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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:

From the Fall of Constantinople to the Reign of Ivan the Terrible: A Summary of Russian History
Russia Symbol Introduction
Russia Symbol Prior to 1453
Russia Symbol The Period of Mongol Invasion and Rule, 1237–1480
Russia Symbol Muscovy Emerges as a Power
Russia Symbol 1453–1584: Moscow Becomes the "Third Rome"
Russia Symbol Ivan IV Descends into Madness
From the Fall of Constantinople to the Reign of Ivan the Terrible: A Summary of World History
World Symbol
World Symbol
Special Features

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.



 World Symbol     Europe

Building on the dynamic, albeit gradual, agricultural, commercial, and cultural advances of the previous centuries, the period 1453–1584 witnessed a dramatic expansion and modernization in many fields. Innovative technology in navigation and daring enterprise enabled the discovery, exploration, and exploitation of new continents (America) and faraway lands (India, Far East). Scientific research and speculation in astronomy (Copernicus), medicine (Vesalius), and mining (Agricola) changed westerners' conception of the universe, and initiated technological and theoretical developments that paved the way for the subsequent industrial and economic revolutions. In the intellectual domain the Humanists not only rediscovered the Greco-Latin heritage of philosophic speculation and aesthetic values – fostered in part by the influx of scholars from Constantinople – but also reinvigorated scholarship in the humanities and social studies.

The critique of Church doctrines and practices triggered clamors for reform that culminated in the Protestant break with the papacy and the creation of national churches and denominations. To manage the unsettling effects of the innovations and to maximize their own power, rulers introduced the greater administrative and legal centralization that inaugurated the age of absolute monarchies and the well-ordered police states of the late 17th century. Last, but not least, the period experienced an extraordinary flowering of arts and letters: the Renaissance, which determined their subsequent manifestations in every country and language.