Author Topic: Why Did Peter the Great Kill His Son Alexei?  (Read 24187 times)

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terence

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Why Did Peter the Great Kill His Son Alexei?
« on: September 09, 2004, 06:55:24 PM »
why exactly did peter have alexey killed i never heard of the reason before and why would he do this to his only surviving son?did catherine the 1 ever object
« Last Edit: April 17, 2009, 10:44:00 AM by Alixz »

Offline Belochka

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Re: Peter the great and Alexey
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2004, 03:33:50 AM »
Essentially Alexei was sentenced to death because he was accused of treason - a State crime punishable by death.

Upon Alexei's return from Naples he 'admitted' to his crimes while experiencing several days of horrendous torture. A rapidly convened Tribunal composed of Senators, Ministers, the military and clergy was set up, who all signed a document which they presented to Peter expressing a unanimous verdict of guilty. The only safe verdict which was expected to be handed down. The Tribunal deemed that the Czarevich deserved the death penalty because of his Capital crime against the State, against his Sovereign, who just happened to be his father.

In his hand-written confession Alexei wanted to see his father dead, so that all the Petrine reforms could be suppressed. He envisaged driving out all foreigners from Russia, which meant that the German language and all sciences could also be suppressed. He also wanted Menshikov punished.

Catherine asked Peter to have the sentence commuted, so that Alexei could become a monk.

However it maybe presummed that Peter was not only ashamed of his treacherous son (a potential heir), but he firmly believed it was his duty to the Russian Empire that he alone must prevent his son from ever having the opportunity to repeat his actions again. Peter loathed weakness and traitors and therefore it was for the Emperor to show his subjects that no-one was permitted to stand in the way of reform. His own son was not immune.

A nocturnal visit by Peter to the Trubetskoi Bastion at the Fortress after the death sentence was pronounced apparently triggered a series of convulsions by Alexei. Although there are suggestions that these convulsions never occurred, and that Alexei was actually be-headed. The same fate which was met by Alexei's fellow conspirators.

Whether Peter actually had a direct hand in his son's demise has also been questioned, because there has been no real proof that any such an action had actually occurred. Where ever the real truth lies, Peter in the end felt vindicated.

Peter accompanied by Ekaterina, attended his son's funeral and was seen to weep and kiss his son's lips in the open coffin. He never regretted his decision not to commute the sentence.

Peter's reforms to modernize Russia certainly travelled a harsh path. Perhaps Catherine finally concurred with Peter about Alexei's fate at the time, I do not know if she felt otherwise. If Peter was actually innocent of killing his own son, then no doubt Ekaterina would have understood that the course of events which ensued were inevitable.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Belochka »


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Offline Katya04

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Re: Peter the great and Alexey
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2004, 10:10:25 AM »
I guess he thought since he already had a son that he'd pass it along to the grandson. He didn't know that he'd soon die and the grandson would not live long either. But anyway I think it's terrible he killed his own kid. It's one thing that stops me from admiring him. I also wonder what Tsars we may have had in succession if he had lived, instead of the ones we got, and would things have turned out better with someonen other than Nicholas II on the throne?

Offline jackie3

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Re: Peter the great and Alexey
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2004, 11:39:48 AM »
I personally would question any sort of "confession" obtained under torture. It's been a long time since I read a biography of Peter (the one I did read was a huge tome whose author's name I forget) but IMO it was a foregone conclusion that Alexis was going to be killed the moment he was arrested. IIRC his only crime was planning to turn back the clock of Peter's reforms when he did gain the throne, I can't remember if ever was planning a coup, it's doubtful considering how much power Peter wielded. Certainly Alexander I was guilty of much more against his father and in some circles he's become a romantic even mystical figure.

Peter's a difficult figure, in one respect he pulled his country kicking and screaming forward and tied it to Europe instead of Asia, in another respect I view him as more of a monster (how many died to create his vanity project of St.Petersburg or his wars with Sweden?) than
the more villified figures of Paul I or Nicholas II could have even dreamt of being.  

As for Catherine, who knows what she thought. She certainly didn't try to change the succession to the throne (which was in her rights just as Peter had made her instead ruling Empress after his death) and let Alexis' son Peter II inherit instead of her daughters. One also would have thought that Peter would have taken more of an interest in his sole Romanov grandson (especially after basically killing the boy's father) but apparently did not. It is well known that Peter hated his first wife and his son from that marriage (Alexis), maybe he would have preffered that line didn't exist. I wonder if Peter the Great had lived longer if the young Peter II would have shared a similar fate to his father?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by jackie3 »

terence

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Re: Peter the great and Alexey
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2004, 01:14:23 AM »
I had thought that Alexey was Catherines son guess not, so then why should she object if i would have known that i would have never posted that question.

