Author Topic: Emperor Peter III, life and death  (Read 46712 times)

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Offline imperial angel

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Re: Emperor Peter III, life and death
« Reply #60 on: January 23, 2007, 11:54:08 AM »
Very true. Paul would indeed have had no contact with him, although perhaps after he became Czar, his idealization would have vanished a bit. If Peter had lived, then Paul would have had to reign in his shadow, although I suppose Paul would still have been Czar, because the country would most likely not have accepted Peter again. Paul would certainly have rehabilitated his father's memory though, as he in fact did when he came to the throne, only it was his dead father's memory, and no one cared. I think they might have cared more, negatively or positively if he had been living.

Offline lori_c

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Re: Emperor Peter III, life and death
« Reply #61 on: January 23, 2007, 12:27:31 PM »
Very true. Paul would indeed have had no contact with him, although perhaps after he became Czar, his idealization would have vanished a bit. If Peter had lived, then Paul would have had to reign in his shadow, although I suppose Paul would still have been Czar, because the country would most likely not have accepted Peter again. Paul would certainly have rehabilitated his father's memory though, as he in fact did when he came to the throne, only it was his dead father's memory, and no one cared. I think they might have cared more, negatively or positively if he had been living.
Most definitely, after being a political prisoner, no doubt Peter III would possibly have had followers left that were loyal to him, but more than likely it would have been to Paul's disadvantage to release Peter or rehabilitate him as his own popularity waned even before he took the throne.

Offline imperial angel

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Re: Emperor Peter III, life and death
« Reply #62 on: January 23, 2007, 04:42:40 PM »
That's true. I think it would most definitely been to his disadvantage. He would have been forced to make a tough choice, and this makes me wonder if he would have idealized his father that much if he had had to deal with the practical realities of his father. He was free to idealize him as long as he was imprisoned, or as long as he was dead. But, face to face with his living father who might be a challenge to him, and a problem, idealism might have vanished. I think though, that Catherine never looked that far down the road.

Offline lori_c

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Re: Emperor Peter III, life and death
« Reply #63 on: January 23, 2007, 05:14:30 PM »
That's true. I think it would most definitely been to his disadvantage. He would have been forced to make a tough choice, and this makes me wonder if he would have idealized his father that much if he had had to deal with the practical realities of his father. He was free to idealize him as long as he was imprisoned, or as long as he was dead. But, face to face with his living father who might be a challenge to him, and a problem, idealism might have vanished. I think though, that Catherine never looked that far down the road.
Yes. Fortunately (or unfortunately) for her, that decision was made for her.

Offline imperial angel

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Re: Emperor Peter III, life and death
« Reply #64 on: January 23, 2007, 05:39:59 PM »
She may have had more revenge on them if she had. If she had allowed Peter to live, or I should say circumstances had allowed Peter to live, then  she would have had to watch her back more. She certainly didn't want that, as she already had enough worries just as she came to the throne. But had Peter been allowed to live, Paul and Peter both might had to deal with some realities they might not have liked, in my opinion. That might have been better revenge than anything else, although not practical. Catherine always liked the most practical solutions to problems.

Offline Tsarina_Liz

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Re: Emperor Peter III, life and death
« Reply #65 on: January 23, 2007, 07:53:31 PM »
Catherine (possibly) could not order the murder of Peter.  Suppose Paul had decided, later in her reign when her popularity was waning, to stage his own coup.  Do you think she would have had the ability to treat her son like she (purportedly) treated Peter in order to both preserve her throne and keep the dangerous idiot from power?  I know the idea's out there, but I can't quite come up with an answer on my own.  I think she would have done anything to remove Paul and his threat, but at the same time I cannot see her destroying her own blood (given how important legacy and not DNA was to Catherine and, initially Elizabeth).
Hindsight is 20/20.  When the myopic haze of of the present is lifted by the march of time we see it clearly as the past.  Sociology, psychology, anthropology.  They are all means of understanding that which came before.  History cannot stand alone.

Offline lori_c

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Re: Emperor Peter III, life and death
« Reply #66 on: January 24, 2007, 09:43:31 AM »
I also find it incomprehensible that Catherine would have had her own son killed. But also it's hard to apply values we have today to a woman who ruled 1/6th of the globe in the 18th century.  From this vantage point it certainly would seem abhorrent to us. 
But at a certain point, Catherine did become quite paranoid about keeping her throne and about the possibility of a coup by Paul. So since he already provided many more Romanovs to carry on the line, perhaps he was no longer of use, just as she once found herself in that situation.  I agree with you though and also  can't quite decide on my own if she would have gone so far as to have her own son treated the same way that Peter III was dispatched.

Offline imperial angel

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Re: Emperor Peter III, life and death
« Reply #67 on: January 24, 2007, 10:29:23 AM »
I'm not sure. She certainly wished to keep her throne, and in addition, she clearly stated, although not in words her intentions for the future of the dynasty. She knew the throne had to pass to Paul, but it is clear that she wasn't in favor of it. She merely accepted it for what had to be. She was grooming her grandsons to really play the most important roles of the new dynasty. She clearly wanted Alexander to succeed her, but she realized that could never be, or at least it was unlikely. She might have known Paul would not last long when he ascended the throne though.

