What was the extent of Russia in the 1500s?

Step 1: Go to the ArcGIS Online map, Russia Expansion to the Sea. Take a moment to analyze the map.

  • Which physical features defined Russian territory in 1533?
  • Using the Measure tool, determine the west-east distance of Russia in 1533.
  • In what direction did Russia expand by 1598?

Why did Russia expand east?

  • By what year did Russia reach the Pacific Ocean?
  • What was the west-east distance of the Russian Empire by 1689?
  • Why does the line curve when measuring?

Step 2: With the Details button depressed, click the button, Contents.

Step 3: Click the checkbox to the left of the layer name, Territories Acquired.

Step 4: Click Pop-up #1.

  • Why was the fur trade a motive for expansion?

What challenges did Russia’s quest for a warm-water port meet?

Step 5: Turn on the Cities layer and pan west so that you can see both Canada and Russia.

  • What ports in Russia would you expect to be ice-free in winter?
  • A disadvantage of not having nice-free ports is that trade by sea could not occur year-round.

When and where did Russia expand west?

Peter the Great wanted to claim St. Petersburg to increase trade with Europe.

Step 6: Click Pop-up #3.

In 1703, Peter the Great acquired St. Petersburg after the war with Sweden. Later, St. Petersburg was called the “Window to the West” because it faced Europe.

  • Using the Measure tool, measure the extent of the Russian Empire by 1796.

What geographic features impeded Russia’s southward expansion in the 1800s?

In addition to warm-water ports, Russia sought lands in areas with milder climates more suitable for agriculture.

Step 7: Turn off the Other Empires layer.

  • Which empires do you think was most likely to prevent Russia from acquiring ports on the Black Sea?

Step 8: Click Pop-up #4.

  • A significant result of the Crimean War is that Russia won and kept the Black Sea ports. (T/F)
  • Into what other areas did the Russian Empire expand by 1914?


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World Regional Geography Lab Manual by R. Adam Dastrup, MA, GISP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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