Low T asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

Downfall of tsars - how did the tsars run russia?

in the late nineteenth centuries,what sort of opposition to the tsars had developed and how did the tsars deal with it

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
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    There were both anti-monarchy and communist opposition to the tsars....a revolution, they abdicated power. War and Peace is set in this context (read also Nicholas and Alexandra by Barbara Massey for more info).


    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    Originally, and indeed during most of its history, the title tsar meant Emperor in the European medieval sense of the term, i.e., a ruler who has the same rank as a Roman or Byzantine emperor due to recognition by another emperor or a supreme ecclesiastical official (the Pope or the Ecumenical Patriarch). Occasionally, the word could be used to designate other, non-Christian supreme rulers. In Russia and Bulgaria, the imperial connotations of the term were blurred with time and by the 19th century it had come to be viewed as an equivalent of king,[1].[2] The modern languages of these countries use it as a general term for a monarch.[3][4] For example, the title of the Bulgarian monarchs in the 20th century was not generally interpreted as imperial (although the title was possibly implying imperial ambitions).

    "Tsar" was the official title of the supreme ruler in the following states:

    Bulgaria in 913–1018, in 1185-1422 and in 1908–1946

    Serbia in 1346–1371

    Russia from about 1480 (or 1547) until 1721 (after 1721 and until 1917, the title was used officially only in reference to the Russian emperor's sovereignty over certain formerly independent states such as Poland and Georgia)

    [edit] Etymology and spelling

    The word tsar (царь, car' ) is a contraction of the earlier tsesar (цѣсарь, cěsar' ), derived from the Roman title Caesar. Originally the name of the deified dictator Caesar and then of his adopted son, the first emperor Augustus, the word Caesar came to designate the Roman emperor, together with the additional titles of Imperator and Augustus, and the Republican dignity of Princeps (designating the foremost senator). From the Antonine period the title Caesar by itself was also granted to junior associates in imperial power or heirs-designate, with which its importance started to decline. This is expressed even more clearly in Diocletian's Tetrarchy 293–306, in which power was shared between two senior emperors (Augusti) and two junior emperors (Caesares). In the Byzantine period the title Caesar (in Greek Kaisar) ceased to imply imperial association or the promise of succession to the throne, and after the Komnenian reforms, it was outranked by new titles such as despotēs and sebastokratōr.

    Like German Kaiser, Old Church Slavonic tsesar (цѣсарь) was derived directly from the Roman title Caesar, and not from the lower-ranking Byzantine Kaisar, as can be seen from etymological development and the coexistence of the distinct terms tsesar (цѣсарь) and kesar (кесарь) with different meanings (corresponding to, respectively the Byzantine Emperor (Basileus) and Byzantine Kaisar) in early Cyrillic texts.

    Modern usage seems to have standardized on the use of tsar to describe former rulers of Russia (and often Bulgaria and Serbia), while czar is used to informally describe an expert in charge of implementing policy (especially in the US): economics czar, drug czar, etc.


    The term "tsar" was used once by Church officials of Kievan Rus in the naming of Yaroslav the Wise of Kiev. This may be connected to Yaroslav's war against Byzantium and to his efforts to distance himself from Constantinople. However, other princes of Kievan Rus never called themselves as "tsars"[9] After the fall of Constantinople to the Crusaders and the Mongol invasion of Rus, the term "tsar" was applied by some people of Kievan Rus to the Mongol (Tatar) overlords of the Rus' principalities. Yet the first Russian ruler to openly break with the khan, Mikhail of Tver, assumed the title of "Basileus of Rus" and "tsar".[10]

    Following his assertion of independence from the Golden Horde and perhaps also his marriage to an heiress of the Byzantine Empire, "Veliki Kniaz" Ivan III of Muscovy started to use the title of tsar regularly in diplomatic relations with the West. From about 1480, he is designated as "imperator" in his Latin correspondence, as "keyser" in his correspondence with the Swedish regent, as "kejser" in his correspondence with the Danish king, Teutonic Knights, and the Hansa. Ivan's son Vasily III continued using these titles, as his Latin letters to Clement VII testify: "Magnus Dux Basilius, Dei gratia Imperator et Dominator totius Russiae, nec non Magnus Dux Woldomeriae", etc. (In the Russian version of the letter, "imperator" corresponds to "tsar"). Herberstein correctly observed that the titles of "kaiser" and "imperator" were attempts to render the Russian term "tsar" into German and Latin, respectively.[11]

