Peter the Great

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“Peter the Great. This prince is one of the most extraordinary figures in history. As a boy he showed a great eagerness for knowledge in departments which were not generally attractive to the members of royal families. He cared nothing for books, but took a keen interest in mechanical devices, in carpentering, and especially in the making and sailing of boats. He was impatient of discipline and opposition and showed at an early age serious defects of temper. In fact, except for his restless and inquisitive spirit, there was little about him to suggest the qualities which afterwards made him famous. His half-sister, Sophia, plotted against him, and at one time, through a palace revolution, his life was actually endagered. He was obliged to share the throne with his feeble-minded half-brother, and at first his position was insecure. In 1689, however, Peter, discovering the plots of Sophia, raised a party against her, took the power out of her hands, and shut her up in a convent. Ivan was wholly incompetent to rule, and from this time forth Peter, though now only seventeen years of age, ruled the state."—Colby, 1899


Frank Moore Colby, Outlines of General History, (New York: American Book Company, 1899) 443


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