Peter was not a social reformer, but his reforms brought about great changes in the social composition of Russian society. All strata of "men of service" now melted definitely into one unified class of dvorianstvo (gentry), which had to pass a uniform time (the fourteen "ranks" of the "Table" of 1722) of obligatory serv ice. Possession of landed estates lost all trace of being a remunera tion for service. At the same time the different groups of land la bourers, half-free and unfree, on the gentry's estates, became a unified class of serfs, subject to the poll tax, introduced by Peter in 1718-22 and collected by the landlords. Peter also tried unsuccess
fully to differentiate the burgesses from other classes by organizing them in merchant guilds and introducing a kind of municipal self government under the German name of Rathaus and "burgo master" (1699-1721).
Peter's educational reforms proved premature. There had been already founded, under Sophia, a "Slavo-Greek-Latin" theo logical academy in Moscow (1685-87), where the influence of Kiev amalgamated with the more orthodox Greek tendencies. Peter added to it a "navigation school," led by an English mathe matician, Farquharson (1701, transferred to Petersburg as the "naval academy," 1715). Both academies soon became centres of two sets of lower schools, clerical and lay, in the provinces. But they were few—about 4o of each for the whole of Russia—and they had to secure their pupils almost by force. A few hundred pupils only finished their studies here. Peter also ordered the publication of useful books—mostly translations—and he intro duced the present Russian lay alphabet. But Peter's books proved too specialized for Russian readers and the language of the trans lations was nearly unreadable : a literary language had first to be created.
Peter's reforms did not leave untouched the sphere of religion. As the clergy was mostly opposed to his reforms, he deprived the Russian Church of its spiritual head—the patriarch, "a second Monarch." Aided by an educated bishop, Theophane Prokopo vich, Peter abolished the patriarchate and put in its place the "holy synod" (1721). The "beheaded" Church was thus deprived, in the opinion of adversaries of that reform, like Stephen Yavor sky, of its legislative authority in questions of dogma.