- NAME: Peter III
- OCCUPATION: Emperor
- BIRTH DATE: February 21, 1728
- DEATH DATE: July 17, 1762
- Did You Know?: Peter III tried to impose democratic and capitalistic reforms on 18th century Russia.
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Kiel, Germany
- PLACE OF DEATH: Ropsha, Russia
- AKA: Pyotr Fyodorovich
- AKA: Peter III
- Originally: Karl Peter Ulrich
Best Known For
Peter III was emperor of Russia for a mere six months in 1762 before he was overthrown by his wife, Catherine the Great, and assassinated in 1762.
Before his death, Peter the Great failed to name his heir. His only remaining direct descendant, Elizabeth, seized the throne in his absence.
On Christmas Day Empress Elizabeth died, leaving the throne to Peter the Third.
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Peter III also instituted many domestic reforms that today seem democratic, including proclaiming religious freedom, abolishing the secret police and outlawing the killing of serfs by their landowners. He established the first state bank in Russia and encouraged mercantilism by increasing grain exports and placing embargos on materials that could be found in Russia.
There is wide speculation as to Peter III's demise. Traditionally,
it has been believed that he had alienated the Orthodox Church and much of the nobility with his reforms, and that because his personality and policies were seen as so bizarre and unpredictable, these factions went to Catherine for help and plotted against him. But recent scholarship points to Catherine as the mastermind of a conspiracy to rid herself of her husband because she thought he was going to divorce her. On June 28, 1762, Peter III was arrested and forced to abdicate. He was taken to Ropsha, outside St. Petersburg, where he was supposedly assassinated on July 17, though this has never been confirmed, and some evidence shows he might have committed suicide.
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