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Lecture 3

HIST 245 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Protestantism, Winter Palace, Signify


Department
History
Course Code
HIST 245
Professor
Ana Siljak
Lecture
3

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Lecture 3: Peter the Great, Part 2
I. A Well-Ordered European State
a. Although he reformed Russian military in a short time, he could not
restrict his reforming tendencies to military alone or else external
circumstances could cause downfall of carefully reformed standing army.
b. New standing army meant large number of soldiers Russian state had to
take care of, uniforms, ammunition, housing, people paid to train them and
thus state needed more money. How do you get more money?
i. Raise taxes, initially embarked on haphazard taxation policy of
taxing everything could fine.
1. Could only efficiently collect taxes if have structure, and
can’t just keep collecting taxes haphazardly have to have a
system, and a structure to implement this. Peter begins to
regularize the system of taxation.
ii. Two other motivations in reforming justice:
1. Distaste for Russian traditional dynastic politics (his
unhappy childhood of dynastic conflict which led to family
members to be killed) and determined to smash that system
in a variety of different ways. So many reforms can be seen
as a way to get at big dynastic families to not control
Russia.
2. Sincere belief that the West had to the answers to Russia
problems.
a. Doesn’t have to be Westernization but travelled and
saw how effectively the west had reformed military
and technology so his belief is because they had to
have solution to social and political problems as
well.
b. Began to discuss new political and social reforms
sweeping through Europe (pre-enlightenment – but
scholars who said states needed to be done through
rationality with scientific means, similar laws of
parliament to laws of physics, well governed state
was one not based on personal whims on monarch
or dynastic politics but on firm, unchanging legal
principles to which the ruler could be subject too).
c. Such well ordered state would continuously trying
to increase military and economic might by
encouraging more reform, and help economic well
being of everyday citizens using rationale methods.
II. Transforming the State
Controlling the Economy

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1. To raise more taxes, need to control
economy.
2. To fund new military and
bureaucracy meant taxes and tried to
tax everything he could. So tax
policy intentionally was haphazard,
kept adding things that could be
taxable. Rented rooms, ice blocks,
sunflower seeds, and monastery bells
and continued till no longer
profitable and so he established
something more regular. Knew he
couldn’t just tax population to death,
becomes unproductive and revolt
threatens – 1705 revolt in city of
Astrakhan over too many taxes.
3. Then Peter turned to Europe, 1718 –
radical, taking of the Census. Census
was used to determine number of
people tax eligible and determine
how much person should pay for
upkeep of military. 6 year later 1724,
new tax introduced and that was poll
tax. Tax on every single person paid
every year. Both census and poll tax
represented new rational approach to
problems.
a. These cannot be done until
Russian Administration is
centralized and streamlined.
B. Reordering the Administration – copying European model
Pre-Peter: two important institutions traditions: Boyar Duma (traditional) 17th century.
Duma council of highest nobility in Russia, highest members of Russian elite decided
according to family status. Argue a lot how much power and what kind of power duma
had. What we know is that they were close to Tsar, highest members of nobility,
deliberated with him on important matters on policy, how and to what extent is unclear.
All of these people called themselves the slaves of the Tsar.
Below duma were actually administration and bureaucratic tasks handled by Prikaz (17th
century). – Bureaucratic offices created to serve specific function, no notion of
rationalizing or hieraching these functions. Just set of offices created to deal with
problem that existed at a time. Example: deal with accounts, dealt with reception of
foreign ambassadors into Russia, when province of Kazan conquered, Prikaz created and
dealt with issues to conquest of Kazan. Head was member of ruling families appointed
according to rank of families with people who actually take notes.
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Peter travelled through Europe and saw many different systems and he thought Russian
system to chaotic, needed to be reformed and 3 systems:
1) Functional Organization (Colleges)
a. Functions of bureaucracy needed to be divided into major
categories, war, finance, and justice. No longer have haphazard
giving to people.
b. Idea was that war; finance and justice no or little overlap so
each bureaucratic element had own set of tasks. Did wish
number of categories be as small as possible?
2) Regional Organization (Guberniias)
a. Peter had idea that good idea to reorganize enormous territory
into regional administrative entities.
b. Clear administrative demarcations, each region had local
government so central government could delegate tasks.
c. Through a Russian provincial registration. Divides Russia up
into governorship and each headed by governor. Governors
given specific tasks in administration of provinces and Peters
main interests reflect in 2 main tasks governor had:
i. Recruitment of soldiers
ii. Collection of taxes to pay for it.
d. How make sure you have control of governors: threaten for
torture and treason if do not give required amount of recruits
and tax revenue required.
3) Hierarchical Organization (Senate)
a. Hierarchy needed to oversee each level of administration.
b. Rid of old Duma and create something new – Senate.
c. Senate tasks are to replace old Duma, serve council for Tsar
and discuss matters of state with him. Other functions:
i. Appoint presidents of colleges
ii. Oversee work of colleges and work of provinces
iii. Make sure that country functioned properly when Peter
was at war.
d. Senate provided with whatever they needed, desks, clerks and
duties down to regulations to govern meetings were described.
e. All reforms assisted peter in different ways; efficient collection
of money, better recruits and slows dismantling of dynamic
politics.
These basic principles governed European statecraft and for most part, Peter borrowed
from Sweden.
Peter just gets rid of whole prikaz system and in its places, institutes 10 specific colleges.
War College (synonym for ministry) Come from Swedish word.
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