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Russian IdentitiesA Historical Survey$
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Nicholas V. Riasanovsky

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195156508

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195156508.001.0001

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The Eighteenth Century in Russia after the Death of Peter the Great

The Eighteenth Century in Russia after the Death of Peter the Great

(p.88) 5 The Eighteenth Century in Russia after the Death of Peter the Great
Russian Identities

Nicholas V. Riasanovsky (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes 18th-century Russia after the death of Peter the Great as representing a distinct period in the history of Russian culture. It explains that this period marked a decisive break with the Muscovite past—although that break had been foreshadowed and assisted by earlier influences and trends. It adds that 18th-century Russia was an age of apprenticeship and imitation par excellence. It discusses that the death of Peter the Great was followed by a certain relaxation and reaction against his rule: the schools established by Peter could find no students, while intrigue and corruption ran rampant in government and administration. It explains that the Enlightenment image of Peter the great dominated 18th-century Russian thought and literature. The chapter also evaluates Catherine the Great's beliefs and principles, as well as her leadership.

Keywords:   death, westernization, Peter the Great, 18th century, Empress Elizabeth, Enlightenment, literature, religion, Catherine the Great

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