Peter the Great: biography, board, reforms

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Peter the Great: biography, board, reforms
Peter the Great: biography, board, reforms

Neither before Peter the Great, nor after him, did the Russian state know a ruler who changed the country so radically as he did. What is the transformation of dense, wild Muscovy, trampled on all sides by the more developed kingdoms of that time, into a strong power with its own army and navy. Russia's access to the sea, but not alone, became the first major defeat for monarchical Europe in the entire history of relations with our country.

Great in everything

Undoubtedly, the transformation of a huge, resource-rich northern country, which does not have its own trade routes and is doomed to sell goods on the terms of foreign merchants, into a formidable, militant power was not coveted in Europe. The Western rulers were more satisfied with dense Muscovy, unable to defend its rights. They tried with all their might to "drive it back into the forests and swamps," as it was then expressed abroad. And Peter the Great, on the contrary, longed to lead his people out of poverty and dirt into the civilized world. But the emperor had to fight not only with the stubborn rulers of Europe, but also with his own subjects, who were satisfied with theirsettled lazy life, and the unknown civilization of the mossy boyars was not at all interested. But the wisdom and fortitude of Peter turned the unhurried course of events in Russia.

About Peter the Great

Great ruler, reformer, reformer, helmsman. Throughout his reign and centuries after the death of the first Russian emperor, he was called by many epithets. But initially the invariable “Great” was attributed to them. The reign of Peter the Great seemed to divide the history of our state into segments “before” and “after”. The last decade of his reign, from 1715 to 1725, was especially significant. Educational institutions were established, which simply did not exist in the country before Peter, books were printed, not only manufactories and factories were built, numerous fortresses and entire cities were built. Thanks to the revolutionary ideas of the tsar, today we have the good fortune to visit the beautiful city on the Neva, named after him. It is impossible to list in a few chapters everything that was created by Peter during his reign. Volumes of historical works are devoted to this period.

Before sole board

Where in a boy brought up by illiterate clerks, Nikita Zotov and Afanasy Nesterov, such a lively and perspicacious mind was found, the desire to ex alt not himself, but the whole people entrusted to him, one can only guess. But the entire biography of Peter the Great confirms that his birth was a salvation for Russia. The most famous offspring of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, the future reformer, was born on the night of May 30, 1672, presumably in the villageKolomenskoe. Although some historians call the Terem Palace of the Kremlin the place of his birth, while others call the village of Izmailovo.

Peter's mother was Alexei's second wife, Natalya Kirillovna Naryshkina. The newborn prince was the 14th child of his father. But all his older brothers and sisters are from the first wife of the ruler, and only he is from the second. The boy was brought up in the Kremlin chambers until the age of four, until the death of Alexei Mikhailovich. During the reign of Peter's half-brother, Fyodor Mikhailovich, who ascended the throne, Natalya Kirillovna was sent with her son to the village of Preobrazhenskoye, where the future Tsar Peter the Great gathered his army years later.

Streltsy rebellion

Sickly Fyodor, who sincerely cared for his younger brother, died, having reigned for only six years. Ten-year-old Peter became his successor. But the Miloslavskys - relatives of the first wife of Alexei Mikhailovich - insisted on proclaiming his co-ruler frail and meek, but at the same time completely harmless Ivan - the younger half-brother of Fyodor. Their sister, Princess Sophia, was proclaimed their guardian. The struggle for power between her and Peter dragged on for many years, until he was so strong that he was forced to win back his right to the throne by force. The seven-year period of Sophia's reign was remembered by several failed campaigns in the Crimea and unsuccessful attempts to win over the archers to their side in order to prevent the accession to the throne of the hateful younger, and besides, a half-brother.

Rehearsal for funny songs

Most of childhood and adolescencePeter passed in Preobrazhensky. Having distanced himself from real reign due to his age, he nonetheless prepared for it using all available means. Experiencing a true passion for military sciences, he insisted that boys of his age be brought to him from all the surrounding villages for a kind of lively game of “toy soldiers”.

For the fun of the young king, wooden sabers, guns and even cannons were made, on which he honed his skills. Dressed in caftans of foreign troops, since in the time of Peter the Great it was almost impossible to get others, and he honored foreign military science above domestic, amusing regiments after a few years spent in entertaining battles, strengthened and trained, began to pose a very real threat to the regular army. Especially when Peter ordered to cast real cannons for him and supply other firearms and piercing weapons to his residence.

By his 14 years here, on the banks of the Yauza, he had a whole amusing town with his own regiments - Preobrazhensky and Semenovsky. Wooden weapons in this fortress, called Preshburg, were no longer remembered, practicing on the real one. The first teacher of the intricacies of military science in those years was for Peter firearms master Fedor Sommer. But more complete knowledge, including arithmetic, he received from the Dutchman Timmerman. He told the young king about sea vessels, merchant and military, after one day they both found a leaky English boat in an abandoned barn. This shuttle, repaired and launched, became the first floating boat in the life of the king.ship. Descendants, remembering about Peter the Great, attribute great importance to the story with the found boat. Say, it was with him that the subsequently victorious Russian fleet began.

