which occurred on a 09 June:
1989 Gregory Smith, in West Reading, Pennsylvania. He who would
solve math problems at age 14 months, and read by age 2. He started school
in August 1994 and graduated from high school in Orange Park, Florida, on
11 June 1999. In September 1999, he enrolled at Randolph-Macon College in
Ashland, Virginia. He graduated cum laude on 31 May 2003 with a BS in Mathematics
and minors in History and Biology [photo >]. Starting on
09 June 2003, he studies for a Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of
Virginia. Meanwhile he has founded International
Youth Advocates to champion nonviolence and children's rights.
1959 George Washington, first ballistic missile sub,
is launched in Groton, Connecticut.
1958 Donald Michael
Santini, Mass, murderer (FBI Most Wanted List)
1954 Lon Tomohisa Horiuchi, US Asian, Catholic, son of
a US Army officer, he grows up in Hawaii and would graduate from West Point
in 1976. He would join the FBI in 1984. He would become notorious as the
sniper who shot and killed Vicki Weaver on 22 August 1992 as she was holding
her infant daughter, during the Ruby Ridge standoff. Horiuchi was never
punished for that.
1956 Patricia Cornwall,
bestselling crime novelist
Cornwall, creator of crime-solving medical examiner Kay Scarpetta,
in Miami, Florida.
family moved to North Carolina when she was seven, shortly after her
parents divorced. Her mother had a nervous breakdown when Cornwall
was nine and tried to give the children away to evangelist Billy Graham
and his wife, Ruth. The Grahams placed the children in foster care
and kept an eye on them for years. Cornwall, who attended Davidson
College in North Carolina and became a newspaper reporter in Charlotte,
later wrote a profile of Ruth Graham, which she turned into her first
book, a biography of Graham.
Cornwall married an English professor some 17 years her senior, who
later became a minister. The couple moved to Richmond, Virginia, where
Cornwall's character Scarpetta would be based. The couple later divorced.
Hoping to become a crime novelist, Cornwall spent six years studying
forensic science and working at the morgue. She wrote three novels
between 1984 and 1988, all featuring a dashing, adventurous, and poetic
detective hero, with a minor medical-examiner character named Kay
An editor advised
Cornwall to focus on Scarpetta and to write grittier fiction based
on everyday crime situations faced by the morgue. Cornwall wrote Postmortem,
which was finally accepted by Scribner's after seven other publishers
rejected it. The novel won five major mystery awards that year and
sold hundreds of thousands of copies in paperback. Cornwall's subsequent
Scarpetta novels, including Cruel and Unusual (1993) and
Cause of Death (1996), sold in the millions and have been
translated into 22 languages, earning her multimillion-dollar advances.
1944: 23 puppies (record litter) born to Lena, a foxhound,
1951 Ayman Mohamed Rabie El Zawahri, "docteur" du Jihad égyptien
En Egypte, on le surnomme "le Docteur"
car il est diplômé de médecine. Ayman El Zawahri, qui figure dans
la liste établie par les Etats-Unis, a mis sa conception radicale
de l'islamisme au service d'Oussama Ben Laden, dont il est parfois
considéré comme le bras droit. Pour un membre des services égyptiens
de sécurité, qui l'a interrogé au début des années 1980, le chirurgien
serait "un maître cerveau de la planification". De là à en faire le
"chef du service Action" d'Al-Qaida, l'organisation de Ben Laden,
il n'y a qu'un pas que beaucoup d'experts de l'antiterrorisme se hâtent
Né le 09 Jun 1951
à Guiza, au pied des Pyramides, Ayman El Zawahri est le fils d'un
professeur de pharmacologie à l'université du Caire. Riche et puissante,
sa famille a compté un premier secrétaire de la Ligue arabe et des
responsables d'Al-Azhar, la mosquée-université millénaire qui reste
la référence de l'islam sunnite. Ayman s'est très vite lancé dans
la politique en rejoignant les Frères musulmans, à une époque où beaucoup
de dirigeants de la confrérie étaient pendus ou internés. Cela lui
a valu, en 1966, son premier dossier à la police de la sécurité de
l'Etat. A la faculté de médecine du Caire, Zawahri est devenu un membre
actif de ce qui était alors l'embryon de l'organisation extrémiste
égyptienne Al-Jihad (guerre sainte) avant de prendre la tête de cette
organisation au début des années 1970. Quelques années plus tard,
les islamistes sont entrés en conflit ouvert avec le président Anouar
El Sadate, qui ne voulait pas leur accorder une charia (législation
islamique) pure et dure. Cela allait valoir son arrêt de mort au président,
exécuté par Al-Guihad, le 06 octobre 1981.
Zawahri a figuré parmi les milliers d'islamistes arrêtés après l'assassinat.
Mais il a été relaxé trois ans plus tard, par manque de preuves. Tout
comme le cheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, la figure de proue de l'autre organisation
extrémiste musulmane, la Gamaa islamiya. Les deux hommes ont cheminé
ensemble pendant le conflit afghan : le cheikh prêchait pour convaincre
de nouvelles recrues arabes et le chirurgien organisait un camp de
"moudjahidins arabes" en Afghanistan. La victoire assurée, Zawahri
a sillonné l'Europe, au Danemark (1991) et en Suisse (1993), où les
extrémistes avaient commencé à s'installer pour prolonger leur combat.
A cette époque de guerre ouverte
avec le régime du président Moubarak, Al-Jihad monte des attentats
contre plusieurs ministres. En 1995, à Addis Abeba, le président lui-même
échappe de peu à l'assassinat. Le Caire accuse Zawahri, qui se trouverait
alors au Soudan. La même année, l'ambassade d'Egypte à Islamabad est
détruite par un attentat. Les soupçons se portent sur Zawahri, qui
est condamné à mort par contumace en Egypte.
En 1998, celui qui était déjà très proche de Ben Laden le rejoint
officiellement pour combattre "les Américains et les Juifs", en cosignant
sa fatwa autorisant l'assassinat des civils dans le cadre du djihad.
Le FBI trouve sa patte dans les attentats contre les ambassades américaines
du Kenya et de Tanzanie (07 Aug 1998), et plus tard dans l'attaque
du destroyer USS Cole au Yémen (12 Oct 2000).
