Russia Picks Some Fights for Shits and Giggles

In 1697 Peter the Great and his besties take a road trip to see all the European capitals!

This is primarily to learn about their technology and stuff
– It has mixed results, some visits go well, others.. not so much.

For example Peter learns some new shit about boats from the Dutch! Sweet!

However, he also asks Denmark if he can check out the inside of their military bases
– Denmark is well within their rights to tell Peter to get fucked, so they do
• Peter you are so ridiculous you can’t just ASK people if you can spy on them!

denmark isn't having any of your shit, Peter.

The embassy trip ends early tho, because Peter hears that the streltsy are revolting back in Russia
– those sneaky motherfuckers

So after Peter gets home he is like OKAY, FINE I’ll stop partying and run the country
– this is where things get awesome!!!

Okay so Russia’s major enemies right now are Sweden, Poland, the Ottoman Empire, and Lithuania.

Charles XII is the general-king of Sweden
– similarly to Peter, he wants to spend his entire reign kicking ass

well they WOULD be bros if they weren't so busy trying to kill each other...

Poland is ruled by the decidedly less cool Augustus II
– the Polish nobility have so much power they can veto literally ANY decision that Augustus makes
– so, basically nothing ever gets done
• Poland does have super nice agricultural territory though so I guess that’s… neat?

The Ottoman Empire is below Russia, but people known as the Crimean Tatars live in between the two
– The Crimea is sort of like a buffer state for the Russians and Ottomans to keep them to having hissy fits with each other too often
– the Crimeans are dicks though, they raid Russia for slaves like every fuckin day

Annnd I guess we are just not talking about Lithuania? why even put it on the list then

Until 1700 Russia and Sweden more or less got along
– Russia is viewed by Europe as a group of new “upstarts” while Sweden has the most respected army in Europe
• you just don’t fuck with Sweden, man!

But then one of Peter’s advisors named Menchekov is like HEY what if we fucked with Sweden?!
– Peter is like ALRIGHT cos he doesn’t back down from a motherfuckin challenge

So they march on over there and siege the fortress of Nava
…and get completely stomped by the Swedish. Whoops.

Peter is like well shit we need some military reform up in here, guys.

This is the perfect time for Charles XII to follow up on their victory against Russia!
– but instead he gets busy with bullshit Polish politics and Russia has plenty of recovery time

Eventually Charles DOES decide to invade Russia because he thinks that it is “ripe for revolution”
– I refuse to believe someone as badass as a GENERAL-KING used that phrase. so dumb.

Charles plans on having his army leech Russia’s resources to survive during the invasion, but Peter already heard about the invasion coming cos he is Peter the Motherfuckin Great
– So Peter just has the peasants literally burn everything down. They set their own country ON FIRE, holy shit!!!!

Russia you are straight crazy.

This works super well, of course, and by the time Charles’s army gets to Peter’s army there is absolutely no way they can win
– They are demolished at Poltava and Charles runs to the Ottoman Empire to hide

After this, Sweden is never a great military power again
– That’s what you GET!! Don’t mess with Peter!!!!

Then Russia takes over Finland because… well, why not, I guess?

Sorry, Finland :(

They sign a peace treaty with Sweden in Nystad in 1721
– Russia gets the Baltic Coast out of the deal
• Peter is like yesss because he is still madly in love with boats and is making a bitchin new navy

At the same time, Peter gives the German-Lithuanian people freedom of religion
– so they pretty much love him now

Anyway, there is actually a large gap between the win at Poltava and the Treaty of Nystad
– this is because the Turks decided to declare holy war on Russia
– This is a VERY big deal because most of Europe is absolutely terrified by the Ottoman Empire at this point
• (except for Peter cos he is the best)

So the Russians, led personally by Peter, fight the Turks at Prut
– But the war lasts from 1710-1711 and it is not actually going well. Russia needs it to end very, very badly

Peter decides to send a delegate to discuss peace with the Sultan’s minister.
– Peter tells them to agree to anything besides slavery to get the war to end

Fortunately, the Turks don’t seem to understand just how desperate the Russians are
– The terms end up being that the Russians have to give the port of Azov back and also let Charles XII go home
• what I’m saying here is it’s kind of like Russia didn’t even lose, they got off so easy

Most leaders would be discouraged by a defeat in general, but Peter is like alright let’s go pick a fight with someone else!!!
– this isn’t because Peter is a capricious asshole! How could you even think that? :(

It was actually for economic reasons! Peter you are so smart it is basically ridiculous

Russia decides to have a tussle with the Persians to win control of the Caspian Sea
– the Caspian Sea is important for silk trade
– silk is important because it is super trendy and feels like you are wearing a colony of chinchillas except it doesn’t make PETA angry
– PETA wasn’t invented yet and the Persians didn’t have chinchillas anyway, I’m just being silly
– although now that I think about it making silk kills silk worms so PETA probably wouldn’t like that either

Well, they don't.

ANYWAY, the point is now there’s the Russian-Persian War! It lasts from 1722-1723

To help, Russia makes some deals with the Christians in Georgia and Armenia
-Russia takes the cities of Baku and Der Bent, eventually defeating the Persians at Rescht

So once that’s all said and done Peter is like listen guys, I don’t think I want to be the tsar anymore…




Instead he wants to be the MOTHERFUCKIN EMPEROR


Jesus! Don't scare us like that, Peter.

Russia now = Empire.


These notes are from a class named “History of Imperial Russia”. To read more notes from this class, just click one of the links below!

Day One – Super Early Russia Time!!
Day Two – Russian People Murder Each Other Like Way Too Often
Day Three – Peter the Motherfucking Great
Day Four – Russia Picks Some Fights for Shits and Giggles
Day Five – Drunken Caroling as a Form of Government

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  1. John

    These notes are too funny. Where do you go to college? Do your professors know about this blog?

    Comment — November 26, 2014 @ 11:14 am

  2. mari8879

    can’t get enough of your weird history notes.

    Comment — February 24, 2015 @ 9:07 pm

  3. IslandJoe


    Comment — November 28, 2015 @ 8:13 pm

  4. dreamland09

    I didn’t know anything about Russian history until this blog and now it’s the only thing I want to know

    Comment — December 11, 2015 @ 9:43 am

  5. Shawn

    I can’t beleive I didn’t see the alt text until now… have to go back and re-read all of them!

    Comment — April 23, 2016 @ 9:48 pm

  6. Helena

    I lost it at the chinchilla

    Comment — April 25, 2016 @ 7:27 pm

  7. bluefox

    russia you so sassy

    Comment — June 1, 2016 @ 9:35 am

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