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June 9, 1672 - February 8, 1725

Peter the Great ruled the Tsardom of Russia and later the Russian Empire from 1682 until his death in 1725, jointly ruling before 1696 with his elder half-brother, Ivan V.

Through a number of successful wars, he expanded the Tsardom into a much larger empire that became a major European power, that also laid the groundwork for the Imperial Russian Navy after capturing ports at Azov and the Baltic Sea. He led a cultural revolution that replaced some of the traditionalist and medieval social and political systems with ones that were modern, scientific, Westernized and based on the Enlightenment.


Peter's reforms had a lasting impact on Russia, and many institutions of the Russian government trace their origins to his reign. He is also known for founding and developing the city of Saint Petersburg, which remained the capital of Russia until 1917.

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 Peter the Great

Portrait on left

Source: The State Hermitage Museum,
St. Petersburg, Russia

Portrait on right

Source: The State Hermitage Museum,
St. Petersburg, Russia

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Tsarevich Alexey Petrovich of Russia (16

Tsarevich Alexei
Petrovich, the Son of Emperor Peter the Great

February 28, 1690 - July 7, 1718

Grand Duke Alexei Petrovich of Russia was a Russian Tsarevich. He was born in Moscow, the son of Tsar Peter I and his first wife, Eudoxia Lopukhina. Alexei despised his father and repeatedly thwarted Peter's plans to raise him as successor to the throne. His brief defection to Austria scandalized the Russian government, leading to harsh repressions against Alexei and his associates. Alexei died after interrogation under torture, and his son Peter Alexeyevich became the new heir apparent.

Photo Source: The State Hermitage Museum,
St. Petersburg, Russia

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