1924 John Colin Scott,
New Zealand architect who died on 30 July 1992. He is best known for the
1893 Cole Porter Indiana, composer/lyricist (Anything Goes,
Kiss Me Kate)
1916 Robert Strange
McNamara, in San Francisco
McNamara grew up to receive a degree in Economics from the University
of California at Berkeley and an M.B.A from Harvard Business School.
At the age of twenty-four, following a brief stint at the accounting
firm of Price Waterhouse (now Price Waterhouse Cooper), McNamara returned
to Harvard Business School as an accounting instructor. Rejected from
the army due to poor eyesight at the outbreak of World War II, McNamara
volunteered as an instructor for a Harvard program teaching Army Air
Corps officers the principles of systematic management, especially
the allocation of personnel, materials, and money. McNamara’s excellence
in this field eventually earned him a commission as a Captain in the
Army Air Corps, where he was one of the first members of a special
unit, the Office of Statistical Control (OSC). Led by Col. Charles
Thornton, the OSC was charged with assembling and analyzing data to
provide logistical support for American bombers.
After the war, Thornton marketed his team’s management skills to private
companies. Enter Ford Motor Corporation. Reigning atop a messy, outdated
family company registering heavy losses, Henry Ford II was smart enough
to recognize that the system he had inherited form his grandfather
was in need of an overhaul. He hired Thornton’s group, en masse, to
begin work in February 1946. The members of the group, labeled the
"Whiz Kids," ranged in age from 26 to 34, signaling a major change
in Ford’s stodgy hierarchy.
Whiz Kids instituted a modern economic approach to Ford’s business
administration, implementing organizational changes to make planning
and production processes more systematic. Six of them eventually became
vice-presidents, and two, McNamara and fellow Whiz Kid Arjay Miller,
rose to the position of company president. At Col. Thornton’s departure
from Ford, McNamara became the de facto leader of the Whiz Kids. He
instituted the systematic sampling of public opinion, known now as
"market research"; he hired Ford president Lee Iacocca; and he conceived
the Ford Falcon, Ford’s most successful car until the release of the
Mustang in 1964.
Republican, McNamara was offered a cabinet position by John F. Kennedy
after the 1960 presidential election, and given the choice of becoming
Secretary of Defense or Secretary of the Treasury, he chose the Defense
Department. McNamara remained Secretary of Defense until 1968, when
his changing attitude toward the war in Vietnam led him to resign.
Later he was president of World Bank.
Edensor Littlewood, mathematician who died on 06 September
1977. He collaborated with Godfrey
Harold Hardy [07 Feb 1877 – 01 Dec 1947], working on the theory
of series, the Riemann zeta function, inequalities, and the theory of functions.
1865 Carl Nielsen Norre-Lyndelse Denmark, composer (Det
1864 Floris Arntzenius, Duch artist
who died in 1925.
1849 Michael-Peter Ancher, Danish
painter who died on 19 September 1927. MORE
ON ANCHER AT ART 4 JUNE with
links to images.
1843 Bertha von Suttner
1812 Johann Gottfried Galle, German astronomer who, on
23 September 1846, discovered the planet Neptune at the Berlin Observatory.
Neptune, the eighth planet from the sun, was postulated by the French astronomer
Urbain Le Verrier [11 Mar 1811 – 23 Sep 1877] who calculated the approximate
location of the planet by studying gravity-induced disturbances in the motions
of the planets, particularly Uranus. A few days after Leverrier announced
his findings, after only an hour of searching, Galle (helped by student
Heinrich Louis d'Arrest) found Neptune within one degree of the position
that had been computed by Le Verrier. 3 years before Le Verrier, John Couch
Adams [05 Jun 1819 – 21 Jan 1892] had become the first person to predict
the position of a planet beyond Uranus, but this was not published. Galle
died on 10 July 1910.
1843 Bertha Sophia Felicita Gräfin
Kinsky von Chinic und Tettau (Bertha von Suttner),
Austria, novelist, pacifist (Peace Nobel 1905)
Als eine der einflußreichsten, politischen Journalisten ihrer
Zeit wurde sie zur Begründerin der deutschen, österreichischen
und ungarischen Friedensgesellschaften. Ebenso kämpfte sie gegen
die Unterdrückung der Frauen und den Antisemitismus. Ihr Buch
Die Waffen nieder (1889) entwickelte sich zum Bestseller.
Sie regte die Stiftung des Friedensnobelpreises an und wurde
später selbst die erste weibliche Trägerin dieses Preises
von Suttner und Alfred Nobel freilich verband nicht nur eine enge
persönliche Beziehung (allein aus seinem Todesjahr 1896 sind
24 meist sehr lange Briefe von Bertha erhalten), sondern auch darüber
hinaus gehende Interessen: Beide arbeiteten sie für den Frieden
und gegen den Krieg - wenn auch mit unterschiedlichen Wegvorstellungen.
Er hoffte auf Abschreckung durch Entwicklung eines neuen, zu bedrohlichen
Kriegsmittels, also auf Technik. Während sie auf Kommunikation,
auf internationale Vereinbarungen und Verständigung, auf Verhinderung
der Kriegsursachen und Aufklärung setzte. Im Gegensatz zu Bertha
von Suttner hatte Nobel an seiner eigenen Haltung aber durchaus Zweifel.
Neben der Entwicklung neuer Sprengstoffe förderte er die Friedensbewegung
mit erheblichen Geldsummen und verfolgte mit Interesse ihre Entwicklung.
Mit seinen noblen Spenden war der Schwede immerhin das großzügigste
Mitglied der "Österreichischen Gesellschaft der Friedensfreunde".
