Summary Of The Book Peter Pursued Western Ends By Eastern Means

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'Peter Pursued Western Ends by Eastern Means' Discuss.

Peter the Great undoubtedly attempted to implement a heavy amount of Western culture into Russian society, so much so that it split Russia under his reign into two camps; the Slavophiles traditionalists who hated everything Peter was doing to ‘their’ Russia, known as the ‘Muscovites’, and those that supported the Westernization of Russia that Peter attempted to implement during his time in power, know as the Petrins. But how did Peter achieve these reforms or ‘Western ends’? And why have his methods doing so made historians claim that he achieved them through the traditional means any other Eastern ruler at the time would have used?

‘Western ends’ or Westernization is commonly seen as …show more content…

These are the methods that a number of historians have claimed Peter used during his time as Tsar of Russia as a means to get what he wanted, the only way he knew how. ‘Eastern means’ of ruling a country are often viewed as autocratic, brutal, centralized, and without a limited monarchy, meaning that the King, or Tsar of the country has absolute power to rule and govern over the people, and the country. ‘Eastern means’ would see great power placed in faith, and the church as a strong player in the governmental goings-on of a country, and the upper and ruling classes being powerful and god-like in comparison to the rest of the country. Being autocratic and brutal is often the common view of most Eastern leaders all the way up until the mid-20th century, however this could be seen as a generalization, and almost a cliché as it was and is still what most Westerners expect from an Eastern leader. However, it could certainly be said that Peter was somewhat different than most the Eastern cliché that has come into fruition, although he still led with an iron-fist over his people, he avoided some of the traditionalist features of an Eastern state such as the church and the ‘Boyars’, he effectively despised everything that his son Alexis embodied, the traditional Russia, the Russia that Peter wanted to …show more content…

Peter the Great led the first westernization of Russia in history, permanently changing Russia and its culture permanently. By the time Peter came to power in the late seventeenth century, Russia had fallen behind Western Europe in terms of becoming a modern society. Technologically, and culturally Russia was centuries behind, it had had no Renaissance, no Reformation, and no Scientific Revolution unlike the West. Russia was effectively seen as medieval Europe, with little to show for itself compared to its far advanced neighbor. This is what Peter wanted to change whilst in power; he wanted to achieve ‘Western ends’ of modernity in anyway possible. One of the ways he did this was by Westernizing Russian governmental, and military dress; he ordered the entire military, nobility, and court to shave, even going as far to shave the more reluctant nobles himself. He required them to dress in Western style clothing, and commanded to remove their shoes before bed or face a ‘mild punishment’, this was because it was common practice for Russians to wear shoes in bed, which was seen as ‘barbaric’ by Western Europeans. Peter also reformed religion in Russia, he replaced Orthodox schools with Secular ones, and his encouragement of science and state-run education only accelerated the Church’s loss of authority. He also ordered new shipyards, sea fortresses, and ships after his

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