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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)


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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 Time of Troubles through the Reigns of the First Romanovs (1598-1682)
Engagement Symbol   A 17th century view of Moscow
    A 17th century view of Moscow
NYPL, Slavic and Baltic Division

Russia Symbol   A Feast for the First Romanov Tsar
    A Feast for the First Romanov Tsar
NYPL, Slavic and Baltic Division

Russia Symbol   Tsar Mikhail Romanov
    Tsar Mikhail Romanov
NYPL, Slavic and Baltic Division

Russia Symbol   The Tsar Distributes Alms
    The Tsar Distributes Alms
NYPL, Slavic and Baltic Division

The death of Tsar Fedor in 1598, the last member of the Riurikid Dynasty in Russia, ushered in a time of wrenching civil strive, famine, and foreign invasion known as the "Time of Troubles." More than a decade of near anarchy ensued, in which pretenders to the throne seized power by harnessing popular discontent, while Poland and Sweden sought to expand territories at Muscovy's expense. These foreign invasions served to galvanize Muscovite society, leading to a defense of the homeland. In 1613, a new dynasty--the Romanov--was selected to rule Muscovy. Mikhail Romanov became the first member of Russia's second (and last) dynasty.

By the mid-17th century, the Romanov rulers of Muscovite Russia began to adopt practices from beyond their borders. They recruited Italian artisans and Scottish officers, granted English, German, and Dutch merchants access to Russian trade, and translated European books on modern military techniques. Russian elites also began to acquire a taste for ballet, theater, snuff, asparagus, and roses, among other imports.

Over time, Muscovite Russia had expanded beyond its base west of the Ural Mountains to become a Eurasian state. Russians advanced 3,000 miles to occupy Siberia, reaching the shores of the Pacific. Just as the United States would later drive westward to the same ocean, Russia moved eastward over sparsely inhabited territory. Scattered tribes mounted resistance but ultimately succumbed to Muscovite Russia's expansionist drive, which brought the realm into contact with Asian realms such as the China of the Qing emperors and, to a much more limited extent, Tokugawa Japan.