TLW's Russiascope™ (Russia Historyscope)
By T.L. Winslow (TLW), the Historyscoper™
© Copyright by T.L. Winslow. All Rights Reserved.
Original Pub. Date: Mar. 4, 2016. Last Update: Apr. 13, 2021.
Westerners are not only known as history ignoramuses, but double dumbass history ignoramuses when it comes to Russia and Russian history. Since I'm the one-and-only Historyscoper (tm), let me quickly bring you up to speed before you dive into my Master Historyscope.
The original Russians were blonde-haired blue-eyed Norse. Over the centuries their bloodlines got mixed with Slavs, Greeks, Germans, Turks, Mongols, and perhaps a touch of Eskimo, not to mention ETs. The early history of the Russians is shrouded in darkness, but they do pop up from time to time in the 1st Millennium when they come into contact with Byzantine civilization.
In 581 Byzantine emperor (578-82) Tiberius II Constantine (-582) establishes an elite corps of 15K Norse barbarians, who eventually develop into the Varangian (Norse "oath-sharers") Guards.
In 740 in response to forcing them to convert to Islam, and the evacuation of their territory by the Muslims to quell rebellions in Syria et al., the Khazars (Hazaras Turks) convert to Judaism (at least their leaders, the rest following by 840), and withdraw beyond the Caucasus, going on to expand from the Caspian Sea to the Dnieper River, and as far S as the Black Sea, causing the Slavic tribes to turn to the Scandinavian Varangians (Vikings) (Rus) (proto-Russians) to the N for trade; because of them many modern Jews have hooked noses and speak Yiddish?; the Jewish conversion of the Khazars is a myth?
In 860 is the first recorded appearance of the Viking Rus (Russians) (Varangians) at Constantinople - getting their piece of the Viking pie?
Russia's next top model is? In 862 Novgorod ("new town") (modern-day pop. 218K) (in modern times one of Russia's oldest towns) is founded on the Volkhov River by the Rus (from Finnish "ruoysi", meaning "those who rowed") Viking Ulrich; Scandinavian Varangian Viking prince Rurik (Riurik) (ON "famous ruler") (830-79) is allegedly invited by the people of Novgorod to rule their city, founding the Russian Tsar (named after Caesar) Dynasty, and reopening the Norse trade to the E that had been cut off by the Huns and Avars in the 5th and 6th cents., beginning trade with Constantinople and the Khazars along the Russian waterways of the Dvina, Dnieper, and Don Rivers; "Our country is large and has an abundance of everything, but there is no order or justice amongst us. Come and take possession of the land and govern us." (Ancient Chronicle of Kiev); Vikings Askold and Dir leave Rurik's Novgorod and sail S down the Dnieper River, founding the town of Kiev (modern-day pop. 2.9M/3.4M) and becoming its rulers; the E Slav town of Polotsk (modern-day pop. 82K) on the Polota and Dvina Rivers is first mentioned, becoming the most heavily fortified city in Kievan Rus.
In 879 Rurik (b. 830) dies, and his brother-in-law Prince Oleg (Russ. "Holy") (-912) becomes prince of Novgorod until his small son Prince Igor can come of age (until 912), gathering a large force of Finns, Varangians, and Slavs, and sailing down the Dnieper River to Smolensk, holding up little Igor at each town and telling the people "This is the prince of all the Russians, Rurik's son"; Prince Oleg lures Askold and Dir out of Kiev and kills them, then moves in, declaring "This shall be the mother of all Russian cities"; he unites the E Slavs, stops paying taxes to the Khazars, and establishes Russia from Kiev N to Lake Ladoga, moving the capital from Novgorod to Kiev and laying the foundation of Kievan Rus (882-1240).
In 882 Varangian prince Oleg of Novgorod becomes supreme ruler of the Rus; the monks of Kiev begin the Ancient Kievan Chronicle, covering from 850-1110, telling how the Slavs have great respect for the Vikings and their dragon-prowed longships and cool Viking weapons.
In 907 Varangian Rus leader Oleg of Kiev extorts a 1-sided trade agreement with the Byzantines, followed by a 2nd more lavish one in 911, making the Byzantines give them free supplies and baths coming and going, with the Byzantines requiring them to enter Constantinople in groups of 50 unarmed, live in the St. Mamas quarter, and be on commercial business bringing merchandise and refrain from violence.
In 912 Prince Oleg dies, and his son Prince Igor I (-945) becomes Varangian ruler of Kiev (until 945); he and his mentor Grand Prince Oleg sail with a large army towards Constantinople, raiding the villages along the Bosporus and obtaining a treaty giving Russian merchants privileges along with shiploads of bribes for their "druzhina" (friends).
In 941 Kievan Rus ruler Igor leads a huge fleet (10K ships?) from the Black Sea and terrorizes the coastal areas around Constantinople for several mo. until the Byzantines reservice some mothballed ships and equip them with Greek fire.
In 944 Grand Prince (since 912) Igor I of Kiev (-945) attacks Constantinople with a fleet of 1K ships, and the smaller Byzantine fleet kicks their butts with Greek fire, setting most of the Russian fleet ablaze and causing them to turn tail and return to Kiev - where'd you get that sunburn?
In Jan. 945 after Romanus I's sons Stephen and Constantine threaten the throne of Constantine VII, the pop. revolts, and they are sent to join their father in exile in Samothrace, after which Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus (905-59) reigns alone as Roman Byzantine emperor #136 (until Nov. 9, 959), negotiating another commercial treaty with Grand Prince Igor of Kiev, who soon dies fighting rebels in Dereva, leaving his wife Princess (St.) Olga of Kiev (890-969) in charge as regent for her boy son Sviatoslav I (until 964), going on to wipe out the rebels to the last man and teaching him to chuck spears at them, and consolidate Kiev's control over cities as distant as Novgorod; the commercial treaty mentions luxury items they want from the Byzantines incl. silk; Constantine VII requires pesky untrustworthy antichrist Jews testifying in Christian courts to take the humiliating Oath More Judaico, which continues in use in Euro courts until the 20th cent.
In 957 Russian Grand Princess (St.) Olga of Kiev (890-969), wife of dead Grand Prince Igor I visits Constantinople, and is so wowed by the churches that she becomes a Christian and is baptized in Hagia Sophia by the patriarch of Constantinople with emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus as her baptismal father, taking the name Helena after Constantine I the Great's mother; meanwhile her pagan son Sviatoslav I holds out; when Constantine VII proposes marriage to her, she replies that as her baptismal father that would be incest, causing him to reply "Olga, you have outwitted me".
In 964 Igor dies, and his son (by wife Olga) Sviatoslav (Svyatoslav) I (942-72) (first Russian ruler with a Slavic name, sugesting absorption) becomes prince of Kievan Russia, going on to become the first great Russian conqueror, known for his barbarian hair style consisting of shaved head with a single side sprig of hair, requiring his men to BBQ their meat and sleep out in the open using their horse blanket and saddle.
In 965 Sviatoslav I of Kiev defeats the half-dead Khazar Khaganate on the lower Volga River and establishes a Russian state in their place by 969; he also defeats a number of wild tribes incl. the Kasogians, Vyatichians, and Yasians.
In 967 after being called in by the Byzantine emperor and given 1.5K lbs. of gold, Sviatoslav I of Kiev campaigns succesfully against the Bulgars, and decides to move into Little Preslav (Pereslavyets) in the Dobrudja on the Lower Danube, extending his domain from Novgorod in the N to the Danube in the SW and the Lower Volga in the SE; too bad, while he's wintering in Little Preslav, the Pechenegs siege Kiev, causing him to have to rush back to drive them out.
In Apr. 971 Byzantine emperor John I Zimisces attacks the rushing Russians by land and sea, takes and destroys Little Preslav, then attacks Dorystolum (Dristra) (Silistra) on the Lower Danube River, blockading it until they skoot out of Bulgaria; Tsar Boris II is captured along with his family, and forced to abdicate, and the Bulgarian patriarchate is abolished, scaring the Byzantines into sending an army against him.
In 972 while en route to Kiev via the Dnieper River, Sviatoslav I is ambushed and killed by the Petchenegs, and his head turned into a cup; the Byzantines promised to arrange safe passage, and stabbed him in the back?; he gives his son Yaropolk I (958-980) rule of Kiev, his middle son Oleg (-977) rule of Derevlya, and his youngest son (St.) Vladimir I (958-1015) rule of Novgorod; too bad, Yaropolk defeats and kills Oleg, causing Vladimir to flee to Sweden, leaving Yaropolk in his sole control, and Vladimir begins a long fight for the throne of Kiev (ends 980).
In 980 Vladimir returns from Sweden to Novgorod with a Viking fleet, then marches to Kiev with a large army, inviting his elder brother Yaroslav to negotiate then having him stabbed by two men as he enters the door, and takes over as Grand Duke (St.) Vladimir I Sviatoslavovich the Great (958-1015) of Kiev, working to consolidate the Russian state from the Ukraine to the Baltic, first setting up idols of pagan gods Perun, Khors, Dazhbog, Stribog, Simargl, and Mokosh, then after the news that he's a fratricide gets around, flopping and deciding to convert it to the Orthodox (Constantinople) faith after converting in 988; under him Kievan Rus reaches its height of power, and begins a permanent partnership with the Byzantines.
Alcohol makes great antifreeze, or, Why settle for drinking beers and just being guys? In 987 envoys of Russian Grand Prince Vladimir I the Saint experience the Divine Liturgy at the Church of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, and are so wowed that they convince him to choose Christianity as the designer religion for the Russian people; previously the Bulgars tried to interest him in Islam, saying, "We believe in God, and our prophet has taught us that if we do not eat pork or drink wine we shall go to heaven and be waited upon, each one of us, by seventy beautiful women", to which Vladimir replies, "Drinking is the chief pleasure of the Russians and we could never live without it"; he also checked out Judaism, but when he learned of the Diaspora, he says, "What? You are trying to teach others, you whom your God has punished? He would not have done that if he had loved you and your laws. Do you want the same thing to happen to us?"; he sends 10 envoys to Germany, Bulgaria, and Constantinople, and the report is that the Bulgars find no joy in their worship, the Germans find no beauty in theirs, but that with the Byzantines "We found ourselves in the presence of God. We can never forget that beauty"; also, "If the Christian faith were a bad one, your grandmother Olga, the wisest of women, would not have adopted it"; at his "urging" mass baptisms of Russians in the nearest available freezing cold rivers are orchestrated - those circumcised Muslim women were a real turnoff, plus I got back problems?
In 988 Prince Vladimir I of Kiev seizes Chersonesus, the main Byzantine imperial base in the Crimea.
In 989 Vladimir I of Kiev strikes a deal with Byzantine emperor Basil II to evacuate Chersonesus, and supplies 6K soldiers (organized later into the Varangian Guard) to help him kick the butt of the last great rebel Asia Minor landowner Bardas Phokas (-989), who is KIA on Apr 13; meanwhile newly-PC Duke Vladimir I of Kiev is baptized and married in the Crimea to Basil II's younger sister (St.) Anna Porphyrogeneta (963-1011) (who had already refused a proposal from Hugh Capet because Franks as well as Russians are barbarians, but since his entire pop. goes along with the deal, she smells teen sainthood and lowers herself for Christ?); he also promises to divorce all umpteen of his pagan wives, but eh?; Anna dies childless.
In 990 Vladimir I returns to Kiev with his new wife and a force of priests, and forces the Russian pop. to convert to Eastern Orthodox Christianity with mass baptisms, along with casting of wooden images of pagan gods into the river, and Russia is finally converted just in time for the Big M; Vladimir I's priests give the Russians the Greek-derived Cyrillic Alphabet, which they had orginally invented for the Goths and Slavs, and begin trans. the Bible into Russian.
On July 15, 1015 Vladimir I the Saint (b. 858) dies after being crowned grand prince of Rus on June 11 (sad that Jeezy didn't come?), and his son Sviatopolk I (the Accursed) (980-1019) becomes king of Kiev (until 1019); his brothers Yaroslav I (978-1054), Mstislav (-1036), Boris (-1015), and Gleb (-1015) begin a war for the throne (ends 1019).
In 1019 Vladimir I's son Yaroslav (Jaroslav) (Russ. "beauty of spring") I (the Wise) (978-1054) becomes the most powerful grand prince of Kiev so far, and begins building Russia up and codifying its laws, promulgating the first written code (under Byzantine influence), the Russkaya Pravda (Russian Truth); his last surviving brother Mstislav of Chernigov (-1036) is given the territory E of the Dnieper River until his death.
In 1030 Yaroslav I the Wise of Kiev founds Dorpat (modern-day Tartu, Estonia).
In 1049 Yaroslav I the Wise's daughter Anna Yaroslavna (1024-75) is betrothed to French king Henry I, wowing the illiterate Frog nobles by signing her own name to the wedding contract, while they have to make Xs; he had ended up with her after all the other eligible princess prove too closely related; after being married in Reims on May 19, 1051, they go on to have sons Philip I (1052-1108), Hugh the Great (1057-1102), and Robert (1055-60).
In 1054 grand prince (since 1019) Yaroslav I the Wise (b. 978) dies, and his son Yziaslav (Iziaslav) I Yaroslavich (1024-78) becomes grand prince of Kiev, which begins a downhill slide, although Yaroslav I married a Swedish princess, his sister married a Polish king, three of his daughters married kings of France, Hungary, and Norway, and a son married a Byzantine princess; the loose federation of city-states he ruled is divided among his five sons, who begin interminable civil wars while the Cuman nomads of the steppe conquer the Pechenegs then begin raiding Slavic towns for the next 150 years, carrying off entire pops. to be sold into slavery.
In 1068 Prince Vseslav Bryachislavich (1039-1101) of Polotsk in Belarus becomes prince of Kiev (until 1069).
In 1069 duke (since 1058) Boleslaus (Boleslaw) II the Bold (1038-1081) of Poland conquers the Russian principality of Kiev, then boldly marches to Kiev to put one of his relatives on the Russian throne.
On Oct. 3, 1078 prince (since 1054) Yziaslav I (b. 1024) dies, and his brother Vsevolod (Vsvelod) (Andrew) I (1030-93) becomes grand prince of Kiev (until Apr. 13, 1093).
On Apr. 13, 1093 grand prince (since 1078) Vsvelod I dies, and his nephew (son of Yziaslav I) Sviatopolk (Michael) II Iziaslavich (1050-1113), ruler of Novgorod in 1078-88 becomes grand prince of Kiev (until Apr. 16, 1113), going on to let Jewish merchants and Variangian officials speculate in grain and salt, pissing-off the pop.; meanwhile he engages in rivalry with his cousin Vladimir II Monomakh (1053-1125).
On Apr. 16, 1113 grand prince (since Apr. 13, 1093) Sviatopolk II (b. 1050) dies, and his cousin Vladimir II Monomakh (1053-1125), son of Vsvelod I becomes grand duke of Kiev (until May 19, 1125).
In 1113 St. Nicholas Church in Novgorod, one of the first onion-domed churches is built by Prince Mstislav (Mstislav I the Great).
In 1113 The Primary Chronicle (Tale of Past Years) is compiled in Kiev, covering the years 850-1110.
On May 19, 1125 grand prince (since Apr. 16, 1113) Vladimir II Monomakh (b. 1053) dies, ending the last good period in Kiev, and his eldest son Mstislav I Vladimirovich the Great (1076-1132) becomes grand prince of Kiev (until Apr. 14, 1132), becoming the last ruler of a united Kievan Rus, while his other sons Yaropolk II (-1139) and Yuri Dolgoruki (-1157) chafe at the bit.
In 1132 grand prince (since 1125) Mstislav I dies, and his younger brother Yaropolk II Vladimirovich (1082-1139), prince of Pereyaslav (since 1114) becomes grand prince of Kiev (until 1139).
In 1139 grand prince (since 1132) Yaropolk II (b. 1082) dies, and his younger brother Vyacheslav (-1154) becomes grand prince of Kiev; a civil war breaks out, and his cousin Vsevolod II (-1146), prince of Cherngiv allies with the Polovtsi (traditional enemies of the Russians) and takes over (until 1146).
In 1146 grand prince (since 1139) Vsevolod II dies, and his brother Igor II (-1147) becomes grand prince of Kiev, only to be dethroned after a few mo. by his cousin Izyaslav II, who becomes grand prince of Kiev (until 1149), going on to invent a new warship with hidden oarsmen and two helmsmen so it can reverse course without turning around; meanwhile Vyacheslav (-1154) waits in the wings.
In 1147 the village of Moscow (modern-day pop. 12.2M/17.1M) (precursor of the grand duchy of Moscow) on the Moskva River in Russia is founded by Prince Yuri (George) I Vladimirovich Dolgoruki (Long Arms) (1099-1157) of Suzdal-Vladimir (son of Vladimir II Monomakh) in C Russia on the Moscow (Moskva) River; in 1295 it becomes the capital of the principality of Moscow, going on to become the "Holy Mother of the Russians"; in 1482-95 the Moscow Kremlin (Russ. "fortress inside a city") in Moscow is built.
In 1149 grand prince (since 1146) Izyaslav II is deposed by his uncle (younger brother of Vyacheslav) Yuri I Dolgoruky, who sacks Kiev and rules as grand prince from Suzdal 130 mi. NE of Kiev in the E forest area of Russia (until 1151).
In 1151 grand prince (since 1149) Yuri I Dolgoruky is defeated by his nephew Izyaslav II (-1154), who rules as grand prince from Kiev again along with Yuri's older brother Vyacheslav (until 1154).
In 1154 grand prince (since 1151) Izyaslav II dies, and Rostislav (-1167), prince of Smolensk (son of Mstislav I) becomes co-ruler of Kiev with his uncle Vyacheslav (until 1155).
In 1155 grand prince (since 1139) Vyacheslav dies, and his younger brother Yuri I Dolgoruky overthrows his nephew Rostislav and declares himself grand prince of Kiev (until 1157), with capital at Suzdal in the E forest area again.
In 1157 Yuri I Dolgoruky (b. 1099) dies, and his son (St.) Andrei (Andrey) (Andrew) I Bogolyubsky (Bogoliubski) ("God-loving") (1111-74) becomes prince of Suzdal (until 1174), repressing the pesky boyars (nobles), and establishing his capital at Vladimir (Russ. "great ruler") near Moscow (founded 1108); he also completes the construction of the Cathedral of the Transfiguration, and builds strong walls and a Golden Gate like the one at Kiev; the flow of people from Cuman-plagued Kiev to the NE into the land of the Finns around the Oka River and Upper Volga River (whose source is in the Valdai Hills) causes a major pop. shift in Russia, causing Kiev to go downhill and Vladimir and Moscow to go uphill.
In 1167 Vladimir-Suzdal prince (since 1157) Andrei I Bogolyubsky sacks Kiev, leaving his younger brother to rule it while taking for himself the title of grand prince.
On June 30, 1174 the boyars kill prince (since 1157) (St.) Andrew (Andrei) I Bogoliubsky (b. 1111), and make their protege the ruler of Vladimir, but the people of Vladimir and Pereslavl overthrow the oh-boy-it's-borscht boyars, and Andrei's brother Mikhail (Michael) Yuryevich (-1176) becomes prince of Vladimir (until 1176).
In 1176 Mikhail Yuryevich is killed by the boyars of Rostov and Suzdal, and his brother Vsevolod III Yurievich (the Big Nest) (1154-1212) becomes grand prince of Vladimir (until 1212), going on to subjgate the boyars and raid the Volga people of Bulgaria, solidifying his rule, building up his capital Vladimir to the #1 city in Russia, and fathering 12 children with his Ossetian first wife Maria Shvarnovna (-1205) (incl. four future grand princes of Vladimir), earning him the name "Big Nest".
About 1190 the German settlement of Wisby on Gothland (Gottland) becomes autonomous, and establishes an offshoot in Novgorod in St. Peter's Yard, becoming the launching point for Russian trade.In 1204 Constantinople is captured by the Latin Crusaders, ending trade with Kiev, causing it to further decline until its final destruction by the Mongols in 1240.
In 1210 Yaroslav II Vsevolodovich (1191-1246) is sent by his daddy Vsevolod III to fight Mstislav the Bold of Novgorod, but after several battles they make peace in 1214 and Yaroslav secretly marries his daughter Rostislava Mstislava (maternal granddaughter of Kotian Khan); too bad, they divorce in 1216. In 1212 Vladimir grand prince (since 1177) Vsevolod III the Big Nest (b. 1154) dies, and his 3rd son Yuri (Gyorgy) II Vsevolodovich (1189-1238) becomes grand prince #4 of Vladimir (until 1216), getting into a war with dispossessed #1 son Konstantin Vsevolodovich (1186-1218), who allies with Mstislav the Bold against him; meanwhile #4 son Yaroslav Vsevolodovich is bequeathed Pereslavl-Zalessky, and allies with Yuri II. Yaroslav Vsevolodovich accepts an offer to become prince of Novgorod, but decides to put revenge first and captures Torzhok in order to block grain supplies, causing Mstislav the Bold to defeat him at the Battle of the Lipitsa River; Yaroslav loses a helmet in the battle, which is recovered by archaeologists in 1808.On Apr. 22, 1216 the Battle of Lipitsa sees Konstantin Vsevolodovich allied with Mstislav the Bold defeat Yuri II and take the throne of Vladimir (until 1218); meanwhile the infighting in Russia softens it up for the coming Mongol invasion?
