Russian Timeline


Journey to the West


Peter the Great went out to learn the Western ways himself. He saw parliaments and liked the way that they were honest with their kings. He tried to modernize Russia, but found it very difficult to get everyone on board. Because he had a hard time modernizing Russia he became an absolute monarch in Russia.

Peter expands Russia's Borders

1697 - 1700

Peter the Great wanted to find warm water ports, because the ports that Russia had control of were frozen in the winter. He tried to gain parts of the Black Sea which was controlled by the Ottoman Empire. The Russians tried to push through the Ottoman Empire and although seemed successful at first, he was soon pushed back by the Ottomans.

The Great Northern War

1700 - 1709

Peter began a long war against the Kingdom of Sweden and sided with other countries because he felt that the king was week. Russia wanted to gain lands from the nation of Sweden. Sweden dominated and Russia suffered humiliating defeats. Peter built up his army by modeling it after European armies. He finally defeated them in 1709 and won regions along the Baltic Sea.

Building St. Petersburg


With the land won from the Sweden Peter built a new city capital called St. Petersburg. Many serfs died in the creation of this city. It became a great symbol of Peter’s effort to forge a modern Russia.

Catherine the Great becomes absolute monarch


Russian army officers assassin her mentally unstable husband. This led to the ruthless absolute monarch Catherine the Great. She gave more powers to the upperclass, and the conditions for the Russian peasants became worse.

Crimean War

1853 - 1856

A fight over who would take the lands throughout the weakening Ottoman Empire. Russia with the largest standing army in Europe, but was defeated by an alliance with France, Britain, and the Ottoman Empire.

Revolution of 1905


A wave of mass political and social unrest that spread through vast areas of the Russian Empire. Some of it was directed against the government, while some of it was undirected. It included worker strikes, peasant unrests, and military mutinies. This led to the creation of limited constitutional monarchy. Nicholas was unable to to fix all of Russia's political and economical issues.

Russia enters World War I


Germany declared war on Russia after Russia sided with Serbia after the “Powder Keg” was ignited. This fueled national pride throughout the nation, but quickly this changed because the Russian supplies became strained and casualties reached almost 2 million.

Lenin returns to Russia


Germans wanted Lenin back in Russia because with revolutions the nation became weaker. Lenin was sent across Germany in a train to the Russian frontier and when he arrived he yelled “Long live the worldwide socialist revolution”

The Tsar steps down


Because of disasters on the battlefield, combined with with food and fuel shortages on the home front, brought the monarchy to a collapse. Duma politicians set up a temporary government but soon a radical group called the Bolsheviks took over with a new leader Lenin.

Treaty of Brest-Litovsk


This was a treaty between Germany and Russia where Russia gave them a huge chunk of land and population. The cost of peace was high but the leaders in Russia new they had to do it because they had to deal with all of the problems within the country.

New Economic Policy (NEP)

1921 - 1928

This was a policy that Lenin adopted that allowed come capitalist ventures. State controlled big things but private business were able to open up for their own profit. This was in effect until 1928 and the economy came back to what it was like before all of the wars.

Building a communist Soviet Union


Lenin’s Communist government united the old Russia into a new nation the USSR or The Soviet Union. A constitution was made and it seemed both democratic and socialist. The theory was for everyone to be equal but reality set in and Russia became became one of the largest republics.

Lenin Dies


When Lenin dies this left Stalin in power. Lenin was unsure about how he would lead the country and said “I am not sure that he always knows how to use that power with sufficient caution.” Lenin was right and in the years to come Stalin was a very ruthless leader.

Five Year Plans


These were plans made up by Stalin aimed at building heavy industry, improving industry, and increasing farm output. Although material coming out of the country was high, the standard of living still remained very low.

Germany invades Russia