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Peter the great and Alexey
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2004, 01:39:51 AM »
We cannot be certain why Catherine objected to killing Alexis. Perhaps she was a decent person. Perhaps she was trying to encourage her husband to not do something that would cause him guilt and grief.

Offline Olga

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Re: Peter the great and Alexey
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2004, 03:59:52 AM »
Tsaritsa Yevdokia Fyodorovna Lopukhina was born 30 Jun 1670 and died 27 Aug 1731. They were married 6 Feb 1689, Moscow. Pyotr Alexeevich divorced her in 1698. She must have been forced to take the veil as she died in the Novodevichi Monastery in Moscow.

Her children were ~

Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich 1690-1718
Grand Duke Alexander Petrovich 1691-1692
Grand Duke Pavel Petrovich 1693-1693

Offline Belochka

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Re: Peter the great and Alexey
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2004, 11:40:33 PM »
Quote
Tsaritsa Yevdokia Fyodorovna Lopukhina ... She must have been forced to take the veil as she died in the Novodevichi Monastery in Moscow.


Evdokiya took her vows in the Pokrovsky monastery in Suzdal where she became a nun. She renounced her vows soon after, but remained as a lay person within the monastery's confines, enjoying a love affair.

After her grandson Peter II ascended the throne, she returned to Moscow. Unable to live in a different sort of environment she lived her remaining years in the Novodevichi Monastery.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Belochka »


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Offline Olga

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Re: Peter the great and Alexey
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2004, 04:50:10 AM »
Aha. I stand corrected.

Offline La_Mashka

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Re: Peter the great and Alexey
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2005, 11:48:48 AM »
I had no idea there was no actual proof that Peter caused Aleksey's death.

I remember reading that he visited Aleksey at the Peter and Paul Fortress and that he hit him so much and so hard that he eventuall yhad convulsions and died.



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Offline agordon2000

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Re: Why Did Peter the Great Kill His Son Alexei?
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2014, 08:09:56 PM »
Peter's son had been irritating cultivating his enemies for a long time. He shared none of his father's interests and said he would destroy all his father's accomplishments and then kill his step mother, his fathers best friend and the diplomat who arranged his own marriage to Charlotte.  Alexei was not respected by the head of the Austria, Charles VI, and the head of Sweden who intended to make him a figure head if he won the Great Northern War. The man was a drunk. Peter told him he had six months to decide if he was going to become a monk or face his responsibilities. Alexei took off to Austria and embarrassed his father who was trying to get allies against Sweden. The vice Chancellor wrote the King that he was incapable of leading troops against his father and he drank a good deal.  Alexei  asked the King of Austria to hide him. His father got him back, Alexei said that should he be asked he would have led troops against his father. His father had him name names to find out all those plotting against him and used to occasion to root out everyone who opposed him and finally he killed his son. He had had it.
http://historybyalice.com/
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https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N7T0SPX

Offline agordon2000

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Re: Peter the great and Alexey
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2015, 05:42:48 PM »
Great summary
http://historybyalice.com/
my blog

A Gordon  (Wrote The Turning Point: Peter the Great) Lots of pictures
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N7T0SPX

Offline agordon2000

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Re: Peter the great and Alexey
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2016, 12:02:06 AM »
I personally would question any sort of "confession" obtained under torture. It's been a long time since I read a biography of Peter (the one I did read was a huge tome whose author's name I forget) but IMO it was a foregone conclusion that Alexis was going to be killed the moment he was arrested. IIRC his only crime was planning to turn back the clock of Peter's reforms when he did gain the throne, I can't remember if ever was planning a coup, it's doubtful considering how much power Peter wielded. Certainly Alexander I was guilty of much more against his father and in some circles he's become a romantic even mystical figure.

Peter's a difficult figure, in one respect he pulled his country kicking and screaming forward and tied it to Europe instead of Asia, in another respect I view him as more of a monster (how many died to create his vanity project of St.Petersburg or his wars with Sweden?) than
the more villified figures of Paul I or Nicholas II could have even dreamt of being.  

As for Catherine, who knows what she thought. She certainly didn't try to change the succession to the throne (which was in her rights just as Peter had made her instead ruling Empress after his death) and let Alexis' son Peter II inherit instead of her daughters. One also would have thought that Peter would have taken more of an interest in his sole Romanov grandson (especially after basically killing the boy's father) but apparently did not. It is well known that Peter hated his first wife and his son from that marriage (Alexis), maybe he would have preffered that line didn't exist. I wonder if Peter the Great had lived longer if the young Peter II would have shared a similar fate to his father?
http://historybyalice.com/
my blog

A Gordon  (Wrote The Turning Point: Peter the Great) Lots of pictures
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N7T0SPX