In 1221 Mongol leader Genghis Khan (1162-1227) sends his gens. Chepe and Subotai on a recon mission with 20K horsemen through the whole of Persia, the Caucasus, the Carpathians, and into Russia, where by 1223 they virtually obliterate a Russian army of 80K; after each battle each Mongol soldier is assigned to kill 50 captives with a battle axe and collect the right ears in sacks for counting; "They had trampled on the nations which opposed their passage, penetrated through the gates of Derbent, traversed the Volga and the desert, and accomplished the circuit of the Caspian Sea, by an expedition which had never been attempted, and has never been repeated" - Edward Gibbon, Ch. 64; apocalyptic rumors of Mongolian hordes travel as far as Britain and France.
In Apr. 1223 Genghis Khan sends 10 ambassadors to Russian grand prince of Kiev (since 1212) Mystislav III Romanovich the Old (b. ?), who has them summarily executed, pissing-off the Mongols, who under Subitai invade S Russia from the Transcaucasus region, and defeat a coalition of Russians and Cumans at the Battle of the Kalka River in modern-day Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine near the Sea of Azov, capturing Mystislav III; "At the end of the campaign, Subodei and Jebe led their soldiers down to spend a relaxing spring in the Crimea on the Black Sea. They celebrated their victory with a great drunken party that lasted for days. The guest of honor was the defeated Prince Mstislav and his two sons-in-law, but their treatment showed how much the Mongols had changed since the time of Genghis Khan. The Mongols wrapped the three of them in felt rugs, as befitted high-ranking aristocrats, and stuffed them beneath the floorboards of their ger, thereby slowly, but bloodlessly, crushing the men as the Mongols drank and sang through the night on the floor above them. It was important to the Mongols that the Russians understand the severe penalty for killing ambassadors, and it was equally as important for the Mongol leaders to reaffirm to their own men the extent to which they would always be willing to go to avenge the unjust killing of a Mongol."
In 1236 the Mongols return to Russia and subjugate it over the next four years, sending spies deeper into Europe; Prince Yaroslav of Novgorod takes the advice of Danylo of Halych and moves to Kiev, after which his 4th son (St.) Alexander Nevsky (Nevski) (1220-63) is unexpectedly invited by the people of Novgorod to become their grand prince to defend them from pesky German and Swedish invaders. In 1237 the Mongols under Batu Khan sweep over S and C Russia, take Ryazan and Vladimir, then come within 60 mi. of Novgorod, and capture and sack Moscow; grand prince Yuri II of Vladimir barely escapes to Yaroslavl after his wife Agatha and family die in a collapsing church. In 1239 the Tartars (Mongols) lay waste to Serbia, Bosnia, and Bulgaria, then retreat to Russia so that Batu Khan can seriously enjoy the city and palace of Seria; meanwhile Batu's brother Sheibani conquers Siberia with 15K Mongol families, with capital at Tobolsk for the next three cents.
They may all be blonde, but some swing east and some swing west? On July 15, 1240 after a Swedish army under Jarl Magnusson (Birger Jarl) (1210-66) lands at the confluence of the Izhora and Neva Rivers at the request of Pope Gregory IX to punish the Eastern Orthodox Russians for helping the Finns avoid conversion to Roman Catholicism, 19-y.-o. grand prince (since 1236) (St.) Alexander Nevsky (Nevski) (1220-63) of Novgorod surprise-attacks and defeats their larger army at the Battle of the Neva River (near modern-day St. Petersburg); Alexander gains the name Nevsky (of the Neva) and Khrabry (valiant); too bad, this makes the boyars jealous and he soon has to leave Novgorod.
They may all be swarthy, but some swing north and some swing south? On Dec. 6, 1240 after a 2-week siege the Mongols under Golden Horde leader and founder (1227) Batu Khan (1205-55) (grandson of Genghis Khan) capture and raze Kiev, "mother of Russian cities", and slaughter its pop., permitting Muscovite Russia to emerge as dominant while clearing the Mongol path W to Europe; the Kievan Era of Russian history ends - and Russian babies start developing those Mongolian features?
In spring 1241 after Novgorod is invaded by the Livonian Knights, Alexander Nevsky is invited to return from exile, and gathers an army which drives them out, after which the latter regroup and bring in their heavy guns for a final conflict.
On Apr. 5, 1242 with the pesky Mongols gone and the popeless Roman clergy getting ideas about kicking some heretic Russian Orthodox butt and forcing them to accept the True Faith, the Roman Catholic Church-backed Livonian Knights (Brothers of the Sword) coming from Riga in the SW, led by Magister Hermann (brother of Albert of Buxhoeveden) get a shock at the Battle of Lake Peipus (Battle of the Ice) when Alexander Nevsky's foot soldiers swarm and defeat well-armored knights (a first in Middle Age history, setting the precedent for Russian generals using their troops like cannon fodder against the Germans?), killing only a few before they give up and flee (later inflated into hundreds by Russian chroniclers), checking the E expansion of the hated German Huns and their Roman Catholic priests for the next cent.; portrayed from the Russian side in Sergei Eisenstein's 1938 film Alexander Nevsky.
Meanwhile in 1242 at the Mongol kuraltai it is decided that the grazing grounds of Hungary aren't rich enough, so the Kipchaks (Tartars) under Batu Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan move their herds into the steppes of S Russia on the Lower Volga River, where they form the Khanate of the Golden Horde, with capital at Sarai NW of the Caspian Sea, which acts as suzerain of all Russia for the next two cents., while respecting the Russian Church and leaving the princes in control; a rebellion in Chuvashia is bloodily suppressed by 40K Mongol warriors - nobody doesn't like Sarai? Also in 1242 the Mongol invasion of Poland guts it so bad that large numbers of German settlers are called in, colonizing new areas in Silesia and Posen (Poznan); meanwhile the principalities of Galicia and Volynia in W Russia begin to come under Lithuanian suzerainty, evolving into the Ukrainian and Belorussian peoples.
In 1252 Alexander Nevsky submits to Tartar (Mongol) rule, and is appointed grand prince of Vladimir by Sartaq Khan, working to stop insurrections as he plays the Tartars off against the Roman Catholics; the Mongols were really pagan Russian tribes, and Nevsky was working to unite the Christian part of Russia under himself by painting them as the Boogey Man to the stupid Roman Catholics?
In Oct. 1253 Pope Innocent IV returns to Rome; Russian prince Daniel of Galicia (Volynia_ (1201-64) sells out the Russian Church to him to secure aid for a crusade against the Tartars, but it fizzles.
In 1259 the Novgorod Uprising by the boyars is crushed by Alexander Nevsky.
In the 1260s the Second Pskovian Chronicle is written, containing the soundbyte about their hero Alexander Nevsky: "He was taller than the others, his voice was like a trumpet, and his face was like that of Joseph, whom the Pharaoh placed second after him. His power was like Sampson and his wisdom like Solomon. Prince Alexander defeats but is never defeated."
About 1260 the Borzoi (Russian Wolfhound) breed of sight hound is created in Russia from a cross between a Saluki and native Russian breed, or by crossing an Arabian greyhound with a Russian collie; they become a favorite of the Russian tsars.
In 1262 the Russian word "shakmatny" (mate of the shah) (checkmate) for chess is coined.
On Nov. 14, 1263 grand prince (since 1236) Alexander Nevsky (b. 1220) dies in the town of Gorodets on the Volga River on his way back home from the Golden Horde, and his son Dmitri Alexandrovich (1250-94) becomes grand prince of Vladimir and Novgorod (until 1293) - kissing Mongol foot like his daddy did?
In spring 1315 bad weather leads to the Great Famine of 1315-17, which kills millions in Europe from Ireland to Italy and Russia, causing cannibalism, infanticide, disease, and crime, ending the period of growth and prosperity begun in the 11th cent.
In 1323 Oroshek (Orekhov) Fortress on Orokhovets (Swedish "nuts") Island is built by Novgorod Prince Yuri to guard the N approaches to Novgorod incl. access to the Baltic Sea; in 1702 it is renamed Shlisselburg (Schlusselburg) (Ger. "key fortress").
On Nov. 21, 1325 Ivan I Danilovich (Kalita) (1288-1340) becomes grand duke (prince) of Moscow (until 1340), collecting taxes as a vassal of the Tartars, earning him the nickname Kalita ("moneybags"), then loaning it out at interest to get them in trouble and annex their lands; he goes on to move the capital from Vladimir to Moscow.
In 1325 at the urging of Ivan I, the metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church moves his see from Kiev to Moscow, making it the nat. religious capital.
On Mar. 31, 1340 grand prince (since 1328) Ivan I (b. 1288) dies, and on Mar. 31 his eldest son Simeon Ivanovich (Gyordi) (the Proud) (1316-53) becomes grand prince of Moscow (until Apr. 27, 1353), claiming the title of prince of all Russia (until 1353), and going on to take on the pesky Lithuanians, using an old treaty with their allies the Mongols to make the Mongol khan give him some Lithuanian POWs to use as hostages.
In 1345 after they return from military campaigns in Ruthenia, Jaunutis is deposed by his pagan elder brothers Olgerd (Algirdas) (1296-1377) and Kestutis (1297-1382), and Olgerd (Algirdas) becomes grand duke (until 1377), with Kestutis defending the pesky W border, working together to extend their duchy from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, reaching within 50 mi. of Moscow after unsuccessfully sieging it.
In 1346 the Tatars catapult plague-infected corpses into an Italian trade settlement in the Crimea.
In 1351 the Black Death (begun 1347) reaches Russia, but suddenly begins to decline after 25M-75M are killed throughout Europe; the new reduced pop. mix leads to political and social upheavals, incl. the enclosure of land for sheep raising, accumulation of great fortunes (causing the baronage to lose status), an increase of uppityness of the yeomanry, and an increase in conspicuous consumption (bigger houses, etc.)?
On Apr. 27, 1353 grand duke (since 1340) Simeon the Proud (b. 1316) dies of the plague after taking monastic vows, and on Apr. 27 his son Ivan II (Krasny) (the Beautiful) (1326-59) becomes grand duke (prince) of Moscow (until Nov. 13, 1359); his rule is dominated by his ministers, who seek to preserve the territorial gains of his father - imperialism is the essence of Russia?
In 1360 9-y.-o. (St.) Dmitri II Donskoi (1350-89) becomes grand duke of Moscow (until 1389), with Metropolitan Alexis as regent; meanwhile the khan gives the higher title of grand prince of Vladimir to Dmitri Konstantinovich (1324-83) of Nizhny Novgorod (until 1363). In 1363 Dmitri Konstantinovich is deposed, and Dmitri Donskoi is crowned grand duke of Vladimir (until 1389), marrying Konstantinovich's daughter Eudoxia in 1366.
In 1367 Dmitri II Donskoi builds the first stone Kremlin (fort) in Moscow, after which all other city developments encircle it in concentric rings.
In 1368 the Lithuanians under grand duke (since 1345) Olgerd (Algirdas) (-1377) siege Moscow, but are thrown back by grand duke (since 1360) Dmitri II.
In 1370 the Lithuanians siege Moscow again.
In 1372 the Lithuanians siege Moscow for a 3rd time (first in 1368), then in the summer sign the Treaty of Lyubutsk, ending the Lithuanian-Muscovite War (begun 1368), bringing seven years of peace.
On Dec. 2, 1375 after longtime pressure from Lithuanian grand prince (since 1345) Algirdas (Olgerd) (1296-1377) and Polish king Casimir III over the failure of aging Russian metropolitan Alexis (-1378) to tend to any flock but Moscow's, Constantinople patriarch Philotheos (-1377) consecrates Bulgarian Hesychast monk Cyprian (1336-1406) as metropolitan of Kiev, Russia, and Lithuania, with the provision that he will reunite his metropolitanate with Moscow upon Alexis' death; too bad, Philotheos dies before Alexis.
In 1375 Dmitri Donskoi defeats Mikhail II of Tver, cementing his control of Vladimir, allowing him to gather troops to take on the Mongol Horde.
In 1376 Dmitri Donskoi and Dmitri Konstantinovich join armies and ravage Volga Bulgaria.
Time to cave? In spring 1378 after St. Alexius (b. 1295) dies, Bulgarian Hesychast Cyprian (1336-1406) travels from Constantinople to Moscow to become its metropolitan under the terms of a decree of deposed patriarch Philotheos, and in June he reaches the gates of Moscow, only to be blocked by orders of grand duke Dmitri II Donskoi, which doesn't stop him from sneaking in and getting consecrated as metropolitan of Kiev and Lithuania by Philotheos, only to be imprisoned then booted out so that a separate metropolitan for Great Russia (Moscow and environs) can be set up, with Mityai as patriarch #1; in 1389 Moscow finally accepts Cyprian as metropolitan of All Russia.
On Aug. 11, 1378 the Battle of the Vozha River is a V for the Russians under Dmitri Donskoi over a Mongol Golden Horde army sent by Khan Mamai to punish them for increasing their power in disobedience, becoming the first major V by the Russies over the Golden Horde, exposing the vulnerability of the Tatar cavalry.
In spring 1379 after being robbed on the Danube River, then visiting patriarch Euthymius of Turnovo, Bulgarian-born metropolitan of Kiev Cyprian arrives back in Constantinople, and shortly thereafter John V and Manuel II break out of prison with Venetian and Turkish help, causing Andronicus IV to flee by rowboat across the Golden Horn to the Genoese quarter in Galata along with his mother Helena and her aging father John VI Cantacuzene, after which patriarch Macarios is deposed, with Cyprian signing the deposition orders, and uttering he soundbyte: "I could not go out of it [Constantinople] because the imperial city was beleagured by much disorder and trouble; the sea was held by the Latins [warring Venetians and Genoese], whereas the dry ground was controlled by the God-hating Turks"; meanwhile boyar-backed Moscow metropolitan Mityai travels unsuspecting to Constantinople, stopping to receive support from the Golden Horde in Sarai, then suddenly drops dead before reaching it, causing the Muscovites to forge documents making priest Pimen (-1389) the new metropolitan, then learning of the fall of Macarios and turning back to Moscow; meanwhile Patriarch Euthemius of Turnovo launches the Second Slavic Influence (first was by Cyril and Methodius), an infusion of Hesychasm into easy-sell Russia, along with an effort to replace obsolete Church Slavonic.
In spring 1380 Hesychast Neilos (Nilus) Kerameus (-1388) becomes patriarch of Constantinople (until 1388), convening a synod to decide the metropolitanate of Moscow after the death of St. Alexius (1295-1378); Moscow grand prince (since 1359) (St.) Dmitri II Donskoi (1359-89) chooses priest Mikhail (Mityaya), who wants Metropolitans to be enthroned in Russia than Constantinople, causing him to be accused of heresy, but dies last year on his way to Constantinople, and after baksheesh from Donskoi (cash from the Genoese and Turks), he decides to give it to Bulgarian-born Hesychast Cyprian (1330-1406), who is sacked for fleeing from Moscow as the Blue Horde approached in 1379, causing Pimen the Greek (-1389) to become metropolitan of Kiev and Great Russia in 1382-4, until it is discovered that he used forged letters from Grand Prince Dmitri II Donski, pissing-off Donskoi, who refuses to accept him, after which St. Dionysius I (1300-85), bishop of Suzdal (since 1374), who went to Constantinople to beg for Pimen's deposition is appointed in his place in 1384, but is arrested in Kiev at the orders of Prince Vladimir Olgerdovich at the insistence of Cyprian, dying on Oct. 15, 1385 without taking possession of his see; in 1390 Vasili II allows Cyprian to return to Moscow, and he is appointed metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia (until Sept. 16, 1406), going on to unite the Russian church with the grand duchy of Lithuania.
On Sept. 8, 1380 after they decide not to pay the annual tribute, drawing an invasion, the Russians under Moscow grand prince (since 1359) (St.) Dmitri II Donskoi (1359-89) win a V against the Tartar Golden Horde under Khan Mamai at the Battle of Kulikovo (Kulikov) on the Upper Don River 200 mi. S of Moscow, becoming the first Russian V since the Mongol Conquest, although the Mongols return two years later to capture Moscow and put it under the Tartar Yoke, and continue to have the upper hand for the next cent.; the Lithuanian army under Jagiello agrees to aid Mamai, but reneges at the last minute, becoming the decisive factor; Dmitri II gets the name Donskoi ("of the Don") for the big V; after rival gen. Tokhtamysh (-1406) dethrones and kills Mamai, the Russian Orthodox Church begins celebrating a memorial for the battle on the Sat. before the Feast of St. Demetrius (d. 306); after learning that he rushed N to talk Jagiello into betraying Mamai, Dmitri II flops on Cyprian, inviting him to become metropolitan of Moscow, and imprisoning Pimen.
In spring 1381 Cyprian returns to Moscow to cheers, becoming its metropolitan, taking care to minister to Little Russia incl. Kiev, and writing The Life of Peter (the first metropolitan of Moscow), building up Moscow as the divinely-ordained center of Russian Orthodoxy, and Dmitri II Donskoi's line as the legitimate heirs of Kievan rule and rightful rulers of all Orthodox Russians.
In 1382 the Mongols under Tokhtamysh capture Moscow in a surprise attack, sack and burn it, and get Dmitri Donskoi to flop and pledge allegiance and restore the tribute payment - gimme your white wimmin?
In 1386 the Genovese Embassy introduces aqua vitae (water of life) to the Moscow Grand Duchy, acquainting them with the "pernicious drink" (good antifreeze for the blood?) Vodka - so the Italians did to the Russkies what the Euros did to the American Indians?
On May 19, 1389 grand duke (since 1363) Dmitri Donskoi (b. 1350) dies after becoming the first Russian grand duke to bequeath his titles without consulting the Mongol khan, and his son Vasilii (Basil) I (1371-1425) becomes grand duke of vodka-chugging Moskva (Moscow) (until 1425).
In 1425 grand duke (since 1389) Vasilii I (b. 1371) dies, and his son Vasilii II (the Dark) (the Blinded) (d. 1462) becomes grand duke of Moscow (until 1462).
In 1437 Byzantine emperor (since 1421) John VIII Palaeologus (1392-1448) appoints Latin-speaking theologian Isidore of Kiev (Thessalonica) (1385-1463) as metropolitan of Kiev, Moscow, and all Russia in an attempt to unite the Russian Orthodox Church with the Roman Catholic Church and gain Constantinople's protection against the Ottomans; Russian grand prince Vasily II doesn't accept him, but Isidore of Kiev still manages to talk him into allying with Roman Catholicism to save the Byzantine Empire and the Orthodox Church of Constantinople, and receives funding from him. In Mar. 1440 Isidore of Kiev pub. an encyclical in Buda calling on all Russian bishops to accept the new union with the Roman Catholic Church struck in the 1439 Councils of Ferrara and Florence, but at the command of grand duke Vasily II six Russian bishops hold a synod and despose Isidore, after which he is imprisoned, escaping in Sept. 1443 and ending up in Rome. In 1448 the Moscow and Kiev churches begin to separate, the former going with the Eastern Orthodox Church and the latter with the Roman Catholic Church.
In 1453 the Muslim Ottoman Turks finally capture the 1K-y.-o. Christian stronghold of Constantinople, making the Orthodox ecumenical patriarch a virtual prisoner in the Phanar (Fenar) (Fener) (Turk. "lantern") neighborhood midway up the Golden Horn, known for a columnar monument topped with a lantern.
On Mar. 27, 1462 grand duke (since Feb. 27, 1425) Vasilii (Basil) II (b. 1415) dies, and on Apr. 5 his son Ivan III Vasilievich (the Great) (1440-1505) becomes grand duke (prince) of Moscow in Russia, going on to unify the principalities of Russia around the nat. capital of Moscow and become Russia's first tsar (czar) (caesar); meanwhile serfs fleeing his oppression head to the Don River basin, becoming known as Cossacks.
In 1472 Russian grand prince (since 1462) Ivan III of Moscow marries Sophia Palaeologus, niece of late Byzantine emperor Constantine XI Palaeologus (who fell in 1453 on the walls of Constantinople), establishing himself as the protector of the Orthodox Christian Church, adding the double-headed eagle of the ancient Roman, Byzantine, and Holy Roman emperors to his personal coat of arms, and proceeding to set himself up as tsar (czar) (caesar) (although he doesn't officially call himself that?), with a regime modeled on the autocratic Byzantines with its own Russian code of law, drastically curtailing the Russian aristocrats, who have to kiss his hiney and call him Ivan III the Great; meanwhile after being put up to it by Ivan's enemy grand duke Casimir IV of Lithuania, Akhmat, khan of the Golden Horde attacks Ivan's principality and destroys the city of Aleksin. In 1473 the Moscow Grand Duchy imposes a monopoly on vodka production and sales - drink up and pay your liquor taxes? In 1478 Ivan III of Moscow subdues Novgorod, annexing it and acquiring all of N Russia from Lapland to the Urals. In Nov. 1480 after Ivan III the Great (1440-1505) of Moscow tells the Tartar Great Horde Khan Akhmat to stuff it and refuses the customary tribute payment, causing Akhmat to pass through the Lithuanian territories of his ally Casimir IV to the Muscovite border on the Ugra River, Ivan II makes use of artillery to defeat his horseback archers and turn them back, ending Moscow's subservience to the Tartars. In 1482 Ivan III officially renounces the Mongol khanate rule over Russia. In 1492 Ivan III forms an alliance with Crimean khan (since 1466) Menli I Girai (Giray) (1445-1515) and invades S Lithuania in an attempt to increase his domains, starting the First Russian-Lithuanian War, which ends with a truce and the marriage of Ivan III's daughter Elena to grand duke Alexander.
