Евреи Петербурга. Три века истории


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Before Peter ascended to the Russian throne Russia had lost all access to the sea and was deeply isolated from other European countries. The economic life of the country fell into decay and became almost exclusively a barter economy. Industry and therefore cities as well did not develop. Russia had neither a fleet, regular army nor secular education.
During his reign Peter managed to turn Russia into a great European power. The standing army he created defeated the Swedish army, which had been considered invincible, and the Russians acquired territory on the shores of the Baltic Sea which was essential to the development of maritime trade. On October 22, 1721, Russia was proclaimed an Empire.Frigate "Peter and Paul"
Peter I favored the development of industry and trade. During his reign industry thrived. New manufacturing, mining, paper-mills, ship-yards and industrial centers appeared: Petersburg, Tula, Petrozavodsk, Lipetsk, Voronezh, in addition to metallurgic plants in the Urals and Olonets region. The lumber and metal-working industry, architecture and military science started actively developing. By Peter's orders two navigable canals were constructed: the Vyshnevolochek canal and the Ladoga canal.
Peter carried out his own policy contrary to the will of the boyars and in 1711 he established the Senate in place of the Boyars' Duma. In the course of Peter's reforms the third estate was formed, namely, merchants and artisans. Peter divided the merchants into guilds and gave them certain privileges. In that epoch commerce started developing, both domestic and international. In 1718 Peter organized Collegia (ministries) instead of old "prikazy" (departments). One of the most important became the Commerce-Collegium.
Large-scale reforms were carried out in the sphere of culture and education. There appeared secular education and art, and the first newspapers started being published. Before Peter all the books edited in Russia were religious but during his reign almost all literature (90%) became secular. The clergy's monopoly in the sphere of education was abolished.Portrait of Peter I. A. Antropov, 1770

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View on the German village in Moscow (a fragment of the engraving)
A. Zubov, P. Pikard. Equestrian portrait of Peter I
Portrait of Peter I. A. Antropov, 1770

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