Berthas Buch Die Waffen nieder
(1890) begeisterte ihn. Der Entschluß der beiden 1892, gemeinsam
ein Buch zu schreiben, wurde zwar nie ausgeführt, doch mündete
damals Berthas ständiges Thema, wie Alfred sein Geld am besten
für den Frieden einsetzen könne, erstmals in konkrete Pläne
eines Friedenspreises. Nobels Testament sollte schließlich enthüllen,
welchen Weg diese Idee genommen hatte: Finanziert aus den Zinsen des
Vermögens, werden seit 1901 jährlich am 10. Dezember, dem
Todestag Nobels (wie auch von Berthas geliebten Gatten Arthur) fünf
Preise verliehen. Einer davon steht im Dienste des Friedens. 1905
endlich erhielt Bertha von Suttner als erste Frau diesen Friedensnobelpreis,
der nicht zuletzt auf die Anregungen der großen Österreicherin
Bertha von Suttner am 21.Juni 1914, sieben Tage vor Beginn des 1.
1781 George Stephenson inventor (principle RR locomotive)
1791 John Howard Payne,
US playwright, actor, diplomat.
followed the techniques and themes of the European Romantic blank-verse
dramatists. A precocious actor and writer, Payne wrote his first play,
Julia, or, The Wanderer, when he was 15. Its success caused
him to be sent to Union College, Schenectady, N.Y., but family finances
forced him to leave two years later. At 18 he made his first stage
appearance in John Home's Douglas, but he encountered much opposition
from established actors, and in 1813, at the height of the War of
1812, he sailed for England. At first interned as an enemy national,
he was later released and triumphed at Drury Lane in Douglas, repeating
his success in other European capitals. In Paris Payne met the actor
Talma, who introduced him to French drama, from which many of his
more than 60 plays were adapted, and to Washington Irving, with whom
he was to collaborate on two of his best plays. The finest play Payne
authored, Brutus: or, The Fall of Tarquin, was produced at
Drury Lane on 03 December 1818. Brutus persisted for 70 years, serving
as a vehicle for three of the greatest tragedians of the 19th century:
Edwin Booth, Edwin Forrest, and Edmund Kean. Other important plays
were Clari: or, The Maid of Milan, which included Payne's
famous song "Home, Sweet Home"; Charles the Second (1824),
written with Irving; and Thérèse (1821), a French adaptation.
Because of weak copyright laws, Payne received little return from
his successful plays, and in 1842 he accepted a consular post in Tunis.
He died on 09 April 1852 in Tunis.
PAYNE ONLINE: The
Lament of the Cherokee
HOME, SWEET HOME
'MID PLEASURES and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home;
A charm from the sky seems to hallow us there,
Which, seek through the world, is ne'er met with elsewhere.
Home, home, sweet, sweet home!
There's no place like home, oh, there's no place like home!
An exile from home, splendor dazzles in vain;
Oh, give me my lowly thatched cottage again!
The birds singing gayly, that came at my call-
Give me them-and the peace of mind, dearer than all!
Home, home, sweet, sweet home!
There's no place like home, oh, there's no place like home!
| I gaze on the moon as I tread the drear wild,
And feel that my mother now thinks of her child,
As she looks on that moon from our own cottage door
the woodbine, whose fragrance shall cheer me no more.
Home, home, sweet, sweet home!
There's no place like home, oh, there's no place like home!
How sweet 'tis to sit 'neath a fond father's smile,
And the caress of a mother to soothe and beguile!
Let others delight 'mid new pleasure to roam,
But give me, oh, give me, the pleasures of home,
Home, home, sweet, sweet home!
There's no place like home, oh, there's no place like home!
To thee I'll return, overburdened with care;
The heart's dearest solace will smile on me there;
No more from that cottage again will I roam;
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.
Home, home, sweet, sweet home
There's no place like home, oh, there's no place like home!
1737 Henri-Joseph Antonissen, Flemish artist who died on
04 April 1794.
1672 (30 May Julian) Pyotr Alekseyevich,
who would be Peter I “the Great”,
tsar of Russia, jointly with his half-brother Ivan V from 1682 to
1696, then alone until his 08 February (28 Jan Julian) 1725 death,
after having greatly modernized and expanded Russia, and having been
proclaimed imperator in 1721, quite fittingly, as Russia has been
an imperialist power ever since. [Click
on image for portraits of Peter the Great >]
Pyotr was the son of Tsar Alexis [19
Mar 1629 – 08 Feb 1876] by his second wife, Natalya Kirillovna
Naryshkina [1651-1694]. Unlike his half-brothers, sons of his father's
first wife, the pious Mariya Ilinichna Miloslavskaya [1625-1669],
Peter was a healthy child, lively and inquisitive. It is probably
significant to his development that his mother's former guardian,
Artamon Sergeyevich Matveyev [1625 – 25 May 1682], had raised
her in an atmosphere open to progressive influences from the West.
When Alexis died, Peter was only four
years old. His elder half-brother, a sickly youth, then succeeded
to the throne as Fyodor III [09 Jun 1661 – 07 May 1682]; but,
in fact, power fell into the hands of the Miloslavskys, relatives
of Fyodor's mother, who deliberately pushed Peter and the Naryshkin
circle aside. When Fyodor died childless in 1682, a fierce struggle
for power ensued between the Miloslavskys and the Naryshkins: the
former wanted to put Fyodor's brother, the sickly and feebleminded
Ivan V [06 Sep 1666 – 08 Feb 1696], on the throne; the Naryshkins
stood for the healthy and intelligent Peter. Representatives of the
various orders of society, assembled in the Kremlin, declared themselves
for Peter, who was then proclaimed tsar; but the Miloslavsky faction
exploited a revolt of the Moscow streltsy (musketeers of the sovereign's
bodyguard} who killed some of Peter's adherents, including Matveyev.
Ivan and Peter were then proclaimed joint tsars (Ivan the senior one)
on 05 June 1682 by the boyar duma; and, because of Ivan's precarious
health and Peter's youth, Ivan's sister Sophia Alekseyevna [27 Sep
1657 – 14 Jul 1704] was made regent when the two were crowned
on 05 July 1682. Clever and influential, Sophia took control of the
government; excluded from public affairs, Peter lived with his mother
in the village of Preobrazhenskoye, near Moscow, often fearing for
his safety. All this left an ineradicable impression on the young
tsar and determined his negative attitude toward the streltsy.