In 1500 after Polish prince Alexander Jagiellon (1461-1506) of Lithuania tries to force a number of Orthodox nobles to convert to Roman Catholicism incl. his wife Elena (Ivan III's daughter), Ivan III invades the Lithuanian borderlands again, taking Toropets and Dorogobuzh, and starting the Second Russian-Lithuanian War (ends 1503); on July 14 after the Russians fail to take Smolensk, the Battle of Vedrosha on the Vedrosha River 30 mi. W of Kaluga sees 40K Russians under Prince Daniil Vasiliyevich Shchenya (-1519) defeat 40K Polish-Lithuanian forces under hetman (since 1497) Konstanty Iwanowicz Ostrogski (1460-1530), killing 8K and taking many POWs, incl. Ostrogski, who escapes after three years; the Russians conquer Bryansk and turn it into a fortress. In 1503 after the Crimean Tartars pillage the S Lithuanian towns of Slutsk, Kletsk, and Nesvizh and threaten Vilnius, grand duke Alexander Jagiello of Lithuania agrees to a truce with Ivan III of Moscow, ending the Second Russian-Lithuanian War (begun 1500), giving Russia about one-third of the grand duchy, incl. the area around the Upper Oka River, Smolensk, and a score of other towns (Vyazma, Chernihiv, Novhorod-Siverskyi), but keeping the Lithuanian borderlands; Poland surrenders the left bank of the Dnieper River to Russia; the pissed-off Lithuanian nobles appeal to Poland for military aid, leading to continuing wars through the 1560s.
In 1505 grand duke (since 1462) Ivan III the Great (b. 1440) dies, and his son Vasily (Vasilii) III (1479-1533) becomes grand duke of Muscovy (Moscow) and "sovereign of all Russia" (until 1533). In Apr. 1507 Vasili III of Russia invades Lithuania with two armies, starting the Third Russian-Lithuanian War (ends 1508); the Crimean khan defects to the Polish-Lithuanian side; marshal Michael (Mikhail) Lvovich Glinski (1470-1534) of Lithuania revolts and attempts to turn Vilnius to Russia, but is defeated. On Oct. 8, 1508 after Michael Glinski is defeated at Minsk and Orsha, and the Polish-Lithuanian army forces the Russians to retreat, Tsar Vasili III signs an Eternal Peace Treaty with Lithuania, rolling the territorial boundaries back to 1503.
On Jan. 29, 1510 Pskov, Russia's last free repub. loses its charter. In 1512 the Fourth Russian-Lithuanian War over White Russia (ends 1522) begins after Russia invades Lithuania again and unsuccessfully sieges Smolensk, after which the Lithuanians under grand hetman (since 1497) Konstanty Iowanowicz Ostrogski (1460-1530) ravage Severia, and defeat the Crimean Tartars on Apr. 28 in the Battle of Wisniowiec, causing them to ally with Lithuania and begin devastating Russian territories. In 1513 the Polish-Lithuanian army drives the Russians from Vitebsk and Polotsk. On Sept. 8, 1514 after the Russians take Smolensk, the Battle of Orsha is a V for 35K Lithuanians under Konstanty Ostrogski over 80K Russians under Vasily III, which is used for anti-Russian propaganda in Europe. In Mar. 1515 Russia forms an alliance with the Livonian Knights, but fails to take Vitebsk. In 1516 the Poles take Velikiye Luki and Toropets from the Russians. In 1517 a Lithuanian-Polish expedition to Pskov ends in defeat at the Siege of Opochka; meanwhile the Crimean Tartars devastate Russian territories again; Russia annexes the town of Ryazan on the Oka River. In 1518 the Siege of Polotsk by the Russians is broken after Lithuanian forces allegedly have a sighting of their patron saint St. Casimir Jagiellon (1458-84). In 1519 the Russians ravage Kreva in Belarus; meanwhile the Crimean Tartars attack Lviv in Ukraine and Lublin in Poland. In 1522 the Fourth Russian-Lithuanian War (begun 1512) ends with Lithuania ceding about a quarter of its Ruthenian possessions to Russia, incl. Smolensk, with the Dnieper River established as their new border.
On Dec. 3, 1533 grand duke (since 1505) Vasily III (b. 1479) dies of a gangrenous boil, and his 3-y.-o. enfante terrible son Ivan IV (the Terrible) (1530-84) (named after grandfather Ivan III the Great) becomes grand duke of Moscow (until Jan. 16, 1574), with his mother as regent, followed by others until 1543. Son of an unsanctified marriage after daddy Vasily goes childless for 20 years and weds a young fertile babe, a religious prophet predicts that the young tyke will make Russia run with rivers of blood. He grows up watching the boyars fight and steal Moscow blind, learning to hate them.
In winter 1534 the strife between Ivan IV's regent and the Russian govt. gives Lithuanian grand hetman (since 1531) Jerzy Radziwill (1480-1541) his chance to invade Severia with a 20K-man army in an attempt to recover the territories lost to Vasily III, causing three Russian armies under Prince Vasily Shuisky and Prince Ovchina-Telepnev-Obolensky to invade Lithuania, and advance as far as Vilnius and Navahrudak (Naugarduka) (in Belarus), building the fortress of Ivangorod on the Sbezh River.
In 1537 the Lithuanians allied with the Crimean Tartars ravage the Ryazan region, while a 7K-man Polish force under Jan Tarnowski defeats the Russians at the Battle of Starodub on the Babinets River after the voevoda is captured and 13K inhabitants are massacred, then overrun Severia and Gomel (Homel) in Belarus; the Russians counterattack, defeating a 40K-man Lithuanian army at the Battle of Sebezh, then build the fortress of Velizh and devastate the suburbs of Vitebsk, causing a 5-year ceasfire to be signed, granting Gomel to Lithuania, and Sebezh and Velizh to Russia.
On Dec. 29, 1543 the reign of Ivan IV the Terrible in Russia begins when he tells his regents to stuff it and calls his boyars together, then orders boyar leader Prince Shishkabobsky, er, Andrei Shuisky thrown into a pit of starving dogs; the Russian term Grozny actually means Awesome (a term of respect) not Terrible, although he amply lives up to the latter name through his violent unpredictable behavior? - how about Gross? On Jan. 16, 1547 17-y.-o. Ivan IV the Terrible is crowned the first official "tsar (czar) [Caesar] of all the Russias", going on to centralize, reform, and expand the Russian state until he goes off the deep end in 1560.
In 1550 Tsar Ivan IV convokes the Zemski Sobor (Russ. "estates general"), Russia's first Duma (nat. representative assembly), and begins a comprehensive modernization and revision of the Russian law code - what's that stamped on you Cossacks' foreheads, the word Dumas?
In 1552 Ivan IV the Terrible conquers the Muslim Tartar khanate of Kazan, key to the Lower Volga River, Siberia, and Persia, then begins conquering Astrakhan (finished 1556), going on to avg. 50 sq. mi. a day, highest rate of land grabbing until the U.S. rush to the Pacific Coast.
In 1553 Sebastian Cabot (1476-1557), son of John Cabot (d. 1498) convinces merchants to back him in an expedition sailing NE from England, above Scandinavia, in a fruitless search for a northeast passage; Sir Hugh Willoughby (-1554) of the Bona Esperanza, Cabot of the Bona Confidentia, and Richard Chancellor (-1556) of the Edward Bonaventure, backed by the Mystery Co. and Fellowship of Merchant Adventurers for the Discovery of Unknown Lands of London sail to the Arctic; after being separated by "terrible whirlwinds", on Sept. 14 Willoughby sails into a bay between Russia and Finland, and discovers Novaya Zemlya, while Cabot returns to England, and Chancellor anchors in the White Sea and trudges overland to Moscow to the court of Ivan IV the Terrible, where he is warmly welcomed, wined, and dined, opening English trade with Russia; Willoughby dies during the winter on the Kola Peninsula on the Lapland coast early next year, and the frozen bodies of him and his crew, along with his journals are found by fisherman a year later. In 1555 Richard Chancellor returns to London, and forms the Muscovy Co., the first major English joint stock trading co. with Sebastian Cabot to trade English wool for Russian furs, returning to Moscow via Archangel, then discussing routes to China. In fall 1556 Richard Chancellor returns from Russia with Osep Nepeja, the first Russian ambassador to England; too bad, on Nov. 7 Chancellor dies in a wreck at Pitslago off the coast of Scotland, but the ambassador makes it to London.
In 1556 Ivan IV the Terrible conquers the Tartar khanate of Astrakhan, bringing the Volga River within Russia's borders; the last khanate, the Crimea holds out until 1783. In 1557 the Livonian (First Northern) War begins (ends 1583) when Poland, Russia, Sweden, and Denmark get in a dispute over succession and territory; Ivan IV the Terrible invades Livonia; the Swedes take Estonia, and the Danes take part of Courland. On May 11, 1558 after Ivan the Terrible defeats the Livonian Knights on ?, who place Livonia under Lithuanian protection, thus starting the Livonian War (ends 1582), Narva is captured by the Russians, causing Ivangorod to become the main Russian seaport on the Baltic coast.
On Aug. 7, 1560 Ivan IV the Terrible's not-so-terrible first wife Anastasia (Gr. "resurrection") Romanovna (1530-60) dies, causing him to lose it and turn against his advisers and the boyars, whom he blames for her death; his reign starts to tank as he becomes a bitter insane sadistic tyrant who never forgets, and begins surrounding himself with a select group of noblemen whom he allows to exercise despotic power over his domain?
In 1563 the Russians conquer part of Livonia incl. Polotsk; it is returned to Lithuania in 1578. In 1565 Ivan IV the Terrible creates the Oprichnina, an order of black-cowled oprichniks (the original Dark Riders?), who instill terror throughout Russia.
On Nov. 19, 1580 in a fit of insane rage, 50-y.-o. Russian tsar Ivan IV the Terrible (b. 1530) strikes and kills his son and heir (tsarevich) Ivan V with his iron staff - you can't please everyone so you got to please yourself? In Aug-Sept. 1581 a 70K-man Polish-Lithuanian army under Polish king Stephan Bathory invades Russia and defeats Ivan IV the Terrible in the Battle of Pskov, forcing him to cede Livonia on the Baltic; on Sept. 6 the Swedes recapture Narva; the town of Pskov remains unconquered. Also in 1581 the Russians double the size of their territory by taking control of the Tartar Khanate of Siberia (1581-98) via Cossack hetman Ermak Timofeev, becoming the sole achievement of Crazy Ivan IV since his wifey croaked in 1560. In 1582 after Italian Jesuit papal legate Antonio Possevino (1533-1611) mediates, the 10-year Peace of Jam-Zapolski is signed, ending the Livonian War (begun 1558); Ivan IV the Terrible loses the Russian lands around the Gulf of Finland and on the W and N shores of Lake Ladoga to Sweden; Sweden gets Estonia; Poland gets Latvia; Russia loses access to the Baltic.
On Mar. 18, 1584 after becoming overwhelmed with guilt and remorse and entering a religious order of hermits under the name of Jonah, tsar (since 1533) Ivan IV the Terrible (b. 1530) dies, his kingdom on the verge of anarchy, and his feebleminded son Fyodor (Theodore) I (the Bellringer) (1557-98) becomes tsar of Russia (until Jan. 7, 1598); Boris Godunov (1551-1605), brother of his wife, whom Ivan IV had appointed guardian and regent becomes the #1 big man in Russia and head of state, colonizing Siberia and becoming the first Russian ruler to exile political enemies there; meanwhile Ivan IV's other son Dmitri (-1591) waits in the wings, but is declared illegitimate and banished from Moscow because he is the son of Ivan's 8th wife, and the Orthodox Church only recognizes the right to have three - mama don't take my cold old throne away?
On Feb. 26, 1590 the Baltic seaport of Ivangorod is returned to Russia. On Jan. 7, 1598 tsar (since 1584) Fyodor I the Ding-Dong, er, Bellringer (b. 1557) dies, and Boris Godunov seizes the throne (until Apr. 13, 1605), and is formally elected tsar of Russia by the Zemsky Sobor (nat. assembly); the Rurik Dynasty in Russia comes to an end, and the Time of Troubles begins (ends 1613) as the lack of an heir to the throne leaves it open to invasion by Swedish and Polish armies, while Cossack bands run riot, slaughtering officials and nobles; Godunov banishes the Romanovs, attempts to Westernize Russia, and strengthens commerce while running a spy service with a horde of informers; the Russian Orthodox Church is established.
In 1600 False Dmitri I (-1606) (real name Yuri Otrepiev), who claims to be Ivan IV the Terrible's murdered son Dmitri appears in Poland, winning support by next year for an invasion of Russia. In 1603 a famine in Russia kills tens of thousands, causing Tsar Boris Gudonov to distribute grain from palace granaries. In 1604 Polish and Cossack-backed False Dmitri I invades Russia along with thousands of supporters, but is defeated by Tsar Boris Godunov. Meanwhile in 1604 Russia begins settling Siberia, founding the town of Tomsk on the Tom River (modern pop. 150K) - who needs Virginia?
On Apr. 13, 1605 (Apr. 23 Old Style) tsar (since 1598) Boris Godunov (b. 1551) dies suddenly in the midst of the civil war, and is succeeded as tsar by his 16-y.-o. well-educated son Fyodor II Borisovich Godunov (1589-1605) (author of the first map of Russia drawn by a native); too bad, on July 1 envoys of False Dmitri I publicly read letters against him in Red Square, and on July 20 he is strangled along with his mother by four assassins; on July 21 after he enters Moscow, False Dmitri I (-1606) is crowned tsar of Russia (until 1606), the first of three False Dmitris.
On May 17, 1606 False Dmitri I is killed in Moscow by an insurrection led by boyar Vasily Ivanovich Shuisky, who is elected tsar Vasily IV (1552-1612). In 1609 Zygmunt (Sigismund) III Vasa of Poland invades Russia to put his son Wladyslaw (Vladislav) IV (1595-1648) on the Russian throne (ends 1618).
In 1610 False Dmitri II is killed; the Poles capture Moscow and depose Tsar (since 1606) Visily IV Shuisky, and Zygmunt III Vasa's son Wladyslaw IV Vasa (1595-1648) is declared Russian tsar by the Seven Boyars, but his daddy Sigismund III Vasa nixes it after a popular uprising, although he keeps the title of grand duke of Muscovy until 1634; the town of Smolensk holds out. Meanwhile in 1610 Russian Cossacks begin conquering Siberia while exploring the coasts and rivers (until 1648), reaching the mouth of the Yenisey River this year, which in 1619 is set as Russia's E border; C Siberia is a tougher nut and takes 30+ years. On Nov. 7, 1612 Moscow is liberated from Polish invaders, causing the Russians to begin commemorating that day as Russian Independence Day; on Dec. 3 the Russian fortress of Ivangorod surrenders to the Swedes after 6 mo. of resistance; False Dmitri III is strangled.
On Feb. 21, 1613 after False Dmitri IV is beheaded, 17-y.-o. Michael I (Mikhail Fyodorovich Romanov) (1596-1645), son of patriarch Filaret of Moscow and Great Nun Martha (Xenia) is elected as Russian tsar #1 (until July 12, 1645) of the Romanov Dynasty (ends Mar. 15, 1917), which rules for the next 300 years, ending the Time of Troubles; the Romanovs bring about a total enserfment of the people, while the church becomes dependent on the state for its authority - it's worth having a good simple black suit in your wardrobe?
In 1614 Swedish king (1611-32) Gustavus (Gustav) Adolphus II Wasa (1594-1632) captures Novgorod from the Russians.
In 1617 the Swedish-Russian War ends with the Treaty of Stolbova, and Sweden becomes supreme ruler of the Baltic Sea; Gustavus II Adolphus recognizes Tsar Michael I, returns Novgorod, and obtains E Karelia (Carelia) and Ingria, cutting Russia off from the Baltic.
On Apr. 30, 1632 Sigismund III Vasa (b. 1566) dies, and his son Wladyslaw (Vladislav) (Ladislas) IV (1595-1648) becomes king of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (until 1648), being elected with opposition, then pursuing a policy diametrically opposed to his daddy's, unsuccessfully attempting to restrict the power of the Jesuits and starting a war with Russia (ends 1634).
On June 14, 1634 the Treaty of Polianovska (Polianov) is signed, and Wladyslaw IV of Poland renounces his claims to Russia in return for the Smolensk region. In 1634 smoking is outlawed in Russia by Tsar Michael I.
On July 12, 1645 (July 23 Old Style) tsar (since 1613) Michael I Romanov (b. 1596) dies, and his son Alexis I (1629-76) becomes Russian Romanov tsar #2 (until Jan. 29, 1676).
On Oct. 24, 1648 (Sat.) the Thirty Years' War between the Holy Roman (Catholic) Imperial Crown and the Protestant Princes of Europe ends with the compromise Peace of Westphalia (AKA Two Treaties of Munster and Osnabruck);Sweden gains Western Pomerania and the bishoprics of Bremen and Verden at the mouth of the Elbe River, as well as Ingria from Russia, and Estonia and Livonia from Poland, giving her command of both shores of the Baltic, shutting Russia off from it, and vaulting Poland to the rank of a great European power.
In Jan. 1654 the Treaty of Pereiaslav between Russia and the rebel (since 1648) Ukrainian Cossacks creates an anti-Polish coalition, starting the Thirteen Years' War (ends 1667); after the Russkies send 100K men to aid the 20K-man Cossack army, the Poles under Janusz Radziwill only manage to round-up 6K-7K men, and win a small V on Aug. 12 against 40K-70K of them at the Battle of Shklov (Shklow) before being defeated on Aug. 24 at the Battle of Shepeleviche and retreating to Minsk; Smolensk surrenders to the Russians on Oct. 3, while another Russian army occupies Kiev. In Jan. the Polish-Lithuanian army scores a V over the Russian-Cossack army at the Battle of Okhmatov; too bad, in the summer Sweden under Charles X, aided by Jan III Sobieski enters the war, invading Poland from the N and starting the First Northern War (ends 1658), occupying Grodek (Grudziaz) on the Vistula River, followed by Warsaw on Oct. 8 and Krakow on Oct. 19, causing Jan II Casimir to flee to exile in Silesia; the Swedish Deluge of Poland (ends 1660) begins, in which Protestant Sweden occupies the entire country and lord sit over the Roman Catholic Poles and the Orthodox Lithuanians, turning the pop. against them; Prussia sides with Sweden (until next year). On Feb. 26, 1658 the Treaty of Roskilde between Sweden and Denmark ends the First Northern War (begun 1655); as soon as the ink dries, Charles X begins the Second Northern War (ends 1661), laying siege to Copenhagen. On June 29, 1659 (July 8 Old Style) the Cossacks under hetman Ivan Vyhovsky (-1664) defeat the Russians under Alexei Trubetskoy (1600-80) at the Battle of Xeniaonatop, er, Battle of Konotop (Sosnivka) in Ukraine.
On June 27, 1660 Polish-Lithuanian king (1648-68) Jan (John) II Casimir (Kazmierz) (1609-72) defeats a Russian invasion of the Ukraine at the Battle of Polonka, followed by a push on Oct. 7-8 at the Battle of Slobodyshche (Slobodyszcze), followed on Oct. 27 by the Treaty of Slobodyshche (Slobodyszcze), abolishing the 1654 Pereiaslav Articles and reestablishing formal ties between Poland and Ukraine, followed by a decisive Polish V on Oct. 14-Nov. 2 at the Battle of Chudniv (Cudnow); too bad, the big V bankrupts the Poles, preventing them from going on the attack. On July 2, 1661 the Peace (Treaty) of Kardis (Cardis) between Russia and Sweden ends the Second Northern War (begun 1658), restoring the pre-war status quo with Russia giving up its conquests. In 1664 the Battle of Witebsk sees the Polish-Lithuanian army fight off another Russian invasion, and campaign on Russian soil for the first time in the Thirteen Years' War, forcing peace negotiations. On Jan. 30, 1667 the Truce of Andrusovo (Andrussovo) ends the Thirteen Years' War between Russia and Poland (begun 1654); Jan II Casimir of Poland agrees to cede the borders areas stolen from Russia in 1619, incl. Little Russia (an area around Kiev), Smolensk, and Eastern Ukraine (left bank of the Dnieper River) to Tsar I Alexis of Russia; a full peace treaty is not agreed to until 1686. On June 24, 1670 after being pardoned by Tsar Alexis I last Aug. for ravishing the Persian coast of the Caspian Sea, and being told to report to Cossack HQ on the Don River, Ukrainian Cossack leader Stenka Razin (1630-71) turns rebel again, attacks and captures Astrakhan, massacres the pop., and proclaims it a Cossack repub., then takes off up the Volga River with 200 barges full of troops to capture Moscow, but is defeated on Oct. 1-4 at the Battle of the Sviyaga River and flees, leaving most of his troops behind; but he's got life left in him, so he sends emissaries to stir up the Russian oppressed peasant pop. against the hated boyars, and forms a new army.
