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Peter the Great ruled the Tsardom of Russia and later the Russian Empire from 7 May 1682 until his death, jointly ruling before 1696 with his half-brother. Through a number of successful wars he expanded the Tsardom into a much larger empire that became a major European power. He led a cultural revolution that replaced some of the traditionalist and medieval social and political systems with ones that were modern, scientific, westernized, and based on The Enlightenment. Peter's reforms made a lasting impact on Russia and many institutions of Russian government traced their origins to his reign. From an early age, Peter's education was put in the hands of several tutors, most notably Nikita Zotov, Patrick Gordon, and Paul Menesius. On 29 January 1676, Tsar Alexis died, leaving the sovereignty to Peter's elder half-brother, the weak and sickly Feodor III. Throughout this period, the government was largely run by Artamon Matveev, an enlightened friend of Alexis, the political head of the Naryshkin family and one of Peter's greatest childhood benefactors. This position changed when Feodor died in 1682....
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