Russia to 1917 Syllabus

History 356 Fall 2003

Study Questions, Week 6

Cracraft, Chapter 3:


When was the Russian Empire "born"?

How does Cracraft explain the causes of Peter's reforms? The results?


Anisimov, "Peter I":

Does Anisimov consider Peter's reforms a continuity or a discontinuity in Russia's history?

Does A. consider Peter's reforms lasting or superficial? Explain.

How did Peter reshape the image of the ruler and of the state's relationship to society?

Was Peter's political thinking "traditional" or "new"?

What was at the heart of Peter's economic policy and what were the results?

How did Peter's economic policies shift state-society relations?

How did Peter's reforms affect the merchantry? The Peasantry?

Did the change in Peter's economic policies in 1719 reduce the state's role in the economy?

Explain why A. argues that Peter's policies retarded Russia's social development.

According to A, what path might Peter have followed instead?

What motivated Peter's administrative reforms? What were the "chancelleries," and why

reform local government?

What role did public opinion play in Petrine Russia?

How did Peter understand the idea of "law"?

Why does A. consider Peter's Senate reforms important?

Why does A. describe Peter's reforms as a "bureaucratic revolution"?

According to A., how did Peter understand the function of the military?

How did Prokopovich explain the legitimacy of autocracy? How was this new, and how was it traditional?

According to A., what were the results of Peter's conception of the state?

Why does A. call Peter's doctrines "paternalistic"?

How did Peter transform the function/nature of the nobility? What was the purpose of the

Table of Ranks? Was Peter's nobility a "ruling class"?

How did Peter's reforms affect the town social structure? Slaves and Serfs?

According to A. what is important about Peter's tax reforms? His police reforms?

According to A, what was the purpose of Peter's church reforms?

According to A, what were the aims of Peter's foreign policy?

What is Anisimov's thesis?


Cracraft, "Kliuchevsky":

Explain Kliuchevsky's portrait of Peter's personality.

How did K. explain the causes, aims, and results of Peter's reforms?

How does Cracraft explain the power of Kliuchevsky's portrait of Peter?

According to C., what are the major weaknesses of Kliuchevsky's work?

Explain, point by point, Cracraft's criticisms re. Peter's "dreams"; Peter's personality; the aims of Peter's reforms; and the idea of Peter as a revolutionary

Why does Cracraft consider St. Petersburg an important symbol of Peter's rule?


Calendar reform (1699):

If you were a "traditional" Muscovite in 1699, how would you respond to this reform and why?

How did Peter explain the need for calendar reform, and what does that tell us?


Decree on German Clothes (1701):

How did Peter explain the need for this reform?

What was the aim of this reform, how was it to be enforced, and what does it say about Peter's view of the state?


Decree of Shaving (1705):

Were you a traditional Muscovite in 1705, what might you think of this decree?

How was this decree to be enforced, and what does that tell you?


Decree on Entail (1714):

How does Peter describe himself in this decree, and what does this tell us about his understanding of the state?

What is the aim of this decree, and what does it require?


Manifesto on Tsarevich Aleksei (1718):

How did Peter justify depriving Aleksei the throne?

What in particular strikes you as interesting about the way the monarchy is discussed in this document?


Decree on Purchase of Villages (1721):

Explain the aim of this decree.


Decree on Sale of Serfs (1721):

How does Peter explain the need for this decree, and what does that tell us?


Peter Accepts Imperial Title (1721):

What about Peter's statement resonates with Muscovite tradition, and what is "new"?


Table of Ranks (1722) [SEE ALSO KAISER&MARKER pp. 226-229]:

Explain how the Table of Ranks worked. What was its purpose? How did it reshape the nature and function of "nobility" and the relationship between Tsar and people?


Statute on Succession (1722):

Who was to follow Peter to the throne, and how did this break tradition?


College of Manufactures (1723):

What was the function of these colleges, and what do they reveal re. state economic policy?


Academy of Arts and Sciences (1724):

How did Peter explain the need for the Academy, and what does this tell you?


Creation of the Holy Synod (1721):

What does this tell you about the legitimization of Peter's authority?


Oath of the Holy Synod:

What does this tell you about the transformation of church-state relations?


Ecclesiastic Regulation:

What were the aims of creating the Holy Synod?


KAISER & MARKER, pp. 344-336

Spiritual Regulation (1721):

According to these guidelines, what should a good priest do and not do? Explain.


CRACRAFT, pp. 123-125

Prokopovich's Eulogy (1725):

What sort of "myth" image of Peter did Prokopovich create and how?


Russia to 1917 Syllabus