CZAR 1682-1721

Peter the Great was the fourteenth child of Alexei Mikhailovich, born on May 30, 1672, from his second marriage to Natalia Kirillovna Naryshkina. Having ruled jointly with his brother Ivan V from 1682, with Ivan's death in 1696, Peter was officially declared Sovereign of all Russia.

During his reign, Peter undertook extensive reforms: He created a regular army and navy, subjugated the Church to the state and introduced new administrative and territorial divisions of the country. He paid particular attention to the development of science. He was a far-sighted and skillful diplomat and a talented military leader.

Under Peter's rule, Russia became a great European nation. In 1721, he proclaimed Russia an Empire and was accorded the title of Emperor of All Russia, Great Father of the Fatherland and "the Great."

He married twice and had 11 children, many of whom died in infancy. The eldest son from his first marriage, Czarevich Alexei, was convicted of high treason by his father and secretly executed in 1718.

Peter died from a chill on January 28, 1725, without nominating an heir. He was buried in the Cathedral of the St. Peter and St. Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg.

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©Copyright 1995, The Moscow Kremlin Museums and other international copyrights.
Text compiled by Alexei K. Levykin
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