The Decembrists were driven by ideals of constitutionalism, liberal reforms, and a desire for a more participatory government but were defeated when Nicholas I ordered a cavalry charge and subsequent artillery attack using grapeshot.

Peter the Great’s decision to ban beards was unpopular, not only because it was a significant challenge to tradition but also because shaving a beard was interpreted by some Orthodox Christians as being sinful.

In 1703 Peter’s forces captured Swedish possessions at the mouth of the Neva river, and it was here that he laid the foundation stone for the Peter and Paul Fortress on Zayachy Island.