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Absolute Monarchy in Russia The ULTIMATE Absolutism!

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Presentation on theme: "Absolute Monarchy in Russia The ULTIMATE Absolutism!"— Presentation transcript:

1 Absolute Monarchy in Russia The ULTIMATE Absolutism!

2 TRIVIA: Can you say your name in Russian? In Russian, your middle name is your father’s first name. –If a boy, you would say: I am (your first name) and (your father’s first name) – vitch. Daniel Clarkovitch –If a girl you would say: I am (your first name) and (your father’s first name) – ovna. Carolina Clarkovna

3 Russia BEFORE Peter the Great Russia was still in the Middle Ages – with touches of the Muslim culture added in. There was very, very little interaction with the rest of Europe or the world.

4 Russian Life BEFORE Peter the Great There were only three social classes. –The Boyars –The Church –The Serfs

5 The Boyars Russian nobles, most called themselves Princes. 10 th – 17 th Centuries were the “real” rulers of Russia. Positions in society were based on service your family did for the Czar and owning land. Pretty much had no checks on their local power. –Could change your loyalty to different princes, depending on what they would give you in return.

6 The Boyars Dressed more like Arabs with beards that you were never supposed to trim. Separate society from women. –Women weren’t often seen – let alone heard! –Covered hair and no shape to clothing.

7 The Boyars Lived on their feudal estates with their own armies and self- sufficient economies. Little interest in the outside world. Do you see Muslim influence?

8 The Church = Russian Orthodox One of the oldest Christian religions. Does not recognize the Pope or Catholic Church. They believe they practice the Christian religion of the Roman Emperor Constantine.

9 Russian Orthodox Church Ruled by the Patriarch. Urged people to not be corrupted by outside influences. Urged the serfs to remain loyal without questioning the Boyars. Life is suffering, but heaven will be your reward.

10 Russian Orthodox Church

11 The Serfs At the time of Peter the Great, they made up 95% of the population in Russia. They were essentially slaves – bound to the land and bound to the noble.

12 The Serfs Had absolutely no say about anything in their lives.

13 Over these three levels of society were the CZARS Czar = Caesar / Emperor. Sometimes in books as Tsar. Technically had absolute power. –But few czars had been powerful enough to make the boyars and the church obey him.

14 Before Peter: The Time of Troubles The belief in “blue blood” was also with the Russian Czars. 1600 – the last of the “Rurik” czars died with no children. –Family had ruled since 900 AD. –WHO SHOULD BE CZAR?

15 The Time of Troubles “Smutnoya Vremya”’ No czar and wars broke out between the boyars. Sensing weakness and the chance to take land – Poland and Lithuania invaded. Russia was in chaos!

16 The Romanovs become Czar A distant relative of the last Rurik czar. Started a dynasty in 1613 that would last until 1918. –This is NOT the Hapsburg double- headed eagle! –It is the Romanov symbol.

17 Which eagle for which family? Hapsburg v. Romanov?

18 Even though the Romanovs were on the throne Power was still weak. –Just the way the boyars and the Church wanted it!

19 Peter the Great’s story starts with his father: Alexei –His first wife died. 13 children 5 boys – only one was surviving to adulthood. –Ivan was mentally retarded. –A new wife was needed. He practiced “droit de seigneur.” Most common way that boyars chose wives and mistresses.

20 Czar Alexis I – Peter’s Father Had started some reforms in Russia. –Shaved his beard –Could read Latin and spoke Polish as well as Russian.

21 Peter the Great’s mother Natalia Kirilovna Naryshkinov Her grandmother was Scottish and had some contact with Western Europeans while growing up.

22 Peter the Great 1672 - 1725 Peter was the firstborn son to a second wife who did not come from a powerful family to protect her or her children. 1682 – Alexis dies. Who becomes Czar?

23 Peter the Great First born son of a second wife. He was only ten when his father died. –Peter’s mother’s family was not the most powerful Boyar family and suspected of “western” leanings.

24 Who should rule Russia The eldest son? Ivan Mentally handicapped. Should be easy for the Boyars and Church to manipulate. But could he lead?

25 OR Their older sister Sophia Alexovna? –Smart –Ambitious –A woman Yes! She really was.

26 The Compromise: A double-Czar Little Peter and his mentally handicapped brother were crowned co-czars and their sister Sophia sat behind them whispering instructions on what to say and do.

27 Problem-Solve this! Why didn’t Peter’s half-sister Sophia just take her little half- brother on a walk along the cliffs, and get rid of him? Why did she keep her brother Ivan alive?

28 Peter the Great grows up Unusually tall 6’ 8”. But his head was small for his body and he suffered from epilepsy. He grew up away from Moscow and played around German sailors and ship-builders who were along the Russian coast. Fascinated with the west!

29 Peter the Great Grows Up 1696: Peter leaves Russia and comes to the West. –Didn’t just visit fellow Royals. –He visited factories and took jobs in shipyards to learn how to build ships. –Had a dentist teach him how to pull teeth. –Learned a lot about Western Europe art and culture.

