What would have happened if Elizaveta Petrovna had not come to power

Could this be?


The coup of the year 1741. Transfigurations proclaim Elizabeth the Empress

It could. Elizabeth had so many ill-wishers at the court that you would not wish the enemy. During the reign of Anna Ioannovna, Peter’s daughter was actually in disgrace. She was allowed to stay in St. Petersburg and sometimes appear at the court, but there could be no talk of any political influence on Elizabeth. Anna Ivanovna perceived her as a potential competitor, though not a dangerous one. The fact is that Elizabeth had at least equal rights with Anna Ioannovna to the throne. With the succession to the throne in Russia, great difficulties arose after the famous decree of Peter I dated February 5, 1722. He introduced the charter, according to which the ancient custom to transfer the throne to direct descendants was abolished. According to Peter’s will, the Emperor himself now chose an heir for himself. Since Peter died, but he did not choose an heir, after his death, confusion arose, which gave rise to numerous palace coups, under the sign of which the entire XVIIIth century passed.

Elizabeth tried several times to marry, but failed

After Peter left at least six people who could equally claim to power. The wife is the future Catherine I, the grandson is the future Peter II, two daughters: Elizaveta Petrovna and Anna Petrovna (mother of the future Peter III), as well as two nieces Anna Ioannovna and Ekaterina Ioannovna (mother of Anna Leopoldovna). And since, after the death of Peter II, the Supreme Privy Council gave preference to Anna Ioannovna, the rights of Elizabeth were, in a way, infringed. In fact, the choice was made precisely between the 22-year-old Elizabeth and the ruler of Courland, Anna Ioannovna. The second was chosen, apparently because they thought it would be easier to manage. Wrong. The proposed new empress of condition was broken by her, and the Supreme Privy Council was abolished. The power passed to another branch of the Romanovs, and Anna Ivanovna made considerable efforts to ensure that she stayed with her closest relatives after her death. It was she who first called the juvenile Karl Peter Ulrich (the future Peter III), who grew up in distant Kiel, a “Holstein devil” and more than once publicly wished him dead. It was she who insisted that after her power passed to her great-nephew John Antonovich, in order to exclude Elizabeth from the game.

Anna Ioannovna was repeatedly advised to get rid of rivals. She refused, because she considered Elizabeth safe for herself. Similar advice was given to Anna Leopoldovna. Burhard Minich and Andrei Osterman, who, in fact, conducted state affairs with her, warned Anna Leopoldovna many times that the guard was preparing a plot and that Elizabeth stood at the head of this plot. Anna Leopoldovna, who tried not to delve into politics, ignored all these warnings. She was a woman of a rather easy and careless temper. Most of all, she was concerned with the wedding of her favorite, Moritz Linara, and her chamber-maid of honor, Baroness Mengden. Anna Leopoldovna, to Elizabeth, unlike her aunt, was warm, called her "sister" and did not suspect anything of her. All this does not negate the fact that for 11 years, from 1730 to 1741, the sword of Domoklov hung above Elizabeth. She could be taken under arrest at any time and sent to Siberia or imprisoned in a fortress. Could, quite, and kill. By the way, the daughter of Peter also hesitated. The idea of ​​a conspiracy to build a princess on the throne originated as early as 1740. Life medic Johann Listok and the Shuvalov brothers persuaded Elizabeth for quite some time. She, in fact, had to make a choice between personal greatness and friendship with Anna Leopoldovna. This choice was not easy for Elizabeth and she did not immediately.

The fate of Elizabeth


Young Elizabeth

“The Guardsmen were my family,” Elizabeth said after she entered the throne. Transfigurations really supported her even in the years of the opals. To some extent, they really replaced her father and mother. The first "gallant" of Elizabeth Alexander Buturlin belonged to them.

