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Peter the Great timeline

This article outlines a brief Peter the Great timeline, highlighting some of the key moments in the life of one of Russia’s most notorious leaders.

Read more in our article about Peter’s accomplishments.

09 June 1672 – Peter the Great is born

The future Peter the Great was born Pyotr Alexeyevich Romanov in Moscow to Alexis I of Russia and his mother Nataliya Naryshkina. Peter was the 14th of Alexis’ 16 children and therefore an unlikely heir to the Russian throne.

29 January 1676 – Peter’s father dies

Alexis I died in January 1676 sparking off a chain of events that would eventually see Peter installed as Peter I of Russia. For the time being however, the crown passed to his sickly half brother, the new Feodor III.

07 May 1682 – Feodor dies

Feodor’s many illnesses saw him eventually succumb at the tender age of 20, but there was one final male heir blocking Peter’s path to the crown.

25 June 1682 – Peter and Ivan are crowned Tsar

Peter’s half brother Ivan was next in line and was sickly like Feodor but unlike his predecessor, the boy who was to become Ivan V, was also of infirm mind. As a result, he was jointly crowned along with the new Peter I of Russia. The act was to bring an end to the Moscow Uprising and Ivan’s puppet reign served as an appeasement.

08 February 1696 – Peter becomes sole Tsar of Russia

Ivan was beset by serious physical and mental disabilities and in February 1696 he died. Ivan ruled with Peter in name only and his death saw his half brother assume sole Tsardom at the age of 23.

01 January 1697 – Peter embarks on grand tour of Europe

The ‘European tour’ was a notorious trip undertaken by Peter and his delegation in an attempt to win aid and assistance from Western European monarchs.

Peter had dreamt of modernising Russia in line with other countries in Europe and as he travelled with his ‘Grand Embassy’ he hoped to secure help in battling the Grand Ottoman Empire. It was a largely futile quest.

February 1700 – Peter and The Great Northern War

After securing peace with the Ottoman Empire, Peter turned his attentions to gaining territory in the Baltic states. Thus began the Great Northern War which was to last for twenty-one years.

It was a long and bitter conflict but ultimately Russia was successful and established itself as a major European power. Ultimately, this was the defining point of Peter’s reign.

May 1703 – St Petersburg is founded

Peter captured the Swedish fortress of Nyenskans and subsequently laid down the first stone for a new city.

Work continued until St Petersburg was founded and named in the ruler’s honour.

1723 Peter falls ill

Peter had never enjoyed the best of health and in the winter of 1723 he began to suffer problems with a blocked urinary tract. In an emergency operation, the blockage was cleared and some four pounds of urine were removed but Peter never truly recovered.

08 February 1725 – Peter the Great dies

Peter had fallen ill with Uremia at the beginning of 1725 and began to fall into a coma. He passed away on the 08th of February with his autopsy revealing that his bladder was infected with gangrene. It was an unremarkable end to the life of a man who arguably the greatest of all Russian leaders.

Matt Harris

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