World History



























































Peter the Great

Russia emerged as a great power during the early modern period. In 1480, under the leadership of Ivan III, duke of Moscow, Russia finally threw off the Mongol domination that had long crippled Russia’s development. Ivan tripled the size of Russian territory and rebuilt Moscow’s fortress, the Kremlin, which is still home to Russia’s rulers. Ivan declared himself the first Russian tsar, or Caesar. He is now known as Ivan the Great. Russia continued to grow in size as later tsars encouraged peasants to move into newterritories. With the help of firearms, Russian settlers spread across the steppes of central Asia finally putting an end to the military superiority of mounted nomadic warriors. Russian territory eventually reached the Pacific Ocean, creating an empire that included many ethnic groups and the largest country in the world.

Russia = vast nation that stretches from eastern Europe across the Eurasian land mass; its capital city is Moscow.

Moscow = the capital city of Russia. It is in this city that the Kremlin is located.

Kremlin = a fortress in central Moscow that contains the central offices of the government of Russia and, formerly, the offices of the Soviet Union.

tsar = an emperor or ruler of Russia.

Ivan the Great = Ivan III, the first tsar of Russia. During his reign, the Russian state gained independence from the Mongol Tatars, finally ending 200 years of their rule. He also made Moscow the center of the Russian world by considerably expanding its borders. (1440 – 1505)

In 1682, Russia got a new and energetic tsar who stood nearly seven feet tall. He was Peter I, known as Peter the Great. Peter took eighteen months off to travel as a commoner in Europe where he worked as a carpenter and learned more about the West. Peter tried to bring Russia into the modern world by adopting elements of Western culture and technology. He imported printing presses along with European clothing and architecture, and he adopted the Western calendar. Peter also reorganized his military and civil service along European lines. In a war with Sweden, Peter acquired land on the Baltic Sea giving Russia an ocean outlet to the west and direct access to Europe by ship. There he built a European-style capital at St. Petersburg. Peter died at the age of 53 after jumping into icy water to save drowning sailors.

Peter the Great = a Russian tsar who implemented sweeping reforms aimed at modernizing Russia. He is credited with dragging Russia into the Modern World.

Sweden = a country of northern Europe on the eastern Scandinavian Peninsula. Its capital city is Stockholm.

Baltic Sea = an arm of the Atlantic Ocean, enclosed by Scandinavia, Finland, the Baltic countries, and the North European Plain.

St. Petersburg = a seaport in northwest Russia, on the Baltic Sea, founded 1703 by Peter the Great. It served as the capital of the Russian Empire from 1712 to 1917. Between 1914 and 1924, this city was called Petrograd; between 1924 and 1991, the city was called Leningrad.