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ArticleName Peter I and the history of Russian metallurgy
DOI 10.17580/tsm.2022.07.01
ArticleAuthor Rudnik S. N., Samylovskaya E. A.

Saint Petersburg Mining University, Saint Petersburg, Russia:

S. N. Rudnik, Associate Professor at the Department of History, Candidate of Historical Sciences, e-mail:
E. A. Samylovskaya, Assistant Lecturer at the Department of History, Candidate of Historical Sciences, e-mail:


This paper examines the history of Russian metallurgy during Peter’s I reign. Thus, the authors analyze the works by pre-Revolution, Soviet and contemporary Russian and foreign historians and consider the main stages in the evolution of the industry in Russia in the 17th century through the 1st quarter of the 18th century. The authors distinguished and examined the key areas of metallurgical modernization implemented by Peter the Great. They include development of the old (traditional) metallurgical regions (the Central and the Olonetsk regions), establishment and rapid development of the new metallurgical region of the Urals, development of public-private partnership, establishment of public governance to oversee the metallurgical industry, the policy of import substitution and transition to iron exports, involvement of foreign specialists, training of qualified metallurgists among fellow countrymen, and expansion of the human resources pool for the industry. In the course of their research, the authors came to the conclusion that the Great Northern War had served as the driver for the rapid development of metallurgy. Peter’s I reforms were based on the experience of the previous period in the country’s history. However, they were of different quality: Russia did not only go through intense modernization in its aspiration to catch up with Western countries, but it succeeded so much as to become one of the leaders in Europe and a major influencer on the global arena. Peter’s I timing in realizing the importance of metallurgy as a factor contributing to the modernization of the Russian army and building a powerful state was just right. The golden age of the Russian metallurgy, which came with Peter’s the Great reforms, contributed to the success of the military reform, but it also helped the country win the Great Northern War turning it into a great world power.

keywords Peter I, metallurgy in Russia, Great Northern War, mobilization economy, import substitution

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