One result of Sophia's overt exclusion
of Peter from the government was that he did not receive the usual
education of a Russian tsar; he grew up in a free atmosphere instead
of being confined within the narrow bounds of a palace. While his
first tutor, the former church clerk Nikita Zotov, could give little
to satisfy Peter's curiosity, the boy enjoyed noisy outdoor games
and took especial interest in military matters, his favorite toys
being arms of one sort or another. He also occupied himself with carpentry,
joinery, blacksmith's work, and printing.
Near Preobrazhenskoye there was a nemetskaya sloboda (“German colony”)
where foreigners were allowed to reside. Acquaintance with its inhabitants
aroused Peter's interest in the life of other nations, and an English
sailboat, found derelict in a shed, whetted his passion for seafaring.
Mathematics, fortification, and navigation were the sciences that
appealed most strongly to Peter. A model fortress was built for his
amusement, and he organized his first “play” troops, from which, in
1687, the Preobrazhensky and Semyonovsky Guards regiments were formed,
to become the nucleus of a new Russian Army.
Early in 1689 Natalya Naryshkina arranged Peter's marriage to the
beautiful Eudoxia Fyodorovna Lopukhina [09 Aug 1669 – 07 Sep
1731]. This was obviously a political act, intended to demonstrate
the fact that the 17-year-old Peter was now a grown man, with a right
to rule in his own name. The marriage did not last long: Peter soon
began to ignore his wife, and in 1698 he relegated her to a convent.
There she took vows in 1699 but left six months later and resumed
life as a laywoman. Following the torture, trial, death sentence,
and murder of her son, Tsarevich Alexis [28 Feb 1690 – 07 Jul
1718], for alleged treason, she was kept in confinement at a fortress
east of St. Petersburg on Lake Ladoga. Upon the 18 May 1727 crowning
of her grandson Peter II [23 Oct 1715 – 29 Jan 1730] as emperor,
she was released and later installed at the Voznesensky Convent in
Moscow and provided with a generous allowance. After the death of
Peter II, she made a feeble, unsuccessful attempt to succeed him.
In August 1689 a new revolt of
the streltsy took place. Sophia and her faction tried to use it to
their own advantage for another coup d'état, but events this time
turned decisively in Peter's favor. He removed Sophia from power and
banished her to the Novodevichy convent; she was forced to become
a nun after a streltsy rebellion in 1698. Though Ivan V remained nominally
joint tsar with Peter, the administration was now largely given over
to Peter's kinsmen, the Naryshkins, until Ivan's death in 1696. Peter,
meanwhile continuing his military and nautical amusements, sailed
the first seaworthy ships to be built in Russia. His games proved
to be good training for the tasks ahead.
At the beginning of Peter's reign, Russia had a huge territory, but
with no access to the Black Sea, the Caspian, or to the Baltic, and
to win such an outlet became the main goal of Peter's foreign policy.
The first steps taken in this direction
were the campaigns of 1695 and 1696, with the object of capturing
Azov from the Crimean Tatar vassals of Turkey. On the one hand, these
Azov campaigns could be seen as fulfilling Russia's commitments, undertaken
during Sophia's regency, to the anti-Turkish “Holy League” of 1684
(Austria, Poland, and Venice); on the other they were intended to
secure the southern frontier against Tatar raids, as well as to approach
the Black Sea. The first campaign ended in failure (1695), but this
did not discourage Peter: he promptly built a fleet at Voronezh to
sail down the Don River and in 1696 Azov was captured. To consolidate
this success Taganrog was founded on the northern shore of the Don
Estuary, and the building of a large navy was started. The Grand Embassy
Having already sent
some young nobles abroad to study nautical matters, Peter, in 1697,
went with the so-called Grand Embassy to western Europe. The embassy
comprised about 250 persons, with the “grand ambassadors” Franz Lefort,
Fyodor.Alekseyevich Golovin [1650 – 10 Aug 1706], and P.B. Voznitsyn
at its head. Its chief purposes were to examine the international
situation and to strengthen the anti-Turkish coalition, but it was
also intended to gather information on the economic and cultural life
of Europe. Traveling incognito under the name of Sgt. Pyotr Mikhaylov,
Peter familiarized himself with conditions in the advanced countries
of the West. For four months he studied shipbuilding, working as a
ship's carpenter in the yard of the Dutch East India Company at Saardam;
after that he went to Great Britain, where he continued his study
of shipbuilding, working in the Royal Navy's dockyard at Deptford,
and he also visited factories, arsenals, schools, and museums and
even attended a session of Parliament. Meanwhile, the services of
foreign experts were engaged for work in Russia.
On the diplomatic side of the Grand Embassy, Peter conducted negotiations
with the Dutch and British governments for alliances against Turkey;
but the Maritime Powers did not wish to involve themselves with him
because they were preoccupied with the problems that were soon to
come to a crisis, for them, in the War of the Spanish Succession.
From England, Peter went on to Austria;
but while he was negotiating in Vienna for a continuance of the anti-Turkish
alliance, he received news of a fresh revolt of the streltsy in Moscow.
In the summer of 1698 he was back in Moscow, where he suppressed the
revolt. Hundreds of the streltsy were executed, the rest of the rebels
were exiled to distant towns, and the corps of the streltsy was disbanded.
The Northern War (1700–1721)
it became clear that Austria, no less than the Maritime Powers, was
preparing to fight for the Spanish Succession and to make peace with
Turkey, Peter saw that Russia could not contemplate a war without
allies against the Turks, and he abandoned his plans for pushing forward
from the Sea of Azov to the Black Sea. By the Russo-Turkish Peace
of Constantinople (Istanbul, 1700) he retained possession of Azov.
He was now turning his attention to the Baltic instead, following
the tradition of his predecessors.
The Swedes occupied Karelia, Ingria, Estonia, and Livonia and blocked
Russia's way to the Baltic coast. To dislodge them, Peter took an
active part in forming the great alliance, comprising Russia, Saxony,
and Denmark–Norway, which started the Northern War in 1700. This war
lasted for 21 years and was Peter's main military enterprise. In planning
it and in sustaining it he displayed iron willpower, extraordinary
energy, and outstanding gifts of statesmanship, generalship, and diplomacy.
