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YGK Russian Tsars

famous both for his push for Westernization and for his boisterous personality. His Grand Embassy to Europe enabled him to learn about Western life (and even to work in a Dutch shipyard). Peter the Great (1672-1725; ruled 1682-1725)
His Russian nickname ("Groznyi") could be more accurately translated as "awe-inspiring" or "menacing." He was proclaimed Grand Prince of Muscovy 1533 and tsar in 1547. Scholars differ on whether he was literate and on how auspiciously his reign began. Ivan IV or Ivan the Terrible (1530-1584; ruled 1533-1584)
Wasn't really a Russian at all: she was born Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst (a minor German principality) and was chosen as the bride of the future Peter III. Catherine II or Catherine the Great (1729-1796; ruled 1762-1796)
The last of the Romanovs, ruled until his overthrow in the February Revolution of 1917. He is usually seen as both a kind man who loved his family and an incapable monarch who helped bring about the end of the tsarist state. Nicholas II (1868-1918; ruled 1894-1917)
embarked on a program of Great Reforms soon after taking the throne near the end of the Crimean War. Alexander II (1818-1881; ruled 1855-1881)
Took the throne in 1801 when his repressive father Paul was assassinated and immediately set out on a more liberal course, but he left his strongest supporters disappointed. Alexander I (1777-1825; ruled 1801-1825)
Ruled Russia from the failure of the Decembrist Uprising to the middle of the Crimean War, has traditionally been portrayed as the embodiment of the Russian autocracy. Nicholas I (1796-1855; ruled 1825-1855)
Those who hoped that the assassination of Alexander II would lead to liberalization saw the error of their ways when this new tsar, launched his program of "counter-reforms." Alexander III (1845-1894; ruled 1881-1894)
Began his career as a boyar in Ivan the Terrible's oprichnina, and eventually became tsar himself. Boris Godunov (ca. 1551-1605; ruled 1598-1605)
In 1613, near the end of the Time of Troubles, a zemskii sobor elected the 16-year-old as the new tsar. Michael was a grandnephew of Ivan the Terrible's "good" wife Anastasia and the son of a powerful churchman named Filaret (who soon became patriarch) Michael (1597-1645; ruled 1613-1645)
He later invited Western artisans to come to Russia, required the boyars to shave their beards and wear Western clothing, and even founded a new capital, St. Petersburg--his "window on the West." Peter the Great (1672-1725; ruled 1682-1725)
He also led his country in the Great Northern War (in which Charles XII of Sweden was defeated at Poltava), created a Table of Ranks for the nobility, and reformed the bureaucracy and army. Peter the Great (1672-1725; ruled 1682-1725)
He could also be violent and cruel: he personally participated in the torture of the streltsy, or musketeers, who rebelled against him, and had his own son executed. Peter the Great (1672-1725; ruled 1682-1725)
Early in his reign, he pushed through a series of well-received reforms and called a zemskii sobor (or "assembly of the land"), Ivan IV or Ivan the Terrible (1530-1584; ruled 1533-1584)
He had an amazingly cruel streak and eventually became unstable: he temporarily abdicated in 1564, killed his favorite son, created a state-within-the-state called the oprichnina to wage war on the boyars, and participated in the torture of his enemies. Ivan IV or Ivan the Terrible (1530-1584; ruled 1533-1584)
He combined the absolutist tendencies of his predecessors with his own violent personality, helping to plunge the country into the subsequent period of civil strife known as the "Time of Troubles." Ivan IV or Ivan the Terrible (1530-1584; ruled 1533-1584)
She had thoroughly Russianized herself by the time Peter became tsar, and soon had him deposed: she then dispatched several claimants to the throne and crushed a peasant uprising led by Emilian Pugachev. Catherine II or Catherine the Great (1729-1796; ruled 1762-1796)
She also corresponded with Enlightenment philosophes, granted charters of rights and obligations to the nobility and the towns, oversaw the partition of Poland, and expanded the empire. Catherine II or Catherine the Great (1729-1796; ruled 1762-1796)
well known for her extravagant love life: her 21 acknowledged lovers included Grigorii Potemkin (who constructed the famous Potemkin village on an imperial inspection tour). Catherine II or Catherine the Great (1729-1796; ruled 1762-1796)
He led his country through two disastrous wars, the Russo-Japanese War (which helped spark the Revolution of 1905), and World War I (which helped cause the 1917 revolutions.) Nicholas II (1868-1918; ruled 1894-1917)
He is best known for his loving marriage to Alexandra and for allowing the crazed monk Grigorii Rasputin to influence court politics while treating the hemophilia of Alexei, the heir to the throne. He abdicated in 1917 and was shot in 1918. Nicholas II (1868-1918; ruled 1894-1917)
But he also introduced a system of local governing bodies called zemstvos, tried to increase the rule of law in the court system, eased censorship, and reorganized the army. Alexander II (1818-1881; ruled 1855-1881)
He became more reactionary after an attempted 1866 assassination and was assassinated in 1881. Alexander II (1818-1881; ruled 1855-1881)
The most famous part of his program was the serf emancipation of 1861--a reform which occurred almost simultaneously with the end of American slavery (and whose gradual nature disappointed liberals.) Alexander II (1818-1881; ruled 1855-1881)
He is best known for his wars with Napoleon (first as an ally and then as an enemy), and for seeking to establish a Holy Alliance in the years that followed. Alexander I (1777-1825; ruled 1801-1825)
An eccentric and a religious mystic. Some even say that he didn't really die in 1825: instead, they argue, he faked his own death, became a hermit, and died in a monastery in 1864. Alexander I (1777-1825; ruled 1801-1825)
His government pursued a policy of Official Nationality, defending a holy trinity of "Autocracy, Orthodoxy, and Nationality," and established a repressive secret police force known as the Third Section Nicholas I (1796-1855; ruled 1825-1855)
Contemporaries referred to him as the "Gendarme of Europe" after he helped the Habsburgs squelch the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. Nicholas I (1796-1855; ruled 1825-1855)
Under him, the state enacted a series of Temporary Regulations (giving it the power to crack down on terrorism) Alexander III (1845-1894; ruled 1881-1894)
He increased censorship, tightened controls on Russia's universities, created a position of "land captain" to exert state control in the countryside, and either encouraged or ignored the first anti-Jewish pogroms. Alexander III (1845-1894; ruled 1881-1894)
He first cemented his influence by marrying a daughter of one of Ivan's court favorites and arranging his sister Irina's marriage to Ivan's son Fyodor; then he became regent under Fyodor, and was elected tsar when Fyodor died in 1598. Boris Godunov (ca. 1551-1605; ruled 1598-1605)
He was rumored to have arranged the murder of Fyodor's brother Dmitrii, and the first of several "False Dmitriis" launched a revolt against him. Boris Godunov (ca. 1551-1605; ruled 1598-1605)
He died in the midst of growing unrest and is now best known as the subject of a Pushkin play and a Mussorgsky opera. Boris Godunov (ca. 1551-1605; ruled 1598-1605)
As tsar, he has usually been seen as a nonentity dominated by Filaret and other relatives. Nevertheless, his election marked the return of relative stability and the succession of the Romanov dynasty. Michael (1597-1645; ruled 1613-1645)
Created by: Mr_Morman