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From Ivan III to Catherine the Great

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1 From Ivan III to Catherine the Great
The Rise of Russia From Ivan III to Catherine the Great

2 The Rise of Russia At the same time Western Europeans were beginning to build their empires in the Americas, the Russian Empire, which eventually became the world’s largest state, was beginning to take shape.

3 The Rise of Russia When Columbus crossed the Atlantic, a small Russian state, centered on the city of Moscow, was emerging from two centuries of Mongol rule.

4 The Rise of Russia Russia shared some expansionist thinking with the West…both were Christian, and although the missionary spirit was less active than in the West, Christianity may help explain a common desire to achieve new victories.

5 But Russia lagged behind the West technologically and it remained backward by Western standards well into the 20th century.

6 The Rise of Russia Russia did have a large and growing population and it occupied a strategic location between Europe and Asia with few natural barriers. This position proved Russia’s vulnerability, which would help guide Russian expansionism for several centuries.

7 The Rise of Russia That state soon conquered a number of neighboring Russian-speaking cities and incorporated them into its expanding territory. Located on the remote, cold, and heavily forested eastern fringe of Christendom, that small state was an unlikely candidate for constructing one of the great empires of the modern era.

8 The Rise of Russia Yet over the next three centuries, that’s exactly what it did, extending Russian domination over vast tundra, forests, and grasslands of northern Asia that lay to the south and east of Moscow.

9 The Rise of Russia Russian links to Western Europe had been lost between the 11th and 13th centuries. 1. Crusaders sacked Constantinople looking for gold (Constantinople was the seat of Byzantine Orthodox Christianity that Russians followed). 2. Links lost as Mongols (Tatars) sacked Kiev and established a Khanate (Golden Horde). The Russian capital moved to Moscow.

10 The Rise of Russia Russia’s emergence as a world power depended on its winning freedom from Mongol (Tatar) control. 200+ years of Mongol influence had not significantly reshaped Russian institutions, although many Russians had adopted Mongol styles of dress and social habits.

11 The Rise of Russia Most Russians remained Orthodox Christians; most maintained a separate identity from that of the Mongols. Local Russian princes had continued to rule as long as they paid tribute to the Mongol military overlords.

12 The Rise of Russia The duchy of Moscow became the center of tax/tribute collection for the Mongols…it would become the center of the Russian liberation effort (starting in the 14th century). Under Ivan III Vasilevich (the Great), Russia would be freed of the Mongols and began to re-establish links with more powerful and more advanced Western Europe.

13 The Rise of Russia Ivan III (r ) claimed legitimacy as ruler because he was descended from the Rurik dynasty of Kievan Russia. Ivan organized a powerful army, giving his government a strong emphasis on military strength.

14 The Rise of Russia He also capitalized on Russian and Orthodox loyalties—blending nationalism with religion—to win popular support for his campaigns. By 1480, Russia had been freed from Mongol control and acquired a vast territory that ran from eastern Poland to the Ural Mountains.

15 The Rise of Russia Under Ivan, Russian beliefs in an imperial mission began to take shape. Ivan married Sophia—the niece of the last Byzantine emperor. By doing this, Ivan proclaimed himself the protector of all Orthodox churches and that Russia had succeeded Byzantium and was now the new Roman Empire (the “Third Rome”).

16 The Rise of Russia As the first national sovereign, Ivan entitled himself tsar, or Caesar—the “ruler of all the Russians.” The two-headed eagle of Byzantium became part of Ivan’s coat of arms.

17 The Rise of Russia Ivan was said to be prudent and wise, and Sophia introduced the customs of the Byzantine court. Laws were codified, foreign artisans were introduced, and Italian architects erected churches, palaces, and fortifications. Russia’s connection to Byzantium gave Ivan and his country a pedigree and an increased standing among nations.

18 The Rise of Russia Under Ivan III, Russian expansion (mostly east and south but also west) began. Ivan III and his grandson Ivan IV (the Terrible) encouraged some peasants to migrate to the lands seized from the retreating Mongols and other nomadic groups. These peasant-adventurers, called Cossacks, were true Russian pioneers.

19 The Rise of Russia Cossacks combined agricultural skill with military prowess on horseback. During the 16th century, they conquered the area around the Caspian Sea and moved across the Ural Mountains into Siberia.

20 The Rise of Russia Russian expansion happened despite the setbacks to the Russian economy and culture suffered under Mongol rule. Russia had become almost entirely agricultural, with its earlier merchant/urban past virtually forgotten.

21 There was little trade and only localized manufacturing…subsistence agriculture dominated.
Peasants and nobles alike lived under poor material conditions (especially compared to Western Europe).

