AP World History
3 June 2016
Was Peter Truly Great? Peter the Great of late seventeenth and early eighteenth century Russia was a highly controversial leader. On the one hand, he achieved his ultimate goal of making Russia a great European power, however on the other hand he took a path of violence and oppression to get there (“Czap”). Peter the Great was truly a great leader because he modernized by building up the military, integrated Russia into the global economy, and formed a unique Russian identity. His important reforms restructured and strengthened Russia, enabling it to become a powerful state under the influence of Peter the Great. Peter had always been a strong-willed young man, anticipating a great …show more content…
He did this for multiple reasons. The first driving force was his constant desire for Westernization. At this time, Western Europe had just become the supreme worldwide naval power. Many European states also had massive militaries and military technology. This urged Peter the Great to build up his own military in order to meet the European standards. Another reason why Peter expanded the military also stemmed from Westernization. He wanted to expand Russia territorially, especially westward (“Peter the Great (1898), Part 1”). A large military would help him to gain territory in the Baltic region, because one of his goals was to become a dominant Baltic power. Peter’s military and territorial expansion was important to the future of Russia because he prevented it from being overtaken by another Baltic power, such as Sweden or the Ottoman Empire further south. By expanding the Russian empire 's influence and ability, Peter the Great began to build a powerful state under his …show more content…
His reforms were monumental and forever changed the history of Russia. It shifted from an archaic, chaotic society to a strong, western-like state. This strength lasted until the twentieth century, when the world wars occurred and communism saw its beginnings. Then, Peter’s reforms were almost reversed as it became more separate from the West. However, many motions towards peace helped Russia to recover and revert back to the Russian nation in harmony with Europe. Overall, Peter the Great was able to permanently improve the nature of Russia, making him a great leader. Works Cited
Czap, Peter., Jr. “Peter I (Russia) (1672–1725).” Encyclopedia Americana. Grolier Online, 2016. Web. 1 June 2016.
“Peter I.” World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2016. Web. 19 May 2016.
“Peter the Great (1898), Part 2.” World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2016. Web. 19 May 2016.
“Peter the Great (1898), Part 1.” World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2016. Web. 18 May 2016.
Radisson, Orozco. Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2nd ed. Vol. 12. N.p.: n.p., 1998.