Biography of Paul I of Russia, the most eccentric tsar

Biography of Paul I of Russia, the most eccentric tsar

Paul I was a quite detested figure within the Romanov family. At first, he was a promising young man, but the paranoias he had regarding a possible betrayal of him caused his mother to lose faith in him and to separate him from the affairs of state. When he became Tsar, his foreign policy was volatile and his domestic policy ended up costing him death, as he earned the hatred of the nobility. In general, he would go down in history as one of the most eccentric czars Russia had.

He was born in Saint Petersburg on October 1, 1754, being the only son of Catherine II. However, it was not his mother who educated him, but Empress Elizabeth. Perhaps that is why his mother did not hold him in high regard. In any case, young Pablo was very intelligent and attractive, but he lost this last quality in a typhus attack in 1771. His education was carried out by Nikita Ivanovich Panin, Catherine's former mentor.

In 1773, his mother married him to Wilhelmina of Hesse-Darmstadt in order to improve relations with Prussia. But this one passed away during childbirth, so Catherine II sought another wife for him, Sofía Dorotea from Württemberg. The tsarina allowed him access to the Council to instruct him in his future duties as emperor, but Pablo was extremely reluctant and began to participate in intrigues against his mother. The reason is that she believed that she was the target of an assassination orchestrated by her so that she would never rule.

The consequences of these tensions were that Catherine II definitively removed Paul from the Council and that distanced him from power. The idea of ​​the tsarina was to designate her grandson, the future Alexander I, as her successor, so she kept Pablo away from public affairs. However, when he died on November 17, 1796, Paul I was proclaimed tsar and began to discredit his mother.

During the first years of mandate, the tsar changed many of the reforms his father had undertaken. Many of the former tsarina's advisers and advisers were accused of “Jacobinism"And expelled people who carried"a parisian style”Or read French literature. This anti-French sentiment arose out of fear that someone would carry out a revolt against him that would cost him his life. In fact, one of the great generals of the army, Aleksandr Suvorov, was completely removed from military duties.

In the Egypt expedition, Paul I obtained from the Ottomans the right to pass a Russian fleet through the Straits in 1798, and occupied the Ionian Islands. In addition, to gain the support of the European absolutist powers, he joined the second coalition. But, disappointed by his Austrian and British allies, he approached French politics in 1800.

This change of mind, added to the great amount of eccentricities that he had, caused the aristocracy to orchestrate a plan to overthrow him. Paul i he subjected the Russian nobles to his whims, such as for example that they enrolled in an order of chivalry that he himself had created, and promoted the policies of corporal punishment for those who were against him.

For these reasons, the nobility decided to act and They assassinated the Tsar on March 11, 1801 while he slept in the Castillo de San Miguel. The main authors of this plot were Counts Piotr Alekséyevich Pajlen, Nikita Petróvich Panin, and Admiral Ribas.

Image: Public domain

Passionate about History, he has a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since he was a child he loved history and ended up exploring the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries above all.


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