30 Peter the Great comes home to Russia Brought with him technical experts, teachers, and soldiers to teach western methods. Was ready to become a true Czar without his sister in 1698.

31 Do you think Sophia accepted this new way? Now she did try to assassinate her brother. Sent her personal body guards the Streltsky to kill Peter. They failed.

32 Peter’s Response: Forced his sister to become a nun and locked her away in a nunnery. Hung the bodies of the Streltsky guards outside her window. –1,000 corpses Later he sent her to a sub-arctic nunnery. She died in 1704

33 On one thing the two half- siblings agreed on: Leave Ivan out of it. Ivan remained a co-czar living in a palace until he died. Married and had three daughters. –Might / Probably / Maybe were his children biologically. The crown is the original one czars were crowned with – The Cap of Monmahk.

34 Peter the Great has two goals: Westernize Russia –Had 400 years of development to catch up on. Become an absolute monarch. Which should be done first?

35 Becoming the Absolute Monarch Following another king’s model, he sought to make the boyars too weak to challenge him. –Took away walled fortresses. –Took away private armies. –Made the boyars become courtiers and serve in his government and military.

36 Stipulations Had to be WESTERN: –Dress like they did in the west. –Shave their beards. –Women were to dress western and not be segregated from men. –Dancing and mingling between men and women was ORDERED.

37 How do you think Peter got compliance? Humiliations Imprisonment / Torture Forced labor Death AND ---

38 Give the Boyars something they wanted in return. Serfdom spread in Russia. –Slave = Serf The boyars, now called nobles, got more control over the people of Russia. –It continued until 1861 in Russia.

39 How about the Church? Peter replaced positions with western leaning patriarchs. Built fabulous new churches in the western style.

40 Peter’s Germans Ever hear of “Germans from Russia”? Most were imported by Peter to teach and create a new system.

41 Peter’s Modernization with Force Improved education Academies for mathematics, science, music, dance and engineering. Improved travel with roads, waterways, and canals. Developed mining and textiles for export.

42 Modernization with Force Serfs were forced labor for many improvements. Worked until they died to create the modernization.

43 Revolts? Peter’s first wife, Eudoxia: –Preferred the “old” ways and encouraged revolts. Divorced and sent to a sub-arctic nunnery. His son Tsarivitch Alexei: –Hated his father and was encouraged by his mother to revolt. –Was executed by his father.

44 Results of Revolts? Czarist reaction for 200 years

45 Peter the Great Expanding Russian Borders Russia needed a warm-water port so ships could sail year around.

46 Where on the map would be the best spot for a warm-water port that is close to Europe??

47 The Great Northern War 1700 – Russia goes to war against Sweden to get control of the land needed for a warm water port. –Had 5x as many troops as Sweden did! Got his royal butt kicked by the Swedes!

48 Peter did not give up! Went back and rebuilt his military and trained them better. 1709 – defeated the Swedes and took the land that would become his new capitol.

49 St. Petersburg Note who he named the city for! Also, called it Petersburg after the German way, not Petrograd, the Russian way! –1918 – 1993 called Leningrad. A city built to be the Window to Europe.

50 Scenes from St. Petersburg The Winter Palace

51 Scenes from St. Petersburg

52 The Winter Palace

53 JAV (just another view) The Winter Palace

54 The Winter Palace and the Hermitage

55 Peter the Great Blazing to the Pacific Made fur trading outposts all the way to Alaska. –FYI: Alaska was part of Russia until 1862. The Bering Strait is named for the Danish navigator Vitus Bering that he sent to discover a way between Russia and Alaska.

56 Peter the Great had a problem close to his death Despite having had 11 children with two wives, only two daughters had lived. –Too young. His grandson was too young and Peter didn’t think he would be able to continue Russia’s transformation to a modern country. WHO SHOULD COME AFTER HIM?

57 Peter’s second wife Catherine I Born Martha Elena Scowronska –Lithuanian Peasant –A commoner, little better than a serf to the Russian nobles. Had grown up a peasant, doing laundry, becoming other men’s mistresses. –Rumors that Peter had purchased her from one of her lovers.

58 Peter and Catherine Love at first sight. Secretly married in 1707. As smart and daring as her husband. Could deal with Peter’s temper and help him in epileptic seizures. Never left his side. –Kept a 3 room cabin for them and their children while he was building St. Petersburg.

59 Peter and Catherine Peter crowned her Czarina and they were co-rulers in 1724. Ruled by herself from 1725 until her death in 1727.

60 Catherine I coronation gown

61 After Catherine I Peter’s Grandson. –Became czar at 12 Only ruled three years. Died of smallpox on his wedding day in 1730. –Did bring back his Grandmother Eudoxia from exile. (Peter’s first wife.)

62 After Peter II? Remember Peter the Great’s “co-czar” brother? His daughter Anna became Czarina.

63 Czarina Anna The Russian nobles put her on the throne. –She would be easy to control. She should be “grateful” for the chance to become the Czarina. She wasn’t known for a strong personality, she could be influenced. –Maybe even get a Constitutional Monarchy?

