During the 1700s, Russia was profoundly concerned with westernizing its nation. Two "great" leaders, Peter the Great as well as Catherine the Great strove exceedingly hard to achieve this goal. While they both had different methods of attaining westernization, some of which was very cruel and unusual, both leaders built up a country they could proudly state had become westernized. .
Peter the Great began his reign in 1689, a time in which Russia was desperately in need of internal alteration. He was known as "Peter the Great," because he first worked to modernize Russia. He achieved this by westernizing his country. Before Peter introduced westernization, monarchs as well as their subjects led a very simple life. Palace walls were bare, and tables were strangers to fanciful fabric. It was considered a sin to use wax candles, resulting in a dark and dull time period. This was fortunately changed by Peter's obsession with western cultures. His goals for a perfect westernized nation included a proper military system, a suitable form of legislation as well as having a scientifically knowledgeable public. He knew that the only way Russia could remain an independent country would be by modernizing it. Peter imitated the western's military system, and created the first navy in Russia, with improved army weaponry. His army was organized and his fleets were clever; enabling Russia to conquer important provinces and sea ports, while holding off enemy attacks. This helped Russia's economy enormously, bringing in trade from other nations as well as from conquered lands. Science as well as arts flourished in his provinces and because of the following western reformations, Russians were seen throughout the world as a sociable, honorable people. .
Peter I created a society of social and honorable people, by throwing out old customs he felt were outdated and absurd, such as requiring men to maintain beards.