4. Peter the Great

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European Civilization, 1648-1945 (HIST 202)

Peter the Great’s historical significance stems not only from his military ambitions and the great expansion of the Russian Empire under his supervision, but also from his efforts to introduce secular, Western customs and ideas into Russian culture. Despite his notorious personal brutality, Peter’s enthusiasm for science and modern intellectual concerns made an indelible mark both on Russia’s relationship to the West and on its internal politics. The struggle under Peter’s reign between Westernizers and Slavophiles, or those who resist foreign influences, can be seen at work in Russia up to the present day.

00:00 – Chapter 1. Peter the Great and the Territorial Expansion of Russia
07:37 – Chapter 2. Russia as a European Power: The Influence of the West on the Russian State
14:47 – Chapter 3. The Peculiarities of Peter the Great: The Peasant Czar
27:37 – Chapter 4. A New Culture: Divergences from the Russian Orthodox Religious Tradition
32:40 – Chapter 5. The Boyars: Junior Partners in Russian Absolutism
37:29 – Chapter 6. Peter the Great: The Ambivalent Child of European Rationalism

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Fall 2008.

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