Early european influences on peter the great: Patrick Gordon and Franz Lefort at the еnd of the 17th century

Nikolay Petrukhintsev

Abstract


The author examines issues connected with the expansion of European influence on the Russian elite in the late 17th century with reference to Tsar Peter I. Describing the early stages of the foreign influence on Peter the Great, the author argues that Peter’s Europeanisation became noticeable a lot later than was previously thought (i. e., when he was turning into a young man and after the dynastic crisis of 1689). An analysis of concomitant events contradicts the stereotypes still present in popular books on the history of the period, according to which the young ruler’s outlook was formed under the influence of Franz Lefort and Patrick Gordon. They were favourites of V. V. Golitsyn, a leader of a long-lived group in opposition to Peter I. As a result of this (and also because of their status as foreign officers completely dependent on the state), they did not seek any closer contacts with the young tsar. It was only after the dynastic crisis ended well for Peter I in 1689 that there was a turning point in their relationship with the tsar. Due to these factors, the first signs of the Europeanisation of Peter’s everyday life became noticeable at around this time: this can be seen in changes to his clothing and in his behaviour.


Keywords


Peter I; European influence; Patrick Gordon; Franz Lefort; V. V. Golitsyn; German Quarter; Patriarch Joachim; Europeanisation of everyday life; “German dress”.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15826/qr.2017.1.219

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