Russia 1789 CE

Rulers such as Peter the Great and Catherine the Great have been modernizing Russia.

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What is happening in Russia in 1789CE

Tsar Alexis (1645-76) oversaw the “liberation” of large tracts of the Ukraine from Poland-Lithuania.

His son, Peter the Great (1689-1726), was determined to modernise (i.e. Europeanise) Russia, and set about doing so with enormous energy. He expelled Sweden from the Baltic coast (giving Russia much prized access to ice-free waters), actively encouraged commerce and industry, founded a navy, re-organized the army along modern lines, carried out a root-and-branch reform of the administration, forced the nobles to shave their beards and wear European dress, introduced western education and built a new capital on some marshland on the Gulf of Finland – St Petersburg, one of Europe’s most spectacular cities

After Peter the Great’s reign, factional strife at court led to a series of short, weak reigns until the empresses Elizabeth (ruled 1741-61), and Catherine II, “the Great”, (1762-96) consolidated his reforms. In particular, they called into being a loyal and competent administration, and centralised the government. Under both empresses, Russia’s borders have expanded at the expense of the Ottoman empire, Poland-Lithuania (especially in the First Partition of Poland in 1772), and the Crimean Khanate.

Next map, Russia in 1837

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