At the beginning of the XVIII century Russia was in an extremely unfavorable foreign environment. Russia was constantly threatened by Sweden, Poland and Turkey. England, Holland and France have taken the path of capitalist development, began the struggle for colonies and also threaten Russia.
Socio-political situation in the country remained difficult because the final enslavement of the population threatened by social explosion. Under these conditions, especially the ruling class, were required guarantees the successful resolution of internal and external problems. The absolute monarchy was such State with a strong bureaucracy, army and navy.
Creating an army in the Russian history was connected with the name of Peter I.
He was carried out military reforms:
- were eliminated Streltsy troops and nobles' levies;
- established new ways of manning the army and navy by officers and soldiers;
- developed strong foundations of military service;
- defined the legal status of soldiers and officers;
- changed the organizational structure of the army;
- reorganized military administration;
- established a new order of material support of personnel;
- changed teaching methods and education of the troops;
- conducted rearmament of the army;
- improved supply system.
Legalization of the regular army got in the Military regulations 1716 and the Maritime Statute 1720.
The first act was the decree of 8 November 1699 on a voluntary entry into the soldiers "regular part" ohotchih people of all classes".
Holops had received the freedom in the case of admission to the soldiers, and contrakt slavers were freed from bondage.
Decree of 20 February 1705 "On the recruitment of the man with 20 yards" was established recruiting service, entered a unified system of recruitment of regular troops. Under the decree, subjects of recruiting were tax-paying classes: peasants of all types and townsmen. Recruitment conducted periodically. In due time from 20 yards had been called up a physically healthy recruit: first, at the age of ot15 to 20 years, and later from 17 to 32 years. Escaping of recruits was severely punished. In case of death, death in battle or escaping of recruits instead of them was taken a soldier from the people of the same yards.
In 1706 a decree was issued, in which recruits were recruited from boyar estates (ot300 yards - one recruit) and from the elderly, injured landowners, landlord's widows and merchants (from 100 yards - one recruit).
A significant event was the adoption on Jan. 2, 1722 such a legal act as the "Table of Ranks of all ranks of military, civilian, court."
In accordance with the Table of Ranks, the command of the army and the navy received military ranks, which were divided into ground forces, the guards, and artillery and naval. All posts have been divided into 14 classes (grades).
In 1700 the Line statute (Stroevoi ustav) were adopted and a complement to it, "Company commander ranks"(Rotye Chiny) and "Military Articles"(Stat'i voinskie). These documents contained the requirements for officers and soldiers.
"The Military Statute" was adopted in 1716, which summed up the experience of the activity of regular army.
The Statute consists of 4 parts:
Part I - defined the activities of all military units and institutions - were regulated the rights and duties of the higher ranks from the Generalissimo and Field Marshal to the General Warder.
Part II - The Military Article with a brief interpretation of the contents of the norm of criminal law.
Part III - short representation of processes or litigation, including criminal-procedural law and the structure of military courts.
Part IV - on ekzertsitsii (trainings), on the preparation for the march, on ranks and posts of regimental ranks.
Thus, the result of military reforms of the early XVIII century in Russia was established regular army and navy. The army was a national, completed on the basis of recruiting. By its nature, it was the army of the feudal-serf state support of absolutism.