On Jan. 29, 1676 tsar (since 1645) Alexis I (b. 1629) dies leaving a kingdom covering 2M acres, and his son Fyodor (Theodore) III Alexeyevich (1661-82) becomes Russian Romanov tsar #3 (until May 7, 1682).
On May 7, 1682 tsar (since 1676) Fyodor III (d. 1661) dies, and his younger brother Ivan V Alexeyevich (the Ignorant) Romanov (1666-96) (son of Alexis I) becomes Russian Romanov tsar #4 (until Feb. 8, 1696), but since he's mentally ill and an invalid, his tall (6'8") but whimpy younger half-brother Peter I Alexeyevich (the Great) Romanov (1672-1725) becomes co-tsar, Russian Romanov tsar #5 (until Feb. 8, 1725), with Peter's sister Sophia Alexeyevna (1657-1704) as regent (until 1689).
In 1686 Russia declares war on Turkey, starting the Third Russo-Turkish War (ends 1700). On Aug. 27, 1689 the Treaty of Nerchinsk (Nierchul) with Russia is China's first treaty with a European nation, stipulating Russian abandonment of Albazin, and an end to military pressure for commercial contacts; their mutual boundary is delineated.
On Feb. 8, 1696 tsar (since 1682) (Jan. 29 Old Style) Ivan V (b. 1666) dies, leaving his younger half-brother Peter I the Great as sole Russian tsar (until Feb. 8, 1725), going with his big plans to take the Ottoman Black Sea port of Azov along with its fortress, sending 50 young Russians to England, Holland, and Venice to study shipbuilding and fortifications. In 1697 he sets off on an incognito (under the name Peter Michailoff) 18-mo. trip through Prussia, Denmark, Holland, England, and Austria to study Western ways of life, taking numerous classes that make him a jack of all trades incl. dentistry, becoming the first Russian monarch to visit the West - the original royal hayseed in the city joke? In June 1698 while Peter I the Great is visiting Vienna, a palace rev. by his palace troops (strelitzi) begins in an attempt to restore Sophia Alekseevna to the throne, causing him to rush back and crush them and execute their leaders, becoming unquestioned master of Russia; on Sept. 5 he imposes a beard tax to force his nobles to shave their "Oriental" beards and adopt Western looks and dress; he then goes to England and lives for some time in Deptford, along the banks of the Thames, breaking away from Tartar traditions and entering the French sphere of attraction, recruiting Western experts to help modernize Russia; he carries dental instruments and loves to extract teeth, and is afraid of cockroaches?; he takes sunflower seeds to Russia from the Netherlands, and commercial production of sunflowers begins in the 1830s in the Voronezh region, soon spreading into neighboring countries (Bulgaria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Romania, Ukraine). In 1699 Peter I the Great decrees that New Year's Day in Russia will fall on Jan. 1 rather than Sept. 1 - that gives him four months breathing room? In 1699 the Treaty of Preobrazhenskoe is signed by Denmark, Russia, Poland, and Saxony for partition of the Swedish Empire.
Nords 1, Slavs 0? On May 30-July 18, 1700 the new 40-ship Azov fleet of Russian tsar (since 1682) Peter I the Great (1672-1725) takes Azov from the Turks, followed by Kouban, ending the Second Russo-Turkish War (begun 1686); after Charles (Karl) XII of Sweden occupies Iceland, Peter I the Great begins a 21-year war with Sweden, but proves no match, as on Nov. 30 Charles XII uses a snowstorm as cover to defeat his 37K-man army under field marshal Charles Eugene de Croy (1651-1702) with only 12.3K troops at the Battle of Narva, with 10K-16K Russians KIA and 17K-30K captured vs. 667 Swedes KIA and 1.2K wounded, uniting Sweden and beginning Nordic settlement of the New World; the weakness of the Asiatic hordes against the N European Nordics is exposed, and Sweden becomes the leading power in N Europe; too bad, in Sept. Russia makes Courland a vassal, and after Russia declares war on Poland in 1702, Sweden wastes several years campaigning in Poland, giving Peter the great, er, the Great the opportunity to reorganize his army and construct a Baltic fleet; too bad, in Sept. Russia makes Courland a vassal, and after Russia declares war on Poland in 1702, Sweden wastes several years campaigning in Poland, giving Peter the opportunity to reorganize his army and construct a Baltic fleet. On Aug. 11, 1702 Russia declares war on Poland in order to liberate the Ukraine from Polish control, starting the Russo-Polish War.
On May 1, 1703 the Russians take Nienshanz Fortress at the mouth of the Neva River, and drive the Swedes from the Neva Delta, then seize Noteburg and rename it Schlusselburg; on May 16 Tsar (1682-1721) Peter I the Great (1672-1725) pissed-off at his Moscow nobles failing to become kulturny and adopt Western culture, officially founds St. Petersburg (modern-day pop. 5.3M) on the banks of the Neva River on territory he just took from Sweden as Russia's "Window on the West" (modern pop. 4.7M), using serfs as expendable slaves; "A giant built it; lacking stones/ "He paved the swamps with human bones" (Mikhail Dmitriev); Peter I builds the Fortress of St. Peter and St. Paul on a small island in the river on May 27, 1703-1740, designed by Swiss Italian architect Domenico Trezzini (1670-1734), who goes on to design Kronstadt (1704) on Kotlin Island 19 mi. W of St. Petersburg, St. Peter and St. Paul Cathedral (1712-33) (world's tallest Orthodox Catholic bell tower), Peter the Great's Summer House (1710-14), the Alexander Nevsky Monastery (1710-13), the Winter Palace (1711-53), and the Twelve Collegia (Colleges) Bldg. Complex (1722-44) (main bldg. of St. Petersburg U.), founding Petrine Baroque, which departs from the Naryshin Baroque of Moscow and follows the Dutch, Danish, and Swedish (Flemish Renassance) styles; in 1709 Peter I begins the Peterhof Palace (Dutch "Piterhof" = Peter's Court), an attempt to ape Louis XIV's Versailles Palace, causing it to become known as "the Russian Versailles", with Domenico Trezzini as the main architect in 1714, succeeded in 1716 by Paris-born Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond (1679-1719) (Blond, James-Baptiste Blond)?, with his teacher, Versailles landscaper Andre (André) Le Notre (Nostre) (1613-1700) hired to design the gardens; the Grand Cascade of 64 fountains, modelled on Louis XIV's Chateau de Marly features the Samson Fountain (1736), with a 66-ft.-high water jet, which is upgraded in 1800-2 by local Russian Neoclassical sculptor Mikhail Ivanovich Kozlovsky (1753-1802), a gilt bronze statue of Greek god Samson tearing open the jaws of a lion to represent Russia's big V over Sweden in the Great Northern War (1700-21), with the lion representing Sweden's coat of arms, and Samson representing Russia's big V on St. Sampson's Day; in 1747-56 Italian architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli (1700-71) is hired by Tsarina Elisabeth to design an expansion along with the Winter Palace; Trezzini's architect son Pietro has Peter I the Great as a godfather; this year 8-y.-o. black African slave Abraham (Ibrahim) Petrovich Gannibal (Hannibal) (1696-1781), who claims he was kidnapped from a royal tribal family in Africa is presented by a Russian diplomat as a gift to Peter I the Great, becoming his adopted son, and rising quickly to a 5-language linguist, civil engineer, diplomat, and gen. (Europe's first black intellectual?) - so cute everybody should own one?
On Feb. 3, 1706 Charles XII of Sweden defeats the Russians and Saxons at the Battle of Franstadt in Saxony.
In 1710 after Charles XII of Sweden puts the sultan up to it, the Third Russo-Turkish War begins (ends 1711); Sweden declares war on Russia (ends 1711).
On July 18, 1711 after Peter I the Great leads the ill-advised Pruth (Prut) River Campaign, invading Moldavia with the aid of brainy Moldavian prince (since 1710) Dimitrie (Demetrius) Cantemir (1673-1723), and ends up surrounded by the Turks on the Pruth River and receiving a butt-kicking, it's curtain time until his mistress Catherine I gathers her jewels plus every other woman's she can find and uses them to bribe grand vizier Baltaji Mehmet Pasha into allowing a retreat, saving his butt bigime; if the Turks had captured Peter I they might have kept Russia down permanently, becoming a great historical what-if; on July 21 the Treaty of Pruth ends the Third Russo-Turkish War (begun 1710), and returns the Black Sea port of Azov to Turkey; Cantemir flees to exile in Russia, becoming prince of Russia and later prince of the HRE, going on to become one of Europe's big brains, (11 languages), doing researches on everything and writing volumes of ambrosia, etc. etc.; the Ottoman govt. of Ahmed III establishes the Phanariot System, ruling Moldavia and Walachia through hospodars ("lords"), who are usually Greeks from Constantinople; Romanian boyars (nobles) begin selling out and allying themselves with the Greeks, and Greek becomes the official language; the big D causes Russia to pass its first budget, tempting Peter I to go after Sweden's province (since 1157) of Finland.In Feb. 1712 to reward her for her jewel trick on the Pruth, Peter I the Great finally officially marries his Swedish-Lithuanian-who-knows-what mistress (since 1703) Catherine I, and decides to move the Russian capital from Moscow to his new digs at St. Petersburg (until 1922), ordering the nobles to move there and erect elaborate palaces, forbidding stone building anywhere else in Russia until the town is completed to his satisfaction; he also establishes the Russian Academy of Engineering in 1715; the center of Russian trade moves W from Vologda to St. Petersburg, causing the latter to shrink in importance after two cents.
On June 24, 1713 the Peace (Treaty) of Adrianople (Edirne) is signed in Edirne by Turkey and Russia, confirming the 1711 Treaty of the Pruth, with Russia agreeing to abandon its gains in the Azov region and eliminate its new Black Sea fleet; exiled Charles XII of Sweden turns public opinion against signer Baltaci Mehmet Pasha and gets him removed, but can't convince Sultan Ahmed III to resume his war with Russia, and instead he sends Charles XII back to Sweden, after which the peace lasts 25 years.
On Feb. 19, 1714 the Finnish army under Swedish gen. Carl Gustaf Armfelt (1666-1736) is crushed by the Russian army at the Battle of Napue (Storkyro) (Lappola) near the Storkyro River in Finland, ending Swedish control and starting the Great Wrath (Russian occupation of Finland) (ends 1721). Pass around the wits, Sophocles? On July 21, 1718 the Treaty of Passarowitz between Turkey, Venice, and Austria ends the Ottoman war with Russia and Venice; Banat, Lesser Wallachia, and N Serbia, incl. Belgrade are lost by the Ottomans to Austria, halting their westward expansion; too bad, Turkey is given full possession of Greece, and they partition it into districts ruled by autocratic govs. who oppress Greek Christians, causing klepht guerrillas to take to the mountains and Greek pirates to hold out on the Aegean while an underground Greek independence movement looks to Russia for aid; meanwhile Ibrahim becomes Ahmed III's chief advisor, and encourages the spread of learning and libraries, and the promotion of Greek Phanariots to high places. In Nov. 1718 Alexis, only son of Peter I the Great of Russia is murdered at his orders. In 1719 the Jesuits are expelled from Russia.
On Aug. 9, 1720 (July 27 Old Style) the Battle of Grengam in Sweden sees 86 Russian ships and 11K sailors and soldiers under adm. Mikhail Galitzine (1674-1730) decisively defeated by the 13-ship 1K-sailor Swedish fleet under vice-adm. Eric Sjoblad, halting Russian naval activities in the Baltic, and becoming the last major naval battle in the Great Northern War. On Aug. 30, 1721 the Great Northern War (begun 1700) between Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, etc. is concluded by the Treaty of Nystadt (Uusikaupunki) between Russia and Sweden, marking the beginning of Swedish military decline; Sweden cedes SE Finland (Karelia) and the Baltic provinces of Estonia (Esthonia), Livonia, and Ingria (Ingermanland), along with a number of Baltic islands to Russia, giving Peter I the Great his precious outlet (window) to the Baltic Sea, permitting the opening of traffic with the West; Peter I is proclaimed Emperor of All the Russias; Sweden keeps W Finland (until 1809), ending the Great War (begun 1714); Denmark forces the abolition of Sweden's privileges regarding the Sound Tolls and gains the Slesvig lands, but the war takes a big bite out of Denmark, esp. agriculturally; the war causes a 16% pop. loss in Finland and a 10% loss in Sweden.
On Jan. 24, 1722 Peter I the Great issues an edict that the ruler of Russia shall choose his own successor, and establishes the Table of Ranks; he then joins in the fun and attacks Persia, seizing territories around the Caspian Sea; meanwhile the Ottomans want theirs too, and capture parts of W Persia as far as Hamadan (until 1723).
On Oct. 10, 1723 after Peter I the Great conquers territory on the Caspian Sea incl. Baku in his last major military campaign, to insure against future hostilities, the Treaty of Charlottenburg between England and Prussia is signed, promising George I's grandson to the Prussian princess while Prince Frederick is promised to the daughter of the Prince of Wales.
On Nov. 18, 1723 the city of Ekaterinburg (Yekaterinburg) (named after Peter the Great's wife Yekaterina AKA Tsar Catherine I) on the Iset River E of the Ural Mts. of Russia (modern-day pop. 1.34M/1.49M) is founded, becoming Russia's mining capital, known as "the window to Asia" after Tsar Catherine II builds the Siberian Route (Tea Road) (Moscow Highway) (Great Highway) from Russia to Siberia to China through it.
On Jan. 28, 1724 the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg, Russia is founded by Peter I the Great with advice by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, with members incl. Leonhard Euler, Daniel Bernoulli, Nicholas Bernoulli, and Christian Goldbach; called St. Petersburg Academy of Science until 1917, and Soviet Academy of Science in 1925; moves to Moscow in 1934.
In June 1724 Russia and Turkey agree to a peaceful partition of Persia's newly-captured NW provinces.
On Feb. 8, 1725 (Jan. 28 Old Style) after aggravating his condition by attempting to rescue some drowning soldiers by wading into the Baltic, tsar (since 1682) Peter I the Great (b. 1672) dies of uremia in the middle of writing his will ("I leave everything to..."), and his illiterate serf wife (not so great) Catherine (Ekaterina Alexeyevna) I (1684-1727) takes the Russian throne as Russian Romanov tsar #6 (until 1727), taking advantage of all his modernization efforts to begin a push to expand Russia to the Black Sea, creating the Order of Alexander Nevsky, conveniently forgetting the way this hero sold-out to the Tartars; Peter's black adopted son Gen. Abram Petrovich Gannibal (d. 1781) is demoted and sent to exile in Siberia, but eventually retires to a modest estate, where he does research on military engineering amongst his white serfs.
In 1726 Orthodox Catholic Russia and the Roman Catholic Holy Roman Empire ally against Turkey; meanwhile Turkoman Qizilbash Afshar tribal leader Khouli Khan (1687-1747) (later Nadir or Nader Shah the Great) of N Persia helps Prince Tahmasp (son of Soltan Husayn) reconquer Persia from the Afghans, Russians, and Ottomans, acknowledging him as shah Tahmasp II (1704-40) until he can finish the job and take over for himself and become the Napoleon and Alexander the Great of Persia in 1736.
On May 17, 1727 (May 6 Old Style) having expelled the Jews from the Ukraine, Catherine I (b. 1684) dies, and on May 18 after her will is forged, pampered, secluded Peter II (1715-30), the only male-line grandson of her deceased hubby Peter I the Great is proclaimed Russian Romanov tsar #7 (until 1730). In 1727 Amur frontier between Russia and China is rectified via the Kiakhta (Kyakhta) Treaty, negotiated by Bosnian Serbian Russian minister Count Sava Lukich Vladislavich Raguzinsky (1669-1738) in Peking, governing their relations until the mid-19th cent.
On Jan. 30, 1730 (Sun.) tsar (since 1727) Peter II (b. 1715) dies of smallpox on his wedding day, and his bride is pushed into his deathbed in hopes of producing an heir, but it doesn't work, and the direct male Romanov line ends; Anna Ivanovna (1693-1740), duchess of Courland, daughter of Peter I the Great's half-brother Ivan V is elected Russian Romanov tsar #8 by the privy council (until 1740), and after getting her to sign an agreement limiting her power before she arrives in Moscow, she stages a coup on Mar. 8 and executes or exiles the members, then goes on to bring in her Courland hunk (grandson of a groom) Ernst Johann Biren (1690-1722), and rule with an iron hand, killing thousands of her subjects and exiling thousands more to Siberia.
In 1734 French ballet master Jean-Baptiste Lande (Landé) (-1748) gives a recital for Empress Anna in St. Petersburg, wowing her and causing her to issue an imperial decree establishing the Imperial Ballet School in the Winter Palace in St. Peterburg on May 4, 1738.
In 1735 the Turko-Persian War (begun 1734) ends; meanwhile Russia pulls out of the War of the Polish Succession and begins the Fourth Russo-Turkish War, allying with Austria (ends 1739).
On May 31, 1740 Hohenzollern king Friedrich (Frederick) William I (b. 1688) dies, and his son Frederick II (the Great) (1712-86) becomes ruler of Prussia, becoming a student of Macchiavelli, creating a strong army, and trying to duplicate Versailles at Potsdam (Sans Souci Park, New Palace, Orangery, Marble Palace, etc.), attracting Voltaire, La Mettrie, Euler, and other intellectuals; he is an avid flutist and composer, and one of the first art patrons to recognize the virtues of the pianoforte; a dead spider in his drink saves him from poisoning?; he makes his troops wear dark green uniforms of coarse cloth and put buttons on the top side of military sleeves to keep them from wiping their faces and soiling them; he orders soldiers to shave their faces and heads so that the enemy can't grab their hair and cut off their heads; the goose-step (Stechstritt) (Ger. "piercing step") is adopted. In 1746 Russia and Austria ally against Prussia, and England joins them in 1751.
In Oct. 1740 unpopular Tsarina (since 1730) Anna Ivanovna (b. 1793) dies after naming 8-week-old infant Ivan VI (1740-64) (grandson of her sister and Ivan V) as Russian Romanov tsar #9 (until 1741), with her favorite Ernst Johann von Biron (Biren), Duke of Courland (1690-1772) as regent (until 1741), along with his unpopular mother Anna Leopoldovna (1718-46). On Nov. 25, 1741 horse-loving never-married (four-lovers-at-a-time?) Elizabeth Petrovna Romanov (1709-62) (daughter of Peter I the Great and Catherine I) stages a palace rev., overthrows the Duke of Courland, desposes baby Ivan VI, and seizes the throne as Russian Romanov tsar #10, putting little Ivan VI into solitary confinement for life, until his murder at her order in 1764 - like taking candy from a baby?
On Aug. 7, 1743 the Peace of Turku (Abo) gives control of all Finnish lands E of the Kymi River to Russia. Meanwhile in 1743 Jewish pogroms begin in Russia.
In Jan. 1744 15-y.-o. Sophie Auguste Frederika of Anhalt-Zerbst (later known as Catherine II the Great), daughter of a petty German prince leaves her home in Stettin to travel to Russia on the invitation of Empress Elizabeth, and is betrothed to her creepy cousin Grand Duke Peter, heir to the Russian throne; they marry on Aug. 2, 1745.
In 1755 Mikhail Lomonosov (1711-65) and Ivan Shuvalov (1727-97) ("the Maecenas of the Russian Enlightenment") get Empress Elizabeth I to decree the establishment of Moscow State U., Russia's first univ.; it is renamed after Lomonosov in 1940.
On Jan. 10, 1757 the HRE declares war on Frederick II the Great of Prussia, while Hanover, Hesse, Brunswick, and Gotha continue to ally with Prussia; in Jan. Austria and Russia strike an agreement to partition the Prussian monarchy. On Aug. 19, 1757 after Russia signs the Treaty of Versailles (which Austria and France signed last year), and a Russian army attacks East Prussia, the Russians under Gen. Piotr Alexeievich, Count Apraxin (1728-57) defeat the Prussians under Gen. . Hans von Lehwald (1685-1768) at the Battle of Grossjagerndorf, then withdraw from East Prussia, while the Swedes begin occupying Pomerania as promised by the Russians in return for their participation in the war. On Nov. 22, 1757 the Russians win the Battle of Breslau, causing Austria to attempt to regain Silesia on Dec. 5 at the Battle of Leuthen, but Frederick II scores his greatest V instead, causing the Austrians to retreat from Silesia. On June 23, 1758 the French under Louis de Bourbon-Conde (Bourbon-Condé), Comte de Clermont (1709-71) (great-grandson of the Great Conde, and grandmaster #5 of the Grand Masonic Lodge of France) lose the Battle of Krefeld (Crefeld) in Germany to the allied Prussian-Hanoverian army of duke Ferdinand of Brunswick-Luneburg (1721-92) after he drives them back over the Rhine River; the Russians occupy East Prussia again, and on Aug. 25 the Battle of Zorndorf between Prussia and Russia is a V for the Prussians (a push?); the Austrians then invade Lusatia and siege Neisse, causing Frederick II to rush to the aid of his brother Henry, relieving it on Nov. 6.
