A.P. European History
Homework #3, Question 3
Peter the Great was able to keep Russia in competition with other European countries through numerous policies and laws. The overall goal of Peter the Great was to westernize Russia, so it would be able to keep up with its neighboring European countries. The first and probably most important step that he took was moving Russia’s capital from Moscow to Saint Petersburg, in 1917. This moved the capital out of the middle of Russia, and closer to the heartland of Europe. The goal of this was to keep the Russian capital in tune to what was going on in and around Europe. After deciding to move the capital to Saint Petersburg, Peter the Great rebuilt the city with all of the latest European architectural style and flare that was becoming common throughout Europe. Prior to this, it was hard for Russia to keep up with what was happening in Europe, because the capital of Russia was in the middle of its enormous country. Another major way in which Peter the Great advanced his society was by advancing its military forces, and creating a navy. This allowed Russia to have some bargaining power when they became more involved in European interests. To better manage his country, Peter the Great divided Russia into 50 states or provinces, called Gubernias. Controlling each state would be a governor, who was in charge of the civic affairs of his province. Although the governors would hold no major political power, he was suppose to make the people of each province feel united, and strive to work toward a common goal. This however did not work, but is nonetheless a clear example of Peter the Great attempting to advance his country and society. Whether for better of worse, Peter the Great certainly did change and advance Russian society.