In general, Peter’s desire to modernize and Europeanize Russia led him to enact changes too quickly without enough thought of the effects on the peasantry. By focusing only on the upper classes of society, Peter created an even sharper division between the elites and the general population. While the elites were forced to embrace modern practices and assimilate these into everyday life, the general population had no understanding of why changes were being enacted, and found the changes to be irrelevant to them. The modernization of Russia was confined to a small group of people in a small area, leaving the rest of the population separate and uninvolved. Peter’s modernization was unnatural in that he did not make plans for it to occur gradually and widespread, but instead imposed many changes extremely quickly, focusing on only a small fraction of the Russian population.
By establishing the Table of Ranks, Peter intended to tie personal interests more closely to the interests of the state. By giving high rank and status to those he deemed to be most useful to society, Peter exercised authority not only over state matters but also over the definition of personal self worth. People were working for the approval of the tsar.