On May 15, 1759 after receiving news of massive Russian maneuvers, the Prussians under Prince Henry lift their siege of Stralsund to take them on, and on May 16 they capture Bamberg in Franconia. On July 23, 1759 the Battle of Paltzig (Kay) (Zullichau) in Kije, Poland on the Prussian-Polish border sees 28K Prussians under Gen. von Wedell defeated by 47K Russians under Count Pyotr Semyonovich Saltykov (1700-72) and retreat across the Oder River, while the Russians go on to occupy Frankfurt-an-der-Oder. On Aug. 12, 1759 after Frederick II the Great is unable to prevent the union of the Austrians and French the Battle of Kunersdorf in E Germany, the first battle where regular units of horse artillery are deployed sees his 40K-man Prussian army receive its worst-ever defeat after attacking a fortified position of 80K Russians and Austrians under Gen. Saltykov and Gen. Ernst Gideon, Baron von Loudon (1717-90); the battle freaks Freddy Not-So-Great so much that he turns over command to his brother Prince Henry and flirts with suicide, but luckily the Russians and Austrians fail to exploit their V and soon part ways.
On Oct. 9-12, 1760 the Russians under Saxon-born gen. Count Gottlieb Curt Heinrich von Tottleben (1715-73) without linking up with the Austrians first penetrate the Brandenburg marshes and burn Berlin, the wild Russky troops going wild and plundering at will despite orders; a farm near Charlottenburg owned by math king Leonhard Euler (1707-83) is pillaged, after which Tottleben personally indemnifies him to prove he's not making war on the Sciences - we'll be baack?
On Jan. 5, 1762 (Dec. 25 Old Style) Empress (since Dec. 6, 1741) Elizabeth Petrovna Romanov (b. 1709) dies, and her pro-Prussian son Peter III (the Prussomaniac) (1728-62) becomes Russian Romanov tsar #11 (until July 9), founding the Holstein-Gottorp line of the House of Romanov, which rules until 1917; luckily for Prussia, Peter is an admirer of Frederick II and immediately seeks to end hostilities; he then tries to introduce Western-style mercantile capitalism, ends the practice of serfs working in industrial enterprises, and gets the Charter of the Nobility passed emancipating the nobles from compulsory service to the state, undoing Peter the Great's big dream of reforming the civil service, which doesn't stop him from becoming unpopular, and he ends up lasting only 6 mo.
On Mar. 16, 1762 Russia and Prussia sign the Truce of Stargard, taking Russia out of the Seven Years' War, followed on May 5 by the Treaty of St. Petersburg, renouncing all hostile alliances and restoring all Russian conquests. restoring to Prussia all the land in Silesia which Russia had taken from it.
On July 9, 1762 (June 28 Old Style) after announcing harsher discipline for the Leib Guard, they depose Tsar (since Jan. 5) Peter III, and his German wife Princess Sophia August Fredericka of Anhalt-Zerbst (1st cousin of Gustav III of Sweden and Charles XIII of Sweden) is proclaimed Russian Romanov tsar #12 Catherine (Ekaterina) II the Great (1729-96) (until Nov. 17, 1796), having Count Alexei (Alexey) Grigoryevich Orlov (1737-1808), younger brother of her lover Count Grigory (Grigori) Grigoryevich Orlov (1734-83) (known as the breeder of the Orlov Trotter) strangle him on July 17 in custody in Ropsha Chateau outside Leningrad; Russia withdraws its troops from the Prussian army, but remains inactive, leaving Austria to face Prussia alone, allowing a 40K-man Prussian army (with a Russian contingent previously sent by dead Peter III) to defeat their 30K-man army on July 21 at the Battle of Burkersdorf; too bad, the secret dispatching of Peter III causes rumors that he's still alive to spread.
On Sept. 7, 1764 after Catherine II the Great of Russia and Frederick II the Great of Prussia sign an agreement to bring pressure on the Polish Diet, they elect her lover as Stanislaus (Stanislaw) II August Poniatowski (1732-98), and he becomes Poland's last king on May 8, 1765 (until Nov. 22, 1795). Meanwhile in 1764 deposed 24-y.-o. tsar (1740-1) Ivan VI (b. 1740) attempts to regain the throne, and is murdered in the Fortress of Schusselburg following standing orders given his guards by Tsarina Catherine II, who orders the confiscation of church lands in Russia. In 1766 Catherine II the Great grants freedom of worship in Russia - provided they grant her freedom of sex with her guardsman with the face of Adonis and body of Hercules?
On June 2, 1771 Russia completes its conquest of the Crimea. Poland undergoes its first of three gastric bypass surgeries (1793, 1795)? On Aug. 5, 1772 the First Partition of Poland between Russia (Catherine II), Prussia (Frederick II the Great), and Austria (HRE Joseph II) robs it of about half of its pop. and a third of its territory, incl. lake-filled Poznan (Posen) province in W Poland; Austria acquires Galicia, Lodomeria, and the county of Zips; Prussia acquires the seaport of Elbing (Elblag) in N Poland 30 mi. ESE of Gdansk (Danzig), and the town of Grodek (Grudziadz) (Graudenz) on the Vistula River 60 mi. S of Gdansk, and Frederick II the Great erects a citadel there (finished 1776). In 1772 Catherine II of Russia punishes the leaders of the Skoptsy (Skoptzy) religious castration sect - eat me?
In 1773 Cossack serf Yemelyan Ivanovich Pugachev (1741-75) starts an uprising, claiming to be Tsar Peter III; when he's captured and beheaded, Catherine II's ideas about reforming serfdom turn sour, and she clamps down on them even harder.
On July 21, 1774 the Sixth Russo-Turkish War (begun 1768) ends with a Russian V and the Treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji, giving Russian trading ships freedom to navigate in Turkish waters; Turkey is forced to promise lenient treatment of Moldavia and Wallachia, which is placed under Russian protection despite Turkish suzerainty since the year 1411. In 1775 Russia, which used to let Jews live anywhere they wanted, begins to restrict them to the Pale of Settlement.
On May 1, 1776 Jesuit-trained anti-Jesuit former Bavarian canon law prof. Johann Adam Weishaupt (1748-1830) of the U. of Ingolstadt (who got his job in 1773 after the Jesuits were suppressed by Pope Clement XIV) founds the secret Order of the Illuminati ("the Very Perfectibles") in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, with five members, allegedly secretly backed by German Jewish big brain internat. banker Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812), with the alleged aim of the destruction of Christendom and the Christian order of Europe by dividing and conquering and playing one nation off against the other via internat. bank financing et al., with the ultimate goal of the establishment of a New World Order (NWO), and which is behind the Am. Rev., French Rev., European revs. of the 19th cent., U.S. Civil War, Russian Rev., League of Nations, and United Nations (9/11?); deciding to work inside the Freemasons, the membership is up to 54 in 1779, branching through Europe and attracting Goethe, Schiller, Herder, and Mozart; after it is suppressed on June 22, 1784, its few thousand members are exterminated from C Europe, but either it goes totally underground and keeps growing, or it generates one heck of a myth?; the Columbian Faction of the Illuminati is strong in North Am.?
In 1776 the Russian Black Sea Fleet is organized by Catherine's favorite Prince Grigory Alexandrovich Potemkin (1739-91), gov.-gen. of Novorossiysk (main Russian port on the Black Sea), who distinguished himself fighting the Turks in 1769.
In 1776 the Public Opera and Ballet Theater of Moscow public prosecutor Prince Peter Vasilyevich Urusov is commissioned by Catherine II the Great, and financially backed by English impresario Michael Maddox (Maddocks) (1747-1822), becoming the predecessor of the Russian Bolshoi ("Great") Theater. Also in 1776 Italian composer Giovanni Paisiello (1740-1816) moves to the Russian court in St. Petersburg at the invitation of Catherine II the Great (until 1784), cranking out operas to make the Cossacks feel civilized? - coyote vs. the nanny?
On Mar. 31, 1779 Russia and Turkey sign a treaty promising to take no military action in the Crimea. In 1781 the secret Treaty of Alliance between Catherine II the Great and Austrian HRE (1765-90) Joseph II (1741-90) contemplates a gen. partition of the Ottoman Empire, and ignites the explosive Eastern Question. In Apr. 1782 Russia bans secret societies. In Dec. 1782 the Russians under Adm. Potemkin easily conquer and annex the Crimea. On Jan. 6, 1784 Turkey and Russia sign the Treaty of Constantinople, annexing the Crimea to Russia.
In 1785 the Charter of the Cities (Nobility) is issued in Russia by Catherine II the Great, becoming the Magna Charta of the nobles, guaranteeing the nobles the right to trial by their peers, freedom from corporal punishment, compulsory military duty, poll tax et al. Meanwhile in 1785 the Dukhobors (Dukhobortsy) (Russ. "spirit wrestlers") peasant religious sect in Russia is kicked out of the Russian Orthodox Church; named disparagingly by priests to describe them as fighting against the spirit of God, they at first take to the name, then later call themselves Christians of the Universal Brotherhood, teaching that all humans are equal brothers, and refusing to acknowledge any wordly ruler or participate in military service - Russian Jehovah's Witnesses?
On Aug. 10, 1787 the Sixth Russo-Turkish War (ends 1792) begins after Turkey declares war on Russia; Austria joins Russia next year, while Sweden and Prussia side with Turkey but provide no assistance. On Oct. 1, 1787 an Ottoman fleet lands troops on the Kinburn Spit in the Crimea, but after heroic actions by wounded gen. Count Alexander Vasilievich Suvorov (1729-1800) (who is rescued by Russian grenadier Novikov then stays on the battlefield commanding the troops), they are finally thrown back into the sea; on Dec. 17 the Russians take Ochakov in S Ukraine and ochakov, er, massacre the pop. In 1788 HRE Joseph II enters the Sixth Russo-Turkish War on Catherine II's side; Sweden declares war on Russia. On July 21, 1789 the Battle of Fokshani is a V for the Russians and Austrians under Russian field marshal Alexander Suvorov, followed on Sept. 11 by the decisive Battle of the Rimnik River, where the 100K-man Turkish army is outmaneuverded by 18K Austrians under Prince Coburg and 7K Russians under Suvorov, with Turkish losses of 15K-20K, making Suvorov a big hero (one of the top three gens. of all time, along with Alexander the Great and Napoleon?), receiving the title of Count Rimnikski from Russia and count of the HRE by Austrian HRE Joseph II. On July 26, 1789 the naval Battle of Oland (Öland) sees 18 ships under Russian adm. Vasili Yakovlevich Chichagov (1726-1809) defeat (draw?) 30 ships under Swedish king Charles XIII (Prince Karl, Duke of Sodermanland) after his 2nd in command adm. Per Liljehorn fails to reach the fight in time, causing a Swedish retreat to Karlskrona, after which Liljehorn is convicted of misconduct and barely escapes execution. On May 13, 1790 the naval Battle of Reval (modern-day Talinn) in Estonia sees a 14-ship Russian fleet under Anglophile adm. Vasily Yakovlevich Chichagov (1726-1809) defeat a 26-ship Swedish fleet under Prince Karl, Duke of Sodermanland, which retreats E of Hogland Island. On July 27, 1790 HRE Leopold II of Austria signs the Reichenbach Treaty in an attempt to be conciliatory toward Prussia regarding its gains (along with Russia) against the Ottoman Empire. On Oct. 10, 1794 6.2K Poles under Tadeusz Kosciuszko are defeated at the Battle of Maciejowice while trying to prevent the 12K-man Russian army of Iwan Jewstafiejewicz Fersen (1739-99) and the 12.5K-man army of gen. Alexander Suvorov after the 4K-man Polish army of never-loses field marshal Count Adam Poninski (1758-1816) arrives too late; Kosciuszko is wounded and taken POW by the Russians, and Poland's rev. is crushed. On Nov. 9, 1795 Russian field marshal Alexander Suvorov captures Warsaw, then really stinks himself up by massacring 20K Poles, after which the city is ceded to Prussia (until 1806). On Nov. 22, 1795 Polish king (since 1765) Stanislaus II Augustus Poniatowski (1732-98) abdicates, and Poland is partitioned for a 3rd time on Oct. 24 in a secret treaty between Russia, Prussia, and Austria in the "vast national crime" of Poland's extinction; Poland is wiped from the map for more than a cent. until the Peace of Versailles after WWI; Vilnyus (Vilnius), Lithuania is taken by Russia; duke (since 1769) Peter von Biron (1724-1800) of the Grand Duchy of Courland in Latvia on the Baltic Sea bordering Polish Livonia and the W Dvina River to the E and Lithuania to the S cedes his duchy to Russia, giving them the rest of the Gulf of Riga, and making for an interesting situation since most of the landowners are Germans, which gives Sweden ideas.
On Nov. 17, 1796 (Nov. 5 Old Style) horse-loving tsar (since 1762) Catherine II the Great (b. 1729) dies on a straw mat three days after suffering a stroke on her way to the water closet, leaving the Diary of Catherine the Great and a huge art collection housed in the Hermitage next to the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg on the Neva River; she dropped her big plans to break up the Ottoman Empire and partition the Balkans with Austria after the outbreak of the French Rev.; despite declaring on Nov. 5 that he's unfit, and that she prefers her other son Alexander, her son (the Walrus is Paul?) Paul I Petrovich Romanov (1754-1801) becomes Russian tsar (until Mar. 23, 1801), proceeding to undo all her work, starting by firing massacre-loving field marshal Alexander Suvorov, limiting the work of serfs, and undermining the nobility, all leading to his murder in a matter of a few years; meanwhile Suvorov retires in style in his Konchauskoy Estate near Moscow, waiting in the wings, while Savoyard Xavier de Maistre (1763-1852), who joined Suvorov after the annexation of Savoy to France in 1792 flees to St. Petersburg, getting his ultra-conservative brother Joseph-Marie, Comte de Maistre (1753-1821) a job as Sardinian ambassador to Russia in 1803 (until 1817) - hello, welcome to reactionary dot com, how can I hurt you?
In 1796 to counter the upstart wannabe French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), a Triple Alliance is formed by Britain, Austria, and Russia against France. On May 19-20, 1798 the French Invasion of Egypt (ends 1801), Napoleon's most romantic adventure begins after he reconnoiters a British force under Commodore Horatio Nelson that was scattered by a storm, and his dismasted flagship HMS Vanguard secretly sails for Egypt from Toulon with 38K men, incl. a boatload of 167 savants (scientists and mathematicians) (Monge, Berthollet, Fourier), incl. Orientalists from his new Institut d'Egypt (which settles in Cairo) in a fleet of 300 transport ships, 13 ships of the line and seven frigates (28K men), with vague grandiose plans of conquering all of the East like Alexander the Great, starting with the Ottoman Empire, cutting off British access to India; on June 6 they arrive at Malta, and after being refused entrance of more than two ships at a time and enjoying inside help from the Maltese, take it by June 12, expelling the 322 Knights of Malta (St. John) (Hospitallers) (whose French members wouldn't fight French troops) still defending it under grandmaster Ferdinand von Hompesch, who leaves for Trieste on June 18, and resigns next July 6; Nappy frees 2K Muslim slaves, and abolishes all religious orders on the island, and writes to the Bey of Tunis to boast of his favor to Islam, then reforms their govt. and steals their library and treasures (pissing off Tsar Paul I, who is also a grandmaster, and was trying to finagle the first Russian warm water port there); on July 1 after slipping by Nelson's clueless fleet on the night of June 22-23, Nappy lands 5K troops in Alexandria, Egypt, capturing it by July 2, then landing the rest of his troops, giving a speech to the Egyptian crowd with the soundbyte "We are the true Muslims", trying to sell them on his being a fan of Muhammad, and hinting he might convert to Islam along with his troops in order to win the clerics of Al-Azhar seminary over, which they don't buy; after kicking the butts of Murad Bey and his best cavalry on July 13 in the Battle of Shubrakhit, Nappy's troops march through the grueling desert and defeat Murad Bey's Mamluks at the Battle of the Pyramids on July 21, capturing Cairo after losing only 30 killed and 300 wounded vs. 3K Mamluk casualties; back in Britain they finally learn of Nappy's invasion from French newspapers on July 12; meanwhile Nelson's British fleet reaches Alexandria on June 29, then goes W instead of E, and swings back, sailing along the S coast of Crete and back to Syracuse on July 19, never finding Nappy; on July 25 Napoleon defeats 10K Turks supported by the British at the Battle of Aboukir (Abu Qir) (Abukir) Bay (14.5 mi. NE of Alexandria), making him master pharaoh of Egypt; Murad Bey retreats to Upper Egypt, and Ibrahim Bey to Palestine; never fear, after heading for Greece, and receiving news of the French position on July 29, on Aug. 1-2 the British navy under Nelson finally arrives back in Alexandria to save the day, and sinks most of the French fleet (emptied of troops) in Aboukir Bay in the Battle of the Nile (only two of 13 French ships of the line escape, while no British ships are lost), cutting Napoleon off from France, which ends his threat of conquering India and the East, but only pisses him off into invading Palestine and Syria?; the 98-gun line-of-battle ship Fighting Temeraire is captured by the British, later gaining fame in the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar; the USS Constellation, commanded by Commodore Truxton captures the French frigate L'Insurgente; French capt. Aristide Aubert Du Petit Thouars (1760-98) of the Tonnant forces HMS Bellerophon to lower its flag, forces HMS Majestic to break off combat, then dies in a bucket filled with wheat with both of his legs and one arm blown off, commanding to the end, his last order being to nail the flag of his ship to the mizzen-mast and never give up the ship, which is later captured; meanwhile in July the suddenly-the-old-world-changes Rosetta Stone is found in Qayitbey Castle in the small Egyptian village of Raschid (Rosette) by French capt. Pierre-Francois Blouchard, who reports it to French gen. Jacques-Francois de Menou, Baron de Boussay (1750-1810), who, on Nappy's orders to be friendly with the natives feigned conversion to Islam under the name 'Aly Napoleon Bonaparte, and married Egyptian woman Sitta Zoubeida, daughter of a bathhouse keeper whom he mistakenly believed is of the Egyptian aristocracy because she claims to be a descendant of Prophet Muhammad; a 36-in. piece of black basalt containing a decree of the Egyptian priests of Ptolemy V Epiphanes (-205 to -181) in parallel hieroglyphics, demotic and Greek characters, it proves the key to the lost art of reading hieroglyphics after the Egyptian Inst. is founded in Cairo on Aug. 22.
In 1799 the Second Coalition against France is joined by Austria, Russia, Turkey, the Vatican, Naples, and Portugal, going after France on N and S fronts. On Apr. 25-27, 1799 an Austrian-Russian army under reactivated Russian field marshal Count Alexander Suvorov crosses into N Italy and defeats the French at the Battle of Cassano d'Adda, ending the Cisalpine Repub., and the allies enter Milan while Russian troops enter Turin. On June 17-20, 1799 Russian hero field marshal Alexander Suvorov defeats gen. MacDonald at the Battle of the Trebbia River (not to be confused by the V by Hannibal in 218 B.C.E.), foiling his efforts to unite his army with French forces in Italy, then with Gen. Melas defeats the French under Gen. Joubert on Aug. 15 at the Battle of Novi as they advance from Genoa, driving the French from the region; France loses control of the Italian peninsula, and Suvorov gains the surname "Italiski", going on to lead his armies into Switzerland in an effort to join with Russian forces there, but is forced by the French to retreat to Vorarlberg, Austria in W Austria, pissing-off Tsar Paul I, who dismisses him next year, causing him to soon die (of grief?). On July 14, 1799 a combined British, Turkish, and Russian fleet under British Adm. Sir William Sydney Smith with 15K Turkish troops lands in Aboukir Bay and captures the remaining French fort at the W end under Gen. Marmont, who sends news to Napoleon in Cairo, causing him to head for Alexandria with 10K infantry and 1K cavalry, and defeat the Turks under Mustapha Pasha on July 25 at the First Battle of Aboukir (Abu Qir), with 4K-6K Turks killed, and Mustapha Pasha captured, becoming Nappy's last V in Egypt; on Aug. 24 after Sir William Sydney Smith allows Nappy's orders from the Directorate to return to France to get through, and Nappy hears about the unpopularity of the Directory, and also that the Second Coalition has almost reconquered N Italy, he secretly leaves Cairo for France, leaving his troops behind under the command of gen. Jean Baptiste Kleber (1753-1800), slipping through the British fleet in Adm. Ganteaume's flagship Le Muiron, and landing in Se France on Oct. 8-9 at Frejus (Fréjus), home of his friend and Directory member Abbe Sieyes; in Sept. after giving up on a new Suez Canal, Kleber begins negotiations with the Ottomans to evacuate Egypt. On Sept. 25-26, 1799 after unlucky Russian Gen. Alexander Korsakov (1753-1840) replaces Archduke Charles, and Russian Gen. Alexander Suvorov crosses the Alps to support him but is forced back by the French, the Second Battle of Zurich is a V for 75K French under gen. Andre Massena over 60K Russians and Austrians under Alexander Korsakov and Friedrich von Hotze, undoing all of Suvarov's Vs and causing the Russkies to withdraw from the Second Coalition after their retreat through the snowy Alps turns into a disaster; meanwhile the French take Constance and threaten Archduke Charles' flank as he prepares to invade France from the Rhine; at least the expedition isn't a total bust, since on his way back to Russia Korsakov brings the 1478-80 Madonna and Child with Flowers (Benois Madonna), Leonardo da Vinci's first work painted independently of his master Verrochio, and it ends up with the Benois family in 1880, who keep it secret until 1909, by which time everyone loves everyone. On Oct. 22, 1799 the Russians drop out of the Second Coalition.