Mobilizing all the resources of Russia for the triumph of his cause,
constantly keeping himself abreast of events, and actively concerning
himself with all important undertakings, often at his personal risk,
he could be seen sometimes in a sailor's jacket on a warship, sometimes
in an officer's uniform on the battlefield, and sometimes in a laborer's
apron and gloves with an axe in a shipyard.
The defeat of the Russians at Narva (1700), very early in the war,
did not deter Peter and, in fact, he later described it as a blessing:
“Necessity drove away sloth and forced me to work night and day.”
He subsequently took part in the siege that led to the Russian capture
of Narva (1704) and in the battles of Lesnaya (1708) and of Poltava
(08 Jul 1709). At Poltava, where Charles XII of Sweden suffered a
catastrophic defeat, the plan of operations was Peter's own: it was
his idea to transform the battlefield by works of his military engineers—the
redoubts erected in the path of the Swedish troops to break their
combat order, to split them into little groups, and to halt their
onslaught. Peter also took part in the naval battle of Gangut (Hanko,
or Hangö) in 1714, the first major Russian victory at sea.
The treaties concluded by Russia in the course of the war were made
under Peter's personal direction. He also traveled abroad again for
diplomatic reasons—e.g., to Pomerania in 1712 and to Denmark, northern
Germany, Holland, and France in 1716–1717.
In 1703, on the banks of the Neva River, where it flows into the Gulf
of Finland, Peter began construction of the city of St. Petersburg
(now Leningrad) and established it as the new capital of Russia in
1712. By the Treaty of Nystad (10 September 1721) the eastern shores
of the Baltic were at last ceded to Russia, Sweden was reduced to
a secondary power, and the way was opened for Russian domination over
Poland. In celebration of Peter's imperialist triumph, the Senate
on 02 November (22 October Julian) 1721, changed his title from tsar
to that of emperor (imperator) of all the Russias.
peasant serfs and the poorer urban workers had to bear the greatest
hardships in wartime and moreover were intensively exploited in the
course of Peter's great work for the modernization and development
of Russia (as always, everywhere). Their sufferings, combined with
onerous taxation, provoked a number of revolts, the most important
of which were that of Astrakhan (1705–1706) and that led by Kondraty
Afanasyevich Bulavin in the Don Basin (1707–1708). These revolts were
cruelly put down.
In 1710, in
the middle of the Northern War, when Peter might have pressed further
the advantage won at Poltava, Turkey declared war on Russia. In the
summer of 1711 Peter marched against the Turks through Bessarabia
into Moldavia, but he was surrounded, with all his forces, on the
Prut River. Obliged to sue for peace, he was fortunate to obtain very
light terms from the inept Turkish negotiators, who allowed him to
retire with no greater sacrifice than the retrocession of Azov. The
Turkish government soon decided to renew hostilities; but the Peace
of Adrianople (Edirne) was concluded in 1713, leaving Azov to the
Turks. From that time on Peter's military effort was concentrated
on winning his war against Sweden.
had a son, the tsarevich Alexis, by his discarded wife Eudoxia. Alexis
was his natural heir, but he grew up antipathetic to Peter and receptive
to reactionary influences working against Peter's reforms. Peter,
meanwhile, had formed a lasting liaison with a low-born woman, the
future empress Catherine I [15 Apr 1684 – 17 May 1727], who
bore him other children and whom he married in 1712. Pressed finally
to mend his ways or to become a monk in renunciation of his hereditary
rights (1716), Alexis took refuge in the dominions of the Holy Roman
emperor Charles VI [01 Oct 1685 – 20 Oct 1740], but he was induced
to return to Russia in 1718. Thereupon proceedings were brought against
him on charges of high treason, and after torture he was condemned
to death. He died in prison, presumably by violence, before the formal
execution of the sentence.
during the second half of the Northern War, Peter had sent exploratory
missions to the East, to the Central Asian steppes in 1714, to the
Caspian region in 1715, and to Khiva in 1717. The end of the war left
him free to resume a more active policy on his southeastern frontier.
In 1722, hearing that the Ottoman Turks would take advantage of Persia's
weakness and invade the Caspian region, Peter himself invaded Persian
territory. In 1723 Persia ceded the western and southern shores of
the Caspian to Russia in return for military aid.
campaign along the parched shores of the Caspian obviously put a great
strain on Peter's health, already undermined by enormous exertions
and also by the excesses in which he occasionally indulged himself.
In the autumn of 1724, seeing some soldiers in danger of drowning
from a ship aground on a sandbank in the Gulf of Finland, he characteristically
plunged himself into the icy water to help them. Catching a chill,
he became seriously ill in the winter but even so continued to work;
indeed, it was at this time that he drew up the instructions for the
expedition of Vitus Bering to Kamchatka.
When Peter died early in the following year, he left an empire that
stretched from Arkhangelsk (Archangel) on the White Sea to Mazanderan
on the Caspian and from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean. Though
he had in 1722 issued a decree reserving to himself the right to nominate
his successor, he did not in fact nominate anyone. His widow Catherine,
whom he had crowned as empress in 1724, succeeded him to the temporary
exclusion of his grandson, the future Peter II.
the beginning of Peter's reign, Russia was backward by comparison
with the countries of western Europe. This backwardness inhibited
foreign policy and even put Russia's national independence in danger.
Peter's aim, therefore, was to overtake the developed countries of
western Europe as soon as possible, in order both to promote the national
economy and to ensure victory in his wars for access to the seas.
Breaking the resistance of the boyars, or members of the ancient landed
aristocracy, and of the clergy and severely punishing all other opposition
to his projects, he initiated a series of reforms that affected, in
the course of 25 years, every field of the national life, administration,
industry, commerce, technology, and culture.
the beginning of Peter's reign there was already some degree of economic
differentiation between the various regions of Russia; and in the
towns artisans were establishing small businesses, small-scale production
was expanding, and industrial plants and factories were growing up,
with both hired workers and serfs employed. There was thus a nascent
bourgeoisie, which benefited considerably from Peter's plans for the
development of the national industry and trade. The reform of the
urban administration was particularly significant.
