Catherine the Great - Research Paper Example

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Following the profound change in Europe’s religious landscape in the course of the sixteenth century, known as “the Reformation”, a much radical period ensued, which was named after the intellectual movement of the mid-seventeenth century – the Enlightenment – and…
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Download file to see previous pages khail, Peter I, known as Peter the Great, who nearly transformed the backward country into a major power by the early eighteenth century – he succeeded in reforming both the army and administration, created the Russian navy, encouraged trade and secular education, as well as introduced Western technology (Hatt 12). The Church had been deprived of its privileges and was largely subordinated to the state; while the power of the Russian nobles – boyars – was also curbed (Hatt 12; Williams 343-345).
Following the victory over Sweden in the Great Northern War, Russia expanded into the northwest, conquering the Neva valley, along with the other Baltic provinces of Sweden, like Ingria, Estonia, Livonia, Vyborg, and part of Karelia; the fort, whose construction had begun in a desolate area of marshland nearby the mouth of the Neva River in 1703, some nine years later became the capital city of the Russian empire under the name St Petersburg (Williams 345; Hatt 12). Peter the Great died before he could name his successor – some six years after the death of his son Peter, by his second marriage – so the son of Tsarevich Alexis, and Peter the Great’s grandson, became the emperor of Russia as Peter II (Williams 346). During his short reign dominated by two powerful magnates’ factions – the Menshikov and Dolgoruky factions – Russia played a rather passive role abroad (Williams 346). Peter II died before he could marry Dolgoruky’s daughter, Catherine, and was succeeded by the niece of Peter the Great, Anna Ivanovna (Williams 346).
Under Empress Anna, Russia was ruled by her favorite, Birone; at home, this period was characterized by a decreased Crown control over the nobility, while abroad Russia gained control over Poland in the war of the Polish succession, as well as over Azov in the Russian – Turkish war of 1735-9 (Williams 25). One year after her death, i.e. in 1741, a palace coup carried out by the guards of the Preobrazhenskii regiment overthrew ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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