Document Based Question Essay
How did Russia change and develop under the control of the great czars of the 17th and 18th centuries?
Russia experienced a lot of change and development during the 17th and 18th centuries. Some of it was for good and some not so good. The czars of Russia, Ivan the great, Ivan the terrible, Peter and Catherine the great all promoted the well being of Russian expansion. Ivan the terrible was a very cruel and insane leader that expanded the country but was afraid of his nobility and his predecessors, Peter, Ivan, and Catherine the Great, ruled in a much more peaceful manner while still conquering and spreading culture into many parts of Southern Asia and Western Europe.
First of the major czars was Ivan the third. Ivan focused on expanding Russia by use of a government with a military emphasis and an organized strong army. He freed a large part of Russia after 1462 which led to his nickname being changed to, Ivan the Great. He was obsessed with the idea the Russia was the “third Rome” and that is why he gave himself the name “tsar or czar” which means Caesar, “the absolute leader of all the Russians”.
Ivan the third’s grandson, Ivan IV, assumed the throne after his mother was poisoned by the boyars, nobility, and was paranoid all the time after that. His ultimate goal was to become the supreme ruler of Russia by eliminating his nobility and making himself more powerful. One by one, he would have the boyars killed trying to get rid of his limits. Other than the fact that he was a lunatic and cruel when conquering, he did manage to expand the empire east into Western Europe and south into china, as seen in document 3. According to document 2, Ivan the terrible is viewed as a ruler who integrated religion into social life of the citizens and expanded the empire to new intellectual advances. While in document 1, Ivan IV is pictured as a mean and hateful person that looks angry and the complete opposite of document 2.
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