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Session #15 - The Northern War and the Rise of Russia

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University of Toronto St. George
Piotr Wrobel

October 30 , 2012 THE NORTHERN WAR OF 1700-21 AND THE RISE OF RUSSIA IN THE 18 CENTURY th th  Russia during the late 17 c. was landlocked – there was no communication with Western Europe, problems with transportation  There was a medieval form of government in Russia; it did not participate in European affairs and was still a half Asian state  By the year 1700, a revolution took place in Russia Peter 1 (the Great)  Was he a reformer or a revolutionary? – In Russia, Peter was called the “transformer” of his time; many Westerners moved to Russia because it had become a land of opportunities (Germans, French during the French Rev., religious denominations)  Some historians compare him to Lenin because both transformed Russia completely, in different ways  Some of his ideas were completely new – Russia had no navy; there was a port in Archangel ~ Peter built a navy of 850 vassals, dominating the Baltic Sea  A new dynasty rose up in Russia – the Romanovs (boyar family)  There was a tradition in Russia that the tsar ruled and could do whatever he/she wanted to due, the parliamentary system disappeared  There was no self-government  This did not work efficiently as the Romanovs were quite weak rulers for a time, up until Peter  Until Peter introduced Western ideas and ideas of his combined with autocracy, then this tradition worked well  Born in 1672 – his father died when he was a child  In 1682, he formally became the co-tsar with his brother Ivan – power split between two families  Became tsar in 1696 and in 1697, he decided to go the West – Peter participated in a team of diplomats but incognito  Overtime, he was fascinated with everything in the West – worked in the docks of Amsterdam (ship-building interest)  He returned to Russia earlier than he had planned due to some rebellions  He decided to introduce reforms – practically organize a new country  He was against the old Russia clothing and old look – ordered a banning on beards  He was interested in medicine but his special interest was in the army  The Russian army was inefficient and realized that he needed a modern army to realize his goals – new weaponry, new organization, new uniforms etc. October 30 , 2012 Northern War (1700-21)  Sweden controlled certain Russian provinces, once occupied by the Teutonic knights, and Peter wanted to move the borders of Russia to the West and end its landlocked state  Sweden inhabited Pomerania at one point and Peter considered this a problem  He decided to organize a coalition to fight against Sweden  Things were in turmoil, Peter used this as an opportunity to go to war against Sweden whose king Charles XII was young in 1700  1700 – Coalition attacked Sweden (Danes, Saxons, and Poles did not initially participate in the war) ~ Poland was a neutral country and did not theoretically participate – Sweden tried to put its king on the Polish throne but he had to escape to France ~ The Saxon king returned to Poland as an ally of Russia ~ Peter became a mediator in this war and in 1717 there was a “silent parliament” (no one was aloud to say a word as they were watched by Russian soldiers) – this is a symbolic date in Polish history as the Polish- Lithuanian Commonwealth became essentially a Russian-controlled protectorate ~ Sweden eventually became a Russian protectorate too after its defeat  Charles XII prov
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