Peter was the first of the Romanov Czars. He ruled Russia for about 40 years. Peter?s most important contribution to Russia is his trying to westernize and modernize his country. He did that by traveling through Europe, and by that, learning new ideas and ways to modernize his country. Peter modernized the clothing style; he taxed males that had long beards. He forced the nobles to wear French styles. Peter also forced nobles to have some form of education.
At that time, Russia was isolated from Europe and the rest of the world because other countries surrounded it. Russia?s religion was Eastern Orthodox, unlike the Roman Catholics and Protestants of Europe. It has a lot of influence from the Mongols who were there until Peter the Great became Czar. The Russian alphabet was different from that of Europe. The Russians use Cyrillic alphabet while the Europeans use Roman alphabet.
Soon after Peter brought in the French style, Russians began to speak French. Peter modernized his army so he can acquire a window to the west by attacking other nations and taking over their land. His goal was to reach a warm water port, where every other port he had access to was cold-water port. Peter also modernized the Russian calendar and the commerce and trading of his country.
Peter the Great began a dynasty of many Czars but those that came after him lost his accomplishments and didn?t achieve anything. Peter III married a German prince, Catherine. Peter III ruled for six months only before his wife murdered him. Catherine, who ruled for 30 years, has a German background and therefore she knew how life was in European nations. She was enlightened – she wrote to European philosophers, and she was under Voltaire?s influence. Catherine the Great was ambitious for new territory. Like Peter the Great she wanted to reach a warm water port. She conquered parts of Poland, with Austria and Prussia, but she got the biggest part of Poland. Settlements in Siberia continued under her rule. Catherine wanted glory for herself and for Russia.