Be a sea power

Of course, Peter's famous slogan sounds somewhat different, but the essence remains the same. Once having fallen in love with naval military affairs, he never cheated on him. All of his most significant victories became possible only thanks to a strong fleet. The first rowing ships of the Russian flotilla began to be built in the fall of 1695 near Voronezh. And by May 1696, a 40,000-strong army, supported from the sea by several dozen different ships led by the Apostle Peter, laid siege to Azov, the stronghold of the Ottoman Empire on the Black Sea. The fortress, realizing that it could not withstand the military superiority of the Russians, surrendered without a fight. So Peter the Great laid the foundation for his subsequent great victories. It took him less than a year to turn the idea into reality and build a combat-ready fleet. But these were not the ships he dreamed of.

Ship building

The tsar had neither money nor enough specialists to build real warships. The first Russian fleet was created under the guidance of foreign engineers. Having captured Azov, Peter only slightly opened a loophole to the Black Sea for himself, the Kerch Strait - a strategically important shipping artery - still remained with the Ottomans. It was too early to fight with Turkey further, strengthening its superiority at sea, and there was nothing.

At the beginning of his independent reign, Peter the Great met moreresistance than help from his subjects. The boyars, merchants and monasteries did not want to share their own we alth with the tsar, and the construction of the flotilla fell directly on their shoulders. The tsar had to literally approve a new business from under pressure.

But the more intensively he imposed construction on his subjects, the more acutely the problem of a shortage of shipbuilders became apparent. You could only find them in Europe. In March 1697, Peter sent the sons of the most well-born Russian noblemen abroad to study maritime affairs, where he himself went incognito under the name of the constable of the Preobrazhensky regiment Peter Mikhailov.

Grand Embassy

Several years before the departure of the king to Europe, the first reform of Peter the Great was carried out in the country - in 1694, the weight of silver kopecks was reduced by a few grams. The released precious metal provided much-needed savings for the minting of coins aimed at the war with Sweden. But more significant sums were needed, besides, the Turks propped up from the south. To fight them, it was necessary to enlist the support of allies abroad. With his voyage to the West, Peter pursued several goals at once: to learn shipbuilding skills and get his own specialists, as well as to find like-minded people in the confrontation with the Ottoman Empire.

We traveled thoroughly, for a long time, planning to visit all the leading capitals of Europe. The embassy consisted of three hundred people, 35 of whom went directly to study the crafts necessary for shipbuilding.

Grand Embassy

Peter himself, among other things,longed to personally look at the Western "polites", about which he had heard so much from his chief adviser Franz Lefort. Life, culture, social orders - Peter absorbed them in Courland, Austria, England, Holland. Luxembourg especially impressed him. Peter brought potatoes and tulip bulbs from Holland to Russia. For a year and a half, as part of the embassy, ​​the Russian tsar visited the English Parliament, Oxford University, the Mint in London, and the Greenwich Observatory. He especially valued his acquaintance with Isaac Newton. What he saw and heard in Europe largely influenced the decrees of Peter the Great that followed after returning to Russia. From August 1698, they literally rained down on the heads of his subjects.

Royal import substitution

Peter could not carry out his plan in full measure. Not having time to agree with the monarchs of Europe on the creation of a coalition against Turkey, the tsar was forced to return to Russia - in Moscow, a streltsy revolt, fueled by Sophia, broke out. They suppressed him severely - with torture and executions.

Having eliminated the objectionable, the tsar took up the transformation of the state. The reforms of Peter the Great in those years were aimed at increasing the competitiveness of Russia in all areas: trade, military, cultural. In addition to the permission to sell tobacco, introduced in 1697, and the decree to shave beards, perceived by contemporaries as an outrage, recruitment for military service began throughout the country.

Streltsky regiments were disbanded, and not only Russians, but also foreigners were recruited as soldiers (recruits). Established and developed engineering,navigational, medical schools. Peter also attached great importance to the exact sciences: mathematics, physics, geometry. They needed their own specialists, not foreign ones, but with no less knowledge.

Except for raw products, there was practically nothing to trade with foreign merchants: neither metal, nor fabrics, nor paper - everything was bought abroad for a lot of money. The first reform of Peter the Great, aimed at developing their own industry, consisted in a ban on the export of several types of raw materials, such as flax, from the country. Cloth and other fabrics had to be produced in their own state. The tsar's wardrobe was sewn exclusively from Russian fabrics. Felt hats, stockings, lace, sailcloth - soon everything was of its own.

Manufactories and factories were built and developed, however, slowly and with virtually no tangible income. Only the mines turned out to be profitable. Factories were built in the vicinity of Moscow, where raw materials mined in Siberia were brought, and here cannons, guns, and pistols were cast. But it was unwise to develop mining far from the mountains. Ironworks were set up in Tobolsk and Verkhotur. Silver mines and coal mines were opened. Manufacturing plants opened throughout the country. By 1719, only in the Kazan province there were 36 foundries, three less than in Moscow itself. And in Siberia Demidov forged the glory of Russia.

