Also known as Ivan the Great; prince of Duchy of Moscow; claimed descent from Rurik; responsible for freeing Russia from Mongols after 1462; took title of tsar or Caesar–equivalent of emperor.
Ivan IV (the Terrible)
Also known as Ivan the Terrible; confirmed power of tsarist autocracy by attacking authority of boyars (aristocrats); continued policy of Russian expansion; established contacts with Western European commerce and culture.
Russian aristocrats; possessed less political power than did their counterparts in western Europe
Time of Troubles
Followed death of Ivan IV without heir early in 17th century; boyars attempted to use vacuum of power to reestablish their authority; ended with selection of Michael Romanov as tsar in 1613
Dynasty elected in 1613 at end of Time of Troubles; ruled Russia until 1917.
Second Romanov tsar; abolished assemblies of nobles; gained new powers over Russian Orthodox church
Peter I (the Great)
Also known as Peter the Great; son of Alexis Romanov; ruled from 1689 to 1725; continued growth of absolutism and conquest; included more definite interest in changing selected aspects of economy and culture through imitation of
Catherine the Great
German-born Russian tsarina in the 18th century; ruled after assassination of her husband; gave appearance of enlightened rule; accepted Western cultural influence; maintained nobility as service aristocracy by granting them new power over peasantry
partition of Poland
Three separate divisions of Polish territory among Russia, Prussia, and Austria in 1772, 1793, and 1795; eliminated Poland as independent state; part of expansion of Russian influence in Eastern Europe