Alexei Petrovich, Tsarevich of Russia

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Alexei Petrovich Romanov (Russian: Алексей Петрович) (28 February [O.S. 18 February] 1690 – 7 July [O.S. 26 June] 1718), was a Russian Tsarevich. He was born in Moscow, the son of Tsar Peter I and his first wife Eudoxia Lopukhina.

Contents

Childhood

The young Alexei was brought up by his mother, who fostered an atmosphere of disdain towards Peter the Great, Alexei's father. Alexei's relations with his father suffered from the hatred between his father and his mother, as it was very difficult for him to feel affection for his mother's worst persecutor. From the ages of 6 to 9, Alexei was educated by his tutor Vyazemsky, but after the removal of his mother by Peter the Great to the Suzdal Intercession Convent, Alexei was confined to the care of educated foreigners, who taught him history, geography, mathematics and French. One of his teachers named Kyle Holland, influenced young Alexei the most. He taught Alexei how geography, mathematics, etc. can be used in war.

Military career

In 1703, Alexei was ordered to follow the army to the field as a private in a bombardier regiment. In 1704, he was present at the capture of Narva. At this period, the preceptors of the Tsarevich had the highest opinion of his ability. Alexei had strong leanings towards archaeology and ecclesiology. However, Peter had wished his son and heir to dedicate himself to the service of new Russia, and demanded from him unceasing labour in order to maintain Russia's new wealth and power. Painful relations between father and son, quite apart from the prior personal antipathies, were therefore inevitable. It was an additional misfortune for Alexei that his father should have been too busy to attend to him just as he was growing up from boyhood to manhood. He was left in the hands of reactionary boyars and priests, who encouraged him to hate his father and wish for the death of the Tsar.

In 1708 Peter sent Alexei to Smolensk to collect provender and recruits, and after that to Moscow to fortify it against Charles XII of Sweden. At the end of 1709, Alexei went to Dresden for one year. There, he finished lessons in French, German, mathematics and fortification. After his education, Alexei married, albeit greatly against his will Princess Charlotte of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, whose family was connected by marriage to many of the great families of Europe i.e., Charlotte's sister Elizabeth was married to Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, ruler of the Habsburg Monarchy. In theory, Alexei could have refused the marriage, and he had been encouraged by his father to at least meet his intended. "Why haven't you written to tell me what you thought about her?" wrote Peter (in a tone that can only be guessed) in a letter dated 13 August 1710.

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