Since the beginning, Russia has seen its share of rulers. History books will show that some were good and some were bad. However, one Czar is remembered for doing a great number of things for the country. Such as setting a standard for education, religion and even changing the social scene. He is most popular for building his "window to the west", St. Petersburg. One of the most fascinating places in his time and may still be today. This Czar, who ruled from 1862 until 1725 was named Peter Michealowitz by his mother, but history would call him, "Peter the Great". .
Peter Michaelowitz was born in Moscow on June 9, 1672. He was born the son of Czar Alexis I. Mikhailovich. Peter's mother, Natalia Naryshkin, was Alexis's second wife and therefore putting Peter at the bottom of the list for becoming the future czar. Peter had thirteen half siblings and one real, his sister, Catherine I. His sister and half sisters were not allowed to receive heir to the throne. In this time period, it was not allowed and only the son's of the czar were able to claim the throne. The daughters were placed in convents when they reached the marrying age and were forbidden to have babies. It was believed that they would use their born sons to claim heir. (Abbott 14) .
After the death of Peter's father in 1676, his half brother (and Godfather), Fedor succeeded the throne at the age of sixteen; placing obvious lines between the two separate family trees.(Abbot 60) At the time when Fedor took over, Peter was only four years old. However, it was inevitable that Peter would some day rule Russia due to the failing health of his two half brothers. His half sister Sophia on the other hand, obtained her release from the convent and some how was able to gain control of public affairs. Sophia feared that Peter would grow up into a strong and talented young man. Also, unlike his two half brothers Fedor and Ivan, Peter was in tolerable good health and in good spirits to become the future ruler of Russia.