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vitch, and made him Patriarch of Moscow and of All the Russias.
RUSSIA IN ANARCHY Vasili still held out at Moscow against the pretender at Toushin, and civil war raged. But by 1610 Dimitry's cause waned and was evidently doomed to failure. Thereupon Sigismund of Poland himself invaded Russia and put forward his son Vladislav as a candidate for the throne. Vasili in his desperation committed injudicious acts which provoked Moscow to revolt against him, and in July of that year he was forced to abdicate, and was sent to a monastery. A Duma, or Council of Nobles, was formed to conduct the government until another Tsar could be chosen. This Council hesitated for a time between the latest false Dimitry and Vladislav, but finally offered the crown to the latter, and many swore allegiance to him. At this crisis the Patriarch, Philaret, otherwise Feodor Romanoff, intervened for the salvation of Russia. He led a large delegation of ecclesiastics and nobles from Moscow to meet Sigismund at Smolensk, which city he was besieging, to inquire whether Vladislav, if accepted as Tsar, would adopt for himself the Orthodox Russian religion. The reply given was evasive and unsatisfactory, and the envoys were convinced that Sigismund was seeking the Russian crown for himself and was using his son as a mere mask. Philaret therefore sought to rouse the people of Moscow against the Polish Prince. The nobles, however, betrayed the city into the hands of the Poles and the latter came in and took possession. Philaret was seized and sent as a prisoner to Poland. In Passion Week of 1611 civil war raged in the streets and nearly all of the city was burned, the Poles, however, still holding the citadel. Soon after Sigismund captured Smolensk, while Novgorod gave its allegiance to Karl, the second son of the King of Sweden. The Cossacks at Moscow were inclined to hail as Tsar an infant son of Marina Mnishek, while yet another false Dimitry arose at Ivangorod and established himself at Pskov. Chaos was complete and Russia seemed ruined beyond repair.
SEEKING A SAVIOR Then at Nijni Novgorod a patriotic uprising began, led by a cattle dealer and butcher named Kozma MininSoukhorouk and by Prince Dimitry Pojharskie. The former professed to have had a divine call, like that of Joan of Arc, and thus aroused much religious enthusiasm. A large army was organized, led by Prince Dimitry, and it moved slowly forward toward the capital. It entered into negotiations with the Swedes, and seemed inclined to accept Karl as Tsar if he would adopt the Russian religion. Near Moscow it encountered the Poles and Cossacks, and won a hard battle. Thus warned, on October 24, 1612, the Poles in the Kremlin released a crowd of prisoners whom they had been holding there, including among them Mikhail Feodorovitch Romanoff, the son of Philaret. The next day the Poles surrendered the Kremlin and marched out, and the Russians reoccupied that citadel. This event marked the turning point of the crisis of Russian history. Sigismund, who had been moving toward Moscow, now halted and soon retired to Poland.
Russia thus being freed from serious invasion, the dignitaries of church and state set to work upon the important task of selecting a new Tsar. The direct line of Rurik was extinct, and there was a strong repugnance to the
election of any foreign prince. By common consent attention was generally turned toward Mikhail, or Michael, the son of Philaret. It was observed that the Romanoffs were closely connected by marriage with the line of Rurik. If they were to be credited with no great achievements, on the other hand they were to be charged with no serious misdeeds. There was nothing with which to reproach the young Prince. He had engaged in no political intrigues like those of Boris and Vasili. The son of the Patriarch, he was sound in the Orthodox religion. He had no relationship nor sympathy with the Nagois and other conspirators. Moreover his name Mikhail. was the same as that of Mikhail Skopin-Shouyskie, the brilliant young hero of a recent war who had been the idol of the Russian people and had been foully murdered.
THE FIRST ROMANOFF In such circumstances and under such considerations the representatives of church and state were soon agreed in supporting the candidacy of the young Romanoff Prince. In “Orthodox Week” of Lent, 1613, the Archbishop of Riazan, with a group of distinguished associates, faced a great conclave of Russian noblemen and clergy in the Red Square of Moscow, and asked who should be Tsar. There was a universal shout of “Mikhail Feodorovitch Romanoff!” Thereupon envoys were sent to the Ipatewski Monastery at Kostroma, where Mikhail and his mother had taken refuge. The mother was reluctant to have her son proclaimed Tsar. Her husband was still a prisoner in the hands of the Poles and in peril of death, and she feared that her son would share the fate of so many other murdered princes. At last, however, she yielded, and on May 2, 1613, Mikhail entered the Kremlin as Tsarelect. On July 11th following he was crowned in the Ouspienskie Cathedral, and the Romanoff dynasty was fully established. For a year he and his associates had hard work to reorganize the disordered finances of the empire and to suppress various rebellions. It was harder still to settle with Sweden and Poland, but he was greatly aided by England in making peace with the former power, and on December 1, 1618, he made peace with Poland, though at the cost of surrendering a number of Russian cities. For this he was repaid, however, by the release of his father, Philaret, who came home in safety and was reelected to the Patriarchate. With Mikhail at the head of the state and Philaret at the head of the church, the Russian Empire seemed to have emerged from its time of trouble. i The reign of Mikhail, for thirty-two years, in its quietness and moderation presented a striking contrast to the stormy era which had preceded it. It was partly the quietness of national exhaustion and partly that induced by the wisdom and benevolence of the Tsar's father, Philaret, whose name was always joined with that of Mikhail in imperial decrees. The next Tsar, Mikhail's son Alexis, for thirty-one years showed himself an able, broad-minded sovereign, both progressive and aggressive, who codified Russian laws, developed trade, cultivated friendly relations with other countries, incorporated the Ukraine and the whole Cossack country with Russia, and regained the cities which his father had been compelled to relinquish to Poland. The third Romanoff, Feodor II, in half a dozen years did little save to neglect the good works of his predecessors. His chief claim to remembrance is that he destroyed the pedigree books which had long been a prolific source of bickering and wrangling among the nobility.
PETER THE GREAT Then came another crucial epoch in Russian history. There were two claimants of the throne, Ivan and Peter, sons of Alexis by his first and second wives. The dispute was compromised by letting the two reign jointly under the regency of Sophia, Ivan's elder sister. That arrangement lasted until the death of Ivan seven years later, when Peter sent Sophia to a convent and alone assumed the reins of autocracy. This was that Peter who gave Russia a frontage on the Black Sea and on the Baltic, who built St. Petersburg to be "a window looking on Europe;" who crushed Charles XII of Sweden at Poltava; who suppressed Mazeppa and the Little Russians; who conquered Esthonia, Livonia, Viborg and other Baltic provinces; who created a Russian navy and mercantile marine; who abolished the system of oriental seclusion of women and oriental dress for men, and who well-earned his title of Great.
After his thirty-six years came his widow, Catherine I, who for her two years was content to let the government be conducted by Menshikoff, who had as a boy peddled cakes in the streets until he was taken up, for his good looks, as one of Peter's numerous favorites. He remained all-powerful during Catherine's reign, but soon after the accession of Peter II, son of Alexis, he was deposed and exiled by the Dolgorouki family, who led a reactionary revolution. Peter reigned only three years and at his death Russia fell almost into chaos again, amid the conflicting claims of rival candidates. A secret council of nobles finally selected Anna of Courland, daughter of Ivan, the brother of Peter the Great, as sovereign. This choice was based upon the fact not that her claim was the strongest of all the candidates but that it was the