Peter The Great ( 1672-1725 )

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Peter the Great (1672-1725)

Peter Alekseyevich Romanov was born, 9 June 1672, to the second wife of his father Tsar Alexis. Upon the death of his father in 1676 a bitter dispute of succession developed between the noble families of Tsar Alexis’s first wife, the Miloslavskiis, and that of second wife, the Naryshkins. The dispute culminated in a brutal attack on the Naryshkin family by the Streltsy1, in which Peter personally witnessed the murders of several members of his family and other nobility. After the rebellion an accord was reached that Peter and his half-brother Ivan would rule jointly under the regency of their sister Sophia, this would remain in effect for 7 years. Peter, not interested in the affairs of the state, travelled throughout Europe studying numerous crafts; having a particular proclivity for shipbuilding. He returned in 1688 and began to attend council meetings. In response Sophia ordered the Streltsy to kill Peter. However, Peter was warned and took shelter in a monastery while the Naryshkin family gained support. Sophia was exiled a month later and Peter’s mother placed as regent. In 1689 Tsar Feodor died leaving Peter, age seventeen, as the sole ruler. Despite the conflict, Sophia along with her Chief Minister, the well-educated and reform minded Prince Golitsyn, had laid the groundwork Peter’s future rule. An idea of a westernized, enlightened and influential Russian Empire was develop upon which Peter would later expand; though by very different
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