Russian Absolutism

  • Nov 12, 1472

    Ivan III Marries a Byzantine Princess

    Ivan married Sophia, the niece of the last Byzantine emperor. Ivan's advisers developed the theory of the Three Romes. According to this theory, the ancient Roman Empire came first, then its authority passed to the Byzantine Empire, which God had punished with Turkish conquest, and then to the last Rome, which was Moscow. He assumed the title "Caesar" or "Tsar" in Russian
  • Sep 4, 1478

    Ivan III Attacks Novgorod

    Novgorod had been an independent republic. Ivan attacked Novgorod, massacred the population abolished its parliament and burned down the archives. Ivan ultimately annexes the territory
  • Nov 11, 1480

    Ivan III Overthrows the Mongols

    Ivan of Muscovy led a successful revolt against the remnants of Mongol rule. By expanding his principality to the north and west, he subjugated other Russian princes to himself.
  • Time of Troubles

    Russia fell into chaos for 15 years. Boyar families struggled for supremacy, Cossacks from the south led a popular revolt and Poles and Swedes interfered in Russian affairs. This period ends when Tsar Michael Romanov establish his dynasty
  • Peter returns from his Grand Tour of Europe

    Upon his return, Peter imposed a series of social and cultural reforms on the Russian nobles which included ordering noblemen to cut off their long beards and get rid of their long, flowing robes. He required noblewomen to appear together with men at public occasions. Noble children were sent to western European courts for their educations. He wrote a book of manners that forbade spitting on the ground, eating with one's fingers and encouraging polite conversation between the sexes.
  • Construction of St. Petersburg Begins

    This city that would later become the new capital of Russia was built by peasants, most of whom were state serfs. It is estimated that about 40,000 laborers were forced to work on this project draining the swampland. In this way, Peter had access to the Baltic Sea, thus allowing Russia to conduct maritime trade with Europe
  • Peter Creates the Senate

    Peter abolished the Duma or boyar council and established the Senate to supervise the collection and expenditure of revenue, to draft laws according to his edicts
  • Peter Executes his Sons

    Peter suspected his only son and heir, Alexis, of trying to overthrow him. Peter had him arrested and executed.
  • Peter the Great Reorganizes the Russian Orthodox Church

    In 1721, Peter abolished the church hierarchy and the church was placed under the control of the Holy Synod, which was made of a group of bishops appointed by Peter himself. The Russian Orthodox clergy became part of the Russian state.
  • Peace of Nystad Signed

    The Great Northern War that Russia fought with Sweden ended with this treaty. After over 20 years of fighting, Sweden became a second rate power in northern Europe as Russia received its eastern territories which included the entire Gulf of Finland, Livonia and Estonia.
  • Table of Ranks Created by Peter

    Peter imposed a new class system on the nobility. All nobles were required to work their way up from the lower landlord class to the administrative class (higher) and finally to the military class (highest). Landlords by birth was the lowest rank of nobility, which meant that Peter incentivized nobles to do administrative and military service.
  • Peter the Great Institutes a New Taxation System

    Peter began to asses taxes on individuals rather than on households. This new policy of taxation erased entire social classes, including traditional divisions among the peasants. A census was taken to prevent tax evasion became the basis for governmental encroachments on Russians, even though its purpose was to increase tax revenue for war.
  • Academy of Sciences Founded

    Peter the Great founded the Academy. Initially, it was staffed by Westerners, but Peter's hope was that Russia would eventually have its own scientists. This was one of many educational institutions that Peter had founded over the years. Initially, he created educational established to further his military goals. For example, the Colleges of Mathematics, Engineering and Artillery were the training grounds for army officers.