GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Tsar Peter I, 'Peter the Great' (1672-1725). Crowned Tsar of Russia in 1682, Peter the Great instituted reforms which made Russia a global power. He opened the country to the West; inviting engineers, craftsmen, architects and merchants in to help the economy. At the same time he sent thousands of Russians into Europe to get the best possible education. In the North he started a war with Sweden to gain control of the Baltic Sea and its trade, eventually winning it to make St. Petersburg - his newly formed capital - a major sea port. Taken from a book published in 1739.
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