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Imperial Russia, from Peter I through Alexander I

Russian Empire was formed on the lands of former Moskovy Principality in those times, when Peter I started ruling the country. The rise of Imperial Russia can be characterized by establishing of hereditary monarchy and social estates, considerable territorial expansion and achieving of great progress on international political and economic stages. First transformations in Imperial Russia are connected with the name of Peter the Great. He made reorganizations in military and government, initiated reformations in economy and education.

His policy is called “westernization”, because the majority of his ideas took source from the experience of western countries. It helped to strengthen international image of previously closed Russian state. Besides, western-style army of Peter achieved good success in wars, which resulted in expansion to the East and gaining some territories in Baltic region. The latter gave the Empire important assess to Northern Seas and favored to shipbuilding and trade with Northern states. After Peter’s death an epoch of palace revolutions took place in Russian Empire.

There was a group of rulers, whose reign was rather short, except of Queen Elizabeth, who made great contribution into the development of science and culture of the Empire. Huge territorial expansion during the reign of Catherine the Great was mostly in Southern and Western directions: from Ottoman Empire Russia won Crimea and areas of present Ukraine, and the treaty between Russia, Prussia and Austria allowed the Empire to control territories of Poland and Belarus. It brought great prestige to the Empire on international stage, but also it resulted in some problems on religious and economic levels.

Nevertheless, the country continued development as agrarian state, strengthening its international importance with significant achievements in science, literature and art. During the reign of Alexander II the Empire managed to increase its weight in Europe by entering political alliance against Napoleon and, later on, by defeating French army. This made Russian Emperor to become “Savior of Europe” and resulted in creation of the Holy Alliance, which had to secure peace in Europe.

According to it, Russian Empire received more territories of Poland and some areas in Caucasus. Thus the country became a huge multinational power, which started experiencing different economic, social, ethnic or political problems. Most of those resulted in initiating of early revolutionary movements.

Bibliography: • Imperial Russia. (2006, February 7). Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved February 12, 2006, from <http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Imperial_Russia>.

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