Simmons Michael W. - Romanov The last Tsarist dynasty

Author : Simmons Michael W.
Title : Romanov The last Tsarist dynasty
Year : 2016

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Chapter One : The Early Romanovs. Michael I (1613-1645). Before the Romanovs, there were the Rurikids, the dynasty of Ivan the Terrible, who ruled from 1547 to 1584. Ivan the Terrible - or, Ivan IV - had two sons by his first wife, Anastasia Romanova Zakharina-Yurieva. Ivan Ivanovitch, the eldest, was murdered by his father when he was 27, after the tsar attacked Ivan’s pregnant wife and caused her to suffer a miscarriage. When Ivan confronted his father over this ill deed, the tsar hit him over the head with his scepter. He regretted the deed instantly, but it was too late. The younger Ivan died a short time later. Ivan the Terrible’s second son by his Romanov bride, Fyodor I, assumed the throne after Ivan’s death and reigned for fifteen years. Sometimes called Fyodor the Bell-ringer or Fyodor the Blessed, he was shy and retiring, extremely pious, and more interested in religion than in government. By Fyodor’s own wish, his brother-in-law, Boris Gudonov, acted as his de facto regent until Fyodor died childless at the age of forty, bringing the Rurikid dynasty to an end. Boris Gudonov succeeded Fyodor as tsar, but when he died in 1598, his son, Fyodor II, ruled for only a few months before he and all the rest of his family were assassinated. Over the next fifteen years there ensued a period of civil war, famine, and political chaos, known as the Time of Troubles. Russia had no more tsars until 1613, when a delegation of nobles and bishops approached Michael Romanov, the frail teenage nephew of Ivan the Terrible’s wife, Anastasia, and begged him to accept the throne. Michael Romanov was sixteen, physically weak, and beleaguered after having spent years as prisoner and in hiding with his mother, Martha. Their family had fallen into difficulty when Michael was very young, after Boris Gudonov accused Michael’s father of treason. They had lived under threat ever since. In fact, when they were told that the delegation had arrived from Moscow, Michael and his mother were at first reluctant to leave their hiding place in the Ipatiev Monastery, because they knew there was a chance that this was a trick to deliver them into the hands of their enemies. But they agreed to meet the delegation regardless. As the legend goes, the nobles greeted them on bended knee, begging Michael to accept the throne and deliver Russia from the turmoil that had engulfed it. ...

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