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Russia Engages the World, 1453-1825
1453 Through the Reign of Ivan the Terrible (1533-1584) The Time of Troubles to the First Romanovs (1598-1682) Peter the Great and His Legacy (1682-1762) The Age of Catherine the Great (1762-1801) The Reign of Emperor Alexander I (1801-1825)


Explore this Section:

  Russia Events
Russia Symbol Institutionalization of Serfdom
Engagement Symbol Annexation of Parts of Ukraine
Russia Symbol Reign of the Last Rurikid
Russia Symbol The Era of the False Dmitriis
Russia Symbol The Election of Mikhail Romanov
  World Events
Engagement Symbol
Tsar Aleksei Appoints the First Russian Ambassador to China (1654)
Engagement Symbol The Treaty of Westphalia (1648)
World Symbol
English Settlers Make Landfall (1620)
World Symbol Collapse of the Ming Dynasty (1644)

Russia's Globalization:
A Key

Events marked Russia Symbol are specific to Muscovy/Russia's internal development.
Those marked World Symbol are important world historical or cultural events.
Engagement Symbol indicates specific points of sociocultural or military engagement between Muscovy/Russia and foreign powers or individuals.



    The Era of the False Dmitriis

Russia, even in the 17th century, was one of the largest realms on earth, and its ruler the possessor of both vast territory and wealth. The mysterious death of Dmitrii of Uglich (1582–1591), the last Rurikid heir, provided opportunities for imposters and for one of the greatest soap operas in history. The first False Dmitrii, Grigorii Otrep’ev (ca. 1582–1606), ruled from June 1605 to May 1606. With the support of the Polish king, who wanted to gain the Russian throne, Otrep’ev marched on Moscow to unseat Boris Godunov (r. 1598–1605). Upon entry, Otrep’ev’s army killed Godunov’s family, and he took the throne. His close association with the Poles and his marriage to Maryna Mniszchówna (d. 1614), a Roman Catholic, led to his fall, because any “true” tsar had to be Russian and a member of the Russian Orthodox faith. The second False Dmitrii, the Polish-backed Felon of Tushino (Tushino Vor) (d. 1610), and his successor, the Little Felon (d. 1614), gained little support. In 1613, the Russians chose a new dynasty, the Romanovs, and stability returned to the succession process for most of the 17th century.

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