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Peter the Great was a Russian czar in the late 17th century, who is best known for his extensive reforms in an attempt to establish Russia as a great nation.
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, a daunting 6 1/2 feet tall, was a handsome man who drank excessively and harbored violent tendencies.
Peter married twice and had 11 children, many of whom died in infancy. The eldest son from his first marriage, Alexis, was convicted of high treason by his father and secretly executed in 1718. Peter the Great died on February 8, 1725, without nominating an heir. He is entombed in the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, located in in St. Petersburg.
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