On Saturday, January 13, Dr. Paul Bushkovitch presented “Peter the Great and His Reign” as a part of the Russian History Museum’s Second Saturday online lecture series.

In the thirty-six years that Peter was on the throne, Russia became a major power in Europe and incorporated the main features of modern West European culture.

Peter started out with the modernization of the army and the partial reorganization of the state, but the ultimate outcome was far more extensive. He also built a navy, defeated Sweden to regain Russia’s access to the Baltic Sea, founded a new capital and thoroughly, not just partially, reorganized the state. In this way, he made Russia into a major power in European politics.

In his lecture, Dr. Paul Bushkovitch explored Peter the Great’s reign as a fundamental turning point in Russian history. In the Q&A section, Dr. Bushkovitch talked about the portrayal of Peter the Great in modern Russia, the fate of Peter’s son Alexei, and much more.

About the Speaker

Dr. Paul Bushkovitch graduated from Harvard University (BA 1970) and Columbia University (PhD 1975). At Columbia, he worked with Michael Cherniavsky and Marc Raeff on a dissertation about the Moscow merchants of the seventeenth century. He has been at Yale since 1975. He is the author of Religion and Society in Russia: The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (1992), Peter the Great: The Struggle for Power 1671-1725 (2001), Succession to the Throne in Early Modern Russia: The Transfer of Power 1450-1725 (2021), and a Concise History of Russia (2011) among other books and articles.