Peter the Great

Peter the Great strived to shape Russia into a systematic state focused on gaining nationalism through order. Inn 1722 after the Table of Ranks was established to clearly define roles in society however, Peter’s intentions never really formed. Russia’s theme of orderliness is exemplified here. Whether it be house-hold as seen in Domonstroi or general customary law such as the Pravda Russkaia; Russia has always been concerned with the well being of citizens and this was reinforced by the idea of orderliness. The Table of Ranks divided the upper/middle class into categories based on merit. An Admiral, or a chancellor would be a 1 while a artillery man or a college registrar would be a 13 and 14. Ranks were passed down from family and one would marry into a their future husbands rank. Russia has been constantly occupied with turmoil concerning ranks, for instance The Time of Troubles occurred because there was no one in the system to take the throne. Peter the Great intended to leave behind a system in which ranks would be the ultimate decider for claims and fill-ins. One of Peters largest goals was to make Russia more united, thus trying to put in this nationalistic system. He wanted to make Russians, excluded the peasantry, accountable for their state so they took pride in performing their civil duties.

1.) In what ways was “The Table of Ranks” a good idea? bad idea? over ambitious idea?

2.) How did Peter fulfill his goal of making Russia a prouder country?

2 thoughts on “Peter the Great

  1. While I agree that Russia was concerned with its citizens, I think it was only the wealthier individuals that were taken into careful consideration. The Domostroi was only meant for the higher classes of individuals. Additionally, Peter’s reforms, while widespread and affecting many, most did not understand the implications of Westernization, and simply had to accept these changes and move along.

  2. 1) The Table of Ranks was a good idea in the sense that it tied nobility to duties toward the country and were bound in servitude to the state for life, meaning they could no longer have entitlement by birthright alone. It also allowed for others to achieve “nobility” without the birthright. On the other hand, with many children inheriting “chin” it also gave them nobility by birthright as long as they were born once/after their father was at least at rank 8. Because of this, entitlement and privilege was not eradicated from society completely. It was not outright an over-ambitious idea in the sense that it was more or less a reorganization of mestnichestvo.

    2) Please refer to my other comment about language concerning “the fatherland.”

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