The epoch of the palace coups in Russia in the 18th century
1. The epoch of the palace coups in Russia in the 18th centuryThe epoch of
coups in Russia
in the 18
by Valeria Dyugaeva
epoch of the palace coups lasted for 37 years,
since 1725 to 1762. It was a period of Russian
history between the reign of Peter the Great
and Catherine the Great defined by rulers
overthrowing each other from the throne with the
help of elite palace guard. It is said to be one of
the most difficult periods for the Russian throne.
3. 6 palace coups during the 18th century:6 palace coups during the
4. Some preconditionsAfter coming back from his trip around Europe, Peter the Great
implemented a number of sweeping reforms in Russia. One of them was
changing the order of succession to the throne. The time-honored order
of primogeniture was dropped by Peter's regulation in 1722. From that
moment on, a monarch could choose a successor out of his children.
The reform was an unheard-of novelty and immediately proved
scandalous. Aside from that, it gave rise to a series of palace coups which
lasted until Catherine the Great.
After the death of his first-born Aleksey Romanov who, by the old order,
was to succeed Peter the Great on the throne, none of the options of the
new replacement for the ruler of Russian Empire seemed acceptable.
Peter struggled to make a decision, but died before he did, never having
to put the innovation he introduced to the test.
5. Some reasons of the palace coupsMoving
away from the national political tradition, according
to which the throne passed only to direct successors of the
tsar, Peter himself prepared a crisis of power.
the death of Peter the Great there were a lot of direct
and indirect successors who claimed the Russian throne.
The interests of the nobility and the generic nobility were
fully showed up.The Guards had an active position, and the
Guards was really the driving force of the coups. At that
time the Guard was deciding who should be on the throne.
6. The palace coupe of the 1725Catherine I, 1725 -1727
The first palace revolution put Peter the
Great's second wife Catherine I on the
throne. With the help of Aleksandr
Menshikov, leader of the palace guards,
she gained the throne, becoming the first
woman to rule Imperial Russia. However,
due to her poor health, Menshikov did
most of the ruling. Moreover, she always
was far from state affairs.
She died two years after gaining the throne.
8. The palace coupe of the 1727Peter II, 1727-1730
Ekaterina appointed Peter II, grandson
of Peter the Great, her successor. He was
only 11 when he became a ruler in 1727
and stayed on the throne only for 3 years
with Menshikov behind him as a regent.
Menshikov fell ill and died shortly, and
Andrey Osterman and Aleksey
Dolgoruky (Menshikov’s rivals at court)
replaced him. Peter II died young,
without naming a successor.
9. The palace coupe of the 1730Anna Ioannovna, 1730-1740
Anna Ioannovna was the niece of Peter the Great, the
daughter of his brother, Ivan V. She was invited to rule
the Russian Empire upon Peter II's death, by the
Supreme Secret Council – a group of influential court
aristocracy. They deemed her a puppet monarch, while
the power remained in the Council's hands. However,
with the support of the loyal nobility, Anna soon gained
full power and dismissed the Council, installing herself
on the Russian throne for the next decade, known in the
Russian history as “bironovshchina” after the name of
Anna's favorite Biron.
Ernst Johann von Biron
11. The palace coupe of the 1740Ivan VI, 1740-1741
Ivan VI and his mother, Anna Leopoldovna
Anna Ioannovna named The Duke
of Brunswick, Ivan VI, as her
successor and Biron as his
regent. However, Biron was soon
replaced as the ruler’s regent. The
regime did not last.
12. The palace coupe of the 1741Elizaveta Petrovna, 1741-1762
Gathering support for the revolution was rather
easy for Elizaveta, being Peter the Great’s only
remaining daughter. “You know whose daughter
I am, so be loyal to me as you were to my father!”
she would say. She received support of the
Preobrazhensky regiment and with no resistance
seized power, putting those in the way in prisons,
including the young Ivan and his new regent
Anna Leopoldovna. She chose Peter the III,
Oath of the Preobrazhensky regiment
grandson of Peter the Great to be her successor. to Empress Elizabeth. F. Moskovitin.
14. The palace coupe of the 1762Peter III, ruled for six months in 1762
One of the most peaceful and bloodless palace revolutions in history
was the deposition of Peter III, son of Elizaveta Petrovna, a proPrussian and a very unpopular Emperor who only stayed on the throne
for 6 months. He was overthrown by his own wife, then Empress-to-be
Catherine the Great; she justified her act by claiming Peter was guilty of
not respecting the Russian relics.
Peter's crucial mistake was still adhering to the Prussian order,
especially in the military, while Russia was basically at war with the
country, the fact of which greatly annoyed the army in particular. The
army's support was the major reason for Catherine's success in the
coup. When Peter III found out his throne was taken, he attempted to
talk to Catherine but was met by the army. He had nothing left to do
but to sign his resignation from the throne and leave.
June 28, 1762 , the day of the coup.
Catherine on the balcony of the Winter
Palace, welcomed by the Guard and the
Catherine the Great
16. The results of the palace coupsThe epoch of palace coups cost the state a considerable unrest and
somewhat weakened it.
Palace coups did not carry with them changes in the political and social
The nobles fought among themselves for the right to power. As a result 6
rulers were replaced during 37 years.
Strengthening of the autocracy, strengthening the position of the army,
which the future rulers and the Russian nobility relied on.
After the end of this turbulent period, the
country enters a period of peaceful life, the long
reign of Catherine II.