Peter the Great Biography

By ezak
  • Peter is born

    Peter is born
    Peter the Great was born in Moscow and named Pyotr Alekseyevich Romanov. He was the 14th child of Tsar Alexis and Natalya Kirillovna Naryshkina.
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    Early Life & Education

    Peter was not provided an education reserved for the heir to the throne. He learned from frequent visits to foreigner's quarters in Moscow. His half-sister, Sofia, prevented him from being the successor to patriarch. Peter was very intelligent and became skilled at various practical and military skills.
  • Peter's brother and heir to throne dies

    Peter's brother and heir to throne dies
    Peter's half-brother, Feodor III dies. He was the successor to Peter's father, Tsar Alexis of Russia. Although boyers had wanted Peter to take over, Sofia prevented this and instead appointed herself as regent.
  • Peter marries his first wife

    Peter marries his first wife
    Peter's mother, Tsaritsa Natalya, selects his first wife, Eudoxia Lopukhina.
  • Peter's first child is born

    Peter's first child is born
    Peter's first child with his first wife was born in Moscow and named Alexei Petrovich. He would become Peter's only son to survive childhood.
  • Ivan V dies; Peter takes power

    Ivan V dies; Peter takes power
    With the death of Peter's half-brother, Ivan V, Peter becomes the sole ruler of Russia.
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    Peter undertakes the Grand Embassy

    Peter's first major initiative as ruler is an extensive voyage through Western Europe. This showed his interest in European culture. He learned of European military and technical expertise he would later attempt to implement in Russia.
  • Peter punishes rebels in Streltsy Execution

    Peter punishes rebels in Streltsy Execution
    Peter heard of an uprising led by the Streltsy and cut his Grand Embassy short. However, by the time he arrived back to Russia, the revolt was over. Peter still led an investigation and personally tortured and killed thousands of prisoners. Their bodies were left for the public to see for months as a warning to everyone.
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    Russia Participates in the Great Northern War

    Allied with Poland, Russia participates in this long war against Sweden. This war was Peter's motivation for many of the reforms that characterized his reign. Peter initiated many changes to Russian government and society during the war.
  • Sweden wins Battle of Narva

    Sweden wins Battle of Narva
    Russia takes an early loss in the Great Northern War as Sweden defeats Peter's navy on the Baltic Sea. Peter is forced to reorganize his armies and government.
  • St. Petersburg is founded

    St. Petersburg is founded
    After deciding that Russia needed a seaport to easily travel to the West, Peter the Great began building a city in Russian-occupied Sweden. This new city would become the capital and named after Peter's Patron Saint. The site was on the banks of the Neva River near the Gulf of Finland and was unhealthful but ideal for ships. During construction, thousands of serfs died from working conditions and diseases. Nobles were forced to move to the new capital.
  • Battle of Poltava in Ukraine.

    Battle of Poltava in Ukraine.
    After the disastrous loss in the Battle of Narva, Russia defeats Sweden in another battle. This was a turning point in the Great Northern War.
  • Peter remarries to Catherine I

    Peter remarries to Catherine I
    After banishing his first wife to a convent, Peter marries his mistress who he already had two daughters with.
  • Peter executes his eldest son

    Peter's eldest son, Alexei Petrovich, was against his father's policies and did not want to be raised as the heir to the throne. After being suspected and investigated for high treason, Alexei was secretly killed in prison.
  • Treaty of Nystad concludes Great Northern War

    Peter defeats Sweden to win the Great Northern War. Russia is awarded the Treaty of Nystad and a valuable coastline on the Baltic.
  • Peter adopts title of Emperor

    Among other reforms, Peter the Great chooses the western-sounding title of Emperor.
  • Peter creates Table of Ranks

    Peter creates Table of Ranks
    Peter had created a new system of obligatory service that forced citizens of a high social class to provide civil or military service. This system was given a hierarchical structure, known as the Table of Ranks. It allowed people to improve their status by advancing their position based on merit.
  • Peter becomes ill

    Peter becomes ill
    While sailing in icy waters, Peter jumped out of his boat to save victims of a nearby shipwreck. He caught pneumonia and his health quickly worsened.
  • Peter fails to choose successor

    Fearful that his grandson, son of Alexei would become his heir, Peter announced that he would personally appoint his successor. However, he was hesitant in his choice. Peter would soon die in 1725 without choosing a successor.