City of Petra

The protracted Northern War with Sweden required the strengthening of their positions on the initially conquered Russian lands. In 1703, the first stone was laid on the banks of the Nevafortress, which later became the capital city of the Russian state. Briefly, he was called Peter, although the full name given to him in honor of the Apostle Peter was different - St. Petersburg. The king was directly involved in the construction of the city. It is there that the most famous monument to Peter the Great, the Bronze Horseman, still stands to this day.

Although by the time the city was practically built, the land underneath was still considered Swedish. In order to prove in practice who owns the possessions, to emphasize that the old Muscovy no longer exists and will not exist, that the country is developing according to European standards, the tsar ordered all important state institutions to be transferred here after the construction of the city was completed. In 1712 St. Petersburg was proclaimed the capital of the Russian Empire.

Bronze Horseman

Peter retained his status for a little over a century. He personified everything new, modern and advanced that the tsar instilled in his people. The pro-European western city became a counterbalance to Belokamennaya, which was considered a relic of the past. The intelligent, cultural capital of Russia - this is how Peter the Great saw it. To this day, St. Petersburg is perceived by descendants in no other way than in the years of its first heyday. They say about him that even the homeless here behave like noble lords.

Wives and sweethearts

There were few women in Peter's life, and only one of them he valued so much that he listened to her opinion when making important political decisions - his second wife, Catherine. With the first, Evdokia Lopukhina, he was married at the behestNatalya Kirillovna, who hoped to settle down her son by early marriage, since the tsar was only 17 years old.

But nepotism did not affect his desire to act in the interests of the state, create an army, build a navy. He disappeared for months at shipyards, military exercises. Even the birth of a son a year after the marriage did not settle down Peter the Great. In addition, he did not have any special feelings for his wife, except for duty, since for many years his lover was the German Anna Mons.

With Catherine, nee Martha Skavronskaya, Peter met in 1703 during the Great Northern War. The 19-year-old widow of a Swedish dragoon was captured as war booty and was in the convoy of Alexander Menshikov, a loyal ally of the tsar for many years.

Despite the fact that Aleksashka really liked Martha himself, he resignedly gave her to Peter. She alone had a beneficial effect on the king, she could calm, calm down. After some events in the early years of his reign, during a confrontation with Sophia, in moments of great excitement, Peter began to have seizures like apoplexy, but in a milder form. In addition, he very quickly, almost lightning fast, raged. Only Martha, the legal wife of the tsar since 1712, Ekaterina Alekseevna, could bring Peter out of a state of extreme psychosis. An interesting fact: when adopting Orthodoxy, the patronymic of the newly-made Christian was given to the son of Peter - Alexei, who became the godfather of the beloved tsar.

Such different descendants

In total, Peter the Great had three children from Evdokia Lopukhina and eight from Catherine. But only one daughter is illegitimateElizabeth - reigned, although she was not considered a pretender as such, since after the death of Peter he had male heirs. The first-born Alexei fled Russia in 1716, hid for some time in Austria with Emperor Charles, but two years later was extradited to his father. An investigation was carried out over the heir. There are documents confirming that torture was used against him. Alexei was found guilty of plotting against his father, but while awaiting execution, he died unexpectedly in the casemate. The other two children of the king from Evdokia, sons Alexander and Pavel, died shortly after birth.

Peter the Great and Tsarevich Alexei

Death in infancy is a fairly common occurrence of that time. So, of the eight children born from Catherine, only Elizabeth, the Russian Empress, survived to a deep (as it was then believed) old age. Daughter Anna died at the age of 20, having managed to be married and give birth to two children. It was her son Peter, under Elizabeth, who was considered the heir to the throne, was married to the German princess Fika, later Catherine the Great. The remaining six - four girls and two boys - did not please their parents for long. But unlike Alexei, Anna and Elizabeth loved and revered their father. The latter, having ascended the throne, wanted to be like him in everything.

Unprecedented transformations

The first great reformer of Russia is Peter the Great. The history of his reign is replete with many decrees, issued laws that affect all aspects of human life and the political system. After the inglorious completion of the case of Tsarevich Alexei, Peter accepted a newthe provision on the succession to the throne, according to which the first applicant could be anyone whom the ruler appointed at his discretion. Nothing like this had ever happened in Russia before. However, 75 years later, Emperor Paul the First canceled this decree.

Peter's purposeful line, asserting absolute, sole tsarist power, led to the elimination of the Boyar Duma in 1704 and the creation in 1711 of the Governing Senate, which deals with both administrative and judicial affairs. In the early 1820s, he weakened the power of the church by establishing the Holy Synod - a spiritual college - and subordinating it to the state.

Reforms of Peter

Reforms of local and central government, monetary, military, tax, cultural - Peter changed almost everything. One of the latest innovations is the table of ranks, adopted three years before his death. The death of the king was so incredible that until the last few people believed in it. And his companions and associates were extremely confused: what to do next? The will of Peter the Great never existed, he did not have time to leave it, as he died suddenly, presumably from pneumonia, at dawn on January 28 (February 8), 1725. He also did not appoint a successor. Therefore, the legitimate wife of the tsar, crowned in 1722, Catherine the First, the former widow of the Swedish dragoon Marta Skavronskaya, was elevated to the throne.

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