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In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Eastern Europe was marked by two powerful and influential rulers. Frederick the great of Prussia and Peter the Great of Russia. The rise of Prussia and the rise of Russia were comparatively similar, yet both had marked differences.
Russia, under the reign of the young Tsar Peter, was westernized and modernized almost in the wink of an eye. Peter the Great visited Europe, and worked hard to learn and bring back every bit of technology and wisdom possessed by the western part of the world. Throughout his reign he brought Russia up from the proverbial dumps, and placed it among the world powers throughout the known world. Not only did he use his intelligence and determination to put Russia in this position, but also his natural ability to command and lead armies into battle.
Frederick the Great, along with his militaristic father, took Prussia from a dwindling spectator along the sidelines of European powers, and placed it on the top. Using his sheer militaristic nature, and the training and discipline of his army, Frederick the Great conquered many of the European armies. His actions lead to the development of the Prussian army. This army would have great influences all the way to World War I.
From first glance, both countries rise to power seem similar. Both men, Frederick and Peter, possessed great military knowledge, and used that knowledge to defeat their opponents. Each brought his country from ruin, and placed it upon the top ranks of world powers. However, there are also many differences. For example, Frederick the Great focused more on physical actions, discipline, and honor, while Peter the great looked more to advancement in technology, education, and knowledge. Frederick the Great promoted religious freedom throughout all of Prussia. Russia however, under Peter the Great, was entirely devoted toward the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Overall, we see how similar and yet different both the great empires were. Prussia, under Frederick the Great, became a military nation, led by discipline and honor. Freedom of religion was encouraged throughout his realm. Russia, under Peter the Great, was made into an Empire almost overnight. His ways were that of reform, and Peters determination brought Russia to the top. Both empires rose to the top, and while each rulers methods varied their marks will forever be imprinted in history.
“Frederick II of Prussia.” Wikipedia. 7 Sept. 2008. Wikipedia foundation inc. 7 Sept. 2008 .
“Peter I of Russia.” Wikipedia. 7 Sept. 2008. Wikipedia foundation inc. 7 Sept. 2008 .
Nosotro, Rit. ” An Interesting History Essay .” Hyperhistory.net. 15 June 2006, 7 Sept. 2008 .