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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 The June Coup (June 28, 1762)
Russia Symbol Red Convocation of the Legislative Commission (1767)
Russia Symbol Pugachev Rebellion (1773–74)
Russia Symbol Charter of the Towns (1785)
Russia Symbol Founding of the Smolnyi Institute
  World Events
World Symbol
The French Revolution Begins, 1789
World Symbol Revolt on the Island of Saint-Domingue (present-day Haiti), 1791
World Symbol
The French Expedition to Egypt, 1798–99
World Symbol
The French Civil Code Is Issued, 1804

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 Smolnyi Institute was opened in 1764 on the grounds of a convent, in an architectural gem of a building designed by the brilliant Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli (ca. 1700–1771). Catherine the Great (r. 1762–96) and an advisor, Ivan Betskoi (1704–1795), had far-ranging plans, based on the ideas of the Enlightenment, for creating new and superior men and women through the establishment of educational institutions that would isolate students from their environment. In the cocoon of the school, young people could be formed both intellectually and morally. In this spirit, the Smolnyi Institute was established as a boarding school for 200 girls, thereby becoming the first female academic institution in Russia.