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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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Boris Godunov
Tsar Aleksei
Louis XIV

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.



     Boris Godunov

Boris Godunov (r. 1598–1605), a boyar of Mongol descent, achieved prominence when his sister married the weak Tsar Fedor (r. 1584–98), and Godunov became the de facto ruler, presiding over his own court and gaining popularity for his wise measures. He was thus elected tsar by a zemskii sobor in 1598 after the death of Fedor. However, his paranoia, insecurity, and failure to save the state from the famine of 1601, coupled with rumors that he had murdered Fedor's half brother, Dmitrii of Uglich (1582–1591), led to massive dissatisfaction and his overthrow by the first False Dmitrii (ca. 1580–1606), an imposter backed by Polish troops and disaffected Russians. As Dmitrii’s forces neared Moscow in 1605, Godunov suddenly died of a heart attack, but his story lived on in operas and plays, such as those by the composer Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky (1839–1881) and by Russia's national poet, Aleksandr Sergeevich Pushkin (1799–1837).

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