It was during Peter the Great's reign that Russia emerged as a prevailing European power. This advancement of Russia into European affairs would be accredited to Peter's introduction of Western technological, cultural, military and political ideas and customs. Peter's changes would begin during the seize of Azov, where he would adopt the naval structure of the Venetians and the ships of the Dutch in order to gain his first victory as Tsar. It was during this same period that Peter would embark on his first diplomatic mission to the West and bring back with him Western artisans, craftsmen, and scientists to assist in the Russian government, industrialisation, and that which was most important to Peter; his fleet. Peter set out policies to send young Russians to study abroad and bring back the wisdom and technology of the West that Peter believed would help make Russia a greater power. In 1703, during the war, Peter founded St. Petersburg and called it his "window to Europe" while making it his capital.
[...] This is a clear example of how Peter opened Russia to the West. In 1705, forty thousand kegs of pitch at an extremely low price were offered to the British, provided that they would send ships to retrieve it at St. Petersburg. This act of the promotion of St. Petersburg, a sale of sorts, is another example of the desire to gain Western business in Peter's paradise. It was through these methods that St. Petersburg contributed to the ease of entry for Western influence into Russia. [...]
[...] By inviting European craftsmen, leaders and men into Russia for this campaign, Peter was opening up Russia and adjusting it to the West in order to gain more power, through obtaining the port of Azov, for the Russian state. Azov gave Peter a taste for his future love of all things naval and Western culture itself. It led to his decision to participate in a long trip abroad as part of the Grand Embassy of 1697-98. During this journey, Peter visited England, Holland, and Germany. [...]
[...] The buildings were built close together and brightly coloured to bring to life Peter's vision of a Western city, particularly his darling Amsterdam. Peter “dreamed of a town that would equal Amsterdam in wealth and Venice in beauty”. St. Petersburg had a large foreign community, which was unlike any other Russian city. The laws were more liberal and allowed women to be more visible, the ideas of the enlightenment first became vogue' in the city of St. Petersburg. These are examples of how this city was not truly a Russian city, but an entity upon itself. [...]
[...] When Peter returned with the Grand Embassy, he brought with him knowledge, awareness, images and the experience of his labours, but he also brought the simple plan that would change Russia; his thoughts that order to make Russia just as strong as the great powers of Europe, it was urgent to borrow all the essentials from Europe as quickly as possible.” It is evident that Peter's travels with the Grand Embassy opened relations with the West and began the acquisition of Western models to be adapted to Russian environments in order to further Peter's goals of increasing the power and wealth of his potentially great empire. [...]
[...] The Reforms of Peter the Great. New York De Grunwald, Constantin. Peter the Great. London Grey, Ian. Peter the Great: Emporer of all Russia. New York Lee, Stephen J. Peter the Great. London; New York Oudard, Georges Peter the Great. Translated by F.M. Atkinson. New York Staples, John. Lectures: HIS 250Y1, Sep 1999-Nov 1999-12-02 M.S. Anderson, Peter the Great (Singapore, 1995), p Anderson, Peter, p Anderson, Peter, p Anderson, Peter, p.37 Constantin de Grunwald, Peter the Great (London, 1956), p Evgenii V. [...]
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