Author Topic: Emperor Peter III, life and death  (Read 51448 times)

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Offline RomanovFan

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Emperor Peter III, life and death
« on: July 19, 2005, 05:58:09 PM »
What did he do during his short reign? And has it been proven that none Catherine II's kids were his, or was Paul I actually a Romanov?
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David_Pritchard

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Re: Emperor Peter III, life and death
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2005, 11:23:22 PM »
Emperor Paul I looked very much like his father Peter III, ugly in an unusual way. Paul also acted like his father, that is eratic, tyranical and obsessed with the military. There is little doubt that Peter III is the father since Catherine II was drawn consistently to attractive men rather than unattractive men.

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Offline Mike

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Re: Emperor Peter III, life and death
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2005, 09:48:35 AM »
It seems like Catherine II did nothing to stop the rumours about Paul's paternity by Saltykov. They served her in two respects: to dissociate herself even further from purposefully slandered Peter III, on one hand, and to present the unloved Paul's rights to the crown as questionable, on the other.

Peter III apparently wasn't a brilliant ruler and a partularly attractive person, but he also wasn't dumb and evil as the official Russian historiography always painted him.

David_Pritchard

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Re: Emperor Peter III, life and death
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2005, 01:42:05 PM »
Peter III is best remembered as a germanophile, a man who so wanted to impress his idol Fredrick of Prussia that he betrayed the Russian Army and signed a secret treaty with the Prussians on 25 February 1762 returning the Prussian lands captured in battle by the Russian Army at a great cost in lives.

This favor to the enemy of Russia seriously damaged Peter III's standing with the military and patriotic Russians. He set the stage for the coup d'etat that placed his wife Cathrine on the Throne.

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Offline cimbrio

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Re: Emperor Peter III, life and death
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2005, 12:21:11 AM »
God knows what would have happenned had Catherine  not stepped in! Russia would have been swallowed into Prussia maybe... I know he underwent surgery to get rid of his foreskin which was apaprnetly the reason he couldn't impregnate his wife...

Offline Elisabeth

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Re: Emperor Peter III, life and death
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2005, 01:33:59 AM »
The most important thing Peter III did during his short reign was to abolish mandatory service to the state for the nobility. Henceforth Russian noblemen were free to stay on their estates and pursue other interests rather than join the army or civil service. This measure was so popular that even Catherine the Great and her successors did not dare repeal it.
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cantacuzene

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Re: Emperor Peter III, life and death
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2005, 03:12:30 AM »
Quote
The most important thing Peter III did during his short reign was to abolish mandatory service to the state for the nobility. Henceforth Russian noblemen were free to stay on their estates and pursue other interests rather than join the army or civil service. This measure was so popular that even Catherine the Great and her successors did not dare repeal it.

Popular?

Offline Elisabeth

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Re: Emperor Peter III, life and death
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2005, 12:16:31 PM »
Peter III himself was not popular (understatement) but this particular measure was. Prior to this, Russian noblemen, unlike their Western counterparts, had been required to enter into state service as soon as they reached maturity. Not surprisingly, they were happy to be free of this obligation, no matter how much they personally disliked Peter III himself.
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cantacuzene

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Re: Emperor Peter III, life and death
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2005, 03:48:44 AM »
Sorry. I referred to the word popular in the sense of accepted by people. I wondered if a measure only in favour of nobility could be called popular (but I am not english speaker). A 'medida popular' would be something in favour of slaves, the russian people. To add a privilege plus to the minority of aristocratics would'nt be popular in that sense, but worse, for servants hadn't no choice and the difference now became even bigger.It is not a progresist measure, but conservatrice, regressive, to reinforce the old regime, closed to change. But it depends. If we consider, as russian privilegiates, that they were the russian people and the rest animals, so the measure could be called popular. I think i mean an actual point of vue and you meant a contemporary one, isn't it? Thank you, Elizabeth
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by cantacuzene »

Offline cimbrio

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Re: Emperor Peter III, life and death
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2005, 04:44:01 AM »
Medida popular = Popular measure (just helping, Cantacuzene) ;)