22 The Rise of Russia Illiteracy was extremely high (especially for an agricultural society), and artistic and literary production was practically non-existent. Ivan III was eager to launch diplomatic missions to leading Western states as a symbol of Russia’s renewed independence.

23 The Rise of Russia During the reign of Ivan IV, British merchants established trading relations with Russia, selling manufactured products in exchange for furs and raw materials. Soon, Western merchants were established in Moscow and other centers.

24 The Rise of Russia Ivan IV (r ) ascended the throne at the age of 3 (regents ruled for him until he was 16). Tortured and neglected as a child, he grew into a monster.

25 The Rise of Russia As a child, it was said he delighted in torturing animals and throwing them off the rooftops of the palace. As a young man, he had a habit of beating and robbing the people of his capital. He would ride his horse through Moscow and slash his subjects in the face with his whip.

26 Shortly after his coronation as tsar he married Anastasia Romanov, and she was believed to be the only one who could control his bad temper. When she died, it was said the “good” part of his reign ended.

27 The Rise of Russia He married six more times and was extremely cruel to them (one was drowned, three were imprisoned, two were sent to nunneries).

28 The Rise of Russia Ivan followed his grandfather in pushing Russia’s expansionist policy. Even though Ivan “The Great” had broken the Mongol yoke, separate khanates remained strong and menacing. At the age of 20, Ivan IV launched a drive against the Mongols (he headed an army of 100,000 men) and opened the Russian march into Asia by defeating the khanate of Kazan.

29 The Rise of Russia Four years later, Ivan defeated the khanate of Astrakan, pushing Russian territory south of the Volga to the Caspian Sea. These victories over the hated Tatars (or Tartars) greatly endeared Ivan to his people, with many of his atrocities forgiven since they were mostly directed against the wealthy.

30 The Rise of Russia Only the khanate of the Crimea in the south was left to be conquered…Ivan’s advisors urged an assault, but Ivan didn’t want to provoke the Ottoman Turks (and Suleiman).

31 The Rise of Russia So Ivan turned Europe and wanted to expand his relationship there. In 1554, the English explorer Richard Chancellor, searching for a northern trade route to the Orient, sailed into the White Sea and down the Dvina River to Moscow, where he “discovered” Russia.

32 The Rise of Russia Englishmen, by the time of the Elizabethan Age, knew almost nothing about Russia… Englishmen believed that Russians were cannibals and that the country was full of fantastic creatures, like the “vegetable lamb.”

33 The Rise of Russia Chancellor quickly realized the commercial advantages of a treaty and Ivan was more than willing to make one. The Czar became partial to the English, and even engaged in a long distance correspondence with Queen Elizabeth (even proposing marriage…but she wasn’t interested in someone known as “the Terrible”).

34 The Rise of Russia Commercial relations with the English blossomed (at one time ropes and cables from Russia were considered the best in the world and were used on most of the ships of the English navy). Ivan’s ties with England reinforced his desire to draw closer to the West, but he needed warm water ports on the Baltic that were blocked by the German Knights of the Sword (Teutonic Knights) who controlled the region.

35 The Rise of Russia In 1558, Ivan attacked this region (called Livonia) and was initially successful, but soon Poland and Sweden entered against him…it turned into a 25 year war that ended in a Russian defeat. Russia attempted to establish and develop commercial and cultural relations with the West but were sealed off…Sweden and Poland wanted to keep Russia isolated and ignorant…and they succeeded.

36 The Rise of Russia Ivan had invited scholars, technicians, and advisors to Moscow, but all passages were blocked. He even appealed to Queen Elizabeth for help, but she did not intervene. With the war going badly and increased pressure from his nobles, Ivan then slipped into his “bad” period and became a paranoid.

37 The Rise of Russia In 1564 (aged 34), Ivan did something so strange, it stunned the people of Moscow. A great train of sleds appeared outside the Kremlin and were loaded with his treasures…these sleds were dragged 60 miles to a small town northeast of Moscow where Ivan secluded himself. For over a month, no one heard from him. When he finally returned, few recognized him.

38 The Rise of Russia He then created a personal militia (the Oprichniki) to terrorize the country…they became notorious for their violence against anyone thought to be against Ivan IV, they dressed all in black and rode black horses (as the symbol of death). Today, they would be considered equivalent to secret police or “death squads.”

39 Sometimes called the “Tsar’s Dogs” because of their blind loyalty to him, they had the symbols of the broom and a dog’s head stitched to their saddles. The dog’s head signified their watchfulness and their ability to sniff out treason while the broom represented their mission to sweep Russia clean of treason (meaning anyone disloyal to Ivan IV). They had standing orders to execute anyone believed to be disloyal to Ivan IV.

