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Peter the Great to Lenin


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Peter the Great Reforms Russia: A DECREE ON A NEW CALENDAR, DECEMBER 20, 1699, ed., Peter Stearns, et al., Documents in World History, Volume II. The Modern Centuries: from 1500 to the Present (New York: Harper and Row, 1988), 32-33. New Calendar from Polnoe Sobranie Zakonov Russkoi Imperii (Complete Collection of the Laws of the Russian Empire), 1st series, Vol. 3, No. 1736, pp. 681-82.

Peter the Great Reforms Russia: DECREES ON THE DUTIES OF THE SENATE, ed., Peter Stearns, et al., Documents in World History, Volume II. The Modern Centuries: from 1500 to the Present (New York: Harper and Row, 1988), 33. Duties of the Senate from Polnoe Sobranie, Vol. 4, No. 2321, p. 627 and No. 2330, p. 643.

Peter the Great Reforms Russia: DECREES ON CONPULSORY EDUCATION OF THE RUSSIAN NOBILITY, JANUARY 12, AND FEBRUARY 28, 1714, ed., Peter Stearns, et al., Documents in World History, Volume II. The Modern Centuries: from 1500 to the Present (New York: Harper and Row, 1988), 33-34. Compulsory Education from Polnoe Sobranie, Vol. 5, No. 2762, p. 78 and No. 2778, p. 86.

Lenin and the Russian Revolution: OUR PROGRAMME (1899), ed., Peter Stearns, et al., Documents in World History, Volume II. The Modern Centuries: from 1500 to the Present (New York: Harper and Row, 1988), 123. V.I. Lenin, Selected Works (New York: International Publishers, 1971), p.33.

Lenin and the Russian Revolution: PROCLAIMING THE NEW SOVIET GOVERNMENT (NOVEMBER 1917), ed., Peter Stearns, et al., Documents in World History, Volume II. The Modern Centuries: from 1500 to the Present (New York: Harper and Row, 1988) 123-124. Robert C. Tucker, ed., The Lenin Anthology (New York: W.W. Norton, 1975), pp. 76-77, 492-95, 743.

Lenin and the Russian Revolution: MODERNIZING RUSSIA (1920), ed., Peter Stearns, et al., Documents in World History, Volume II. The Modern Centuries: from 1500 to the Present (New York: Harper and Row, 1988), 124-125. F.A. Golder, ed., Documents of Russian History, 1914-1917 (New York: Appleton, 1927), pp. 618-19.

In Russia, at that place are some remarkable leadership that led the state to new charges. Peter the Great, led Russian culture to be developed at that time, and Lenin, who was the key person for the Russian Revolution. I prefer these two documents because I genuinely consider that Russia is now a huge affective nation to the world, so their history and rulers at that time are not just ordinary facts that we can ignore about. Peter the Great and Lenin, they both were really solid, significant leaders, and they did not afraid of changes and to become a part of Russian history. The first document is about Peter the Great, he ruled Russia from 1682 to 1725. Peter was the great modernize ruler in history. The author of this document is Peter himself, he clearly explained about the reform process that he has accomplished. He composed this document because he held this vision and dreams in his affection. Vision of modernizing society. He strongly believed that Westernize state is better for the land and his masses. So he eagerly wanted to testify and prove to all the different stories of Russians that his idea of ruling a country is the right directions. The first point that the Peter makes was the decree on a new calendar in 1699. He recognized that all European Christian countries set January first from eight days after the nativity of Jesus Christ. He ordered administrative to use the new calendar at the beginning of January first, 1700. “…the Great Sovereign has ordered that henceforth all government administrative departments and fortresses in all their official business use the new calendar beginning January 1, 1700 (32).” The second, Peter sets up an administrative council and decrees on the duties of them. This scent is important because when Peter is absent, they are in charge of duties that Peter decreed. “This ukaz (decree) should be made known. We have decreed that during our absence administration of the country is to be (in the hands of) the Governing Senate (33).” And they are very reasonable. Some of them are like, “To establish a just court, to deprive unjust judges of their offices and of all their property, and to administer the same treatment to all slanderers (33).” Also, he said, “To supervise governmental expenditures throughout the country and cancel unnecessary and, above all, useless things (33).” The third, Peter believed to improve education is sufficient and give useful working people of the country. “The Great Sovereign has decreed: in all gubernias children between the ages of ten and fifteen of the nobility, of government clerks, and of lesser officials, except those of freeholders, must be taught mathematics and some geometry (33).” They have to proceed and receive certificate otherwise, they are not allowed to marry. “Without these certificates they should not be allowed to marry nor receive marriage certificates (34).” In the termination of World War I, many sufferings had produced in the urban centers and the countryside in Russia. The anger from the working class, the propertyless people, rises in the old society, the Romanov dynasty. The Romanov dynasty ruled Russia from 1613 until 1917, and later destructed by the Russian Revolution. The second document is written by Lenin, the first principal of the new Soviet government. Lenin shared the causes of the Russian Revolution, and also proclaimed the young Soviet regime. Lenin was the guy who did not afraid of changes and strongly believed the Marxism, which produced by Karl Marx in 1800s, the ultimate goal was the huge development from bourgeois and classless society. Lenin wrote this document because he wanted the future to insure that his achievement in Russia was necessary and right things to serve, too, for the leaders after Lenin died because he desired them to sustain the same believe and observe the foundations of the new Soviet regime.
The first significant period that Lenin makes in the first document is that he made clear reasons that why revolution does necessary. “It made clear the real task of a revolutionary socialist party: not to draw up plans for refashioning society, not to preach to the capitalists and their hangers-on about improving the lot of the workers, not to hatch conspiracies, but to organise the class struggle of the proletariat and to lead this struggle, the ultimate aim of which is the conquest of political power by the proletariat and the organization of a socialist society…(123).” The second point that Lenin makes after the revolution was the significance of a soviet government and the decree of socialist state. “The old state machinery will be smashed into bits and in its place will be created a new machinery of government by the soviet organizations. From now on there is a new page in the history of Russia, and the present, third Russian revolution shall in its final result lead to the victory of Socialism (124).” And, “We should now occupy ourselves in Russia in building up a proletarian socialist state (124).” The third point that Lenin makes in 1920, he believed that communism and the dictatorship of the proletariat are reasonable and also the heart of the Soviet regime. “The dictatorship of the proletariat has been successful because it has been able to combine compulsion with persuasion. The dictatorship of the proletariat does not fear any resort to compulsion and to the most severe, decisive and ruthless forms of coercion by the state (124).” And, “Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country (125).” The first difference between Peter the Great and Lenin was their political views. Peter wanted expansion and was in favor of westernizing Russia. “.. every [foreign-trained Russian] should bring with him at his own expense, for which he will later be reimbursed, at least two experienced masters of naval science (34).” At the time, Great Britian was known for their strong navy and Peter wanted Russia to expand their knowledge in order for them not to lack in any aspects as a country. Lenin believed in socialism and communism. “ Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country (125).” He believed that their country should not remain as a small-peasant country. The second similarities between Peter the Great and Lenin was how they are leading the country. Even though their political view was different, they wanted the reform, but not a weak country at the same time. “..every [foreign-trained Russian] should bring with him at his own expense, for which he will later be reimbursed, at least two experienced masters of naval science (34).” Peter believed reform in education and technology will bring country a strong state. “We should now occupy ourselves in Russia in building up a proletarian socialist state (124).” Lenin believed that the new Soviet government is a strong socialist state.

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