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The Reforms Under Peter the Great

Начало существенных перемен в жизни России (the beginning of significant changes in Russian life) that took place in the early 18th century тесно связано с именем царя-реформатора Петра I (is closely associated with the name of reformer Peter the Great.)

On December 31, 1699, he издал указ отмечать Новый год (ordered to celebrate New Year) on the night of December 31st to January 1st. Such a holiday didn’t exist before in Russia. Then, he issued another decree ordering people of his court to wear European clothes instead of Russian ones. These changes affected the traditions and life of all people in Russia.

Но Петр изменил и саму страну (but Peter has also changed the country itself). During his reign, Russia was engaged on reforms which allowed the country to become a strong European power.

Петр много сделал для развития промышленности и торговли (Peter has done a lot for the development of industry and commerce). Until the early 18th century, Russia imported metals, guns, silver, mainly from Sweden. But the war with Sweden broke off this trade. Peter the Great then organised металлургические заводы в Сибири (metallurgical work in Siberia), as well as weapon, cloth, glass factories throughout Russia. In 1725, there were produced 800 000 tons of cast iron, and by mid-century, there were 75 steel plants and more than 200 factories. The first half on the 18th century saw продолжалось развитие внутреннего всероссийского рынка (the continuation of the development of the domestic market on the whole territory of Russia). The trade routes were improved with the creation of channels. It’s under the reign of Peter the Great that the construction of the Ladoga Canal took place.

In the beginning of the 18th century, the merging of two forms of feudal property, estates and manor houses were completed. In 1714, a decree was issued on primogeniture. According to this decree, the property passed to the oldest son of a family, and другие сыновья должны были служить на военной и гражданской службе (the other sons were to serve the army and civil service).

Public service was regulated by a special law called “Табель о рангах” (the Table of Ranks). This “Table of Rank” was a formal list of position and rank that determined the status of a person according to his service rather than to his seniority. Thus, it gave the possibility to non-noble people to reach rank 8, and receive a gentleman birth certificate.

In the same time, Петром были проведены реформы в области управлеgt;ния России (Peter the Great undertook reforms in the administration of Russia). The main point of these changes was the idea of centralisation and complete submission to the supreme authority.

Provincial reforms took place in 1708-1710. The whole country was divided into eight provinces: Moscow, Ingermanland, Kiev, Smolensk, Kazan, Azov, Arhangelogorodskaya, Siberia. Each province was divided into counties. A governor, head of the province, had all the power.

In 1711, Правительствующий сенат (The Governing Senate) was established by Peter the Great. It was composed of nine members appointed by the Tsar. The Senate был высшим органом, руководившим всей жизнью в стрне (was the supreme authority, directing the entire life of the country).

In 1717-1718, Peter established nine коллегия (collegia or boards): the Collegium of Foreign Affairs, the Collegium of State Income, the Collegium of Justice, the Collegium of Accounting, the Collegium of War, the Collegium of the Navy, the Collegium of Commerce, the Collegium of State Expenses, the Collegium of Mining and Manufacturing.

At the beginning of the reign of Peter the Great, Russian had no ships, but at by the end of his life, there were 50 large ships and about 800 smaller ones. Петр создал регулярную армию, это было войско в 180 000 хорошо обученных солдат (Peter has created a regular army of 180 000 well-trained soldiers).

Peter the Great has also done a lot for education in Russia. He founded the St. Petersburg University, the Academy of Sciences. He also ordered to open schools throughout Russia.

Главой российского государства стал император (the head of the Russian State was the Emperor). This title was given to Peter the Great in the Senate in 1721, and Россия стала империей (Russia became an Empire). The Emperor had full authority in the country. The authoritarian competences of the absolute monarch were characterized by an impatience to heterodoxy, the introduction of uniformity in the system of state structures, the desire to regulate the life, the customs, the social life and the cultural development.

Реформы Петра способствовали движению вперёд (Peter’s reforms have contributed to great progress for the country). For Russia, the emergence of absolutism in the early 18th century had a significant progress. Peter the Great acted in accordance с духом и идеями своего времени (with the spirit and ideas of his time), which proclaimed the power of the supreme authority, its infinity and infallibility.

From “the Elementary course of general and Russian history” I.Belljarminova)

Ирина Антонона