40 The Oprichniki (personal militia of Ivan IV).

41 When Ivan declared himself “the Hand of God,” 300 of the Oprichniki were selected to be his personal “brotherhood” and they lived within the royal palace. Every night at 3 a.m., these Oprichniki “monks” would attend a sermon given by Ivan himself before the morning’s ritual executions. They lived an aesthetic lifestyle, modeled after monks in a monastery. They terrorized Russia for eight years.

42 The Rise of Russia Ivan IV became famous for torturing and executing thousands of Russians (most noted were the boyars and church leaders who opposed him). Oddly, Ivan would then seclude himself and pray for the souls of those he had killed. In a fit of rage, he even killed his only son (and heir) with an iron staff.

43 The Rise of Russia

44 When Ivan died in 1584 (aged 54), it led to a period known as the “Time of Troubles” (1604-1613) .
Without a legitimate heir on the throne, boyars (nobles) jockeyed for position and competed for power.

45 The Rise of Russia Several neighboring states (Sweden and Poland among them) took advantage of Russian weakness and captured some Russian territory. The Time of Troubles ended when nobles chose Michael Romanov (related to Anastasia) to become tsar.

46 The Rise of Russia The dynasty he founded, the Romanovs, would rule Russia until 1917.

47 Michael Romanov drove out the foreign invaders and restored order.
He was able to push Poland back and even was able to annex the Ukraine (including Kiev), extending the enlarging empire’s borders south to Ottoman lands around the Black Sea.

48 The Rise of Russia Michael’s son, Alexis, (r ) increased his power at the expense of the nobility and purged the Orthodox Church of many of the superstitions that had existed since Mongol rule.

49 The Orthodox Church in Russia did not develop any respect for learning or education, so superstition was rampant. A bishop declared geometry was evil and a sin. Arithmetic was barely understood…Arabic numbers weren’t even used. Their calendar dated from the beginning of the world, and the ability to predict an eclipse was considered Black Magic.

50 The Rise of Russia Unofficially known as the “Quietest One,” his reform movement antagonized some Russians, who were known as the “Old Believers.” Their resistance to church reforms caused thousands of them to be exiled to Siberia or southern Russia.

51 Peter the Great Alexis’ son Peter I (b r ) greatly expanded his father’s work.

52 Peter the Great By the time Peter I (the Great) arrived on the throne at the age of 17, Russia was still mostly a subsistence agricultural economy, constantly teetering on the brink of disaster. Russian agriculture was immobile and there was no incentive to improve or change things.

53 Peter the Great While the Renaissance, Reformation, and Scientific Revolution swept through Western Europe, early Russian tsars rejected westernization and so Russia remained isolated from modernization, essentially stuck in the Dark Ages.

54 Peter the Great It was said that as a young man, Peter preferred to spend time in the German quarter of Moscow (instead of the palace), where he learned stone masonry, carpentry, horse-shoeing, and how to pull teeth.

55 Peter the Great After Peter came to the throne, he spent nearly two years traveling incognito throughout Western Europe (mostly in England and Holland). At 6’8”, he was hard to miss.

56 Peter the Great Peter knew his empire was technologically behind the West, so he wanted to observe European technology and customs. He was fascinated by the sea and took lessons in navigation from English and Dutch sea captains. He even worked for a time as a ship’s carpenter.

57 Peter the Great Peter spent hours talking with political and business leaders on ways of bringing Western organization and technology to Russia. He visited mines, workshops, hospitals, and forts. He lived with soldiers in Germany, learning about weaponry and ballistics (when he returned to Russia, he formed a small army out of his servants and used them in live ammunition firing war games).

58 Peter the Great Peter’s entourage, known as the “Grand Embassy,” also tried to gain European support to attack the Ottomans (no one was interested). Most European monarchs/aristocrats found Peter to be an uncouth barbarian because he showed neither refinement nor pretension. He mixed easily with workmen, dressed cheaply and carelessly, and he loved horseplay and crude practical jokes (he used to have burping and flatulence contests).

59 Peter the Great Peter’s European trip was cut short because his older half sister Sophia was trying to stage a coup d’ etat. When he returned to Moscow, he brutally put down the rebellion, personally killing five of the rebel leaders with his bare hands.

60 Peter the Great Peter hung the bodies of the rebel leaders he personally killed outside his half sister’s window and she went mad. Peter then had her committed to a nunnery. Based on what he had seen in the West, Peter began making changes in Russia to try to counter its backwardness.