64 Czarina Anna ruled until 1 740 Kept company with foolish people. Created a Secret Police to terrorize people to follow her. Enjoyed humiliating the older nobles. –Ordering marriages between inappropriate people and having them spend the night naked in an “ice palace.”

65 Anna HATED her Cousin Elizabeth The daughter of Peter the Great and his wife Catherine. Every inch the daughter of her parents!

66 The saddest story of a Czar Ivan VI A nephew of Anna, she adopted him when he was an infant and declared him her successor in 1740. She died later that year.

67 Would the daughter of Peter the Great let a baby rule? Elizabeth took the throne. Infant Ivan was imprisoned. –Never left his prison. –Not allowed contact except with guards. –No education. –Effort to “rescue” him and make him czar failed and he was killed by his guards in 1764.

68 Empress Elizabeth aka Czarina Continued her father’s westernization, but had censorship of ideas she did not agree with. Waged years of war against Prussia. –Frederick the Great Could be kind and generous. –Abolished the death penalty. “Had to be the bride at every wedding, the corpse at every funeral.” –“It is all about ME.”

69 Empress Elizabeth Selected a nephew to become the next czar. –The future Peter III Put some special thought into deciding who his wife should be. –Selected German Princess Sophia Augusta Frederika of Anhalt – Zerbst. Known in history as ___

70 Catherine the Great

71 Huh? How does a German princess become the Czarina of Russia? What happened to her husband?

72 Catherine the Great Unusual intellectual abilities. Embraced all things Russian. Inspired loyalty.

73 Her husband Peter - Not very smart Not good looking Loved everything PRUSSIAN not Russian. –Cheered on Frederick the Great against his aunt.

74 Peter and Catherine Were NOT a good couple. Peter preferred male- looking German women for mistresses rather than being with his wife. Empress Elizabeth wanted a son from Peter and Catherine. –Blamed Catherine –What is a woman to do?

75 Catherine produces a son! Was her son Paul the son of a Russian noble? Was her son Paul the son of a Polish musician? ??? Peter couldn’t deny paternity without having to answer a lot of “embarrassing” questions. –Might have been “relieved” to have the heir.

76 1762: Elizabeth dies Peter ends the war with Frederick the Great at a great loss to Russia. Peter puts his Prussian Guards above the Russian nobles. Plans to divorce Catherine. –Monastery for her! –Marry a German mistress.

77 Catherine’s current lover helps hatch a plan! Gregori Orlov Stage a Coup d’Etat. –A takeover of the government. –Imprison Peter. –Make Catherine the Czarina.

78 It Worked! Peter was so hated that people welcomed Catherine to the throne. –Peter ended up being murdered. By Gregori Orlov –Paul always harbored a hatred of his mother for not making him czar and killing his “father.”

79 Trivia Gregori Orlov gave Catherine an incredible diamond – it is kept in the scepter of the Russian crown jewels. –The Orlov Diamond

80 Catherine the Great Set forth new efforts with an effective ruler to keep going with Peter the Great’s reforms.

81 Catherine the Great An Enlightened Ruler Reorganized government, so she knew what was happening throughout Russia. Codified laws (wrote them down!) State-sponsored education for boys and girls.

82 Catherine the Great Absolute Monarch Did not accept any challenges to her authority. Liked the French intellectuals ideas of power for people – but never allowed it to be discussed outside of her palace. Allowed the nobles to increase their strangle- hold on the serfs.

83 Catherine the Great Military Leader Expanded Russia’s borders with wars against Turkey and the Partition of Poland. –Poland was divided up between Catherine, Frederick the Great and Maria Theresa’s son Josef.

84 Catherine the Great Pleasures Kept a court where French costume, manners, and language were encouraged. –Russian became a language for serfs, not nobles.

85 Catherine the Great – what happened with Prince Orlov? She never married again. She kept many lovers. –Would enjoy, give them land, serfs, and money as a “pension”. –But expected the men to be loyal to her for life. –Some say 11 lovers, others say 300 lovers in her life.

86 Catherine and Orlov Had a son together. He was raised by both his parents and made noble. Alexsai did a great deal of traveling in the west. Gregory Orlov, broken at not getting Catherine to marry him, went west for five years, came home a “broken” man. –Died after marrying his niece in retaliation against Catherine.

87 Catherine the Great Did not get along with her son at all. Took her grandsons, Alexander and Nicholas and raised them, intending to make one of them the czar over their father.

88 Catherine the Great Died before she could make her choice law in 1796. –Ruled Russia for 34 years –Not bad for a non-Russian woman! Paul took over and tried to undo everything his mother had done. –Made it law no woman could rule in Russia. –He was murdered five years later.

89 Hmmmm. Do we want to consider Peter the Great and Catherine the Great –GREAT absolute leaders? –Good absolute leaders? –Fair absolute leaders? –BAD absolute leaders?

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