History of Europe
History of Russia
Peter the Great

How did Peter the Great change Russia?

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November 19, 2010 6:54PM

Tsar Peter changed Russia by modernizing it. He built the great city of St. Petersburg (a modern and splendid city, but one created from a wasteland at an extremely heavy human cost) and adopted many European customs. Some may say he "Europeanized" the nation, causing sweeping changes across all levels of society and customs.

  • Introduced potatoes, which became a staple of Russian diet
  • Started Russia's first newspaper and edited the first issue himself
  • Raised woman's status by having them attend social gatherings
  • Ordered the nobles to give up their traditional clothes for Western fashions - They were also required to shave off their beards.
  • Advanced education by opening a school of navigation and introducing schools for the arts and sciences
  • Reorganized and reformed the Russian armed forces and created a modern navy modeled on European practices