Three Hundred Years of the Romanov Dynasty
Spring: The Rise of the Romanovs (1613-1713)
In 1613, the Romanov family gained power over their country as the young teenage Michael Romanov reluctantly accepted the position of the tsar, which finally ended a long tumultuous period called the Time of Troubles. The immediate task of the new dynasty was to restore peace and the Romanovs were popular during most of the first century.
Summer: Russia’s Golden Age (1714-1814)
The second century saw the monumental reigns of the two Greats, Peter I and Catherine II. Through a number of successful wars, Emperor Peter I expanded the Tsardom into a much larger empire that became a major European power. Peter led a cultural
revolution that replaced some of the traditionalist and medieval social and political systems with ones that were modern, scientific,
westernized, and based on The Enlightenment. His successors (daughter Empress Elizabeth I and granddaughter-in-law Catherine II) followed his steps in bettering Russia.
Autumn: Turmoils and Decline (1815-1917)
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, after the death of Catherine the Great a few years earlier, the Russian Empire began its decline. In 1801, Catherine’s son and only legitimate child, Emperor Paul, was assassinated in his bedroom in his palace. In December 1825, a confusion regarding the succession caused a revolt and it was only among the first of many successive revolts and unrest that would later plague the Romanovs.
Despite one Emperor’s efforts to better Russia with life-changing reforms (one of them freeing serfs), the assassination of that Emperor shook Imperial Russia to its core. It ultimately caused the final blow and doomed his descendants.