By a decree of 1699, townspeople (artisans and tradesmen) were released
from subjection to the military governors of the provinces and were
authorized to elect municipalities of their own, which would be subordinated
to the Moscow municipality, or ratusha, the council of the great merchant
community of the capital. This reform was carried further in 1720,
with the establishment of a chief magistracy in St. Petersburg, to
which the local town magistracies and the elected municipal officers
of the towns (mayors, or burmistry; and councilors, or ratmany) were
meanwhile, were divided between “regulars” and “commons” (inferiors).
The regulars were subdivided between two guilds, the first comprising
rich merchants and members of the liberal professions (doctors, actors,
and artists); the second, artisans (classified according to their
vocations) and small tradesmen. A merchant belonged to the first or
to the second guild according to the amount of his capital; and those
who were also manufacturers had special privileges, coming under the
jurisdiction of the College of Manufactures and being exempt from
the billeting of troops, from elective rotas of duty, and from military
service. The commons were hired laborers, without the privileges of
Thanks to the reforms,
the economic activity and the population of the towns increased. Anyone
engaged in trade was legally permitted to settle in a town and to
register himself in the appropriate category, and there was a right
of “free commerce for people of every rank.”
In order to create a more flexible system of control by the central
power, Russia was territorially divided in 1708 into eight guberny
, or governments, each under a governor appointed by the tsar and
vested with administrative, military, and judicial authority. In 1719
these guberny were dissolved into 50 provintsy, or provinces, which
in turn were subdivided into districts. The census of 1722, however,
was followed by the substitution of a poll tax for the previous hearth
tax; and this provoked a wave of popular discontent, against which
Peter decided to distribute the army regiments (released from active
service by the Peace of Nystad) in garrisons throughout the country
and to make their maintenance obligatory on the local populations.
Thus came into being the “regimental districts,” which did not coincide
with the administrative. The regimental commanders, with their own
sphere of jurisdiction and their own requirements, added another layer
to the already complex system of local authority.
the course of Peter's reign, medieval and obsolescent forms of government
gave place to effective autocracy. In 1711 he abolished the boyarskaya
duma, or boyar council, and established by decree the Senate as the
supreme organ of state, to coordinate the action of the various central
and local organs, to supervise the collection and expenditure of revenue,
and to draft legislation in accordance with his edicts. Martial discipline
was extended to civil institutions, and an officer of the guards was
always on duty in the Senate. From 1722, moreover, there was a procurator
general keeping watch over the daily work of the Senate and its chancellery
and acting as “the eye of the sovereign.”
When Peter came to power the central departments of state were the
prikazy, or offices, of which there were about 80, functioning in
a confused and fragmented way. To replace most of this outmoded system,
Peter in 1718 instituted 9 kollegy (boards), the number of which was
by 1722 expanded to 13. Their activities were controlled, on the one
hand, by the General Regulation and, on the other, by particular regulations
for individual colleges, and indeed there were strict regulations
for every branch of the state administration. Crimes against the state
came under the jurisdiction of the Preobrazhensky Office, responsible
immediately to the tsar.
purpose of Peter's Grand Embassy to western Europe in 1697 had been
to obtain firsthand acquaintance with advanced industrial techniques,
and the exigencies of his great war against Sweden, from 1700, made
industrial development an urgent matter. In order to provide armaments
and to build his navy (Russia had virtually no warships at all), metallurgical
and manufacturing industries on a grand scale had to be created; and
Peter devoted himself tirelessly to meeting these needs. Large capital
investments were made, and numerous privileges were accorded to businessmen
and industrialists. These privileges included the right to buy peasant
serfs for labor in workshops, with the result that a class of “enlisted”
serfs came into existence, living in specified areas and bound to
the factories. The methods of other countries were further studied,
and foreign experts were invited to Russia. The overall result was
satisfactory: the army and the navy were supplied with their material
needs; a great number of manufacturing establishments were founded
(mainly with serf labor); the metallurgical industry was so far advanced
that by the middle of the 18th century Russia led Europe in this field;
and the foreign-trade turnover was increased sevenfold in the course
of the reign.
a regular army on completely modern lines for Russia in the place
of the unreliable streltsy and the militia of the gentry. While he
drew his officers from the nobility, he conscripted peasants and townspeople
into the other ranks. Service was for life. The troops were equipped
with flintlock firearms and bayonets of Russian make; uniforms were
provided; and regular drilling was introduced. For the artillery,
obsolete cannons were replaced with new mortars and guns designed
by Russian specialists or even by Peter himself (he drew up projects
of his own for multicannon warships, fortresses, and ordnance). The
Army Regulations of 1716 were particularly important; they required
officers to teach their men “how to act in battle,” “to know the soldier's
business from first principles and not to cling blindly to rules,”
and to show initiative in the face of the enemy. For the navy, Peter's
reign saw the construction, within a few years, of 52 battleships
and hundreds of galleys and other craft; thus a powerful Baltic fleet
was brought into being. Several special schools prepared their pupils
for military or naval service and finally enabled Peter to dispense
with foreign experts. Cultural and educational measures.
From 01 January (Julian) 1700, Peter introduced a new chronology,
making the Russian calendar conform to European usage with regard
to the year, which in Russia had hitherto been numbered “from the
Creation of the World” and had begun on 01 September (he adhered however
to the Julian Old Style as opposed to the Gregorian New Style for
the days of the month). In 1710 the Old Church Slavonic alphabet was
modernized into a secular script.
Peter was the first ruler of Russia to sponsor education on secular
lines and to bring an element of state control into that field. Various
secular schools were opened; and since too few pupils came from the
nobility, the children of soldiers, officials, and churchmen were
admitted to them. In many cases, compulsory service to the state was
preceded by compulsory education for it. Russians were also permitted
to go abroad for their education and indeed were often compelled to
do so (at the state's expense). The translation of books from western
European languages was actively promoted. The first Russian newspaper,
Vedomosti (“Records”), appeared in 1703. The Russian Academy
of Sciences was instituted in 1724.
