Peter the Great

Topics: Peter I of Russia, Moscow, Russian Empire Pages: 6 (2026 words) Published: March 22, 2013




Revised copy
Submitted on: 11th November, 2009.

At the beginning of the 17th century, Russia was a vast land but was backward in nearly everything according to European standard. The government was an outdated system, the culture was backward and the people were timid. But the brave activities of a single man, Peter the Great, brought Russia back to limelight and forward toward development and industrialization. His vision was to change the face of Russia, bring it into Europe and move its civilization ahead of every other state that existed at that time. He faced much strong opposition from among his people but he never let that derail his vision for the land. He became Tsar of Russia at a time when the land was surrounded by many strong powers and enemies who were threatening the sovereign existence, peace and development of the state. Therefore he was resolved to settle that situation by waging wars and defeating their oppositions. His determination was further strengthened by his tough upbringing after the death of his father. He was brave, relentless and hard working. He tolerated no rivalry yet he was a simple man, toughened by opposition he mounted the throne like a brave lion ready to spend the rest of his life in defense of his land and policies. This article will focus on his history and his achievements and developments and support the argument that he was the father and founder of civilization in Russia.


Peter was born in 1672 as the son of Tsar Alexis, the son of his second wife, in the city of Moscow. While he was still four years old, his father died and his half brother Feodor became the Tsar of Russia. Six years later, Feodor died and at the age of ten Peter and his handicapped half brother Ivan was made joint Tsar of Russia. His half sister Sophia was also made the regent since he was young and his half brother was handicapped. Sophia was not happy to have Peter as a co- Tsar with her brother Ivan, so she treated Peter badly. Peter’s mother was not happy with the situation so she took him away from the palace to a village near Moscow. Because he did not grow up in the palace, he enjoyed a free life, and mixed freely with the people. As a young man, his major interest was in the military and shipbuilding. Most of his toys were military equipments. At the age of 17, his mother arranged for him to get marry a young lady who became his first wife and gave birth to a son for him. He latter married a second wife who also gave birth to many children for him. In 1689, he seized power from his half sister Sophia and assumed control of the country. He sent Sophia to the Monastery and made her renounce her position[1].


As I mentioned earlier Peter seized power from his half sister in 1689, but he did not become the sole – ruler of the country until 1696 when his half brother the co-Tsar Ivan died. After the death of Ivan, he began to implement sweeping changes that transformed the politics of Russia forever. He immediately “changed the system of government to an effective autocracy, establishing the senate and the procurator who supervises the activities of the senate.”[2] With a decree, he abolished the old system of government that was in itself hindering the development of the state and established a new system which included: a senate, a procurator, a secret police to monitor every activity in the state and a college that served as ministries. He established an autocratic system of government. Every other reform was only made possible by this initial change in government system because this change gave him an absolute control over the government and the land. During his period, most of the struggles in Europe were...
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