This website is part of The New York Public Library's Online Exhibition Archive. For current classes, programs, and exhibitions, please visit
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 Founding of the Ministries
Russia Symbol Treaties of Tilsit
Russia Symbol Battle of Borodino
Russia Symbol Founding of Fort Ross, 1812
Russia Symbol Arakcheev’s Military Colonies
Russia Symbol Decembrist Revolt
  World Events
World Symbol
Publication of Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, 1755
World Symbol
Russia Moves Against Persia, 1804
World Symbol
England Secures Control of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean, 1805
Russia Symbol
The Congress of Vienna, 1814–15

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.




In response to Russia's forcible annexation of parts of Azerbaijan and Georgia – territories in which it also had an interest – Persian forces moved against Russian forces in the region, sparking the Russo-Persian War of 1804–13. Alexander I (r. 1801–25) launched military strikes in turn against Persia through the Caucasus and against Central Asia's great Kazak area from his empire's southern frontier. The war ended with the Treaty of Gulistan, in which Persia recognized Russia's annexation of additional territory in the Caucasus.

Conflict with Iran was nothing new for Russia. Peter the Great (r. 1682–1725) expanded into the Caucasus region in 1722, taking advantage of both the end of the Great Northern War, and the fall of the Safavid dynasty, to push south. In 1795, urged on by the English and French, who sought to limit Russia's expansion southward, Persia sent an army into Azerbaijan and Georgia, and fighting continued intermittently from then on, until the outbreak of all-out war in 1804.