In July 1800 a Danish convoy led by the frigate Freja refuses to allow British warships to search a convoy; the British force the Danish to surrender and to give up their armed convoy policy by later sending a large fleet to the Copenhagen Roads; Denmark joins the League of Armed Neutrality (Russia, Sweden, Netherlands, Prussia); Tsar Paul I orders all British ships in Russian harbors seized.
On Mar. 12, 1801 Russian tsar (since 1796) Paul I (b. 1754) (always paranoid about suspected assassins) is assassinated by revolutionaries (those *!*? serfs and peasants?) in his bedroom in Mikhailovsky Palace in St. Petersburg, and on Sept. 5 despite announcing his wish to abdicate, his poetic, bookish son (Catherine II the Great's grandson) (handsome-pretty, with curly chestnut hair and blue-gray eyes like his grandmother) Alexander I (1777-1825) (whose portrait bears a striking resemblance to Russian pres. Vladimir Putin (1952-)?) is crowned Russian Romanov tsar #14 (until Dec. 1, 1825). In 1801 Pope Pius VII begins unsuppressing the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), starting in Russia. On May 3 and May 25, 1804 Prussia and Russia mutually pledge to take up arms only in the event of a French attack upon Prussia or further aggression in N Germany. In 1804 the First Russo-Persian War begins in a land dispute in Azerbaijan and the Transcaucasus (ends 1813). On Apr. 11, 1805 Britain and Russia sign the Treaty of St. Petersburg, later joined by Austria and Sweden, forming the Third Coalition against France, which has been at war with Britain since May 16, 1803, causing Napoleon to abandon his planned invasion of Britain from four new French harbors (Ambleteuse, Wimereux, Boulogne, Etaples) and march his troops to Austria to kick their butts first; Prussia joins the Third Coalition later in 1805. In 1806 the garrisoning of French troops on German soil finally causes Frederick William III of Prussia to declare war, and Prussia, Britain, Russia, and Sweden to form the Fourth Coalition against France.
In 1806 the Turks under Ottoman sultan (1789-1808) Selim III (1761-1808) depose the Russophile govs. of Moldavia and Wallachia, leading to the Seventh Russo-Turkish War (ends 1812). In Jan. 1807 the Orthodox Catholic Serbs liberate Belgrade from the Muslim Turks. On Feb. 7-8, 1807 the French and Russo-Prussian armies fight the indecisive Battle of Eylau; on June 14 the French kick their butts totally in the Battle of Friedland; Karl vom Stein is recalled, and on July 7-9 after Austrian wheeler-dealer Prince Klemens von Metternich unsuccessfully tries to break the Franco-Russian alliance and flops over to share the spoils, the Treaty (Treaties) of Tilsit (Tilset), signed by Alexander I of Austria, Napoleon I of France, and Frederick William III of Prussia partitions the Ottoman Empire and divides Europe between France and Russia, recognizing the Confederation of the Rhine and ceding all territories W of the Elbe (incl. Saxony), which become the Kingdom of Westphalia, with Napoleon I's youngest brother Jerome Bonaparte (1784-1860) as king (until 1813), and his wife Catharina Frederica von Wurttemberg (Württemberg) (1783-1835) as queen, with capital in Cassel (Kassel), which they intend to set up as the model for the other German states; Prussia loses Poland and all territory W of the Elbe, and along with Russia is forced to recognize the new state of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw carved out of Poland; Prussia loses approx. half of its territory, closes its ports to the British, limits its standing army to 42K, and pays a 120M franc (mark?) indemnity (raised to 140M in 1808), all despite dick-teaser Queen Louise of Prussia having a "personal interview" with Nappy first?; Prussia's once top-drawer military hits rock bottom, and while the king seems resigned to it, PM Karl vom Stein has other ideas, and begins military reforms, encouraged by the queen; Russian adm. Dmitri Senavin sheds tears when he gets the news of the treaty on Aug. 12, and now that Nappy is considered Russia's ally and Britain its foe, he has to forfeit all his conquests and return to Sevastopol, evacuating Tenedos on Aug. 25 and sailing from Corfu on Sept. 19, officially leaving the Mediterranean. On Mar. 19-May 24, 1807 (78 days) 27K French troops under French marshal (since 1804) Francois Joseph Lefebvre (1755-1820) siege and capture approachable-only-from-the-west Danzig (Gdansk) from 11K Prussian and Russian troops under Prussian Count Friedrich Adolf Kalckreuth (1737-1818), which Napoleon establishes on Sept. 9 as an independent free city (until 1814), gaining Lefebvre the title of 1st Duc de Dantzig (Danzig), and Kalckreuth a promotion to field marshal. On Mar. 31, 1807 after Britain declares war on Turkey to protect their route to India and invades Egypt, Mehmet Ali, with the support of the Mamluks defeats the British at the Battle of Rosetta (Rasheed), and the British agree to withdraw from Egypt incl. Alexandria on Sept. 19; meanwhile on Feb. 19 the British fleet under adm. Sir John Thomas Duckworth (1747-1817) forces the defenses of the Dardanelles and anchors off Constantinople for the first time in history; on Feb. 24 the Russian navy under adm. Dmitri Nikolayevich Senyavin (1763-1831) reaches the Dardanelles and captures the island of Tenedos in Mar., blockading the straits and cutting off supplies to Constantinople; too bad, Duckworth loses 600 men to shore battery fire, and refuses to join with Senyavin's fleet on an expedition to Alexandria, which turns out bad; meanwhile the blockade causes the Janissaries to revolt against reformer sultan (since 1789) Selim III (b. 1761), and imprison and despose him in favor of his nephew Mustafa IV (1779-1808) (son of Abdul Hamid I) (until 1808), who orders the blockade broken by his navy, causing the naval Battle of the Dardanelles on May 11 and the naval Battle of Mount Athos (Monte Sancto) (Lemnos) on June 19-29, which are both Russian Vs, the Turks losing a third of their fleet. On Oct. 12, 1807 the Erfurt Convention is signed, refinforcing Napoleon I's alliance with Russia and allowing him to proceed to Spain - to give it his magical touch? In early Nov. 1807 France occupies Portugal after it refuses to join the Continental System, causing King Joao VI (prince regent) to flee with the royal family in advance of French armies and transfer the Portuguese Court next Mar. 7 to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; meanwhile in Sept. the Russian fleet under Dmitri Senyavin leaves, and arrives in Lisbon on Oct. 30, and the British navy moves in and blockades Lisbon, starting the Anglo-Russian War (ends July 18, 1812); after French forces under gen. Jean-Andoche Junot, 1st Duke of Abrantes (1771-1813) overrun Lisbon, Senyavin's fleet is caught in the middle, causing Senyavin to turn diplomat in an effort to save it, starting with ignoring orders from Napoleon via the Russian embassy in Paris to replace British officers on some of his ships with French ones.
On Apr. 14, 1808 the Battle of Bayonne is a D for new Spanish king , and is replaced as king of Spain by Napoleon by his brother Joseph Bonaparte (until 1813), who is transferred from Naples; Napoleon's fashionplate brother-in-law Joachim Murat (1767-1815) becomes king of Naples (until 1815); Ferdinand is imprisoned in France; in Dec. Napoleon abolishes the Inquisition in Spain and Italy by decree (it keeps popping up again until 1834); the Spanish revolt and the British come to their aid, starting the Peninsular War (ends 1814); after the British under Sir Arthur Wellesley land in Portugal, they fight the Battle of Cadeval on Aug. 16, the Battle of Rolica on Aug. 17, and the Battle of Vimeiro on Aug. 21, which is a D for the French under gen. Jean-Andoche Junot, causing the French to leave Portugal, and leaving the trapped Russian fleet of adm. Dmitry Senyavin to face a larger British force plus coastal artillery, which Senyavin answers by threatening to blow his ships up and fire Lisbon if attacked, resulting in British adm. Sir Charles Cotton, 5th Baronet (1753-1812) signing a makeshift convention allowing them to leave under British escort for Portsmouth, England on Aug. 31, with Senyavin given supreme command of the "joint Anglo-Russian fleet", but when they arrive on Sept. 27 the British Admiralty and the lord mayor of London get pissed off at them flying their flags, causing them to be detained until winter so they can't return to the Baltic, after which the half-starved fleet slinks off to Riga next Aug. 5, arriving on Sept. 9, after which Senyavin is forced into retirement (until 1825). On Sept. 17, 1808 the Treaty of Fredrikshamm (Hamina) is signed by Sweden and Russia, giving Russia control of Finland as far as the Tornea River and the Aaland Islands; Finland becomes an autonomous grand duchy of the Russian Empire (until Dec. 6, 1917); another treaty mediated by Russia and signed in Paris incl. Sweden in Napoleon's Continental System; on Sept. 20 Napoleon holds a meeting with Klemens Wenzel Nepomuk Lothar von Metternich (1773-1859) of Austria in which he declares that war with Russia is inevitable; meanwhile the Austrian govt. is torn between the pro-French and pro-Russian parties, causing Metternich to make his smoothest move ever of counseling the emperor for a middle course of "armed abstention", reasoning that an alliance with Russia isn't worth crap and it would be better to hold the tsar for ransom as he fights France, while an alliance with France is suicidal since France is "a power whose exclusive object is the destruction of the old order of things which Austria is the defender of", and it would be cooler for Austria to be the one free player left in the Euro power game; testing his hand, Metternich tells Russian Count Shuvalov that it is Austria's #1 interest to maintain the integrity of Turkey, so they better not mess with it.
On Jan. 5, 1809 after British adm. Sir John Thomas Duckworth fails to provide effective support for the Russian navy, Britain and Turkey negotiate the Treaty of the Dardanelles in Canak, Turkey. On Mar. 29 the Finnish Diet formally acknowledges annexation of Finland by Russia in return for guaranteeing religious freedom, traditional rights and privileges, and the Finnish constitution; the Finnish Estates take an oath of allegiance to the Russian tsar, who appoints a gov.-gen. and an imperial senate; on Sept. 17 Sweden and Russia sign the Treaty of Hamina (Fredrikshamn) with Russia acknowledging the transfer, ending the Russo-Swedish War (begun 1808); too bad the Russkies renege on their pledge and try to Russianize Finland, and the Finns fight back, with the slogan "We have ceased to be Swedes; we cannot become Russians; we must be Finns", and in a mere 110 years (1919) they set up a Finnish repub. Let me run this shiny brown nose past research and development? On Oct. 14, 1809 after the French get tired of haggling with one-upping new foreign affairs minister (since Oct. 8) Klemens von Metternich and deal directly with weak-kneed Austrian Hapsburg emperor Alexander I, issuing an ultimatum to force the issue, the exhausted Austrians agree to the Treaty (Peace) of Schonbrunn (Schönbrunn) (Vienna) (signed by Prince Liechtenstein on behalf of the emperor), making Austria a 2nd-rate power, giving up 32K sq. mi. of territory and 3.5M inhabitants to Russia, Bavaria, the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, and the new Illyrian Provinces along the Adriatic coast, with capital at Lyublyana (Ljubljana) (Laibach) (until 1813); Prussia receives Hanover, but has to give up its territories in S Germany and fire foreign minister Karl August von Hardenberg, whom Napoleon dislikes, and whom he humiliated by forcing Prussia to double the amount of territory ceded after he tried to backsass him, plus close the ports of Hanover to British commerce, isolating Prussia; secret articles force Austria to limit its army to 150K men, and dismiss all officers born in the territories of ancient France, Piedmont or the former Venetian Repub.; Russia receives part of East Galicia, putting it in the middle of the Danubian principalities, and causing Austria to be surrounded and isolated, and the Hapsburg monarchy to be hanging by a thread.
On June 23-24, 1810 the First Battle of Shumla (Sumen) is a V for the Turks against the Russians. On July 23, 1810 the Battle of Kargali Dere between the Russians and Turks is a push. On Aug. 8, 1810 the Second Battle of Shumla (Sumen) is a revenge V for the Russians over the Turks, after which they capture the fortresses of Rustchuck (Ruse), Nicopolis, and Giurgevo. On Oct. 26, 1810 the Battle of Vidin sees the Russians under gen. Count Nikolai Mikhailovich Kamensky (1776-1811) defeat 40K Ottomans under Osman Pasha, with 1.5K Russians vs. 10K Ottomans KIA.
On Feb. 10, 1811 the Russians seize Belgrade from the Ottomans. On Mar. 14, 1811 after calculating their chances should Napoleon conquer Russia and leave them isolated, the Austrians sign a treaty of alliance with France, agreeing to send 30K men to help him via Galicia; a cagey fox, Metternich secretly informs the Russians that his troops will only be used defensively, and only if Russia forces them.
In spring 1812 Russia hastily makes peace with the Swedes and British, and breaks with France for fear that Napoleon wants to restore Poland under the grand duchy of Warsaw using his marriage alliance with the Austrians. On May 18, 1812 the Battle of Silistria (Silistra) and the Battle of Vidin are Vs for Russia over Turkey despite the presence of Osman Pasha; on May 28 the Seventh Russo-Turkish War (begun 1806) ends with the Treaty of Bucharest; Russia gains the much-coveted province of Bessarabia (until 1917) and a position in the Balkans; Turkish influence in Romania weakens; the Turks are freed to take care of the pesky Serbs. On May 24, 1812 Napoleon I makes his final decision to invade Russia - talk about wishing to have a day back? On June 15, 1812 the Russians stop the French under Gen. Reynier at the Battle of Kobrin, becoming their first V over Napoleon. 600K in, 30K out? On June 21, 1812 after raising taxes to pay for it, Napoleon declares war on Russia, and assembles his Grande Armee of 600K dead-men-walking (30K from Austria and 20K from Prussia, forming the right and left wings) (no overcoats) and marches them to Russia, with Prussia granting them free passage, invading Mother Russia on June 23, crossing the Niemen (Neman) River on June 26 and occupying Vilna (Vilnius) 700 mi. W of Moscow on June 28, while the Russians under gen. prince Michael Andreas (Mikhail Bogdanovich) Barclay de Tolly (1761-1818) (of Scottish descent) retreat without giving battle - my life always goes to the edge, my American Express card with me? On July 8, 1812 the French occupy Minsk, Russia. On July 23, 1812 the Battle of Saltanova S of Mogilev sees the Russians under gen. Nikolai Nikolaevich Raevsky (1771-1829) (whose 11-y.-o. s on Nikolai and 16-y.-o. son Alexander fight with him) defeat the French then cross the Dnieper River to Smolensk, which he holds in a 24-hour battle on Aug. 4. On July 28, 1812 the French occupy Vitebsk, Russia. On July 30-Aug. 1, 1812 the Battle of Gorodetschna is a V for 25K Austrians and 13K Saxons over 31K Russians under Gen. Count Alexander Petrovich Tormasov (1752-1819), with 4K Russian casualties vs. 3K Austrian-Saxon casualties, after which the Russians withdraw and allow the Allies to occupy Kobrin on Aug. 3, causing Austrian Emperor Francis I to promote gen. Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg (1771-1820) to field marshal. On Aug. 16-18, 1812 the Battle of Smolensk 300 mi. W of Moscow sees Napoleon's 175K-man army defeat a 130K-man army under gen. Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly, with 4.7K Russians killed (incl. 5 gens.), 7K-8K wounded, and 2K taken POW, vs. 700 French killed and 3K wounded; too bad, the French forget to save the food sources when they destroy Smolensk, biting them in the butt later. Maybe that monkey figured out something I couldn't understand, who knows? Napleon's long run of hot luck turns not only cold but deadly hypothermic? On Sept. 5-7, 1812 after crossing the Viliya River, Napoleon wins the bloody Battle of Borodino 70 mi. WSW of Moscow against Russian field marshal Mikhail Ilarionovich Kutuzov (1745-1813) (the replacement for Tolly), who tries to halt Nappy with 121K men behind a line of earthworks across the highway at Borodino, causing Nappy (130K men) to maneuver the Russkies into massing in the center, then bombarding them with artillery, followed by a cavalry attack, breaking their lines and causing them to retreat under cover of darkness, leaving behind 45K dead and wounded, incl. 22 gens., vs. 32K French killed, incl. 31 gens., becoming the most bloody battle of the 19th cent.; Russian gen. Pyotr Ivanovich Bagration (b. 1765) (who led the Russian left wing) is mortally wounded, and dies on Sept. 24, after which his remains are transferred back to the battlefield and a monument erected by Tsar Nicholas I in his honor; the grave is blown up during WWII. On Sept. 14, 1812 Napoleon attacks Moscow, but the retreating Russians burn it, and when he enters it on Sept. 15 he finds it nearly deserted and no place to be caught without supplies, and he finally retreats from Moscow on Oct. 19, his army disintegrating after crossing the Berezina River in Belarus on Nov. 26-28; marshals Oudinot and Michel Ney (1769-1815) lead 8.5K freezing Frogs to force the passage against 25K warm Russkies, and Napoleon leaves Joachim Murat in command of a fierce battle as he sets out for Paris, returning on Dec. 19 while his army is wasted by "General Winter" (the Russian winter) on the return march, only about 100K men straggling across the Niemen River, of which only about 30K return to France; the main reason for the deaths is typhus? - minus loose appendages? On Oct. 18, 1812 the French under gen. Murat are defeated by the Russians at the Battle of Vinkovo (Tarutino). On Oct. 18-20, 1812 the Second Battle of Polotsk (Smoliani) is V for the Russians under gen. Peter Wittgenstein over the French under marshal Laurent Gouvion Saint-Cyr, allowing the Russians to take Polotsk and then dismantle Napoleon's forces in Belarus, then join the other two Russian armies to go for Napoleon. On Oct. 24, 1812 the Battle of Maloyaroslavets is a V for Napoleon over the Russians under Marshal Kutuzov, but he fails to follow up and goes back to its pathetic retreat along the same road it came in on. On Nov. 3, 1812 Napoleon is attacked at the village of Fyodorovskoy in Russia. On Nov. 9, 1812 a retreating French div. under gen. Louis Baraguay d'Hilliers (1764-1813) is captured outside Smolensk, and d'Hilliers ends up dying in disgrace next year in Berlin, leaving his 17-y.-o. son Louis-Achille Baraguey d'Hilliers (1795-1878), who ends up losing his left hand next year at Mockern. On Nov. 14-18 the Battle of Krasnoye (Krasny) (Krasnoi) is a pyrrhic V for Napoleon's remaining 42K regulars and 39K stragglers over 60K-80K Russkies under gen. Mikhail Kutuzov after Nappy stages a fake attack to cause Kutuzov to think twice, allowing him to escape destruction, although his Grande Armee suffers heavy losses, losing several individual defeats and abandoning most of its artillery and baggage train, losing 6K-13K French killed and 20K-26K captured vs. 5K Russian casualties; meanwhile the Russkies cut off Fench gen. Ney's forces, but they escape after a 3-day march, after which on Nov. 22 the Russkies cut the French line of march at the Berezina River, which the do-or-die French break through on Nov. 25-29; on Dec. 5 Napoleon abandons his dying Grand Armee, which retreats across the border into East Prussia on Dec. 14; meanwhile on Dec. 18 MacDonald's French army abandons its siege of Riga and heads back too.
On Feb. 28, 1813 the Treaty of Kalisch establishes an alliance between Russia and Prussia, and invites Austria and Britain to join them in liberating Europe from Bad Kid Nappy Lion; big hero Count Yorck von Wartenburg makes a triumphal entry into Berlin on Mar. 17, and the same day the king declares war on Napoleon; Yorck's troops later form the nucleus of the army of East Prussia that is inherited by Hitler. On May 2, 1812 Napoleon intercepts the Russians and Prussians at the indecisive Battle of Lutzen, then again on May 20-21 at the indecisive Battle of Bautzen, but with heavy casualties, allowing Metternich (who is waiting in the wings) to mediate a peace while completing Austria's armaments; meanwhile the other allies increase their strength more than the French by the time Austria joins the war against them. On June 26, 1813 Metternich meets with Napoleon in Dresden and pulls off a Machiavellian coup when he swindles the "small" man Napoleon, who used to own him but is now caught in a jam, into extending the armistice until Aug. 10 (10 weeks total), while he baits him with favorable terms which he knows he will refuse, and in case he accepts, he knows he can maneuver him into breaching the terms of; meanwhile he has the draft of the Second Treaty of Reichenbach (Dzierzoniow) between Austria, Russia, and Prussia in his pocket, which is signed on June 27, with Austria promising to field 50K men if Napoleon rejects their ultimatum, and also not to make a separate peace with the bum, creating the Sixth Coalition against Napoleon; during the power play interview Nappy drops his hat, and Metternich refuses to stoop to pick it up?; after it's over, and Nappy rejects the offer, Bettermach has signal beacons lit telling the Austrian army in Silesia that war is on. On July 5-Aug. 11, 1813 the Congress of Prague is a dud when Napoleon declines all terms offered, causing Austria to declare war on France in alliance with Russia, Britain, Prussia, Spain, and Sweden (in return for recognizing their annexation of Norway); the allies adopt a policy of avoiding battles in which Napoleon is personally present; meanwhile Nappy frantically strengthens his army and braces for the counterattack. On Sept. 6, 1813 the French under Marshal Michel Ney are defeated by the Prussians and Russians under Gen. Friedrich von Bulow and Crown Prince Charles John at the Battle of Dennewitz. On Sept. 9, 1813 the Treaty of Teplitz pledges unity among Russia, Prussia and Austria, plus (in secret) the restoration of Prussia and Austria to their 1805 boundaries.
