Peter the Great: Expansion, Torture, and Power in Russia

TLDR Peter the Great, a complex and extraordinary figure, expands the Russian Empire through military conquest, despite his troubled upbringing and personal struggles. He establishes Russia as a great power, reforms the military, and leaves a lasting legacy.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 Peter the Great, the grandson of Michael, was born into a troubled childhood and witnessed a Streltsy rebellion at the age of 10, which greatly impacted his upbringing and led to his insecurity.
05:07 Peter the Great grows up hating the Streltsy and wanting absolute power, and he suffers from PTSD and epilepsy, but he also becomes an extraordinary figure who is strong, terrifying, and incredibly able, with a fascination for technology, ships, and guns.
10:12 Peter the Great becomes an absolute ruler and is obsessed with military reform, but also marries a traditional Russian wife through a bride show.
14:37 Peter the Great wants to expand Muscovy, update Russia with Western technology, and make Russia a great military power.
19:15 Peter the Great returns to Moscow and learns that the Streltsy have rebelled, so he orders their arrest and embarks on torturing them to death before expanding the empire by attacking the Swedish Empire.
24:10 Peter the Great launches a war in alliance with Augustus the Strong, the king of Poland, to dismantle the Swedish Empire, but initially fails and suffers humiliation before regrouping and eventually achieving victory in the Great Northern War.
29:32 Peter the Great falls in love with Martha Skaveronskaya, who becomes his mistress and eventually his wife, Catherine, and they have a tumultuous relationship where Peter is promiscuous but becomes jealous and possessive when Catherine has a lover.
34:04 Peter the Great collects body parts and exhibits them in his cabinet of curiosities, executes his former mistress Mary Hamilton for murder, and has a complex but loving relationship with his wife Catherine.
38:44 Peter the Great wins the battle of Poltava against Charles XII and establishes Russia as a great power.
43:41 Peter the Great tortures and kills his son, Alexei, who had defected to his enemies, over a period of months.
48:19 Peter the Great's expansion of Russia continues despite killing his heir, and he sends a commander to Central Asia and India to establish trade and explore further expansion.
53:08 Peter the Great expands the Russian Empire, negotiates peace with Sweden, moves the capital to Petersburg, creates the first Russian navy, changes the name of the country to Russia, declares himself emperor, dies at 52, and names Catherine as the first empress of Russia.
Categories: History

Peter the Great: Expansion, Torture, and Power in Russia

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