Beside his useful measures, Peter often enforced superficial Europeanization
rather brutally; for example, when he decreed that beards should be
shorn off and Western dress worn. He personally cut the beards of
his boyars and the skirts of their long coats (kaftany). The Raskolniki
(Old Believers) and merchants who insisted on keeping their beards
had to pay a special tax, but peasants and the Orthodox clergy were
allowed to remain bearded.
in order to subject the Orthodox Church of Russia to the state, Peter
abolished the Patriarchate of Moscow. Thenceforward the patriarch's
place as head of the church was taken by a spiritual college, namely
the Holy Synod, consisting of representatives of the hierarchy obedient
to the tsar's will. A secular official, the ober-prokuror, was appointed
by the tsar to supervise the Holy Synod's activities. The Holy Synod
ferociously persecuted all dissenters and conducted a censorship of
in churches were obliged by Peter to deliver sermons and exhortations
that were intended to make the peasantry “listen to reason” and to
teach such prayers to children that everyone would grow up “in fear
of God” and in awe of the tsar. The regular clergy were forbidden
to allow men under 30 years old or serfs to take vows as monks.
The Orthodox Church was thus transformed
into a pillar of the absolutist regime, even more than it already
was traditionally. Partly in the interests of the nobility, the extent
of land owned by the church was restricted; Peter disposed of ecclesiastical
and monastic property and revenues at his own discretion, for state
Peter's internal policy
served to protect the interest of Russia's ruling class (a common
habit of rulers), the landowners and the nascent bourgeoisie. The
material position of the landed nobility was strengthened considerably
under Peter. Almost 40'000 hectares of land and 175'000 serfs were
allotted to it in the first half of the reign alone. Moreover, a decree
of 1714 that instituted succession by primogeniture and so prevented
the breaking up of large properties also removed the old distinction
between pomestya (lands granted by the tsar to the nobility in return
for service) and votchiny (patrimonial or allodial lands) so that
all such property became hereditary.
Moreover, the status of the nobility was modified by Peter's Table
of Ranks (24 Jan 1722). This replaced the old system of promotion
in the state services, which had been according to ancestry, by one
of promotion according to services actually rendered. It classified
all functionaries, military, naval, and civilian alike, in 14 categories,
the 14th being the lowest and the 1st the highest; and admission to
the 8th category conferred hereditary nobility. Factory owners and
others who had risen to officer's rank could accede to the nobility,
which thus received new blood. The predominance of the boyars ended.
Peter was two meters tall; he was
handsome and of unusual physical strength. Unlike all earlier Russian
tsars, whose Byzantine splendors he repudiated, he was very simple
in his manners; for example, he enjoyed conversation over a mug of
beer with shipwrights and sailors from the foreign ships visiting
St. Petersburg. Restless, energetic, and impulsive, he did not like
splendid clothes that hindered his movements; often he appeared in
worn-out shoes and an old hat, still more often in military or naval
uniform. He was fond of merrymaking and knew how to conduct it, though
his jokes were frequently crude; and he sometimes drank heavily and
forced his guests to do so too. A just man who did not tolerate dishonesty,
he was terrible in his anger and could be cruel when he encountered
opposition: in such moments only his intimates could soothe him, best
of all his beloved second wife, Catherine, whom people frequently
asked to intercede with him for them. Sometimes Peter would beat his
high officials with his stick, from which even Prince Aleksandr Danilovich
Menshikov [16 Nov 1673 – 23 Nov 1729], his closest friend, received
many a stroke. One of Peter's great gifts of statesmanship was the
ability to pick talented collaborators for the highest appointments,
whether from the foremost families of the nobility or from far lower
levels of society.
As a ruler,
Peter often used the methods of a despotic landlord, the whip and
arbitrary rule. He always acted as an autocrat, convinced of the wonder-working
power of compulsion by the state. Yet with his insatiable capacity
for work he saw himself as the state's servant, and whenever he put
himself in a subordinate position he would perform his duties with
the same conscientiousness that he demanded of others. He began his
own army service in the lowest rank and required others likewise to
master their profession from its elements upward and to expect promotion
only for services of real value.
Peter's personality left its imprint on the whole history of Russia.
A man of original and shrewd intellect, exuberant, courageous, industrious,
and iron-willed, he could soberly appraise complex and changeable
situations so as to uphold consistently the general interests of Russia
and his own particular designs. He did not completely bridge the gulf
between Russia and the Western countries, but he achieved considerable
progress in development of the national economy and trade, education,
science and culture, and foreign policy. Russia became a great power,
without whose concurrence no important European problem could thenceforth
be settled. His internal reforms achieved progress to an extent that
no earlier innovator could have envisaged.
1640 Leopold I,
Holy Roman emperor who died on 05 May 1705.
During his reign Austria emerged from a series of struggles with the
Turks and the French to become a great European power, in which monarchical
absolutism and administrative centralism gained ascendancy.
Leopold, the second son of the first
marriage of Ferdinand III [13 Jul 1608 – 02 Apr 1657] to his
cousin Maria Anna, daughter of Philip III [14 Apr 1578 – 31
Mar 1621] of Spain, was destined for the church. He received a careful
education by excellent teachers, among whom the cultured count Johann
Ferdinand Portia was the leading personality. Made lord high steward
by his student, Portia retained his influence with Leopold until his
death in 1665. From an early age Leopold showed an inclination toward
learning. He learned easily and became fluent in Latin, Italian, and
Spanish, but he did not like French and later would not have it spoken
at court. Besides concerning himself with antiquarian studies, history,
literature, natural science, and astronomy, his special interest was
music, having inherited the musical talents of his father. The keynote
of his personality was a deepdevotion, which made him the personification
of pietas Austriaca, the loyal Catholic attitude of his house. From
his religiosity, however, also derived a fatalistic strain, which
had its negative side for a ruling monarch. He rejected all political
compromising on denominational questions.
