Peter The Great

David Kawash

Peter Takes the Throne

In 1682, an unwell educated Peter took the throne at 10 years old. By 1689, he had completely taken over the government. Even though he was not well educated, he was very curious about everything. He spent hours in a Moscow neighborhood, and became very interested in technology.


  • One of Peter the Great's policies was westernization, which is the adoption of Western ideas, technology, and culture.
  • Peter also wanted to strengthen the military, expand Russian borders, and centralize royal power.
  • He forced landowning nobles to serve the state in military or civilian positions.
  • Peter made the nobles shave their beards, and they all had to replace their old-fashioned robes with Western-style clothes.
  • He made serfs, or slaves, become soldiers or work as laborers on roads, canals, or other projects.
  • Peter adopted policies that would encourage exports. Anybody who revolted, he would have them tortured and executed. After, he would leave their rotting corpses outside the palace walls for months, showing off his power.


Peter the Great modernized Russia by pushing through social and economic reforms. Also, he imported Western technology, improved education, made the Russian alphabet simpler, and set up academies for mathematics, engineering, and science. In addition, Peter improved waterways and canals.

As far as the military, Peter took his army very seriously, and created the largest standing army in Europe, and extended Russian borders. To help with trade, Peter created a warm-water port, which would make the Arctic Ocean free of ice. Peter the Great, in 1700, started a war against Sweden. He defeated them, and claimed some Baltic Sea territory. After, Peter founded the capital city of St. Petersburg.

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Peter died in 1725, and left a mixed legacy. He had expanded Russian borders. created a very strong army, and claimed ports along the Baltic Sea. After his death, Russia became involved in affairs with Western Europe, and nobles ignored his policy of service to state. On the down side, Peter had increased slavery in Russia.

Interesting Facts

  • Peter was very tall, and stood at 6'8"
  • He was married twice, and had 11 children. However, most of them died as infants.
  • Peter executed his oldest son, Czarevich, after being convicted by Peter of treason.
  • If you grew out your beard, Peter would tax you
  • In the beginning of his rule, Peter became the most autocratic out of all European monarchs, which means he ruled with unlimited authority.
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