paid jobs and unemployment was almost non-existent. Accounts from the time support this view: ?Good progress was made?4?500 new factories,

  2. To What Extent Was Russia Modernised During the Personal Reign of Peter the Great? ...

    Russian Orthodox Church says that if men allow their beards to grow they look more like Jesus and therefore devoted to God, they also believed that by shaving off your beard you were quite feminine. To try and get the Russian people to conform to this reform Peter began to

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work