    This was related to Russia's growing ambitions to become an Orthodox "Third Rome", after Constantinople had fallen. The Muscovite ruler was recognized as an emperor by Maximilian I, the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 1514.[12] However, the first Russian ruler to be formally crowned as "tsar of all Russia" was Ivan IV, until then known as Grand Prince of all Russia (1547). Some foreign ambassadors — namely, Herberstein (in 1516 and 1525), Daniel Printz a Buchau (in 1576 and 1578) and Just Juel (in 1709) — indicated that the word "tsar" should not be translated as "emperor", because it is applied by Russians to David, Solomon and other Biblical kings, which are simple "reges".[13] On the other hand, Jacques Margeret, a bodyguard of False Demetrius I, argues that the title of "tsar" is more honorable for Muscovites than "kaiser" or "king" exactly because it was God and not some earthly potentate who ordained to apply it to David, Solomon, and other kings of Israel.[14] Samuel Collins, a court physician to Tsar Alexis in 1659-66, styled the latter "Great Emperour", commenting that "as for the word Czar, it has so near relation to Cesar... that it may well be granted to signifie Emperour. The Russians would have it to be an higher Title than King, and yet they call David Czar, and our kings, Kirrols, probably from Carolus Quintus, whose history they have among them".[15]

    In short, the Westerners were at a loss as to how the term "tsar" should be translated properly. In 1670, Pope Clement X expressed doubts that it would be appropriate for him to address Alexis as "tsar", because the word is "barbarian" and because it stands for an "emperor", whereas there is only one emperor in the Christian world and he does not reside in Moscow. Reviewing the matter, abbot Scarlati opined that the term is not translatable and therefore may be used by the Pope without any harm. Paul Menesius, the Russian envoy in Vatican, seconded Scarlati's opinion by saying that there is no adequate Latin translation for "tsar", as there is no translation for "shah" or "sultan". In order to avoid such difficulties of translation and to assert his imperial ambitions more clearly, an edict of Peter I the Great decreed that the Latin-based title imperator should be used instead of "tsar" (1721).[16]

    The title tsar remained in common usage, and also officially as the designator of various titles signifying rule over various states absorbed by the Muscovite monarchy (such as the former Tatar khanates and the Georgian Orthodox kingdom). In the 18th century, it was increasingly viewed as inferior to "emperor" or highlighting the oriental side of the term.[17] Upon annexing Crimea in 1783, Catherine the Great adopted the hellenicized title of "Tsaritsa of Tauric Chersonesos", rather than "Tsaritsa of the Crimea", as should have been expected. By 1815, when a large part of Poland was annexed, the title had clearly come to be interpreted in Russia as the equivalent of Polish Król "king", and the Russian emperor assumed the title "tsar of Poland",[1] (and the puppet Kingdom of Poland was officially called Królewstwo Polskie in Polish and Царство Польское - Tsardom of Poland - in Russian[18]) (see also Full style of Russian Sovereigns below).

    Since the word "tsar" remained the popular designation of the Russian ruler despite the official change of style, its transliteration of this title in foreign languages such as English is commonly used also, in fact chiefly, for the Russian Emperors up to 1917.

    [edit] Full style of Russian Sovereigns

    The full title of Russian emperors started with By the Grace of God, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias (Божию Милостию, Император и Самодержец Всероссийский [Bozhiyu Milostiyu, Imperator i Samodyerzhets Vserossiysky]) and went further to list all ruled territories. For example, according to the article 59 of the Russian Constitution of April 23, 1906, "the full title of His Imperial Majesty is as follows: We, ------ by the grace of God, Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias, of Moscow, Kiev, Vladimir, Novgorod, Tsar of Kazan, Tsar of Astrakhan, Tsar of Poland, Tsar of Siberia, Tsar of Tauric Chersonesos, Tsar of Georgia, Lord of Pskov, and Grand Duke of Smolensk, Lithuania, Volhynia, Podolia, and Finland, Prince of Estonia, Livonia, Courland and Semigalia, Samogitia, Białystok, Karelia, Tver, Yugra, Perm, Vyatka, Bulgaria, and other territories; Lord and Grand Duke of Nizhni Novgorod, Chernigov; Ruler of Ryazan, Polotsk, Rostov, Yaroslavl, Beloozero, Udoria, Obdoria, Kondia, Vitebsk, Mstislavl, and all northern territories; Ruler of Iveria, Kartalinia, and the Kabardinian lands and Armenian territories - hereditary Ruler and Lord of the Circassians and Mountain Princes and others; Lord of Turkestan, Heir of Norway, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, Stormarn, Dithmarschen, Oldenburg, and so forth, and so forth, and so forth."

    The Emperor's subsidiary title of Tsar of Kazan proclaimed the chief Orthodox dynasty as successor in law to the mighty Islamic khanate of Kazan, not maintaining its 'heathen' (khan) title (as the Ottoman Great Sultans did in several cases), but christening it. It should also be noted that Khans of Kazan were mentioned in Russian chronicles such as Kazan Chronicle as Tsars of Kazan.

