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Peter the Great

The Struggle for Power, 1671–1725

Peter the Great by Paul Bushkovitch
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A narrative of the fifty years of political struggles at the Russian court, 1671–1725. This book shows how Peter the Great was not the all-powerful tsar working alone to reform Russia, but that he colluded with powerful and contentious aristocrats in order to achieve his goals. After the early victory of Peter's boyar supporters in the 1690s, Peter turned against them and tried to rule through favourites - an experiment which ended in the establishment of a decentralized 'aristocratic' administration, followed by an equally aristocratic Senate in 1711. The aristocrats' hegemony came to an end in the wake of the affair of Peter's son, Tsarevich Aleksei, in 1718. After that moment Peter ruled through a complex group of favourites, a few aristocrats and appointees promoted through merit, and carried out his most long-lasting reforms. The outcome was a new balance of power at the centre and a new, European, conception of politics.
Cambridge University Press; September 2001
499 pages; ISBN 9780511028755
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Title: Peter the Great
Author: Paul Bushkovitch
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