Tsardom of Russia



In the 16th century, Ivan IV (Ivan the Terrible) conquered vast territories, and used extensive terror methods against his people. The following, “Time of Troubles,” nearly finished Russia as an independent state. Stability came only with the new Romanov Dynasty at the beginning of the 17th century.


Ivan the Terrible becomes tsar
Romanov dynasty begins
Schism in Russian Orthodox Church
St Petersburg established





Ivan the Terrible


The process of centralizing power in Russia under Moscow rule was completed by Ivan the Terrible. He expanded Russia’s territory greatly, but caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands.





Time of Troubles


The Time of Troubles was one of the weakest points in the history of the Russian state. Fifteen years of unrest, civil wars, and famine, killed about one-third of the population, and took Russia very close to being occupied by Poland and Sweden




The First Romanovs


Having survived the Time of Troubles, Russia faced the 17th century with the newly established Romanov Dynasty. Mikhail I began as a weak compromise candidate who was in favor of the boyars. Nevertheless, having eventually achieved 304 years in power, the Romanovs became one of the longest surviving European dynasties.





Peter the Great


Until the 1700’s, Russia was, technologically, way behind the rest of Europe. One could say Tsar Peter I (Peter the Great) dragged the country, kicking and screaming, out of the Middle Ages. His reforms made Russia an international player for the first time in history.



Empire of Russia