Kings Who Kill Their Own - Peter The Great

Peter gave no quarter to his son and made him pay with his life
Kings Who Kill Their Own - Peter the Great
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Peter the Great wasn't much for sitting still. A lesson learned when the Streltsy Guard turned the Kremlin walls red long before their time. Numerous blood relatives providing the splatter, the 1682 palace coup kept Russia’s restless emperor always on the run from Moscow's intrigue. So much so that instead of draining the swamp, he filled his own and built St. Petersburg on desolate marshland.  He erected a navy from nothing too and Russia ceased to be sedate as long as his expansive ways reigned. His son Alexie, on the other hand, was more homebody. The Tsaravich was better suited playing in the sand than raising castles

to give a concrete legacy to his name.  “I am incapable of exertion,” he once wrote the Tsar, but the delineation began long before.

At ten, Tsar Peter was content to leave the levers to Mom so his nautical wet dreams could run wild on Russia’s shores. But despite the rewards that would come to bear, Sophia decided his waters were better calmed and forced Eudoxia Lopukhina on him. A daughter of the orthodox conservative’s Peter later broke with, the marriage was a doomed as Dostoyevsky novel.

Once punishment overtook the maternal crime, Peter went off with his Grand Embassy. Like a youth hostel traveler, he discarded his kingly garb and absorbed Europe on an 18 month jaunt. The distance, it turned out, was more detrimental on Alexie than the proximity Peter faced in the Streltsy. Ignored to distraction, Alexie’s mind further atrophied of his mother’s mysticism.

Ultimately, Peter excised his options. He had Eudoxia suited up for the sisterhood and began grooming an heir.  Long lost, though, failure became the only option for the Tsaravich.  He eventually opted for self-exile, but mistaking Peter

the Great for his father, Alexie agreed to return and naively believed that abdicating would leave him beyond the pale.

Alexie represented allegiance to conservative elements, and paternal instinct fell in favor of deadly statecraft.  So Peter made no bones over grinding Alexie’s under the knout.

Putting the whip to shame, the strands were reinforced by metal rings, and once Peter was done with any co-conspirators, Alexie subsisted on the short end. 

25 lashes didn’t have Alexie fess up his guilt trip so Peter cued him up for 15 more. This time Alexie copped to wishing for  his father’s death, and the sovereign had his rubber stamp. 

Some accounts say that Peter beat his son to death, but the knout probably did all the damage. Alexie passed with a whimper, and peter did as much in his rationalization. A single worthless life could not stand in the way Russia’s future.  

What a mother - Russia.

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  • nbillett  04-10-2017
    Didn't know this. Thanks for sharing. I find these topics interesting. Please do keep postings articles of this sort. I learn a lot from them.
    reply 0
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