This page of the book is from "The New Student's Reference Work: Volume 3" by Chandler B. Beach, Frank Morton McMurry and others.
PETER ▄ ═4Ď0 PETER, K¤NG OP SERVI┴
mediately after his coronation Peter was
ú laced under the instruction of Franšois efort, a native of Geneva, who taught him the arts and sciences of civilization and showed how far Russia was behind other European nations. In 1689 Peter called upon his sister to resign as regent. She refused, but after a severe contest was compelled to yield and was shut into a convent. Ivan abdicated in 1696. Peter's first care in assuming the government was to reorganize his army, in which he was greatly assisted by Gordon and Lefort, both military men. He also labored to create a navy, and to this end invited skilled engineers and architects from other countries to assist in the construction of his ships; and he himself went to sea on board English and Dutch vessels that he might acquire the art of navigation. Many of the young nobility were ordered to travel in Holland and Italy, to take special notice of all matters in connection with shipbuilding and naval equipment ; others were sent to Germany to study the military art. In 1697 Peter set out on his famous visit to foreign countries and for some time worked as a ship-carpenter at Zaandam in the Netherlands; and to his knowledge of shipbuilding and other trades he added the study of astronomy, natural philosophy, geography and even anatomy and surgery. On the invitation of William III he visited England and for three months, partly in London and partly in Deptford, labored to acquire all kinds of useful information. He returned to Russia in 1698, taking 500 English engineers, artisans etc., and immediately proceeded to the execution of various reforms in his government Among others was the introduction of arithmetic, which was unknown in Russia up to this time, accounts having been previously kept by means of the abacus (g. v.) Trade with foreign countries was not only permitted but insisted upon. Many changes in manners and dress were prescribed and enforced and the czar's reforming zeal even extended to the national church.
On May 27, 1703, Peter laid the foundation of St Petersburg, the new capital of Russia, although at the time engaged in a bitter war with Charles XII of Sweden. In this long contest the Russians were nearly always defeated, but at the battle of Pul-towa, July 8, 1709, Charles' forces were completely routed, and Peter next year took possession of the Baltic provinces and a portion of Finland. In 1712 his marriage with Catherine, his mistiess, was celebrated at St. Petersburg, and all the offices of the central government were transferred to the new capital. In company with the czarina he made another tour of Europe in 1716-7, this time visiting Paris and carrying home
ňuantities of books, paintings and statues oon after this his son, Alexei, who had opposed some of his father's reforms was
condemned to death and died in prison. Many nobles implicated in his treasonable plans were punished. After concluding peace with Sweden in 1721, Peter made war upon Persia in order to open the Caspian Sea to Russian commerce, by which he secured three Caspian provinces and Der-bend and Baku. His last years were chiefly employed in improving his capital and carrying out plans for the diffusion of education among his subjects. He died at St. Petersburg, Feb. 8, 1725, and was succeeded by his empress, under the title of Catherine I. Consult Browning's, Motley's and Schuyler's lives of Peter.
Peter II (of Russia), the sole male representative of Peter the Great, being the son of the unfortunate Alexei, was born at St. Petersburg, Oct. 23, 1715. On the death of Catherine I he ascended the throne in 1727, but after a reign of a little over two years, died of the smallpox, Jan. 29, 1730.
Peter III (Feodorovitch, of Russia), grandson of Peter the Great, being the son of his oldest daughter, Anna Petrowna, was born at Kiel, Jan. 29, 1728, and in 1742 was declared by Czarina Elizabeth her successor. Peter succeeded Elizabeth on her death in 1762, and his first act of authority was to restore East Prussia to Frederick the Great, whom he greatly admired, and to send to his aid a force of 15,000 men. He also recalled a great many political exiles from Siberia. While he was arranging a campaign to take Sleswick from Denmark, soon after his inauguration an insurrection, headed by his wife and the principal nobles, broke out against him in St. Petersburg, a conspiracy which■ originated in the discontent over his liberal policy, his preference for the Germans, his indifference to the national religion and his servility to Frederick the Great. The result of this conspiracy was that Peter was declared to have forfeited his crown, and was soon after strangled in his bed in 1762 by Orloff and 1 other conspirators. He was succeeded by his wife as Catherine II.
Peter, King of Servia, was born at Belgrade in 1846. His grandfather was George Petrovitch, known as Czerny George, who led the Servians in their struggle for independence against the Turks and whose son, Alexander, was made reigning prince in 1842, but deposed by the National Assembly in 1858 and subsequently banished. Peter was put to school in Hungary, and later entered the French military school of St. Cyr. He graduated, became an officer in the French army, and served with distinction in the Franco-German war. He was captured three times by the Germans, but each time escaped. Afterwards he for years lived a life of extravagance and dissipation in Paris. Then, aroused by the troubles in the Balkans, he actively encouraged the rising of 1875-6 in Herzegovina which