Notice: This is the official website of the All Empires History Community (Reg. 10 Feb 2002)

  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Register Register  Login Login

Peter the Great: Hero or Heel?

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <12
Author
Dragon View Drop Down
Janissary
Janissary
Avatar

Joined: 18-Nov-2004
Location: Canada
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 28
  Quote Dragon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Peter the Great: Hero or Heel?
    Posted: 27-Jan-2005 at 10:21

Next, Peter the Great certainly brought Russia closer to the standard of Western Europe, but he was a cruel leader of the Russian people.  Yes he updated the military, got Russia a seaport on the Baltic and was a dynamic person, but his institutions ran only due to his charisma, not through good organization.  Of all the years Peter ruled, only to were without war.  Peter taxed the lower classes unbearably, he basically deleted the boyar class of aristocrats, and established himself as the entire government, a complete autocrat.  You know the old saying:

"Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

There is no doubt that Peter the Great did some great things for Russia, he shaped its future to become part of Europe, but he also shaped its future by thoroughly establishing the tradition of autocracy.  Peter the Great and Joseph Stalin both had great visions for Russia and both committed terrible deeds to get Russia to submit to their vision.

History is the study of the past that we may understand the present.
Back to Top
Dragon View Drop Down
Janissary
Janissary
Avatar

Joined: 18-Nov-2004
Location: Canada
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 28
  Quote Dragon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Jan-2005 at 10:33
Originally posted by Conquistador

But who did Russia have most contact with during these years? Europe... They where a part of Europe, many of the main foreign events conserning Russia was in Europe. So it's natural to compare Russia to their "opponents" in the west, like Sweden and Poland to name a few.

I agree that by the time of Peter the Great, Russia was having major contact with most of Eastern Europe.  But, you've got to look at the historical traditon.  Contact with the West was not part of the traditional Russian heritage.  Due mainly to the north-south flow of Russian rivers, earlier Russian states such as Kievian Rus had more contact with Constantinople than Western Europe.  This coupled with the Mongol invasion which cut Russia off from Europe and opened its horizons eastward (the Mongol Empire had awesome communication and trade networks) led to contact with the West being a new concept.  Sure, places such as Novogorod had been fighting Europeans for centuries, but they drew their support from the East, Swedes, Lithuanians and Poles were their enemies. 

So to compare Russia to Europe is unfair.  It was just becoming a European power after being connected with another tradition, mostly Byzantine, for such a long time.  Finally, you've got to look at religion, which was significantly different.  Russian Orthodoxy had vast influence on the Russian state, similar to Roman Catholicism in the West.  Clearly these two traditions are different, but can you honestly say that one is "backward"?

History is the study of the past that we may understand the present.
Back to Top
Styrbiorn View Drop Down
Caliph
Caliph


Joined: 04-Aug-2004
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 2810
  Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Jan-2005 at 01:25
Originally posted by Dragon

Clearly these two traditions are different, but can you honestly say that one is "backward"?



Clearly you cannot mean serfdom in the 18th century and even 19th is *not* backwards. Also take a look at the infrastructure, the administration etc. Nobody is saying Russian tradition or culture is backwards, just how the place was developed and run.
Back to Top
Conquistador View Drop Down
Janissary
Janissary
Avatar

Joined: 28-Dec-2004
Location: Norway
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 28
  Quote Conquistador Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Jan-2005 at 07:32
Exactly!
Back to Top
Guests View Drop Down
Guest
Guest
  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Mar-2008 at 11:35
Hey, sorry for rekindling such an old thread, but the discussion is of some interest to me. Would people still have their sources of information regarding Peter's reformation of the army and his mis-treatment of peasants?
 
What are your views on the way he reformed the Orthodox Church and the government? Although I don't like the removal of choice, his policy to not allow people to become monks until after 50 certainly had its benefits, even if it did reek of an autocratic leader. Also, did he leave Russian relations with the Ottoman Empire in an even more fragile state than before his rule, since it was ultimately he who broke the peace that I believe he ironically brokered?
 
Thanks for any help.
Back to Top
Nick1986 View Drop Down
Emperor
Emperor
Avatar
Mighty Slayer of Trolls

Joined: 22-Mar-2011
Location: England
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 7940
  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Nov-2011 at 20:04
Russia is a vast country where leaders must be strong and decisive for the good of the people. Peter, Ivan, Alexander, Vladimir and Stalin were all great leaders because they accomplished the impossible task of dragging a backward feudal country into modern times and laying the foundations for Russia becoming a superpower. Sadly weak, reactionary leaders undid much of this hard work, causing much suffering for the people
Me Grimlock not nice Dino! Me bash brains!
Back to Top
Guests View Drop Down
Guest
Guest
  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Dec-2013 at 18:16
Peter the Great was incredibly harsh but was not cruel meaning unfair. In fact he said it was better to let the guilty go free than to punish unfairly. He was dealing with a harsh people and he knew that he had to be "a brick" to get them to change. At the start of his reign it was thought that his own people would kill him. He said that those who criticized him did not know what he was dealing with.

