An autocrat is a leader who has absolute power. There have been many autocrats within history that have successfully ruled nations. They took complete control over their land and tried their best to make their people civilized. Autocratic leaders have made decisions which benefited their countries, but some decisions have also hurt them as well. .
A major autocrat in the 18th century was Czar Peter the Great. Czar Peter the Great was known for his Grand Embassy to Europe in 1697. Peter took this trip incognito so that he was able to gain European knowledge and experience their way of life. He then returned back to Russia 18 months later and introduced these European traits to his people. This was also known as westernization. Peter cut off the beards of his men in order for them to appear more European. He then later made his Russian people start to follow the European tradition. The Russian empire began to become more modernized over time. As stated in document 6, Peter the Great then realized that he needed a powerful army in order to properly protect his empire due to his defeat at Narva. He raised new strong and efficient armies which allowed Russia to be feared by many. According to document 7, Peter the Great's establishment of the Table of Ranks expanded the power of the Russian state by offering privileges to the nobility if they performed state service. .
Peter the Great made the Russian empire strong and very powerful. However, along with Peter's positive contributions to the empire, some had negative effects as well. In document 8, it is stated that there were not wealthy enough. This made it hard for Russian people to keep up with Czar's commerce and industry, because they were unable to afford the costs. After Czar's death, enterprise prosperity was very poor, and would not improve until the Communist Revolution. .
Another important autocrat in the 18th century was King Louis XIV.