When his elder brother, Ferdinand IV [08 Sep 1633 – 09 Jul 1654],
died quite unexpectedly, Leopold suddenly found himself heir apparent
to the Austrian Habsburg lands. In 1655 the Lower Austrian estates
did homage, and he was elected and crowned king of Hungary, the Bohemian
coronation following in 1656. Then, in 1657, his father died, and
a new imperial election was due. After long and difficult struggles
against the opposition of France, Leopold was elected and crowned
in the summer of 1658.
acquired a claim to the Spanish throne by his first marriage, in 1666,
to Margarita Teresa, daughter of Philip IV [08 Apr 1605 – 17
Sep 1665] of Spain; she died in 1673. Leopold's health was bad, and,
when he fell dangerously ill in 1670, everybody expected the Austrian
line of the Habsburgs to become extinct. He recovered, however, and
in 1673 married Claudia Felicitas from the Tirolian branch of the
Austrian Habsburgs. In 1676 the Emperor solemnized his third marriage,
with Eleonore of Palatinate-Neuburg; this proved a happy union and
produced 10 children, among them the future emperors Joseph I [26
Jul 1678 – 18 Apr 1711] and Charles VI [01 Oct 1685 –
20 Oct 1740].
With untiring energy
and a deep sense of duty, Leopold undertook the unwonted task of government.
From the beginning he had to fight wars, first of all against the
Turks. In 1683 they appeared before Vienna, and for the second time
in its history the city suffered a Turkish siege. Leopold had left
the capital with his court to await the outcome at Passau. An imperial
army was summoned, and from the time of their repulse at Vienna the
Turks were gradually forced into the defensive, especially after the
military genius of Prince Eugene of Savoy [18 Oct 1663 – 24
Apr 1736] appeared on the scene in 1696. In the Treaty of Carlowitz
(26 Jan 1699), almost the whole of Hungary was freed from Turkish
The Hungarian nobles, however,
who were mostly Calvinists, did not want to exchange Turkish rule
for a centralized Habsburg government, which threatened to introduce
the Counter-Reformation. Their opposition had been a serious problem
all the time, and Leopold, who usually showed clemency, took a firm
stand for once, refusing to recall the cruel sentences after the so-called
Nobles' Plot. Three of the most prominent Hungarian noblemen were
executed, and Hungarian resistance flared up again in the fierce Kuruc
Though Leopold's policy
toward Catholic France was undecided at first, he finally had to agree
to a coalition with the Protestant naval powers, Holland and England.
In the course of the long struggle with France, the empire scored
several military successes; but in the end French diplomacy remained
victorious, always dividing the enemy at the decisive moment. The
Emperor was accused of a wavering attitude and lack of initiative,
and these character traits were indeed partly responsible for the
failure of his policies. The war ended in the unfavorable Treaty of
Rijswijk (1697), under the terms of which Strasbourg had to be ceded
to France, a great discredit to Leopold.
Apart from some contributions from the empire and subsidies from its
allies, the financial burden of all these wars had to be borne by
Leopold's hereditary countries, the finances of which were badly organized.
During his long reign Leopold found it impossible to arrive at a sound
financial basis; indeed, he was careless in these matters and for
years suffered the treasury to be mismanaged by Count Sinzendorf.
Emperor Leopold was not always
fortunate in the choice of his ministers. There was, for example,
Count Eusebius Pötting, with whom he had formed a warm friendship
but who was not the right man for the post of ambassador to Madrid.
On the other hand, councillors who had convinced the Emperor of their
sincerity and honesty found excellent chances for a court career,
even if they were middle class, like the Austrian court chancellor
Johann Paul Hocher.
longer regarded the empire as his primary responsibility; rather,
in his view, concern for the power and prestige of the Habsburg dynasty
and lands took the first place. From the outset the Spanish succession
formed the central aim of his politics. What lay behind this was the
idea of the unity of the House of Habsburg, the two lines being considered
only as parts of the same entail. At the death (1700) of the childless
Charles II [06 Nov 1661 – 01 Nov 1700] of Spain, his throne
and the vast Spanish holdings passed by bequest to Philippe, duc d'Anjou,
a grandson of Louis XIV [05 Sep 1638 – 01 Sep 1715] of France.
There could be no question for Emperor Leopold that the Spanish heritage
had to be defended by force of arms. In the middle of the War of the
Spanish Succession (1701–1714), Leopold died.
The Emperor was of medium size, rather slender in his youth but stout
in later life. His face was pale, and he had dark hair and the typical
Habsburg traits of a strongly developed lower lip and a protruding
chin. A Turkish traveller described him as a cultivated man of extreme
If the Emperor, who had
not been trained for the throne, rarely interfered with the course
of events, he, nevertheless, impressed contemporaries with an imperturbability
founded in personal piety, which did not fail him even during the
worst crises to his long reign. His biographer, the Jesuit Hans Jacob
Wagner von Wagenfels [–1702], quite aptly praises his magnanimity
as his most conspicuous character trait. The interest Leopold took
in all matters of learning, his gift for music, and his preoccupation
with historiography made him a patron of renown and, notwithstanding
the military conflicts of the time and his precarious finances, gave
enormous impetus to learning and the arts throughout the Austrian
countriesand especially made Vienna a famous cultural center. His
reign saw the first flourishing of Baroque culture in Austria.
In spite of the Emperor's great personal
simplicity, the sums expended to maintain the imperial court were
gigantic. At all occasions the Emperor was anxious to emphasize his
imperial dignity; official journeys, such as his coronation journey
to Frankfurt in 1658, as well as the numerous pilgrimages he undertook
to assure divine assistance against his enemies, were used for ostentation.
A special concern of the Emperor was to reshape Vienna into a worthy
imperial residence. The Vienna court was famous for its costly theatricals,
in which at times the Emperor and Empress also took part. Italian
operas and ballets were lavishly staged, often with some additional
music composed by Leopold himself. As the Emperor was very fond of
hunting, courtly pleasures also included heron hawking and hunting
wild boars and stags in the vicinity of the residence. Though Leopold
undertook no more extensive journeys after 1693, he enjoyed these
regular hunting expeditions until his death.
Leopold I was a devoted book collector and, in the director of the
court library, Peter Lambeck, found a helper of great renown. He was
known for the encouragement he extended to learning, whereby he tried
to secure the services of famous scholars for his court.
1597 Pieter Janszoon Saenredam, Dutch painter who
died on 16 August 1665. MORE
ON SAENREDAM AT ART 4 AUGUST
with links to images.