Categories: biographybiography historyhistory

Peter the Great


Peter the Great ruled the Tsardom of
Russia and later the Russian Empire
from 7 May 1682 until his death,
jointly ruling before 1696 with his
elder half-brother, Ivan V. Through a
number of successful wars he
expanded the Tsardom into a much
larger empire that became a major
European power. He led a cultural
revolution that replaced some of the
traditionalist and medieval social and
political systems with ones that were
modern, scientific, westernized, and
based on The Enlightenment. Peter's
reforms made a lasting impact on
Russia and many institutions of
Russian government traced their
origins to his reign.


Peter I was born on 30 May 1672. When
Peter was a child several teachers were
delegated to teach him. Among Peter’s tutors
were Patrick Gordon, Nikita Zotov and Paul
Menesius. This process was commissioned by
Tsar Alexis I.
In 1676 Tsar Alexis I died. As a result the
power was left to Feodor III who was Peter’s
elder half-brother. He died in 1682 and there
were not his descendants. Consequently
there was a conflict for power between the
Miloslavsky and Naryshkin families. Other
half-brother of Peter, Ivan V, was heir to the
throne but his health declined. As a result at
the age of ten Peter became Tsar chosen by
the Boyar Duma.
In accordance with his mother’s desire
Peter married. The marriage was in 1689
and Eudoxia Lopukhina became his wife. 10
years later the marriage broke down and
Peter’s wife became a nun.


In 1689 the power was in the hands
of Peter’s half-sister Sophia. Because
of two ineffective Crimean campaigns
her authority was undermined and
Peter planned to take power. Peter
could become an independent ruler
only in 1694 when his mother died.
Officially there were two rulers: Peter
and Ivan V. In 1696 Peter became the
absolute ruler when Ivan V died.
In October 1721 Peter was
proclaimed Emperor of All Russia.
Augustus II of Poland, Frederick
William I of Prussia, and Frederick I
of Sweden recognized this title. Other
monarchs did not agree with it. Some
rulers were afraid that Peter would
claim authority over them.


Peter imposed new taxes in the Russian
Empire. The household tax and the land
tax were abrogated. These two taxes were
superseded with a poll tax. He also
reformed the Russian Orthodox Church.
In 1724 Peter married for a second time
to Catherine who was crowned as
Empress. However he remained actual
ruler of Russia. Peter had 2 wives and 14
children by them. Only 3 of his children
survived to adulthood.
In 1723 Peter’s health declined. He had
problems with bladder and urinary tract
but he was cured. As legend has it in
November 1724 while at Lakhta Peter was
forced to rescue the soldiers drowning not
far from shore.
Consequently his health became worse
and these problems caused his death.
Peter died on 8 February 1725.


In the winter of 1723, Peter, whose overall
health was never robust, began having
problems with his urinary tract and bladder.
In the summer of 1724 a team of doctors
performed surgery. Peter remained bedridden
until late autumn. In the first week of
October, restless and certain he was cured,
Peter began a lengthy inspection tour of
various projects. According to legend, in
November, at Lakhta along the Finnish Gulf
to inspect some ironworks, Peter saw a group
of soldiers drowning near shore and, wading
out into near-waist deep water, came to their
This icy water rescue is said to have
exacerbated Peter's bladder problems and
caused his death..
Peter died between four and five in the
morning 8 February 1725. He was fifty-two
years, seven months old when he died,
having reigned forty-two years.
English     Русский Rules