Russian King Peter the Great hated beards, as he believed they represented all that was backward about Russian society. What did he do to discourage his citizens from growing them?

Answer: In 1698 he issued a decree ordering all Russians, with the exception of clergy and peasants, to shave. Late in 1705 he initiated a Beard Tax, whereby all those with beards had to pay a sum to the King, sometimes as much as 900 roubles.

Source: Russia – A reference guide by Mauricio Borrero

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