Russia was already a dependent region within the global economy dominated by the West.
Fueled by the establishment of the Tatar trade routes with the East, Russia had developed a significant export trade and merchant class.
Russia had become a more purely agricultural economy, dependent on peasant labor.
Russia's economic ties were almost exclusively with the Ottoman Empire and hence with Africa.
Russia was following the West into an economy dominated by merchants and capitalists.
The Byzantine Empire
The Abbasid Empire
The Ottoman Empire
The Umayyad Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Russians wished to seize control of the trade routes with China.
Most of the Russian population remained ethnically Mongol with clear cultural ties to central Asia.
There were natural barriers to westward expansion.
The Russians were motivated by a desire to push the former Mongol overlords farther back to prevent revewed invasion.
Russians wanted to control the lucrative fur trade in Siberia.
Russian civil war.
Time of Troubles.
Era of Division.
Aristocratic control of the bureaucracy
Royal control over the bureaucracy and reorganized military
Separation of church and state
Peter the Great initiated the Russian invasion of China.
Peter abandoned the Russian policies of expansion in favor of consolidation at the center.
Peter allied himself with the traditional Russian enemy, the Ottoman Empire.
Peter's wars with the Ottoman Empire and Sweden indicated a westward shift in Russian expansion.
Peter began Russian expansion into North America and Japan.
Catherine flirted vigorously with the ideas of the French Enlightenment, but failed to take steps to abolish serfdom.
Catherine rejected the concepts of Westernization in favor of a distinctive Russian culture.
Catherine was eager to continue the policy of Westernization, but was unable to attract Western philosophers to backward Russia.
She was more interested in the process of Asianization and reforming the aristocracy.
Russia's merchant class was more fully developed than that of the West.
The West had no formal aristocracy by the 18th century, but in Russia the nobility retained their political and social function.
Russia saw a progressive intensification of sefdom while the West was relaxing this institution in favor of other labor systems.
The agricultural labor of the West was subject to a more restrictive form of serfdom than that of Russia.
There was much more forced labor in Western Europe than in Russia due to the needs of the growing industrial base.