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HOME   -   PEOPLE IN HISTORY A-Z   -   PETER I THE GREAT

 
   


Peter I the Great  1672-1725


Peter I the Great  1672-1725

Peter the Great was really Peter I, or Pyotr Alekseyevich, if you speak Russian.

Being a very capable Russian emperor, Peter possessed exceptional abilities as a statesman, organizer, and reformer. He was more than six and a half feet, or two meters, tall and very strong.

He was a hard worker, expected no less from others, and executed his well thought-out plans with tremendous energy.

Image above:
Peter the Great, Detail from the painting by Hippolyte-Paul Delaroche



Peter understood human nature and was especially able to recognize talent in a person, whether rich or poor. He also had potential for cruelty.

Peter was especially interested in military strategies and navigation. One of his main concerns was to gain Russian access to the Baltic and the Black Sea.

Peter the Great was an enlightened despot.

See also Forms of Governments.

 

Peter the Great, 1672 - 1725
Peter I the Great

 

Peter's Background

Peter's elder half brother Fyodor succeeded to the throne when their father died. Soon after, Fyodor died without an heir and Peter was declared czar together with his half brother Ivan V. Their sister Sophia functioned as regent for the young czars.

 

Family Feud

Peter's father, Alexis, married twice: Mariya and Natalya.

Mariya became the mother of Sophia, Fyodor and Ivan. Natalya was the mother of Peter. After Alexis's death, these two parties fought and killed each other over the crown.

While Sophia was regent, she cleverly confined Peter and his mother to the suburbs of Moscow, trying to cut off their political influence. Later, Sophia attempted to become czarina. At this point, Peter exiled her to a convent.

 

Ivan

Peter's half brother, Ivan, was mentally and physically handicapped. Interestingly, even though their families were generally hostile toward each other, Ivan was allowed to co-rule until his death. This was possible because Ivan was a religious man who did not interfere with Peter's governing.

 

Map Illustrating the Wars of Charles XII and Peter the Great
Map Illustrating the Wars of Charles XII and Peter the Great
Click to enlarge



Peter's Family

Let's get Peter's family straight: His father was Alexis, his mother Natalya Kirillovna Naryshkina. His siblings were Sophia, Fyodor, and Ivan.


And spouse wise:

Peter's first wife was Eudoxia. They married in 1689 and Peter sent her to a convent in 1698 (as you do.) Peter's second wife was Catherine I, aka Peasant Martha. They got married in 1712, and she was crowned empress in 1724.


Children wise, there was Alexis (by Eudoxia), who was tried for treason and died in prison in 1718. Peter also had two more children by Eudoxia as well as nine more by Catherine.

One of Catherine's and Peter's children was Elizabeth, who was born in 1709.


And here is another one of Peter's map

The Growth of Russia in Europe, 1300-1796
RUSSIA IN EUROPE
Click map to enlarge

 


Peter's Military Campaigns

1695 - 1696 Azov campaigns
Peter fought the Tartars successfully for the access to the Black Sea. The Azov campaigns are one of the
Russo-Turkish Wars.


1700 - 1721 Second Northern War (
Great Northern War)
Peter fought Sweden successfully for the access to the Baltic.


1710 - 1713 Turkish War
Turkey declared war on Russia, who was distracted by the Northern War. With the Peace of the Prut in 1711, Azov fell to the Turks. The Prut is a river. You can trace the location of the River Prut, or Pruth, on this map:
Russia in Europe in the 19th Century, between Moldavia and Bessarabia northwest of the Black Sea.

This Turkish War from 1710 - 1713 is part of the
Great Northern War, which in turn is one of the Russo-Turkish Wars.


1722 - 1723 Persian campaign
Peter fought the Persians successfully for the access to the Caspian Sea.


 

And here is Peter the Great's timeline.

 

What did Peter the Great and Leonardo da Vinci have in common?

The necessity to be active.
 

Iron rusts from disuse; stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.

Leonardo da Vinci

 

 

 

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