On Oct. 31, 1812 the Battle of Aslanduz sees a Persian force of 20K under Prince Abbas Mirza (1789-1833) defeated by a Russian force of 2K-3K under Ukrainian Gen. Pyotr Stepanovich Kotlyarevsky (1782-1852), who go on to take Lenkoran - Persians get too much P to make good fighters? On Oct. 24, 1813 the Treaty of Gulstan between Russia and Persia ends the First Russo-Persian War (begun 1804), giving Azerbaijan, Daghestan, and E Georgia to Russia, and beginning the Great Game (Tournament of Shadows) between the Russian and British empires for supremacy in C Asia (ends 1907); the name Great Game is coined by British Indian intel officer Arthur Conolly (1807-42).
On Jan. 29, 1814 Napoleon surprises the Russian-Prussian army under Gen. Blucher at the Battle of Brienne, but the allies regroup and defeat him on Feb. 1 at the Battle of La Rothiere; too bad, the allies then split up their combined army into two columns because of supply problems, giving Nappy the chance to divide and conquer them as they head for Paris using his 70K-man army and his chess-playing skills. On Feb. 10-15, 1814 the Six Days Campaign sees Napoleon win a quick string of Vs, starting at the Battle of Champaubert (E of Paris) (Feb. 10) (Prussian and Russian), then the Battle of Montmirail (Feb. 11) (Prussian and Russian), the Battle of Chateau-Thierry (Feb. 12) (Prussian), and the Battle of Vauchamps (Feb. 14-15) (Prussian and Russian). On Mar. 9, 1814 the Congress of Chatillon, led by Prince Paul Anthony Esterhazy of Galantha (1786-1866) offers Napoleon the French frontier of 1792, but when the prick won't admit defeat it falls through, and on Mar. 9 the allies (Britain, Austria, Prussia, Russia) sign the Treaty of Chaumont, preventing a separate peace, and promising to fight together to stop France later if it ever gets too powerful again. On Mar. 12, 1814 a 15K-man Prussian-Russian army under French emigre Russian gen. Guillaume Emmanuel Guignard, Vicomte de Saint-Priest (b. 1776) takes Reims, pissing off Napoleon, who heads E with 10K troops and defeats them on Mar. 13 in the Battle of Reims, killing 3K and taking 5K POWs, and morally wounding Saint-Priest, causing his remaining troops to retreat back to Laon. On Mar. 30-31, 1814 after traitor French marshal Auguste Marmont, Duke of Ragusa abandons the strategic defensive position of Essonne and surrenders his 20K regular troops without a fight, 100K allied troops under Tsar Alexander I, Austrian gen. Karl Philipp, prince of Schwarzenberg, Frederick William III of Prussia, and Russian gen. Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly defeat the last 30K French troops (nat. and imperial guards) under Joseph Bonaparte at the Battle of Paris (for which Tolly is promoted to field marshal, and Marmont to peer of France after the Bourbon restoration), and the Senate, incl. his loyal buddy (pres. of the council of regency) Duc de Cambaceres declares that Napoleon and his family have forfeited the throne, causing Napoleon to issue the soundbyte "Marmont me porte le dernier coup" (Marmont has given me the fatal blow); as Russian troops march down the Champs Elysees, Nappy tries to summon what's left of his army to relieve Paris, but his marshals balk at assaulting and defacing the cool city just so he can give his infant son the cruddy throne; although Marmont becomes a big man in Bourbon France, the French people forever consider him a traitor, causing the word "raguser" to be coined for traitor; on Mar. 30 the Russians occupy Montmartre Hill in Paris, and open a bistro, starting a fashion.
I return my flower, a changed bee? Let's get Chef Pierre on the road? It's playtime, let's see your best Karate Krunch? On Mar. 20-June 28, 1815 the Hundred Days culminates in Napoleon meeting British gen. Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) at Waterloo, which Wellington later claims "was won on the playing fields of Eton"; on Feb. 26 after getting pissed off at the Bourbon restoration and the machinations of the Congress of Vienna, and seeing his chance with Anglo-Dutch troops under Wellington and Prussian troops under Blucher scattered around the Low Countries, Napoleon eludes British patrol ships and escapes Elba, then lands on Mar. 1 in Cannes, where troops sent to capture him fall prey to his charisma and and rally around him, causing Louis XVIII to flee to Ghent; on Mar. 13 the allies issue a ban against Nappy, but that doesn't stop him from entering Paris and establishing a govt., with the Duc de Cambaceres as pres. of the House of Peers and minister of justice, then organizing an army to reconquer Belgium and Holland, causing Austria, Britain, Prussia, and Russia to form the Seventh (Final) Coalition against him on Mar. 25, supplying 180K men each and getting all European nations except Sweden to join, resulting in a 1M-man army; Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours takes the cue and returns to the U.S. with his sons; Nathan Mayer Rothschild funds the Brits while Jacob Rothschild funds the French, allowing them to play both sides and end up owning a large amount of the British Empire, after which they force their five C European banks to be used instead of transferring precious metals from country to country? Into each life some rain must fall? On June 15-16, 1815 Napoleon suddenly crosses the Belgian frontier and attacks Charleroi, taking it from the Prussians; on June 16 he severely defeats field marshal Blucher at the Battle of Ligny (Nappy's last V), forcing him to fall back, while he personally rallies his scattered troops; meanwhile French marshal Michel Ney attacks the British under the prince of Orange at the Battle of Quatre Bras and is defeated, while French troops under marshal Jean-Baptiste Droute, Count d'Erlon (1765-1844) are given conflicting orders and march back and forth between Ligny and Quatre Bras without engaging; Napoleon orders cavalry cmdr. marshal Emmanuel Marquis de Grouchy (1766-1847) to follow and attack Blucher and his Prussians, who are expected to retreat S to Namur, but his orders are delayed for 12 hours, and Grouchy doesn't follow them, blindsiding grouchy Nappy, who joins Ney on June 17 and follows the retreating British on the road to Brussels, having a perfect life until they make a stand at the crossroads of Mt. St. Jean, in front of the village of (what's love? that's right?) Waterloo; alas, if only there had not been a bad rainstorm on the 17th, and he had not been suffering from painful hemorrhoids keeping him inside his tent high on opium, Nappy might have taken the unready Brits, but c'est la vie?; on June 18 (Sun.) (midday) (6, 6+6+6, 1815 = 6+6+6 + 1+5=6?) the watershed Battle of Waterloo in Belgium between Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington begins with a French frontal attack on Wellington's troops at the Battle of La Haye Sainte, whose "thin red line" repels the French cavalry charge three, count 'em, three times, giving Blucher's troops (who had not fallen back to Namur, but turned N along a series of farm roads to Wavre, eluding grouchy Grouchy) under new cmdr. August Neidhardt von Gneisenau (1760-1831) (who took charge after aging field marshal Blucher became disabled at Ligny) to surprise know-it-all-Nappy (the original Wrath of Khan vs. Kirk and Spock?), and come into view, though they are slowed by the muddy conditions, and take until 4:30 p.m. to reach the French at Planchenoit, on Nappy's right flank, getting him into a vise; at 7 p.m. the decision hour arrives, and Nappy the Gambler risks his Old (Imperial) Guard, who fight to the last man in vain, until finally the Frogs are routed; the French propose a truce, which is laughed off, and Gneisenau pursues the Frogs to the gates of Paris, capturing Napoleon's carriage, and beating Wellington; on July 7 Paris is retaken, and Louis XVIII returns to his throney throne throne, backed by large sums of money raised by Jacques Laffitte (1767-1844), who becomes gov. of the Bank of France and pres. of the chamber of commerce, supplying 2M francs from his own pocket to cover the pay of the imperial troops after the Battle of Waterloo (Napoleon I himself deposited 5M francs in gold with him before leaving France for the last time); the British Army begin wearing bearskin hats after the Battle of Waterloo to mock Napoleon's Imperial Guard. His last days as a Playboy Playmate coming up in minutes, or, Shrek the Third is about to debut? On June 22, 1815 (4 days after the Big D at Waterloo) after going with his brother Joseph Bonaparte to Rochefort, planning to sail separately for N. Am., and Joseph offering to give up his own hired vessel for him, whereupon he graciously lets him escape instead, Napoleon surrenders to British Adm. ? Hotham (ham jokes here?), then on July 15 formally surrenders aboard the HMS Bellerophon (Capt. Maitland) off Rochefort, and abdicates again in favor of his son Napoleon II (1811-32), who never rules; Napoleon is unanimously ordered by the allies to be exiled to St. Helena Island in the butthole of the Atlantic off the W African coast, where he arrives in Oct., and remains until his death on May 5, 1821; the Brits set up a garrison on Ascension Island to the NW, calling it stone frigate HMS Ascension, classified as "sloop of war of the smaller class"; French marshal Michel Ney (b. 1769)is executed for treason on Dec. 7; Gen. Grouchy, who lives in Chateau de la Villette NW of Paris is exiled to Philadelphia, Penn.; Blucher retires to private life and receives a special Iron Cross from pleased-as-punch Frederick William III; the name Arthur (as in Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington) suddenly becomes fashionable for baby boys; the Waterloo Teeth collected from the dead soldiers (most from young boys) for making dentures are so excellent that they are in great demand; Nappy's uncle Cardinal Joseph Fesch is exiled to Rome, bequeathing many art objects to Lyons; Nappy's brother Joseph Bonaparte flees to Bordentown, N.J. (until 1841), settling down in Point Breeze, N.J. under the title of Comte de Survilliers and going into agriculture - yep, that's me? On Sept. 26, 1815 the Category 3 (135 mph) Holy Alliance is formed by Alexander I of Russia, Francis I of Austria, and Frederick William III of Prussia, declaring that all Euro countries are to be governed by Christian (really conservative reactionary) principles; it is ultimately accepted by all European rulers except the British prince regent, the pope, and (obviously?) the Ottoman sultan - and that makes it classy for the kids? On Nov. 20, 1815 the Quadruple Alliance between Britain, Austria, Prussia, and Russia implements Prince Metternich's Congress System, whereby each member agrees to supply 60K men upon the attempted violation of the Treaty of Paris, and establishes the principle of govt. by conference; it is signed for a 20-year term, then renewed for another 20 years in 1834.
The 1816 Polish Constitution makes Russian Tsar Alexander I king of Poland, but gives Poland complete control of its own budget and army, freedom of the press, and religious tolerance - congratulations, you're going to be a blackjack dealer? In 1817 the Caucasian War AKA the Russian Conquest of the Caucasus begins (ends 1864).
In Sept. 1821 Russian tsar Alexander I claims the Pacific coast as far S as 51 deg. (Oregon Country), causing the U.S. to take exception. In 1822 John Adams' 1819 Transcontinental Treaty is finally ratified after a dispute over land claims ends with the claims being revoked; 54-y.-o. Tsar Alexander I issues an edict barring all foreign shipping from sailing closer than 100 mi. from the shore of "Russian America" (Ft. Ross in Bodega Bay), pissing off Pres. Monroe, who says that "the American continents are no longer subjects for a new European colonial establishment".
Did you ever hear of Alexander the Great? In early 1822 an uprising in Jassy, Wallachia sparks the Greek War of Independence (Reign of Terror) against the Ottoman Empire (ends 1830) after Greece declares independence and proclaims a liberal repub. constitution; brothers Alexander Ypsilanti (1792-1828) and Demetrius (Demetrios) Ypsilanti (1793-1832) lead a small force of gay Greeks; Britain suspects "a fixed intention to make Constantinople a seat of her power", and begins negotiations to keep Russia out of it, and even though Alexander Ypsilanti is aide-de-camp to Tsar Alexander I and head of the Philike Hetaeria, the tsar refuses to aid them, and the revolt is crushed in a few mo. (300 Greeks vs. 30K Turks?); meanwhile on Mar. 22 another uprising in Morea (Peloponnesus) begins in Patras in W Greece, led by Archbishop Germanos (1771-1826); until 1824 the Greeks, led by Top Guns Bozo, Loco, Maverick, and Sidewinder, er, Marco Bozzaris (1788-1823) (subject of a cool poem by Am. poet Fitz-Greene Halleck (1790-1867)), Teodoros Kolokotronis (1770-1843), Prince Alexandros Mavrokordatos (1791-1865), and Andreas Vokos Miaoulis (1768-1835) fight without foreign support for their F-14 Tomcats, although a handful of Euro wannabe Alexander the Greats volunteer, incl. fat, club-footed British poet George Gordon, 6th Baron Byron (OE "cow barn") (1788-1824) and his four pet geese, who gamely rush in to aid the cause of the oppressed Greeks, gaining the sympathy of the British public; one of Byron's numerous yo-yo diets is soda biscuits and vinegar? On Oct. 20, 1822 after a preliminary conference in Vienna in Sept., the Congress of Verona meets, attended by Austrian prince Klemens von Metternich, Russian Tsar Alexander I, Prince Hardenberg and Count Christian Gunther von Bernstorff for Prussia, Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand and the Duc de Montmorency-Laval for France, and the Duke of Wellington for Britain after Viscount Castlereagh's unexpected suicide; the three main questions are the Italian Question (Austrian rule of N Italy), the Turkish question (Greek revolt), and the Spanish Question (French intervention in the Spanish rev.); after Austria, Russia, and Prussia decide to support the French army in suppressing the Spanish rev., Britain refuses to commit, and withdraws from the Quintuple Alliance (Concert of Europe), leaving the others to continue as as Holy Alliance, which lasts until the Crimean War (1853-6), although the order created by the Congress of Verona keeps working to prevent major Euro land wars until WWI; on Nov. 22 secret articles pledge support for monarchical govt. against representative govt. in Spain's foreign colonies, making the Monroe Doctrine necessary? On Dec. 2, 1823 (Tues.) after Austria suggests that the European monarchs should assist Spain in its struggle against Simon Bolivar's revolt, the Monroe Doctrine is announced by Pres. Monroe in his 1823 annual message to Congress, declaring the preeminence of the U.S., and opposing European expansion (colonization) in the Western Hemisphere, warning that any extension of the European system there would be regarded as a hostile act; U.S. secy. of state J.Q. Adams contests "the right of Russia to any territorial establishment on this continent", rejecting the tsar's 1821 claims to the Pacific coast.
On Dec. 1, 1825 religion-crazed tsar (since 1801) Alexander I (b. 1777) dies of mushroom poisoning (fakes his own death on Nov. 19 to become a monk named Kuzmich?), and his brother (3rd son of Paul I) Nicholas I (1796-1855) is crowned Russian Romanov tsar #15 (until 1855); on Dec. 26 the Decembrist Uprising in Russia, led by military officers infected with Western liberal ideas calling for the end of autocracy and a new constitution is squelched by Nicholas I, with the leaders hanged or sent to snowy Siberia to show the drift of his new admin.; meanwhile Russian hero adm. Dmitri Nikolayevich Senyavin (1763-1831), who was forced to retire in 1809 and was planned on being used by the Decembrists until they were crushed, is called out of retirement by the new tsar to command the Baltic Fleet against the Turks - Tsar Nicholas, second time's the charm?
On Apr. 23, 1826 Ottoman troops capture Missolonghi, Greece after a 2-year siege (begun 1825); Ottoman sultan Mahmud II has his bodyguard the Janissaries massacred, and the institution (founded 1330) abolished; Russian Tsar Nicholas I issues an ultimatum forcing the Ottomans to recognize the independence of Moldavia, Wallachia, and Serbia, and declares war on Persia. On July 6, 1827 after the Turks enter Athens, Britain, Russia, and France sign the Treaty of London, agreeing to force a truce on the Ottoman sultan, demanding an armistice and a permanent settlement of the Greek-Turkish War, with Greek self-govt. under nominal Turkish suzerainty, but Sultan Mahmud II refuses, and the British begin a peaceful blockade of the Egyptian fleet aiding Turkey against Greece; when the Egyptians attempt to break the blockade, on Oct. 20 the 26-ship British, French and Russian alliance under big hero adms. Sir Edward Codrington (1770-1851) of Britain, and Dmitri Senyavin and Login Petrovich Geiden (1773-1850) (Dutch-born) of Russia defeats and destroys the 82-ship Turkish-Egyptian navy of Mehmet Ali along with their feared fortress at the Battle of Navarino Bay in the SW Peloponnesus at Pylos, Greece, insuring Greek independence; Mahmud II orders his navy rebuilt; Am. physician Samuel Gridley Howe (1801-76) (later hubby of Julia Ward Howe of "Battle Hymn of the Republic" fame) becomes known as "the Lafayette of the Greek Rev." for his military exploits as well as fundraising activities in the U.S. In 1827 Russia invades and conquers Persia, then takes Yerivan in Armenia. Will Russia ever? Only her hairdresser knows for sure In 1829 while England under PM (1828-30) Wellington wavers, Russian troops in Turkey force a win, capturing the Turkish city of Edirne (Adrianople) (until 1913), ending the War of Greek Independence (begun 1821) and Russo-Turkish War (begun 1828), with the Turkish Porte folding and agreeing to the Treaty of Adrianople (Edirne); the Greeks win independence from the Sick Man Ottoman Empire; Russia secures control of the mouths of the Danube; Ottoman satellites Moldavia and Wallachia (modern-day Romania) become autonomous Russian protectorates under nominal Ottoman control, with the Phanariot system (begun 1711) ended; Russia becomes allies with Greece and unacknowledged suzerain of Moldavia and Wallachia, pissing off the Euro powers; England loses the friendship of Turkey while losing prestige in Greece, causing liberals in England along with the gen. public to become disgusted with Wellington's admin.
On Nov. 29, 1830 the Poles in Warsaw begin the November Uprising against partition and Russian rule (ends 1831). On May 26, 1831 after the Polish Diet declares Polish independence, the Russians defeat them in the Battle of Ostroleka, and crush the November Uprising (begun 1830), launching a vicious Russification program; on Sept. 16 French foreign minister Horace Francois Bastien utters the soundbyte "The most perfect order prevails in Warsaw"; Warsaw U. is closed for over 20 years; Warsaw rock star Frederic Chopin (b. 1810) moves to Paris.
In 1845 Russian tsar Nicholas I forbids Jews to wear payot (sidelocks).
In 1848 after crop failures and recessions leave many of the poor on the verge of starvation, the European Revs. of 1848 (Springtime of Nations) (Springtime of the Peoples) (Year of Rev.) sees liberal revs. spring up simultaneously across Europe; only the Euro states of Britain, Russia, Netherlands, Poland, Serbia, and the Ottoman Empire are spared; too bad, most of them are quickly quashed, with tens of thousands tortured and killed, although the social changes later prove profound; "Society was cut in two: those who had nothing united in common envy, and those who had anything united in common terror" (Alexis de Tocqueville); Russia suffers from a major cholera epidemic, unusually dry weather causing fires and a bad harvest. At the start of the year, revolution-ripe Ugly Betty Italy is still divided into the Kingdom of Sardinia (incl. Piedmont, Genoa, Nice, Savoy), the Austrian provinces of Lombardy and Venetia, the duchies of Parma and Modena, the Hapsburg grand duchy of Tuscany), the Papal States (incl. Romagna, Ancona, Rome), and the Bourbon kingdom of the Two Sicilies. On Feb. 1, 1848 London Tribune reporter (managing ed. Richard Henry Dana - a coincidence? did he mention his California days?) Karl Marx (1818-83) and Friedrich Engels (1820-95) pub. The Manifesto of the Communist Party in London as a broadside for the coming revolutions, containing the immortal soundbyte "When, in the course of development, class distinctions have disappeared, and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation, the public power will lose its political character. Political power, properly so called, is merely the organized power of one class for oppressing another. If the proletariat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organize itself as a class, if, by means of a revolution, it makes itself the ruling class, and, as such, sweeps away by force the old conditions of production, then it will, along with these conditions, have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class"; when the little revvies all fizzle the document is repub. as The Communist Manifesto 20 years later, and those who think that socialism can be implemented bloodlessly are labelled as "utopian socialists"; of course the new Communist movement is militantly atheistic and anti-clerical, appealing to disaffected Catholics of all brands, along with pagan Chinese et al.