    The Emperor's subsidiary title of Tsar of Siberia is somewhat misleading, as there never was such a kingdom, only a very weak Tatar (Islamic) Khanate of Sibir, easily subdued in the early stages of the exploration and annexation of the hugely larger Siberia, most of it before inhabited by nomadic tribal people without a state in the European sense.[19]

    The subsidiary title of Tsar in chief of Transcausasian Georgia is the continuation of a royal style of a native dynasty, that had as such been recognized by Russia; it was a new, Slavonic style, imposed after the former regional superpower, which had used native and even Persian styles refelecting imperial pretences, had been reduced to a vassal unable to ward off its mighty neighbours.[20]

    The subsidiary title of Tsar of Poland demonstrates the Russian Emperors' rule over the legally separate (but actually subordinate) Polish Kingdom, nominally in personal union with Russia, established by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 (hence also called "Congress Poland"), in a sense reviving the royal style of the pre-existent national kingdom of Poland. Internationally and in Poland, the tsars were referred to as Kings (królowie) of Poland.[21]

    In some cases, defined by the Code of Laws, the Abbreviated Imperial Title was used:

    "We, ------ by the grace of God, Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias, of Moscow, Kiev, Vladimir, Novgorod, Tsar of Kazan, Tsar of Astrakhan, Tsar of Poland, Tsar of Siberia, Tsar of Tauric Chersonesos, Tsar of Georgia, Lord of Pskov, and Grand Duke of Smolensk, Lithuania, Volhynia, Podolia, and Finland, and so forth, and so forth, and so forth."

    In other cases, also defined by the Code of Laws, the Short Imperial Title was used:

    "We, ------ by the grace of God, Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias, Tsar of Poland, Grand Duke of Finland, and so forth, and so forth, and so forth."

    [edit] Titles in the Russian Royal/Imperial family

    Tsaritsa (царица) is the term used for an Empress, though in English contexts this seems invariably to be altered to tsarina (since 1717, from Italian czarina, from German Zarin). In Imperial Russia, the official title was Empress (Императрица). Tsaritsa (Empress) could be either the ruler herself or the wife (Empress consort) of the tsar. The title of tsaritsa is used in the same way in Bulgaria and Serbia.

    Tsesarevich (Цесаревич) (literally, "son of the tsar") is the term for a male heir apparent, the full title was Heir Tsesarevich ("Naslednik Tsesarevich", Наследник Цесаревич), informally abbreviated in Russia to The Heir ("Naslednik") (from the capital letter).

    Tsarevich (царевич) was the term for a son. In older times the term was used in place of "Tsesarevich" (Цесаревич). A son who was not a heir was formally called Velikii Kniaz (Великий Князь) (Grand Duke). The latter title was also used for grandsons (through male lines).

    Tsarevna (царевна) was the term for a daughter and a granddaughter of a Tsar or Tsaritsa. The official title was Velikaya Kniaginya (Великая Княгиня), translated as Grand Duchess or Grand Princess.

    See also Grand Duchess for more details on the Velikaya Kniaginya title.

    Tsesarevna (Цесаревна) was the wife of the Tsesarevich.

    [edit] Notes

    When Nicholas II abdicated in 1917 he abdicated not just on his own behalf but also on behalf of his teenage son, Alexey, who was too ill to take up the throne. He named as his heir his own brother Mikhail. Mikhail initially considered accepting the throne, conditional upon the people accepting him as their ruler. But a day or two later he decided against this course. He saw no need to formally abdicate a throne he had never formally accepted. He was never properly proclaimed as "Tsar Mikhail II". Historians and lists of tsars differ as to whether to regard Mikhail or Nicholas II as the last tsar. Nicholas II was undoubtedly the last tsar to rule Russia and so was the last effective tsar. Mikhail, if he can be said to have been Tsar at all, exercised no governmental functions and merely reigned nominally for a very short time. Mikhail, like his brother Nicholas, was executed by the Bolsheviks in 1918.

    In 1924 Grand Duke Cyril Vladimirovich proclaimed himself Emperor in exile.

    Moscow and Saint-Petersburg are known as the two tsar's capitals, though the latter was precisely founded as the new capital, symbolizing the new empire after Peter had shed the formal style of Tsar.

    Metaphorical uses

    Like many lofty titles, e.g. Mogul, Tsar or Czar has been used as a metaphor for positions of high authority, in English since 1866 (referring to U.S. President Andrew Johnson), with a connotation of dictatorial powers and style, fitting since "Autocrat" was an official title of the Russian Emperor (informally referred to as 'the Czar').

    This use is not limited to statesmen, e.g. 'drug czar' for the head of the Drug Enforcement

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You might want to read one of the hundreds of VERY THICK BOOKS about this subject... It's a bit much for a 3 line answer on Yahoo Answers.

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