Were Peter’s reforms part of a European process?

In early Modern Europe, “dynastic aggrandizement” was the name of the game, its nature: self-reinforcing. Cracraft (2003, 54) defines dynastic aggrandizement as “the relentless pursuit of territorial expansion by hereditary rulers seeking economic gain and strategic security against the similar pretensions of their neighbors.” By the nature of the game, one player incites, by existential threat, another to play as well, and playing required a modernized military, efficient management of institutions and resources, and curation of diplomatic and economic relations.

Should we think Peter’s revolutionary reforms as part of a process that gripped the whole of Europe, starting in Renaissance Italy? Did Peter face the decision: either play the game or perish?


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