PETER I., ALEXEIEVITCH, usually styled PETER THE GREAT, Czar of Rus sia; born in 1672; and in 1689 he ob tained the sole authority, on the re tirement of his brother Ivan, with whom he had been before associated in the government of the empire. After having suppressed a conspiracy of the Strelitzes against his life, he traveled in foreign countries, not in the character of czar, but as a member of an embassy. At Amsterdam he worked, incognito, in a shipyard, went to the village of Saar dam, where he caused himself to be en rolled among the workmen, under the name of Peter Michaeloff. Induced by his love for the sea to accept the invita tion of William III. to visit London, he spent some weeks there, keenly observing and learning all that he could of trade, manufactures, and the arts. Having proceeded to Vienna, he there received intelligence of a new rebellion of the Strelitzes, on which he returned home, crushed the insurrection, and visited the rebels with fearful severity. In 1700 he entered upon a war with Sweden. He was defeated by his great rival, Charles XII., at the battle of Narva, and the war went on with various results till 1709, when he completely defeated Charles at Pultawa. In the following
year the Sultan declared war on him, and he narrowly escaped capture by the Turks in the campaign of 1711. This war ended in 1713. Not satisfied with his immense power as czar, Peter had suppressed the patriarchate, and made himself head of the Church as well as of the State. In 1703 he founded St. Pe tersburg, and began the fortifications of Cronstadt. Three years later he pri vately married Catharine, a girl of low origin and immoral character; married her publicly in 1710, and had her crowned in 1722. Peter extended the limits of the empire both in Europe and Asia; changed the face of Russia by his zeal ous promotion of trade, navigation, man ufactures, and education; and after a conclusion of peace with Sweden, re ceived the title of Emperor of all the Russias, and Father of his Country. Reforming others, he failed to reform himself, but remained to the last an ig norant, coarse, brutal savage. His state policy has been adhered to by his succes sors. Peter I. died in St. Petersburg, after very severe suffering, Jan. 28,1725.