2021 marks 300 years since the proclamation of Russia as an empire

This year marks the 300th anniversary of the proclamation of Russia as an empire. On November 2, 1721, Peter I, victoriously completing the Northern War, assumed the imperial title, and the Russian kingdom officially began to be called the Russian Empire. The victory over the Swedes made Russia one of the largest European states. How we will celebrate this most important date in the history of national statehood, said members of the public organizing committee of the celebration.

The State Historical Museum has been preparing seriously and for a long time, said its director Alexei Levykin and recalled that the State Historical Museum was once called the All-Russian Imperial Museum named after Tsarevich Alexander Alexandrovich and from the first day of its creation was intended to illuminate and popularize the history of the Russian state, including the Russian Empire …

On the eve of the 300th anniversary in the exhibition complex of the State Historical Museum, an exposition entitled “Empire” will open, which will present the history of various nationalities inhabiting the country, including the history of the Belarusian, Russian and Ukrainian peoples.

– We have a new museum site in Tula. This is not a branch, but a full-fledged part of the State Historical Museum, where all the conditions for organizing exhibitions have been created. And in September we will open the Romanovs exposition there, dedicated to the dynasty, whose activities led to the formation of the empire and contributed to its existence, ”said Levykin.

The new expositions will be accompanied by special lecture courses and educational programs for children about the history of Russia. Numerous publications on social networks will be devoted to the topic of empire. The director of the museum is especially counting on this source of popularization of historical knowledge. “Due to the covid, the attendance of many museums, including the Historical Museum, fell by a quarter. We ourselves have to limit the number of visitors in order to comply with the sanitary and epidemiological supervision requirements. But in a year and a half we have acquired a huge network audience: it has increased by 15 million people.”

The museum is seriously preparing for another anniversary – in 2022 there will be the centenary of the USSR – “a worthy successor to the Russian Empire in terms of the scale of its deeds,” added the director of the State Historical Museum.

“The empire was proclaimed as a result of the Northern War, Peter I became the first all-Russian emperor, and Russia declared itself as a powerful European power. By the way, no one doubted it then,” said Russian State Duma deputy Konstantin Zatulin. “It was a qualitative change, and not just a renaming of the country. The empire became a supranational state, in which, even during the census, it was indicated not “Russian, Belarusian or Ukrainian, but the confessional affiliation of citizens.” A scientific conference, planned by the Institute of CIS Countries, headed by Zatulin, will be devoted to the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the Russian Empire …

The Russian Historical Society (RIO) will not stand aside, said the president of the Faculty of History of Moscow State University. M.V. Lomonosov Sergei Karpov. In his opinion, it is necessary to study the history of the formation of the empire without any ideological dominants and prejudices: “RIO has thought out a series of events both in Moscow and in different cities of our country.”

According to the historian, the European countries were in no hurry to recognize the formation of a powerful and status state next to them. The first to recognize the Russian Empire was Prussia, an ally of Russia in the Northern War. Then defeated Sweden, then Denmark. And only during the reign of Peter’s daughter, Elizabeth Petrovna, was she recognized by the Ottoman Empire, then Austria, England, and finally France. The last was Poland – under Catherine II.

“It was from the Nystadt world that Russia became a leading world power. This historic event is important for national self-awareness. It is important for us to understand that Russia from that moment on has self-determined not just as a monarchy and autocracy, but as a huge universalist supranational sovereign state with missionary tasks, not only religious, but also geopolitical in relation to all of their territories, “stressed Sergei Karpov.


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