Back to Top
ajrg View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard


Joined: 17-Dec-2013
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 3
  Quote ajrg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Dec-2013 at 09:33
It seems he left relations with the Ottoman Empire in a better state than he found them. He signed a nonaggression pact with the Ottoman Empire and had regular trade relations. Yes he broke the peace but the Ottoman Empire was declining in any case.You can easily find his reformation of the army on line at sites like http://www.napoleon-series.org/military/organization/c_russianranks.html.  The Orthodox church was a source of conservatism and his policies were not as much opposed to the church as a force but its rivalry for power. My view?  Church and state should not be together but they also should not be competing powers. For the 17th century he did as well as he could to neutralize a force that would give him trouble.


Alice Gordon
ask me about Marta Skavronskaya
Back to Top
ajrg View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard


Joined: 17-Dec-2013
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 3
  Quote ajrg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Dec-2013 at 09:42
Peter was not a "people" person. He took very seriously the job that he though God had given him to reform and improve the economy of Russia. To that end he went to war to get a port, built a navy and made Russia into a world power. Also he introduced the potato to Russia, brought in new breeds of sheep and grapes, started factories, an infrastructure, build St. Petersburg and changed the situation for women totally.  Those are just a few of the changes he brought to Russia. On the other hand he was often rude, had a bad temper, was violent, farted and picked his teeth, liked physical humor. He was harsh but fair in his judgments, meaning he had people he was afraid of with good reason, broken on the wheel and beheaded. So he was a hero though he caused great suffering to do it and he was crude in his manners and recreations.
Alice Gordon
ask me about Marta Skavronskaya
Back to Top
opuslola View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar
Avatar
suspended

Joined: 23-Sep-2009
Location: Long Beach, MS,
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 4621
  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Dec-2013 at 17:50
What nobody can deny, was the fact that he was very tall!

Everything else is up to discussion.

Regards, Ron
http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/history/
Back to Top
Mountain Man View Drop Down
General
General
Avatar

Joined: 16-Aug-2012
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 873
  Quote Mountain Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Dec-2013 at 11:40
Originally posted by Dragon

Nobody has any opinion about Peter the Great?


How do you define "hero" and "heel"?

According to history, he did much to modernize Russia, but he was still a total dictator.  The question woulod probably revolve around who benefited from his modernization of Russia, the millions of repressed serfs or the upper class?

I would guess he was "less of a heel" than leaders like Ivan the Terrible, but still a dictator dedicated to his own welfare first and foremost.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Back to Top
ajrg View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard


Joined: 17-Dec-2013
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 3
  Quote ajrg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Dec-2013 at 13:05
Dear Mountain Man,
That is not true, he was a total dictator but dedicated to the welfare as he saw it of Russia and not at all himself. He wrote the same. He said he sacrificed his health and well being for his country and was constantly preoccupied with business He was always asking questions and learning to do his job better. Ivan the Terrible was mentally unbalanced. He was not. Ivan killed his son in a rage. Peter said he would not have his work undone by an incompetent just because he was supposed to inherit the throne.  All Tzars from first to last were total dictators.
Alice Gordon
ask me about Marta Skavronskaya
Back to Top
medenaywe View Drop Down
AE Moderator
AE Moderator
Avatar
Master of Meanings

Joined: 06-Nov-2010
Location: /
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 14603
  Quote medenaywe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Dec-2013 at 15:48
just another vampire in history.Like most of other celebrities.
Back to Top
Sarmata View Drop Down
Consul
Consul

suspended

Joined: 09-Aug-2004
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 314
  Quote Sarmata Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Mar-2014 at 22:11
I would say he was a strong ruler. Machiavellian. He felt he needed to make an omelet so he had to break some eggs. :P Of course there were some things he did that were pretty harsh, like the treatment of his son. However, I feel he was arguably Russia's greatest Czars; better than Catherine.
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <12

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Bulletin Board Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 9.56a [Free Express Edition]
Copyright ©2001-2009 Web Wiz

This page was generated in 0.094 seconds.