Guardsmen replaced Elizabeth's father and mother

Meanwhile, at the court saw a variety of plans for a possible marriage to the daughter of Peter. In the end, there is no more convenient and, at the same time, less reprehensible, way to get rid of Elizabeth than to marry her. Initially no luck with that. As husband, Elizabeth, under Peter II, was chosen to be Carl Augustus Holstein-Gottorp, who belonged to a house that had very difficult times in those years. Schleswig was lost to him, and the father of Charles Augustus was content to be elected bishop of Lübeck. The son, however, could claim the Swedish throne, but only under favorable circumstances. For Carl August himself, Elizabeth was a brilliant game, which cannot be said about the opposite situation. For Elizabeth, the marriage with Karl Augustus was, to put it mildly, a “fall”. However, the contract was concluded, and the wedding was prevented only by the sudden death of Prince Gottorp, who died of smallpox in Petersburg at the height of the preparations for the ceremony. Elizabeth, whom Carl Augustus, apparently liked very much, announced after this that she no longer intends to marry. Here are just these questions when Anna Ioannovna did not solve it at all. And the empress had several projects on this subject at once. Moritz Saxon, the illegitimate son of the Polish king Augustus the Strong and, in the future, the main marshal of France, was long considered the main contender for the hand of Peter’s daughter. His candidacy was later rejected for political reasons. There were, however, other options. Among the possible applicants figured one time, even the name of the Prussian crown prince Frederick, who later went down in history under the name of Frederick the Great. He, however, in 1733, married another Elizabeth - Braunschweig. In any case, under Anna Leopoldovna, the idea, nevertheless, to push Elizabeth into marriage would surely have been brought to the end. And the daughter of Peter, nevertheless, would have to marry and leave Russia. Where? Most likely in one of the small German dukedoms or principalities.

The fate of the Brunswick family


John Antonovich

It will not be superfluous to remind you that Anna Leopoldovna was only a regent. Formally, her young son John Antonovich was considered the Emperor for a year. They, together with Anna Leopoldovna’s husband Anton Ulrich, were also called the “Braunschwegian family”. Their fate after the coup of 1741 was unenviable. Elizabeth originally planned to expel them from Russia, but later changed her mind. It was dangerous. John’s claims to the Russian throne could be supported by any foreign power. So the Brunswick family went first to exile, then to the fortress, then again to exile. Anna Leopoldovna and Anton Ulrich lived their lives in Kholmogory (now the Arkhangelsk Region), later their children were released.

John Antonovich, probably the most unfortunate monarch of Russia

All but John Antonovich. This unfortunate boy, now officially named John VI, lived his whole life in confinement and complete isolation, from which he grew mentally retarded. We can, however, speculate about what would have happened if the coup had not happened, and John Antonovich would have quietly grown at court. Here, however, there is an important question. Here, for example, John Antonovich is entering the age of majority. What does he do next? It accelerates regents or becomes a pawn in their game. And here you can only guess. With certainty, only a few things can be said. Firstly, most of the leading posts of the Russian Empire would be relegated to the Germans from Braunschweig. Secondly, Count Moritz Linar would, sooner or later, become the second Biron. Third, Karl Peter Ulrich would never have entered the Russian throne. He would have stayed behind the Brunswick family, good, Anna Leopoldovna gave birth to her husband five children. Heirs would have to be chosen among them. Accordingly, Sofia Augustus Federica of Anhalt-Zerbst would not have become Catherine II. However, the main changes would occur in foreign policy.

Foreign policy


Frederick the Great

An important and significant detail: Anton Ulrich - Elizaveta Braunschweig's brother. And Elizabeth of Brunswick is the wife of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, who pulled his country into the international arena, turning it into a formidable force. The most important event of that time was the conflict that went down in history as the Seven Years War. In fact, it was a world war, for fighting was fought on three continents. In it, Prussia and Great Britain clashed with France and Austria. And both of these blocs made considerable efforts to enlist the support of Russia.

The Seven Years War was fought on three continents.

Shortly before the war, an event occurred in Europe called the diplomatic revolution or the turning over of alliances. With the difference in the month, the perennial alliances of France with Prussia and Great Britain with Austria collapsed, which, in turn, led to the creation of new units of the Franco-Austrian and Anglo-Prussian blocs. After much deliberation, Elizaveta Petrovna finally decided to support Austria and France. There were a lot of reasons for that: the reluctance to fight the French and, especially, fears about the growing power of Prussia. But now the Brownweig family would almost certainly judge otherwise. In the end, Frederick the Great is the uncle of Emperor John Antonovich. Yes, and supporters of the Prussian king at the Russian court would be enough to persuade the young monarch to union with Prussia and England. And this means that Russia would enter the Seven Years' War on the other side.

Watch the video: The Romanovs. The History of the Russian Dynasty - Episode 4. Documentary Film. Babich-Design (March 2020).

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