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A look at the russian imperial rule under czar alexis in the 1660s

Of course, through his well-known zest and ambition, he tried to solve most of them, and made steps in that direction.

  1. A History of Russia. By the Grace of God I am called the true Christian czar, though because of my own evil, worldly actions I am not worthy to be called a dog...
  2. He had the energy and discipline to oversee the smallest aspects of governing as well as the broad policy. In September 1697 Prince M.
  3. Festivals gave special prominence to the history of the Russian Orthodox Church, celebrating earlier hierarchs who had assumed a strong political role, such as Metropolitans Philip and Alexis, and paying homage to the ruling dynasty with requiems for departed royalty such as Tsarevich Alexis Alekseevich, whose death had not been marked in previous years. The rooms were cluttered with the finest Western furniture, mirrors and interesting mechanical devices made in Europe.
  4. Ivan's role as Orthodox figure-head meant that Peter had less contact with the church hierarchy.

However, his actions did not always have the wanted effect. As his own rule shows, and later on the rule of Catherine the Great, the greatest effect of his reforms was that Russian society found itself splintered in classes that could hardly have a dialogue, and even in the context of the same class, factions arose and disputes never ceased.

Those reforms that had the greatest impact on the structure of society were the increase of taxation, the setting up of the Synod, the Westernization of the country and people, the bringing in of foreign experts, and the introduction of state service. Along with these, the method Peter the Great used in dealing with his rivals and enemies speaks to the same issue.

The introduction of heavy taxation fell more on the shoulders of the peasants and serfs, which contributed to the aggravation of their already precarious situation: Another reform was the creation of the Synod, and through it, a system of Church control that soon extended over monasteries and Church possessions and lands, from which Peter tried to get as much money as possible, always needed because of the constant war that he was waging.

In addition, he tolerated other denominations. But these reforms in the Church angered not only the Orthodox but also the Old Believers,3 and of both there were between the elite. Along with changes in the Church came changes in traditions and society, which Peter considered to be essential.

He tried to Westernize Russia by all means, from the cutting of beards, Westernization of vestments to the change of the calendar,5 to the big society parties that women were now allowed to attend, to the schools of science and technology such as the School of mathematics and navigation and the Academy of Sciences6. Moreover, Westernization included the call of foreign experts in different domains in Russia.

But this did not necessarily create a better climate.

Petersburg and the involvement of the foreigners: More importantly, this point is related to the way Peter dealt with those opposing him, his enemies and his rivals. The results will be seen already in the reign of Catherine II.

A look at the russian imperial rule under czar alexis in the 1660s

However, there was one reform that Peter I instituted and that might have brought members of different classes together and make a dialogue possible-had it been lasting and the impact of the other reforms milder: A good example of this meritocracy was the army: In spite of all the opponents though, Catherine kept her throne, learnt Russian and everything about Russia, became Orthodox17 and started passing various reforms.

The reforms that affected the structure of the society were the ones related to the gentry and the serfs. Catherine the Great continued and deepened the work of Peter I, while sabotaging his work in other matters: This rift between these two classes caused many problems between the ranks of the elite, since not all the members of the nobility saw serfdom with the same eyes.

In addition, this reform was in stark contrast with the ideas that Catherine exhibited at the beginning of her reign, being inspired by the philosophers whom she read and corresponded to Voltaire, Montesquieu etc.

A look at the russian imperial rule under czar alexis in the 1660s

It should be noted from the start that the clerics and the serfs had no representatives. Thus, the townspeople, through Smirnov ask for the continuation of meritocracy: Moreover, the merchants and the nobility fight over economical privileges: But these divergences were spread not only between the representatives of different classes present at the Legislative Commission: And, of course, there were the voices of those who were much more liberal, such as the ones cited by Alexei Popov, a deputy of the merchants, that asked for the liberty to trade to be extended not only to nobles but also to peasants.

In conclusion, Peter the Great and Catherine the Great seem to have been aiming at the same core: And in doing that they spared nothing.

Peter started the process of Westernization and Catherine continued it, both raising numerous voices against them, voices of Russians who considered that what is Russian is to be preferred to anything foreign.

Moreover, the Westernization was unequal, only the members of the gentry profiting of it and the introduction of schools and universities, which created a further rift between the gentry and the rest of the population. Further on, the two monarchs upset their people even more when they greatly reduced the power of the Church and impoverished it.

A History of Russia. Oxford University Press, 2005. Readings in Russian Civilization. The University of Chicago Press, 1969. Riasanovsky and Mark D.

  • In other words, while the state might still favor the aristocrats, "justice would be equal for all" below the czar, according to the Ulozhenie of 1649;
  • The accompanying retinue was listed according to rank, from boyars to secretaries;
  • Then in March Joachim died;
  • It had some traditional features like onion domes, tent-like roofs and wooden walls.

Steinberg, A History of Russia, 7th ed. Oxford University Press, 2005217.

The Reign of Peter the Great

The University of Chicago Press, 1969235. Oxford University Press, 2005204. Oxford University Press, 2005215.