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How Peter the Great’s window to the West empowered Russia

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Russia's campaign against the port in the city of Azov.
    1. The beginning of Peter's opening of his window to the west.
    2. His future love of all things naval and Western culture itself.
    3. The Grand Embassy.
  3. The building of St Petersburg.
    1. The arrangement of St. Petersburg as an entryway into Russia.
  4. Education.
    1. Motivation for larger and improved schools.
    2. Schools - an outlet for Western thought.
  5. Conclusion.

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[20]. 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[7]. During this journey, Peter visited England, Holland, and Germany. [...]

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