The World and Its People

Chapter 15: The New Russia and Independent Republics

Web Activity Lesson Plans

In this chapter, students learned about St. Petersburg, an important northwestern port in Russia. During the 1700s, Czars Peter I and Catherine II tried to modernize Russia and make it more like Europe. Peter built a new capital of Russia at St. Petersburg in the early 1700s. Saint Petersbug was designed like a European city with its elegant palaces, public squares, and canals. In this activity, students will learn more about the founding of St. Petersburg and its advancements under the leadership of Russia's czars.

Lesson Description
Students will visit the Saint Petersburg Web site to learn more about how the city was founded and then modernized by Russia's great czars. Students will learn about the changes and contributions to St. Petersburg made by Czars Peter the Great, Elizabeth, and Catherine the Great, and will then create a two-minute speech about one of St. Petersburg's famous sites to present to the class.

Instructional Objectives

  1. Students will be able to explain when and why St. Petersburg was founded.
  2. Students will be able to trace the contributions made to St. Petersburg by several of Russia's early czars.

Student Web Activity Answers

  1. The Neva River had become part of Sweden in the Stolbovo Treaty of 1617, and Peter wished to regain control of the river for Russia and thus regain access to the Baltic Sea.
  2. When Peter the Great first founded the city of St. Petersburg, there were no bridges across the mighty Neva River. People had to be ferried across by boat.
  3. During Elizabeth's reign, St. Petersburg became a fine European capital. After 20 years of her reign, St. Petersburg and its suburbs could rival the most beautiful European cities. She commissioned the Smolny Convent and the Winter Palace, and established the Russian Academy of Arts.
  4. Catherine, a German princess, was married to Elizabeth's nephew, Peter III. She assumed power in 1762 after a coup d'etat, which she engineered together with officers of the Royal Guard.
  5. Students' presentations will vary.
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