Offline James1941

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Re: Emperor Peter III, life and death
« Reply #68 on: January 26, 2007, 06:21:19 PM »
If Catherine had wanted to get rid of Paul so that Alexander would be the heir, there were plenty of ways to do it besides outright murder. In an age where medicine was medieval and disease carried away people by the scores, it would have been easy to slowly poison Paul and make it look like a wasting sickness. It had been done before. Of course, everyone would have suspected poison but they counldn't prove it unless she would have been so foolish as to let an autospsy be performed. And as many here have said, she wasn't foolish.

Offline imperial angel

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Re: Emperor Peter III, life and death
« Reply #69 on: January 28, 2007, 07:54:02 PM »
I agree with that. But, I don't think she would have tried to remove him. She could control Paul well enough so that she didn't need to do him in, although she might have worried what the country would be like after her death. She had more issues with his father, whom she didn't poison, which she could have done, if she had wished to be more sophisticated. That is most likely the best evidence that she did not directly order Peter killed, because if she did, would she not do it in a more sophisticated way than it was done? Her son she no doubt had little affection for towards the end of her reign, but she did have the future of the country secure with her grandsons, and maybe she counted in them to do something if Paul was too much trouble, after her death.

Offline lori_c

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Re: Emperor Peter III, life and death
« Reply #70 on: January 30, 2007, 05:35:35 PM »
Indeed. Though there WERE rumours flying even to Paul's own ears of his mother's intentions to kill him, I feel Catherine was much smarter than that. I feel she didn't think his death as necessary as Peter's and she was noted for finding unnecessary execution distateful.

Offline imperial angel

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Re: Emperor Peter III, life and death
« Reply #71 on: January 30, 2007, 06:28:58 PM »
Yes, both officially, and unofficially she did find execution not something she wanted. Was it not Empress Elizabeth who abolished the formal death penalty in Russia? At least, I thought she did.But, Catherine like to look enlightened, not like some Russian despot. She didn't want the monarchs she liked to look enlightened to in the western world to think she would order the execution of her husband, to make way for her to have the throne. Nor did she want the world to speculate about the mysterious death of her son and heir, which would have aroused quite a bit of attention, because he was the heir, and she was widely known. Her husband people already knew was a fool, and he had worn out his welcome, so people were less inclined to pay attention to his mysterious death. I think she might not have done anything to her son because she knew how his ''mysterious'' death would look.

Offline lori_c

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Re: Emperor Peter III, life and death
« Reply #72 on: January 31, 2007, 10:36:32 AM »
Yes, both officially, and unofficially she did find execution not something she wanted. Was it not Empress Elizabeth who abolished the formal death penalty in Russia? At least, I thought she did.But, Catherine like to look enlightened, not like some Russian despot. She didn't want the monarchs she liked to look enlightened to in the western world to think she would order the execution of her husband, to make way for her to have the throne. Nor did she want the world to speculate about the mysterious death of her son and heir, which would have aroused quite a bit of attention, because he was the heir, and she was widely known. Her husband people already knew was a fool, and he had worn out his welcome, so people were less inclined to pay attention to his mysterious death. I think she might not have done anything to her son because she knew how his ''mysterious'' death would look.
Indeed.  Empress Elizabeth was an autocrat but not a tyrant and Catherine DID learn from her while taking in her own education on an how an "enlightented" society should be.  And two deaths under her reign certainly would prove to the world that Russia was just as barbaric as ever.  Peter III was suspected to be Catherine's wishes but never proved and she certainly never got her hands dirty.  But Paul was a whole other story.  At one point her throne wasn't stable as it became and she knew she needed Paul as much as ever.  But besides politically needing him, I don't feel she thought killing him would solve anything.

Offline imperial angel

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Re: Emperor Peter III, life and death
« Reply #73 on: January 31, 2007, 01:09:45 PM »
Yes, I agree. If she had truly thought his death would solve anything, then she might have been able to find some way to get rid of him. It would have been a risk to take, but even so, she was a person who was astute enough to know when to take a risk, and when not to, and she knew not to. She had Paul under her thumb to some extent, and beyond that she wasn't a weak monarch of the type you might be able to overthrow, which surely anyone who might have been tempted to support Paul against his mother would have known.I don't think Paul ever had much support before his reign or after.

Offline lori_c

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Re: Emperor Peter III, life and death
« Reply #74 on: January 31, 2007, 01:56:52 PM »
Yes, I agree. If she had truly thought his death would solve anything, then she might have been able to find some way to get rid of him. It would have been a risk to take, but even so, she was a person who was astute enough to know when to take a risk, and when not to, and she knew not to. She had Paul under her thumb to some extent, and beyond that she wasn't a weak monarch of the type you might be able to overthrow, which surely anyone who might have been tempted to support Paul against his mother would have known.I don't think Paul ever had much support before his reign or after.
Paul did have a small following, especially immediately after Peter III's death.  They had hoped he would "undo" some of Peter's "reforms" especially concerning religious matters.  Catherine knew this would be a problem.  And upon Catherine's coronation, he was well received by many of the crowd.  As well, some Russians felt they wanted a blood Romanov on the throne and not a German princess, which was why Catherine really did need Paul in the beginning.  Then as her reign became more secure, she simply found things to keep him busy and out of the way.