Russia

Although Russia is a very old country evolving during the Middle Ages, it was not considered part of mainstream Europe until the reign of Czar Peter the Great who ruled until 1725. He was a Europhile with an empathy towards the western culture and the first Czar to visit that part of the world. There is a story that while visiting Greenwich Palace in England, he was told that he looked as though he had been dragged through a hedge backwards. His reply was that he had, and in a wheelbarrow!.The Russian Empire was established in 1721, and the three hundred-year chronicle of the Romanovs, who had been in power since 1613, came to fruition. Peter the Great was one of Russia's most charismatic and forceful leaders, and he built the foundations of a new political culture. Trying to westernize the nation, he moved the capital from the old, quasi-medieval city of Moscow to the new city of Saint Petersburg, where it would remain until 1918. The Russian Empire reached its peak during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, producing many colorful and enlightened figures such as Catherine the Great, Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy. The sharp divide between the rulers and the ruled became apparent to all observers in the 19th century, and the botched attempts by the establishment to amend this ended in failure. Russia was technologically, politically and culturally far behind the rest of Europe; this would have tragic results for Czar Nicholas II and his family; the Romanov dynasty,; the Russian Empire; and, not least, the people of Russia. In 1917 the empire and the monarchy was destroyed.

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Although Russia is a very old country evolving during the Middle Ages, it was not considered part of mainstream Europe until the reign of Czar Peter the Great who ruled until 1725. He was a Europhile with an empathy towards the western culture and the first Czar to visit that part of the world. There is a story that while visiting Greenwich Palace in England, he was told that he looked as though he had been dragged through a hedge backwards. His reply was that he had, and in a wheelbarrow!.The Russian Empire was established in 1721, and the three hundred-year chronicle of the Romanovs, who had been in power since 1613, came to fruition. Peter the Great was one of Russia's most charismatic and forceful leaders, and he built the foundations of a new political culture. Trying to westernize the nation, he moved the capital from the old, quasi-medieval city of Moscow to the new city of Saint Petersburg, where it would remain until 1918. The Russian Empire reached its peak during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, producing many colorful and enlightened figures such as Catherine the Great, Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy. The sharp divide between the rulers and the ruled became apparent to all observers in the 19th century, and the botched attempts by the establishment to amend this ended in failure. Russia was technologically, politically and culturally far behind the rest of Europe; this would have tragic results for Czar Nicholas II and his family; the Romanov dynasty,; the Russian Empire; and, not least, the people of Russia. In 1917 the empire and the monarchy was destroyed.

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