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I am Ivan The Terrible. I came to the throne in 1533 when I was only 3. My young life was interrupted by struggles for power among boyars, as they fought to control me. When i was 16, I finally seized power and married my wife Anastatsia, related to an old boyar family, the Romanovs. The years 1547-1560 were known as my "good period". I won great victories, had land added to Russia, and I gave Russia a code of laws.
My "bad period" began in 1560 when after my wife died. I turned against the boyars after i accused them that they poisoned my wife. I organized my own police force to hunt down and kill people who I thought were traitors. This police force executed many boyars, their families, and peasants who worked for them. Thousands of people died.
Eventually, I committed an act that was both a personal tragedy and a national disaster. In 1581, during a violent quarrel, I killed my oldest son and heir. And when I died 3 years later, only my weak second son was left to rule.
I am Peter the Great. The Romanovs paved the way for me. I am known as "Peter the Great" because I was one of Russia's greatest reformers. When I came to power, Russia was still a land of boyars.
When I was in rule, most boyars knew very little of Western Europe. When I was 24, I embarked on a journey yo Western Europe, a trip known as "the Grand Embassy". During this long trip to Europe, I had the goal in mind to learn about European customs and techniques. I was so inspired by this trip, I resolved that Russia that Russia would compete with Europe both militarily and commercially with westernization.
I knew that Russia needed to change, but I also knew that many people disagreed. I had to make my power absolute to execute my ideas. I reduced the power of land owners and modernized my army I hired European officials. some examples of westernizing Europe was- introduced potatoes, started Russias first newspaper, ordered nobles to give up their clothing for traditional western clothing, and raised womens status.
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