The Times and Tribulations of a Power Machine
A piece on the various issues of Russia
The Autocracy in Russia had a number of various problems interfering with the advancement of the country. These problems included rebellions, politics, and people who have been described as “backward thinking”. The Russian Autocracy may have suffered problems, but the country was increasing as a great power of Europe.
Strong government was not new in Russia. The principality of Moscow, the precursor of modern Russia, had an autocratic tradition that had reached back hundreds of years. The autocracy of Ivan III and Ivan IV was followed by Смутное время or “Time of Troubles”, a period anarchy characterized by popular revolts and invasions by the neighboring states of Sweden and Poland. Throughout the 1700s, Russia was plagued by peasant and Cossack rebellions and by a great schism that split the Russian Orthodox Church. Thus, at the beginning of the 1680s, Russia remained a huge “backward” state at the eastern edge of the European world.
Ascending to the throne at the age of ten, Peter I (reigned 1682-1725), called Peter the great, was a human whirlwind, shaking up backward, traditional Russia as it had never been before and would not be again until the 20th century. Peter implemented sweeping reforms aimed at modernizing Russia. Heavily influenced by his advisors from Western Europe, Peter reorganized the Russian army along modern lines and dreamed of making Russia a maritime power. He faced much opposition to these policies at home, but brutally suppressed any and all rebellions against his authority, the rebelling of streltsy, Bashkirs, Astrakhan and including the greatest civil uprising of his reign, the Bulavin Rebellion. Further, Peter implemented social modernization in an absolute manner by requiring courtiers, state officials, and the military to shave their beards and adopt modern clothing styles. To improve his nation's position on the...