61 Peter the Great One of the first things he did when he returned was create Russia’s first navy. It was based in the warm water of the Sea of Azov (off the Black Sea).

62 Peter the Great Peter also increased the size of the army by drafting peasants and increasing pay. He hired over 1,000 western military advisors to train his soldiers in western tactics, and in the use of firearms and cannons. He ordered the building of roads and bridges to more easily transport men and material across the countryside.

63 Peter the Great He outfitted his army and navy in Western style uniforms and built factories to make muskets and artillery (so they wouldn’t have to be imported).

64 Peter the Great Peter also demanded his nobles (the boyars) look Western in appearance and not like the Mongols. Boyars were told to shave their beards or they’d have to pay a fine. All Russian nobles and bureaucrats had to learn math.

65 Peter the Great Wives and daughters of the boyars usually wore veils (Byzantine tradition)…that tradition ended. Elite Women were to wear Western style dresses and hair. Elite women were now allowed to attend theater and ballet (be seen in public).

66 Peter the Great Russia began the custom (imported from Germany) of Christmas trees. Peter decreed that young people would determine who they would marry, not their parents. Peter also ended the Russian tradition of a father of-the-bride giving the groom a horse whip (symbolizing the transfer of male power over women).

67 Peter the Great But Peter’s reforms didn’t work to develop a large merchant class or have Russia become a major player in the world economy… Russia had to import not only technology but artistic items. It paid for imports with raw materials (especially furs) and grain.

68 Peter the Great Peter didn’t really care about Western Europe except as a means to an end…increasing his personal power. Peter wanted internal and external control; he “borrowed” selectively what he wanted.

69 Peter the Great He wanted a powerful, autocratic state to protect his power and expand Russia’s borders. Peter was known to deal brutally and harshly with any dissent or peasant rebellion. His secret police was to eliminate dissent and watch over the bureaucracy.

70 Peter the Great As the old Kremlin symbolized Russian unification, Peter’s new capital, St. Petersburg, reflected Peter the Great’s determination to open Russia to the West. Built on a broad marsh near the western frontier, Peter in 1703 set about building a European city with the help of an Italian architect, conscripted Russian laborers and his own demonic energy.

71 Peter the Great To finance his project, Peter imposed brutal taxes; to get building materials he ordered that everyone entering the city bring a building stone. No 18th Century city grew so quickly, or at such cost. Transforming the pestilential marsh cost the lives of over 200,000 laborers, who died from fever and exposure.

72 Peter the Great Peter’s son (and future heir to the throne) Alexis became an outspoken critic of his father’s policies. In 1716, Alexis fled to Vienna and renounced his right to succession. Peter suspected his son of plotting against him with foreigners.

73 Peter the Great Peter persuaded Alexis to return to the capital (St. Petersburg) and had him immediately arrested and tried for treason. In 1718, Alexis was sentenced to death, but he died before his execution from injuries sustained during torture.

74 Peter the Great Peter’s Russia will be the first underdeveloped, non-Western country that tries to gain power and prosperity by copying the West (WESTERNIZATION). But no attempt was made to create an exporting industrial economy, so Russia will continue to lag behind the West.

75 Siberia Russia’s absolute monarchs needed a place to exile both criminals and political opponents for long periods of time. Few places were better than the arctic region of Siberia. Far from everything Russian, it had an extremely inhospitable climate (average in winter -59 F).

76 Siberia There was no chance of escape and little chance of survival alone in the vast, frozen, sparsely populated region. 10-15% of the exiles never made it to Siberia…they died along the way. In the early 1600’s only a few people were sent a year. By the early 1800’s that increased to over 2,000. After a revolt in 1825, the tsar sent over 150,000 to their frozen fate.

77 Siberia

78 Catherine the Great Catherine the Great, who ruled as Empress of Russia from , is one of those catalyzing forces in history who, through hard experience, unbounded intelligence, and overwhelming practicality, changed the face of a country against overwhelming odds.

79 Catherine the Great She was a German (Prussian) princess born to an impoverished prince. Her real name was Sophie, not Catherine. At 16, she was married to Grand Duke Peter (the future Peter III), a nephew of Elizabeth (the youngest daughter of Peter the Great), after he was named heir to the throne. After her marriage, she converted from Lutheran to Orthodoxy and began learning the Russian language.

80 Catherine the Great Auntie Elizabeth never liked (or trusted) Catherine, so Catherine always had to be aware of constant threats against her. As the future Empress, her main job was to produce an heir…she did but was it her husband’s son?

81 Catherine the Great Peter III was generally considered to be insane or mentally incompetent; he was certainly weak and sadistic. Catherine suffered greatly in this loveless marriage, and probably suffered abuse as well.

