Romanov Dynasty

Essay by SexySlave987University, Bachelor's April 2006

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The Romanov Dynasty began with the election of Mikhail Romanov, a 16 year old boyar, by the zemskii sobor. The Romanov family ruled Russia from 1613 to 1855 and during this time, Russia became a major European power. The first rulers of this dynasty struggled to end internal disorder, foreign invasion and financial collapse. Mikhail Romanov was a weak ruler, his father Metropolitan Filaret was the real power until his death in 1633. After Mikhail's death, his son Alexis ruled from 1645-1676. Mikhail and Alexis relied on the advice of the zemskii sobor, which grew in power. It passed some legislation and represented the gentry and merchants against the boyars. However, Alexis often deferred to his boyar advisors who usually did not work for the best of the country and peasant uprisings and Cossack revolts were common. Revolts occurred in 1648, 1662 and 1670-1671. The revolt from 1670-1671 is the most famous.

It was led by a Don Cossack named Stenka Razin who become a hero for the common people. He was eventually executed. However, while the Cossacks rebelled, they also helped Russia by leading the way in expansion into Siberia.

Peter the Great's reign transformed Russia. He strengthened the rule of the tsar and westernized Russia while at the same time making Russia a power in Europe and greatly expanding Russia's borders. During his reign, Russia became an empire and Peter became the first emperor of Russia. Peter became co-ruler with his half brother Ivan when Peter was ten. As both Peter and Ivan were young, Sofia , became regent. Peter was mostly ignored and so spent much time with the foreigners in Russia. He became very interested in western ways and in warfare. A favorite childhood activity involved directing troops he gathered and playing war games. The two...