In 1853 Russian tsar Nicholas I leaves all fear of the revs. of 1848 behind, and resumes the "game of Great Powers" of the pre-1789 era, demanding a protectorate over the members of the Greek Orthodox Church in the Ottoman Empire, which would have threatened the sovereignty of the Turkish state; Turkey refuses, and the tsar, calling the Sultan the "sick man of Europe" occupies the Danubian principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia; Britain, France, Austria and Prussia attempt to bring Russia and Turkey to terms, but fail to get Turkey to agree; the Turks then order Russia to evacuate the occupied provinces, and when they refuse, declare war on Russia, starting the Crimean War (ends 1856) over the domination of SE Europe, in which England, France, Sardinia and Muslim Ottoman Turkey end up taking on Orthodox Catholic Russia and kicking its samovar-sipping butt, despite the need for Christian nations to stick together against the Muslims, with history-versed future Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-90) saying that it besmirches British integrity to prop up the Ottomans (what did he know, he bolted the Anglican Church for the Roman Catholic Church?); on Nov. 30 the Russians massacre the Turkish fleet at the naval Battle of Sinope, causing public opinion in England to go wild for war against "despot Russia"; French troops from Marseille land in Istanbul to fight the Crimean War and end up causing a cholera epidemic. In Mar. 1854 Britain joins with France against Russia to prevent it from gaining control of Turkey and the Holy Land, and declare war on Russia on Mar. 28, starting the "incredibly popular" (Queen Victoria) Crimean War (ends 1856), with gen. Fitzroy James Henry Somerset, 1st Baron Raglan (1788-1855) appointed as British CIC; Turkey agrees to Austrian occupation of its Danubian principalities until the end of the war; Victoria and Albert, who again opposed the Liberals and fought to prevent the war, only to see their popularity bottom-out, and Albert get accused of being a Russian agent (and/or that they both had been imprisoned) now wake up, flip-flop, and enthusiastically support the massacre of their own people, er, the incredibly popular war, restoring their popularity.
On Feb. 17, 1855 tsar (since Dec. 1, 1825) Nicholas I (b. 1796) receives news of the Russian D at the Battle of Evpatoria (Yevpatoria) in Crimea, and poisons himself, dying in the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg (of pneumonia?) on Mar. 2 (Feb. 18 Old Style), and his eldest son Alexander II (1818-81) succeeds him as Russian Romanov tsar #16 (until Mar. 13, 1881), continuing Russia's war policy and liberating the serfs in 1861, gaining the name Alexander the Liberator; on Mar. 15 a peace conference in Vienna fails.
Yet another Treaty of Paris (last 1815)? On Mar. 30, 1856 the Treaty (Peace) of Paris ends the Crimean War (begun Oct. 1853) at the instigation of the French, despite the British public's desire to continue; Turkey and Russia mutually restore the war conquests; the independence of Turkey is guaranteed; Turkey guarantees protection of its Christian subjects; the Black Sea is neutralized (closed to warships and coastal fortifications); navigation of the Danube River is placed under control of an internat. commission; Moldavia, Wallachia, and Serbia are given internal autonomy under Turkish suzerainty; S Bessarabia is restored to Moldavia; Turin envoy Count Camillo Benso di Cavour pleads the cause of Italian unity, souring the good relations that had existed between Napoleon III and the pope; says one French diplomat, "There is nothing to show which is the conqueror and which the conquered"; one good thing, Russia, which loses its dominance in SE Europe, along with 600K lives, finally wakes up and decides to modernize, incl. freeing the serfs.
On Mar. 3, 1861 after years of haggling with his nobles, Tsar Alexander II's Act of Emancipation completes the emancipation of 20M Russian serfs begun in 1858, effective Mar. 5, with the soundbyte "I should rather liberate them from the top than wait until they liberate themselves from the bottom"; too bad, he institutes lame reforms, allotting land to village communes (mirs), and making them make 49 years of "redemption" payments, resulting in each former serf only getting half of the land he used to cultivate, and forever unable to raise enough food to afford the payments; one-third have no horses, and another third have only one horse; most still use wooden plows, harvest crops with sickles or scythes, and thresh with hand flails.
Autocratic Russia sets the standard for quality health care? On Mar. 13, 1881 after approving a compromise plan to permit token democracy, Russian Tsar Alexander II (b. 1818) is assassinated in St. Petersburg by a terrorist bomb while riding in his carriage, asking to be taken to the Winter Palace to die; the Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood is later (1883-1907) constructed on top of the cobblestones where he was bombed; his equally repressive 2nd son Alexander III (1845-94) (known for his great size and strength and peasant roughness) succeeds him as Russian Romanov tsar #17 (until Nov. 1, 1894), dropping the compromise plan along with all previous reforms, and instituting persecution of religious minorities, esp. Jews, fanning mob hysteria into Jewish pogroms, causing many Jews to leave Russia, 90% going to the U.S.; meanwhile next year Alexander III begins the Faberge (Fabergé) Egg fetish by giving his wife one for Easter after seeing them at a fair in Moscow, designed by Peter Carl (Karl Gustavovich) Faberge (Fabergé) (1846-1920); varieties incl. Standard and Azov - is this how we got Isaac Asimov? On Apr. 29 Tsar Alexander II's Alexander's Manifesto on Unshakable Autocracy, engineered by reactionary minister Konstantin Petrovich Pobedonostsev (1827-1907), procurator of the Holy Synod (the non-clerical overseer of the Russian Orthodox Church) apes Ivan the Terrible's coronation speech.
In 1881 learned economist Nicholas (Nikolai) Khristianovich Bunge (1823-95) is appointed Russian minister of finance (until 1887), with the mission of making economic changes necessary for Russian industrialization, incl. the Peasants' Land Bank, abolition of the head tax, introduction of an inheritance tax, and the first Russian labor legislation, attempting to pump up capitalism in Russia.
Gas-ex, the pressure's off? On Nov. 1, 1894 Russian tsar (since Mar. 13, 1881) Alexander III (b. 1845) dies, and his eldest son Nicholas II (1868-1918) (whose portrait bears a striking resemblance to Dr. Seuss' Cat in the Hat?) becomes Russian Romanov tsar #18 (last) (until Mar. 15, 1917), signing a military agreement with France; on Nov. 14 he marries his hemophilia-carrying relative (also related to the British and every other inbred royal house of Europe by now?) Princess Viktoria Alix Helena Luise Beatrice of Hessen and Darmstadt (Alix of Hesse and by Rhine) (1872-1918) (who converts from Lutheran to Russian Orthodox and becomes Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna Romanova, followed by St. Alexandra the Passion Bearer in 2000) in the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, breaking the heart of his jello-fruit-passions lover, St. Petersburg ballerina (who likes to bet on #17 in Monte Carlo) Matilda Kshesinskaya (Kschessinskaya) (1872-1971), causing her to get even by hooking up with his cousin Grand Duke Andrei Vladimirovich (1879-1956), having his baby Vladimir, then in the 1920s after fleeing to Paris marrying him; Alexandra accompanies the dead tsar's coffin to St. Petersburg, causing the crowd to murmur "She comes to us behind a coffin" - does she wear a tarlatan or tulle tutu?
The first time since the Mongols that an Asian military force totally defeats a European power? On Feb. 8, 1904 (10:30 p.m.) "World War Zero", AKA the Russo-Japanese War (ends Sept. 5, 1905) over control of Manchuria and Korea begins with a surprise Japanese attack on the Russian naval squadron at Port Arthur (Lushun) in Liaodung Province (leased to Russia by China), followed by a formal declaration of war by Japan on Feb. 10 (the U.S. doesn't learn a lesson from this?); the Japanese, led by field marshal (since 1898) Prince Iwao Oyama (1842-1916) immediately occupy Seoul, and force Korea to annul all concessions made to Russia.
The Czarist regime in Russia starts to topple when the Japanese kick their butts and it kicks its own citizens' butts? On Jan. 2, 1905 (9:00 p.m.) a letter from Russian Gen. Baron Anatoly Mikhaylovich Stessel (Stoessel) (1848-1915) formally surrendering Port Arthur (sieged since Aug. 1, 1904) by Japanese Gen. Count Nogi Maresuke (Kiten, Count Nogi) (1849-1912), and on Jan. 22 (Jan. 9 Old Style) (Sun.) a rev. breaks out in Russia for the first time in St. Petersburg, becoming known as Bloody (Red) Sunday after thousands of peaceful demonstrating Russian workers led by Russian Orthodox priest Father Georgi Apollonovich Gapon (1870-1906) are fired on by imperial army troops as they approach the Winter Palace, killing 70 and wounding 240, starting a bloody spiral that can only end with the tsar's head on a platter?; on Mar. 3 the tsar announces a consultative assembly, an edict of religious toleration, permission to use the Polish language in Polish schools, relief for Jews, and part-cancellation of redemption payments; this doesn't stop his pigs from arresting Polish writer Stefan Zeromski (1864-1925), who ends up in exile in France and Austrian Galicia until 1918.
On July 24, 1905 after mutual yacht visits, the secret mutual defense accord Bjorko (Björkö) Treaty (Treaty of Koivisto) is signed by the kaiser and the tsar, resurrecting the Oct. 1904 alliance but confined to Europe, and to take effect only after Russian-Japanese peace; it is scuttled in Oct. when Russian statesmen Sergei Witte and Count Vladimir Lamsdorf return from Portsmouth, learn about, it, and argue that it's invalid unless France signs it, pissing-off Kaiser Wilhelm II, who utters the soundbyte: "We joined hands and signed before God, who heard our vows!... What is signed is signed, and God is our testator!"; if Nicholas II hadn't listened to Witte and Lamsdorf "the whole history of Europe and the world could have been different" (Annika Mombauer and Wilhelm Deist).
They were made for each other, blini and sake? On Sept. 5, 1905 defeated Russia signs the Treaty of Portsmouth at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, N.H. (first U.S. city to host the formal conclusion of a foreign war until ?), mediated by Pres. Teddy Roosevelt (who wins the 1906 Nobel Peace Prize for it), ending the Russo-Japanese War (begun Feb. 8, 1904), and becoming the first Asian V over a Western power in modern history, giving control of Manchuria to China, and control of Korea to Japan, bringing peace between Japan and Russia for four decades; Japanese foreign minister Jutaro Komura (1855-1911) is chief Japanese rep.; the Anglo-Japanese alliance is renewed for 10 years; Japanese Field Marshal Iwao Oyama becomes a bigger hero than ever, and is given the rank of prince in 1907.
Tough meets classy in Russia? On Oct. 6, 1905 (Sept. 24 Old Style) the Russian Gen. Strike begins with printers in Moscow, joined by rail workers on Oct. 19, and telegraph workers on Oct. 22, becoming a gen. strike on Oct. 25; on Oct. 26 the First Soviet (Council) of Workers' Deputies in St. Petersburg is formed to direct it, ending it on Nov. 3 after old fart reactionary Konstantin Petrovich Pobedonostsev (1827-1907) and other ministers are forced to resign, and Tsar Nicholas II takes the advice of Count Sergei Witte (1849-1915) to promise reforms, and on Oct. 30 issues the October Manifesto, granting Russia a constitution along with an imperial Duma with legislative power, an extended franchise, and civil liberty guarantees, with Witte as PM; meanwhile on Oct. 30 (Oct. 17 Old Style) the St. Petersburg Soviet prints the first issue of the newspaper Izvestia (Russ. "news"); many liberals bite and join the conservative govt. ranks, on Oct. 26 forming the Octobrist Party (Union of October 17), but the holdouts, incl. nobles and scholars form the more radical Constitutional Dem. Party (K.D.) (Cadets), and the more radical Social Dems. reject the whole govt. program, while the yet more radical St. Petersburg Soviet opens branches in new cities and attempts to organize another strike; meanwhile on Oct. 31 Bolshevik activist Nikolai Ernestovich Bauman (b. 1873) is killed in street fighting, triggering a street war between right and left; meanwhile in Oct. the Peasant Union of the Volokolamsk District creates the independent Markovo Repub. 90 mi. from Moscow (crushed in July, 1906); religious Russian poet Dmitri Sergeyevich Merezhkovsky (1866-1941) declares the rev. a religious happening, with himself as the prophet.
On June 28, 1914 (Sun.) after waiting seemingly forever in vain for his old fart uncle Austrian-Hungarian emperor (since 1848) Franz Joseph I (1830-1916) to die, and shooting 200K game animals in the meantime and mounting 5K in his palace hallway, Archduke Franz (Francis) Ferdinand (b. 1863), heir to the Hapsburg throne of Austria-Hungary and his morganitic wife (since 1900) Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg (1868-1914) drive in their Graf und Stift automobile along the Appel Quay beside the Miliaca River in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, when a bomb is thrown onto their car, but bounces off, and they visit the Burgomaster and Bosnia-Herzegovina gov. Gen. Oskar Potiorek (1853-1933) at the town hall, who comments that Bosnians don't make two assassination attempts in the same day, causing the couple to decide to take off again to visit Potiorek's wounded aide-de-camp in a hospital; too bad, while driving to the hospital on Francis-Joseph St., the car stops to go into reverse after it discovers that they are back on the Latin Bridge on Appel Quay, and from the crowd consumptive Serb nationalist (Austrian subject) Gavrilo Princip (1894-1918) (whose portrait bears a striking resemblance to Hollywood actor Bobcat Goldthwait (1962)?), who with secret Serb military backing wants to create a Greater Serbia by breaking off Austria-Hungary's S Slav provinces in Bosnia assassinates the archduke and his wife with a Browning .380 pistol (serial #19074) (rediscovered in 2004) that had been given to him by the chief of the intel section of the Serbian gen. staff; the news is dispatched at 12:30 p.m., and by the next day Europe is buzzing with talk of Serbian intrigue, even though Serbia itself is later vindicated, and the archduke's own family ignores his funeral; instead of blowing over, this fractal moment in human history leads directly to the outbreak of World War I (ends Nov. 11, 1918) (1 of ?).
On Mar. 8, 1917 (Internat. Women's Day) (Feb. 23 Old Style) (Sun.) women march in Petrograd, Russia to demand "bread and peace"; combined with 500K Russian workers already on strike plus 2M soldiers dead in the war, the February Rev. (Old Style Julian calendar) begins; on Mar. 11 the Duma refuses to yield to the tsar's orders to dissolve, and by night fires break out in Petrograd while soldiers of the elite Volynsky Regiment murder some of their officers; on Mar. 12 the remainder of the regiment refuses to fire on street demonstrators, instead lashing commanding officer Capt. A.F. Lashkevich to death, becoming the first Russian military unit to mutiny and join the revolutionaries, and prisoners are set free; on Mar. 14 a revolt in Petrograd and Moscow succeeds, and a provisional govt. is formed, led by Prince Georgy Lvov (1861-1925). On Mar. 13, 1917 the capt. of Russian cruiser Aurora docked in Petrograd is murdered by revolutionary sailors; on Mar. 13 the joint German-Austrian high command agrees to provide railway facilities for Vladimir Lenin and his party of 32 Bolsheviks to return to Russia from Switzerland, and he agrees on Mar. 31; on Mar. 13 sailors kill 40 officers and sgts. and arrest 100+ officers at Kronstadt; on Mar. 14 the revolt in Petrograd and Moscow succeeds, and a provisional govt. is formed by the Duma (pres. M.V. Rodzianko) in the Tauride Palace in Petrograd, led by PM Prince Georgy Lvov (1861-1925), granting amnesty to political prisoners in Siberia but continuing the war; on Mar. 14 (Mar. 1 Old Style) the rival Petrograd Soviet (Russ. "council"), also meeting in the Tauride Palace issues Order No. 1, ordering the army to democratize, with soldiers electing their own officers (insuring anarchy?), and all weapons to be controlled by elected committees, with off-duty saluting of officers abolished; it sends political commissars to all military units to persuade soldiers to quit fighting; on Mar. 14 the tsar's train is stopped at Pskov by the revolutionaries; on Mar. 15 (2:30 p.m.) after Russian gen. Mikhail Vasiliyevich Alekseyev (1857-1918) at Mogilev gets all army cmdrs. to telegram him asking him to abdicate to keep Russia in the war, and Russian gen. Nikolai Vladimirovich Ruzsky (1854-1918) (cmdr. of the Northern Front) at Pskov personally talks him into it (claiming to regret it later before he is executed), and his cousin Grand Duke Nicholas also recommends it, tsar (since Nov. 1, 1894) Nicholas II (1868-1918) (whose portrait bears a striking resemblance to Dr. Seuss' Cat in the Hat?) ups and abdicates in favor of his younger brother Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich Romanov (1878-1918), ending the Romanov Dynasty (begun 1613), after which the provisional govt. promises civil liberties and a constituent assembly. On Mar. 22, 1917 after Grand Duke Michael refuses the crown unless a constituent assembly is heard, and the latter is delayed until fall, the revolutionaries throw the baby out with the bathwater and arrest Russian tsar Nicholas II at army HQ, then imprison him in Tsarskoe Selo Palace; meanwhile on Mar. 22 the U.S. becomes the first to recognize the provisonal govt., followed by the English, French, and Italians.
On July 16, 1918 after Czech troops who had fought in the Russian ranks try to make their way out of Russia via Siberia and the port of Vladivostok, approaching the Red Ural capital of Ekaterinburg, where the Russian royal family is imprisoned, the local Soviet, fearing that they might be liberated, orders Nicholas II (b. 1868) and his family (empress, five children, doctor, three servants, family spaniel) executed, and on Sept. 17 they are executed by the Bolsheviks in Yekaterinberg by firing squad in the basement of their house, then their bodies burned and buried in an unmarked grave to keep royalists from turning them into holy relics; the remains of Nicholas II and Empress Alexandera, and three children, incl. Anastasia are unearthed in 1991 and reburied in St. Petersburg, after which in 2000 all seven family members are canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church; in summer 2007 bone shards are unearthed in the forest nearby, and on Apr. 30, 2008 DNA tests identify the other two children, crown prince Alexei and grand duchess Maria, putting to rest all the claims of pretenders.
After the last tsar was executed, Russia evolved into the Soviet Union, only to see a new type of tsar arise who uses the Marxist doctrine of Communism along with cruel mass-murder dictatorship to mollify the masses and foment revolution. The atheistic Communist Union of Soviet Socialist Repubs. (Soviet Union), founded in 1922 finally collapses and falls in 1991, going Capitalist in order to get capital and expertise from their former archenemy the U.S.
Ding dong the witch is dead? Or don't stop believing? On Mar. 5, 1953 the 25-year (since 1928) assassination-attempt-free reign of Joseph Stalin ("Koba") (b. 1879) is ended by his death at age 73 (6 weeks after the birth of TLW), four days after having a stroke in his Kremlin apt. during an all-night dinner with Beria, Malenkov, Bulganin, and Khrushchev which paralyzes the right side of his body; his death is not announced until Mar. 6 (after the piranhas feed); on Mar. 6 he is succeeded as PM by WWII aircraft and tank production chief Georgi (Georgy) Maximilianovich Malenkov (1902-88) (until 1958), with secret police chief Lavrenti Pavlovich Beria (1899-1953) as deputy PM (until July 10); marshal Klimenti Efremovich Voroshilov (1881-1969) becomes pres. (until 1960); on Mar. 14 Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev (1894-1971) replaces Malenkov as first secy. of the Soviet Communist Party, then moves up to head of the Central Committee on Sept. 7 after Beria is out of the way; Stalin leaves a list of names, with the handwritten note "Execute everyone"; exiled Chechens are allowed to return home, and sick and disabled Korean War POWs are exchanged following Stalin's funeral; happy Eastern Europeans begin a de-Stalinization agitation - they'll be baaack?
On Dec. 6, 1987 (Sun.) Freedom Sun. for Soviet Jews sees 250K gather on the Nat. Mall in Washington, D.C. to call for Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to extend his Glasnost policy to Soviet Jews and allow them to emigrate, becoming the largest Jewish rally in Washington, D.C. history (until ?). On Dec. 7, 1987 Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev sets foot on U.S. soil for the first time, arriving for a Washington, D.C. Summit with Pres. Reagan on Dec. 8-10; on Dec. 8 (1:45 p.m.) they sign the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty banning intermediate-range nuclear missiles, becoming the first-ever agreement between the U.S. and Soviet Union to reduce the size of their nuclear arsenals; Am. pianist Van Cliburn performs for Gorbachev at the White House; by May 1991 the two countries eliminate 2,692 missiles; too bad, on Oct. 20, 2018 Pres. Trump announces that the U.S. is withdrawing from the treaty after accusing Russia of non-compliance, and the U.S. formally pulls out on Feb. 1, 2019, followed by Russia on Feb. 2.
On Mar. 24, 2014 after its illegal annexation of Crimea, Russia is suspended from the G8 Summit, which is moved from Sochi to Brussels, becoming the G7.
On Oct. 30, 2017 Russian pres. Vladimir attends the opening of the Wall of Grief (Sorrow), a memorial to victims of Soviet-era political repression; Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill gives a speech criticizing the Bolshevik Rev. on its 100th anniv., warning against fomenting new revs.
On July 4, 2020 after a referendum which votes 78% for it, a new Russian constitution takes effect, with 206 amendments, allowing pres. Vladimir Putin to stay in power until 2036, and banning gay marriage.
The future of Russia is now up for grabs. Will it stay Capitalist, or go Commie again, with another tsar? Stay tuned.