The reign of Peter I is generally regarded as a watershed in Russian history, during which Russia expanded westward, became a leading player in European affairs, and underwent major reforms of its government, economy, religious affairs, and culture.
Having inherited a vast but backward state, he propelled Russia to the rank of a major European power, while his extraordinary personality and wide scale reforms have been an inspiration to generations of historians, writers and ordinary Russians.
Born in in Moscow, the future emperor was the son of Tsar Aleksey I. InFyodor died without leaving an heir. This sparked a bitter power struggle among the nobility: As a result, Ivan and Peter were proclaimed joint tsars.
One result of this exile was that Peter grew up away from the stifling atmosphere of palace life. He enjoyed energetic outdoor games and took a special interest in military affairs. During his frequent visits to a nearby German colony, he took a liking to all things European.
Another seemingly insignificant event in his life was the time he found an old sailboat in a shed; this discovery provided his initial passion for sailing. He also enjoyed mathematics, fortification and navigation. But the forced union did not last. Although they did succeed in having a son together, the couple grew apart.
Eventually, Peter had his wife confined to the walls of a convent, freeing himself from the bonds of marriage. In Augustthe political temperature in Russia increased yet again as the streltsy once more revolted.
But the country he inherited lagged far behind most European states. So the determined Russian tsar embarked on an ambitious program to transform Russia into an advanced European country while winning a maritime outlet. The first steps he took were the campaigns of against the Crimean Tatars, the vassals of Turkey, in the hope of carving a route to the Black Sea.
Initially unsuccessful, the campaign eventually brought some land gains and prompted Peter to start building a navy. His next undertaking was an extensive European tour, the first time a Russian Tsar went abroad.
From there he moved on to Austria but was forced to cut his travels short as he got news of a fresh streltsy revolt in Moscow. In the summer ofPeter returned to the capital to brutally suppress the uprising.
Hundreds of rebels were executed with the rest of the rebels exiled to distant towns. To dislodge them, Peter allied himself to several European powers and, inembarked on his biggest military undertaking, the so-called Northern War.
Peter probably never imagined that the campaign would last for 21 years. As it turned out, Russia proved ill-prepared to fight the Swedes, the most advanced army of the time. But Peter later described the defeat as a blessing in disguise that compelled him to work even harder.Peter the Great (whom the Russians generally call Peter I - Pyotr Pervy) is beloved in Russia, and all the more so in St.
Petersburg, where he is rightfully lauded as the Founder of the City, and honored with numerous memorials. The reign of Peter I the Great (–) ushered in a new and more dynamic age, although even this ruler’s reforming zeal proved inadequate to the central task of creating a national school system, particularly at the elementary level.
Religion was deemphasized as Peter strove to establish at. In Peter had his second wife, Catherine, crowned as Empress, although he remained Russia's actual ruler. All of Peter's male children had died.
Peter the Great: A Life of Peter I of Russia called David, and Bruce W. Menning, eds. Reforming the Tsar's Army - Military Innovation in Imperial Russia from Peter the Great to the RevolutionFather: Alexis of Russia.
Catherine was the first woman to rule Imperial Russia, opening the legal path for a century almost entirely dominated by women, including her daughter Elizabeth and granddaughter-in-law Catherine the Great, all of whom continued Peter the Great's policies in modernizing Russia.
In , year-old Sophie was invited to Russia by Czarina Elizabeth, a daughter of Peter the Great who had assumed the Russian throne in a coup just three years earlier. What’s So Great About Peter?
the Great, he was a brilliant but highly controversial ruler. He made Russia into a great power although he brutally oppressed many complex life and times of Peter the Great. See also Peter the Great, a .