Offline Elisabeth

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Re: Emperor Peter III, life and death
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2005, 07:32:07 AM »
Quote
Sorry. I referred to the word popular in the sense of accepted by people. I wondered if a measure only in favour of nobility could be called popular (but I am not english speaker). A 'medida popular' would be something in favour of slaves, the russian people. To add a privilege plus to the minority of aristocratics would'nt be popular in that sense, but worse, for servants hadn't no choice and the difference now became even bigger.It is not a progresist measure, but conservatrice, regressive, to reinforce the old regime, closed to change. But it depends. If we consider, as russian privilegiates, that they were the russian people and the rest animals, so the measure could be called popular. I think i mean an actual point of vue and you meant a contemporary one, isn't it? Thank you, Elizabeth


Well, I meant the measure was popular with the elite, of course. But Peter III's measure was also important in a much wider sense, in that it freed the Russian nobility and gentry to pursue other interests than those serving the autocratic state, and these interests included (not always, but sometimes) reforming their estates along Western lines and trying to help (sometimes even freeing) their peasants.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Elisabeth »
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Offline Mike

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Re: Emperor Peter III, life and death
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2005, 09:30:18 AM »
In addition to abolishing the mandatory service of the gentry, Peter III made (or prepared to make) another changes:
- Abolished the fearsome Secret Chancery (re-established by Catherine II as the Secret Expedition);
- Declared the freedom of religion (revoked by Catherine);
- Ordered the persecutions of Old Believers to be stopped (resumed by Catherine);
- Freed the monastery-owned serfs;
- Permitted the gentry to travel abroad freely (canceled by Catherine);
- Introduced the publicity of court proceedings (canceled by Catherine);
- Ordered military and civil officials to be rewarded with orders and ranks only, but not with serfs (resumed by Catherine immediately upon the coup); and more.

No wonder that the coup was actually greeted by a few outside the circle of Guards officers headed by the Orlov brothers. It also explains why the Pugachev revolt (under the Peter III's banner) was so widely supported.

Offline kenmore3233

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Re: Emperor Peter III, life and death
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2005, 10:38:47 PM »
Quote
What did he do during his short reign? And has it been proven that none Catherine II's kids were his, or was Paul I actually a Romanov?


Peter III, according to the best sources I know of, was probably not the embecile that many historians have depicted him as being. On the other hand, his behavior was erratic and his judgment was consistently poor, probably due to alcoholism, stress, and psychoemotional immaturity.

I have read that Peter was of at least average intelligence, and that he may even have been clever. Had Peter been sensible enough to leave matters of state to his ministers, and had he been wise enough to heed his ministers' counsel, he probably could have ruled successfully for a very long time.

An assessment of Peter's psychological condition may shed some light on why his life turned out the way it did.

Peter's early life circumstances in Germany were troubled, and these beginnings rendered him permanently fearful and easily overwhelmed by events going on around him.

Peter dealt with his early life stress by withdrawing into a private fantasy world of playing with toy soldiers, a pastime Peter indulged in, strangely, even years after his boyhood.

As an adult, Peter sought comfort through the excessive use of alcohol, and much of the time as tsar he was drunk, both privately and in court.

Also, Peter was under the influence of many ignorant, petty and manipulative people who influenced him for the worse. He picked his company unwisely, usually for no other reason than that these individuals gave him a false sense of confidence.

Everybody of course knows about Peter's bizarre and slavish infatuation with Frederick the Great, a fascination fueled by his intense dependency needs and his desire to feel protected.

All of Peter's psychological and personality faults were aggravated further by the stress he must have felt at having to play the role of monarch in the Russian imperial court, given that court's history of violence, internecine conflict and revolt against its rulers.

The overriding pattern in Peter's behavior is easy to see: it is called maladjustment.

It is no surprise then that Peter quickly alienated himself from those individuals who were the true brokers of power in the Russian capital, and his reign was thus a short one.

More than anything else, perhaps, it's best to say that Peter was a victim of history and circumstance. While still a teenager in Germany, he was selected to be the Russian tsarevich for reasons that were not of his doing. From that moment going forward, instead of passing his life as a sheltered German princeling who could do no harm to himself or others, his life spun hopelessly beyond his control.


« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by kenmore3233 »

Offline kenmore3233

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Re: Emperor Peter III, life and death
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2005, 10:58:24 PM »
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What did he do during his short reign? And has it been proven that none Catherine II's kids were his, or was Paul I actually a Romanov?


I remember two foolish things that Peter did as tsar, both of which were the proximate causes of his being overthrown and killed.

One was that Peter ended Russia's war with Frederick the Great on Frederick's terms, even though the Russian army, at great sacrifice, was decisively winning the war. Russia stood to greatly enhance its power and prestige as a result of this success, fruits of victory that were cheaply thrown away by Peter.

Second, Peter dispatched the Russian military against Denmark, for no other reason than that Denmark was engaged in a diplomatic row with Holstein, the small and insignificant Germany principality where Peter was from.

The Russian military elites were aghast at the idea of fighting Denmark for such petty reasons. A coup quickly ensued, and the order that the army and navy should attack Denmark was quickly remanded.

As for Paul, it is highly probable that he was Peter's son. Physically he strongly resembled Peter, and he displayed personality traits not unlike those exhibited by Peter.

There should be no doubt that Peter and Catherine procreated, even in spite of the fact that they despised each other. They were under very intense pressure from the empress Elizabeth to produce an heir to the throne; they had no choice except to comply with Elizabeth's demands.

That Peter was sterile, impotent, or physically incapable of fornicating should be regarded as nothing more than rumor that has no basis in historical fact.


David_Pritchard

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Re: Emperor Peter III, life and death
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2006, 06:52:24 PM »
Quote
The most important thing Peter III did during his short reign was to abolish mandatory service to the state for the nobility. Henceforth Russian noblemen were free to stay on their estates and pursue other interests rather than join the army or civil service. This measure was so popular that even Catherine the Great and her successors did not dare repeal it.



1762 Ukaz of Emperor Peter III Freeing the Nobility from Obligatory State Service

All Europe, indeed the greater part of the world, knows what difficulties and effort that Peter the Great, wise monarch of immortal memory, Our dear sovereign grandfather and Emperor of all the Russias, had to expend in his efforts, solely with a view to bringing benefit and welfare to fatherland, to introduce into Russia advanced knowledge of military, civil, and political affairs.

To achieve this goal it was essential first to coerce the nobles, the chief body of the state, and convince them of the great advantages enjoyed by enlightened states over those countless peoples who are sunk in the depths of ignorance. Because the circumstances of the time then demanded extreme sacrifices from Russian Nobles, he [Peter I] did not show any mercy towards them, he forced them into military and civil service, and furthermore required noble youth to study the various liberal arts and also useful skills; he sent [some of] them to European countries, and, to achieve the same goal as rapidly as possible, established various schools in Russia itself.

It is true that in the beginning these innovations were burdensome and unendurable for the nobles, as they were deprived of peace, were forced to leave their homes, were obliged against their will to serve in the army or to perform other service, and were required to register their children. In consequence some nobles tried to evade these requirements, for which they were fined or even forfeited their estates, since they had shown themselves indifferent to their own best interest and that of their descendants. These demands, though burdensome in the beginning and accompanied by force, proved to be much advantage during the reigns of Peter the Great's successors, especially during the reign of Our dear aunt, Empress Elizaveta Petrovna, of glorious memory, who followed in the footsteps of her sovereign father, who supported the knowledge of political affairs and who, by her protection, extended much useful knowledge throughout Russia. We can look with pride at everything that has occurred, and every true son of the country will agree that great advantages have resulted from all this. Manners have been improved; knowledge has replaced illiteracy; devotion and zeal for military affairs resulted in the appearance of many experienced and brave generals; civil and political concerns have attracted many intelligent people; in a word, noble thoughts have penetrated the hearts of all true Russian patriots who have revealed toward Us their unlimited devotion, love, zeal, and fervor. Because of all these reasons We judge it to be no longer necessary to compel the nobles into service, as has been the practice hitherto. Because of these circumstances, and by virtue of the authority granted to Us by the almighty, We grant freedom and liberty to the entire Russian nobility, by Our High Imperial Grace, from this movement and forever, to all future generations. They may continue to perform service in Our Empire or in other European countries friendly to our State on the basis of the following rules:

1. All nobles who are presently in our service may continue as long as they wish or as long as their health may permit; those serving in the army may request release or furlough during a campaign or three months before a campaign; they should wait for release until the end of a war; those serving in the army may request release or retirement permits from their superiors and must wait for these permits; those serving Us in various capacities in the first eight ranks must apply for their release directly to Us; other ranks will be released by the departments for which they work.

