Peter the Great

I’m Peter the Great. Well, my real name is Pyotr Alekseevich Romanov, but I prefer my other name. I was an absolute monarch in Russia from 1689 to 1725. On June 9, 1672, in Moscow,
Russia, I was born to Alexius Mikhailovich, who was the tsar, and Natalia Naryshkina. Since my father was the tsar, I have always been royalty.

Here’s some more about me. I am nearly seven feet tall and I’m rather broad, too. I am Russian
Orthodox. I am a pretty active person. I enjoy learning. I know how to do carpentry. I also am good at training soldiers. I also know how to torture people, which is actually a useful thing for me to know. I was very powerful. Some would describe me as “loud-mouthed, violent, ruthless and impetuous,” though I’m not sure I would agree with all of this.

My father died and I gained some power in 1682, but it wasn’t until 1689 that I really had the power.
To attain all the power, I had to remove Sophia and Golitsin from power. (I sent Sophia to a monastery
to become a nun. So in August 1689, when I was just seventeen, I became the most powerful person
in Russia. I technically shared the throne with Ivan until he died in 1696, but we all know that he really
didn’t do anything for Russia’s government.

I was a powerful ruler, an absolute monarch in fact. It was great, I had so much power. I increased
taxation, which helped to cause the elimination of the ancient difference between serfs and slaves.
Actually, during my rule, I ended up enlarging the gap between various classes in society. Sometimes,
there were even big gaps between members who were in the same class. I decided on special taxation
for the Old Believers, whom I didn’t really like. They held Russia back spiritually, anyway.  I didn’t like
them or anybody who opposed me. I even killed my own son, Alexis, because he refused to
endorse my reforms. Alexis’ associates I either executed or forced into hard labor. I enlarged Russia's army to 200,000 soldiers. I tried to westernize Russia by introducing potatoes, starting Russia's first newspaper, raising women's status, forcing nobles to dress western, and opening schools (which ended up being crucial in Russia's progress).

By the time of my death in 1725, Russia was a power to be rekoned with in Europe. My rule was great and I was very powerful, but it all came to an end in February 8, 1725. I was in St. Petersburg, Russia, and I died from pneumonia.