82 Catherine the Great During her long, painful years in the Romanov court, with a mad husband, a son she didn’t like, and a dangerous aunt as Empress, Catherine spent her time reading the works of the French philosophe.

83 Catherine the Great She avidly consumed all the new “enlightened” ideas coming from France and other parts of Europe. Her background as a German princess, as well as her education in philosophe literature, led her to believe that Russia was a barbaric and backward country; she would dedicate her monarchy to bringing Russia into the modern, European age.

84 Catherine the Great She often had French philosophers (like Voltaire—whom she had correspondence with until his death in 1778—he called her “The Star of the North”) visit St. Petersburg, and she established commissions to discuss new legal codes and other Western-style reforms (including reducing traditionally severe punishments).

85 Catherine the Great Catherine patronized Western-style art and architecture and encouraged leading nobles to tour the West and even send their children to European schools. She also encouraged the upper-class to be educated, especially in the arts and literature. Catherine established the Smolny Institute, the first state-financed higher education institution in Europe.

86 Catherine the Great The world famous Hermitage Museum, which now occupies the entire Winter Palace, began as Catherine’s personal collection.

87 Catherine the Great She wrote comedies, fiction, and memoirs, and was instrumental in establishing the Free Economic Society in 1765 (designed to promote advanced farming methods and estate management seen in Europe). She wrote a manual for the education of young children drawing on the ideas of John Locke.

88 Catherine the Great When Empress Elizabeth died in 1762, Peter succeeded her as Tsar Peter III.

89 Catherine the Great He served only a few months before palace guards, on orders from key nobles (and perhaps Catherine, too), kidnapped him and threw him into the palace dungeon. He was murdered in prison and Catherine was made Empress, with the blessings of the palace guards and nobles.

90 Catherine the Great Like Peter the Great, Catherine was a “selective” westernizer, actively defending the powers of her monarchy. Despite her “enlightened” rhetoric, her goals were the same as her predecessors: to increase her personal, centralized power and extend Russia’s borders further outward.

91 Catherine the Great In 1767, she called a Legislative Commission to revise the law and government of Russia. She wrote the commission a document called the Instructions of 1767; the general tone and most of the ideas of this document were derived from philosophe literature and philosophy…but this reform commission and others did virtually nothing…no substantive changes were made.

92 Catherine the Great She put down the famous Pugachev peasant rebellion ( ), and used it as an excuse to extend the powers of the central government into regional affairs.

93 Catherine the Great Pugachev was a Cossack (and ex-army lieutenant) who attracted supporters by appealing to the popular belief that Peter III was still alive. Claiming to be Peter III himself (he apparently looked a little like him), Pugachev led a peasant revolt that threatened Catherine’s power by promising to end serfdom.

94 Catherine the Great When the revolt was put down, Pugachev was brutally executed as an example to others (publicly decapitated then drawn and quartered). She reaffirmed the boyar’s (nobles) control of the land (at the expense of the serfs), and she launched campaign’s against the Ottomans (capturing more of the Crimea).

95 Catherine the Great Peter the Great had only been able to get a small toehold in the Crimea, but Catherine completed the conquest. She made Russia the dominant power in south-eastern Europe after the Russians defeated the Ottomans (which saw some of the heaviest defeats in Turkish history ). Russia was now able to incorporate the southern Ukraine.

96 Catherine the Great She also moved against Poland, dividing (or partitioning) it with Austria and Prussia, eliminating Poland as an independent state (it wouldn’t become independent again until after WWI). All told, she was able to add over 200,000 sq miles to Russian territory (about 4.5 times the size of Pennsylvania).

97 Catherine the Great

98 Catherine the Great She increased colonization in Siberia and encouraged further Russian exploration eastward…claiming the territory of Alaska. Russian explorers moved down the Pacific coast reaching into northern California. But when the French Revolution began (1789), she condemned the revolutionaries and banned any French/foreign literature from entering Russia.

99 Catherine the Great By the time of her death in 1796 (of apoplexy—a stroke at age 67), Russia had passed through 3 centuries of extraordinary development.

100 Catherine the Great Under Catherine, Russia’s population doubled; 11 of Russia’s 50 provinces were added; the size of the Russian army doubled and the Russian fleet tripled; the Russians won 78 land/sea victories (mostly against the Ottomans and Poles); merchant activity and trade was encouraged and made less restrictive; and undeveloped/sparsely populated areas were developed.

101 Catherine the Great From Ivan III to Catherine the Great, Russia had freed itself of foreign rule; had constructed a strong central state; and probably most importantly, had extended control over the largest land empire in the world.


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