2. At their retirement We will reward all nobles who serve Us well and faultlessly by promoting them to a higher rank, provided they have served at least one year in the rank from which they retired; those who wish to retire from military service and enter civil service, provided there is a vacancy for them, should be rewarded only if they have served three years in a given rank.

3. Those nobles who have retired or those who have terminated their military or civil service for Us, but who should express a desire to re-enter the military service, shall be admitted, provided they prove worthy of those ranks to which they belong and provided they will not be elevated to ranks higher than those of their co-servicemen who were equal in rank at the retirement; if they should be elevated in rank this should go into effect from the day they re-join the service over those who have retired and also make it possible for those who have retired from one service to join other services.

4. Those nobles who, freed from Our service, who wish to travel to other European countries should immediately receive the necessary passports from Our Foreign College under one condition: namely, that should ever a pressing need arise, those nobles shall return home whenever they are notified. Everyone should fulfill this request as soon as possible; those who fail to comply with it will have their property confiscated.

5. ... [on Russians who would serve in other states.]

6. By virtue of this manifesto, no Russian nobleman will ever be forced to serve against his will; nor will any of Our administrative departments make use of them except in emergency cases and then only if We personally should summon them; this rule also applies to the nobility of the Smolensk area. An exception to this rule is St. Petersburg and Moscow, where an ukaz of the Sovereign Emperor Peter I stipulated that some men from among the retired nobles should be made available for various needs at the Senate and at the [Heraldic] Office; We amend this Imperial rule by decreeing that henceforth there should be selected annually thirty men to serve in the Senate and twenty to serve in the Office. These men should be chosen by the Heraldic Office from among the nobles living in the provinces and not from those still in service. No one should be designated by name for this duty. Nobles themselves should decide who should be selected in the districts and provinces. Local officials should forward the names of those so selected to the Heraldic Office and also provide those selected with needed items.

7. Although, by this gracious manifesto we grant forever freedom to all of Our Russian nobles, except freeholders [odnodvortsy], Our fatherly concern for them as well as for their children will continue. These latter, We decree, should henceforth, whenever they reach twelve years of age, be reported to the Heraldic Office in districts, provinces, or cities or wherever is most convenient. From their parents or relatives who are bringing them up, information should be obtained about the level of the children's education up to the age of twelve and where they would like to continue their studies, whether within Our State in various institutions We have founded, in European countries, or, should the means of their parents allow it, in their own homes by experienced and skillful teachers. No nobleman should keep his children uneducated under the penalty of Our anger. Those noblemen who have under 1000 serfs should report their children to Our Cadet Corps of the Nobility, where they will learn everything befitting a nobleman and where they will be educated with the utmost care. Following his education each nobleman will assume his rank in accordance with his dignity and reward, and subsequently each may enter and continue his service as indicated above.

8. Those nobles who presently are in Our military service as soldiers or non-commissioned officers below the rank of oberofitser, that is, those who have failed to attain officer rank, should not be allowed to retire unless they have served twelve years in the army.

9. We grant this gracious act to all of Our nobles for eternity as a fundamental and unalterable law; by Our Imperial word We pledge to observe it in its entirety in the most solemn and irrevocable manner. Our rightful successors should not alter it in any way whatsoever, as their adherence to this decree will serve as an indispensable support for the autocratic throne of All Russia. We hope that in return for this act Russian nobles, realizing what great concern We have shown toward them and toward their descendants, will continue to serve Us loyally and zealously and will not withdraw from Our service; on the contrary, that they will seek the service eagerly and will continue it as long as possible, and will educate their children attentively in useful knowledge; those who will not perform any service will also lead purposeless lives and will not educate their children in any useful subject. Such people are not concerned with the general good, and We order all true sons of the Fatherland to despise and demolish them. We will not allow such people any access to Our court, nor will We tolerate their presence at public assemblies and festivals.