Peter the Great
by Jacob Abbott
By sheer force of will, Peter the Great single-handedly imposed modernization on a highly resistant Russia. He overcame foes from within his country, including his sister Sophia, whom the anti-modernist forces favored for the throne. He overcame Charles XII of Sweden, his great rival for control of the Baltic, in spite of overwhelming defeats. He considered his son Alexis unworthy of the throne and had him killed rather than trust his kingdom to a libertine.
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