Paul the First was the son of Peter III and Catherine II. It so happened that both of his parents at different times were on the Russian throne. Pavel Petrovich was born on September 20, 1754 goals in St. Petersburg. Paul's upbringing was not carried out by his parents, but by the Empress Elizabeth Petrovna, who ruled Russia at that time. By her order, Nikita Ivanovich Panin developed a training program for the boy. It included subjects such as the Law of God, history, music, geography, foreign languages, and so on. Paul's social circle was strictly limited. Of his peers, only children from the most noble families were allowed to see him.
From childhood, Paul became addicted to reading. Especially for him, for a huge amount, a whole library was acquired, which previously belonged to the president of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, Johann Korf. By the way, Korf was in active correspondence with the editors of scientific journals in Europe, thanks to which the latest editions of those years came to Russia.
Pavel Petrovich was married twice. His first wife was Grand Duchess Natalya Alekseevna (nee Princess Wilhelmina of Hesse-Darmstadt). The marriage took place on September 29, 1773, and two and a half years later, Paul's wife died in childbirth. The second darling of Paul was Sophia-Dorothea of Württemberg, who, when baptized into Orthodoxy, was named Maria Feodorovna. Paul and Mary had 10 children.
Paul's relationship with his mother, Empress Catherine II, was complicated. There were rumors that Catherine was planning to transfer the throne not to her son, but to her eldest grandson Alexander. By the decree of Peter the Great on succession to the throne, this was allowed: the ruling monarch himself chose the heir to the throne, regardless of the degree of kinship. It is not surprising that in 1797, on the day of his own coronation, Paul issued a new decree. The throne, as before Peter the Great, could only be passed on from father to son. Since then, there have been no more women on the Russian throne.
Paul's father, Emperor Peter III, ruled for only six months. He was overthrown from the throne with the participation of his wife Catherine. In such a short time, Peter the Third did not even have time to go through the ceremony of his wedding to the kingdom. Only 34 years later, after the death of Catherine II, Paul ordered to rectify the situation and posthumously hold this ceremony. The remains of Peter the Third were transferred from the Alexander Nevskoy Lavra to the tomb of the Russian emperors - the Peter and Paul Cathedral.
Paul the First, having become emperor, fought with all his might in the revolutionary mood in the country. Strict censorship was introduced, all private printing houses were closed, and it was strictly forbidden to import books from abroad. with distrust Paul even treated French fashion. At that time, there were only seven fashionable French shops in St. Petersburg. The emperor called them "the seven deadly sins" and strictly forbade the discovery of new ones.
Some of Paul's decrees were perplexing. For example, one of the imperial decrees commanded the inhabitants of the capital to report to the police about the fire that had happened three days before it started. In the short time of the reign of Paul the First, more decrees were issued than under Peter the Great. The inhabitants of the capital were so afraid of the emperor that during his walks the city became empty.
But, not everything was so bad. For example, the emperor forbade landowners to separate peasant families when they were sold. The corvee (work on the land of the landowners) was limited to three days a week. The emperor was supposed to report cruel treatment of serfs. In the army, awards were introduced for the lower ranks. Previously, only officers were awarded.
The activities of Paul the First caused discontent in the upper strata of Russian society. At the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a circle of conspirators formed, who set themselves the goal of removing the unwanted emperor from the throne, replacing him with his eldest son Alexander. According to some reports, the number of conspirators included up to three hundred people.
Paul the First was killed on the night of March 11-12, 1801 at the Mikhailovsky Castle. 12 conspirators burst into the emperor's bedroom, demanding that the monarch sign the abdication of the throne. Pavel Petrovich resisted and was killed. Count Nikolai Zubov hit him in the temple with a massive snuffbox, and the emperor who fell to the floor was strangled with a scarf. In the morning, it was officially announced that Paul the First died of apoplectic stroke.
In order to hide the traces of the murder, doctors worked on Paul's corpse until morning. To make up his face, Jacob Mettenlater was urgently summoned to the Mikhailovsky Castle. For more than 100 years, until 1905, no official reports of Paul's murder were published. Already on March 12, Alexander, the eldest son of Paul, was proclaimed the new emperor. It is assumed that he knew about the conspiracy, but could not think that everything would end in the death of his father.