The Info List - Alexei Mikhailovich

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Aleksey Mikhailovich (Russian: Алексе́й Миха́йлович, IPA: [ɐlʲɪˈksʲej mʲɪˈxajləvʲɪtɕ]; 29 March [O.S. 19 March] 1629 – 8 February [O.S. 29 January] 1676) was the tsar of Russia from 12 July 1645 until his death, 29 January 1676. His reign saw wars with Poland and Sweden, schism in the Russian Orthodox Church, and the major Cossack
revolt of Stenka Razin. Nevertheless, at the time of his death Russia spanned almost 2,000,000,000 acres (8,100,000 km2).


1 Early life and reign 2 Later reign

2.1 Military reform 2.2 Rebellions 2.3 War against Safavid
Iran 2.4 Wars against Poland and Sweden 2.5 Response to English Civil War 2.6 Schism with the Old Believers

3 Assessment 4 Family and children 5 Ancestry 6 See also 7 References 8 Sources 9 External links

Early life and reign[edit]

Kneaze Alexey Michailovitz, Great Duke of Moscovie, 1664 (inaccurate engraving that fails to depict him becoming Tsar)

Born in Moscow
on 29 March 1629, the son of Tsar
Michael and Eudoxia Streshneva, the sixteen year old Alexei acceded to the throne after his father's death on 12 July 1645. In August, the Tsar's mother died, and following a pilgrimage to Sergiyev Posad
Sergiyev Posad
he was crowned on 28 September in the Dormition Cathedral.[2] He was committed to the care of his tutor Boris Morozov, a shrewd boyar open to Western ideas.[3] Morozov's pursued a peaceful foreign policy, securing a truce with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
and carefully avoiding complications with the Ottoman Empire. His domestic policy aimed at limiting the privileges of foreign traders and abolishing a useless and expensive court offices. On 17 January 1648 Morozov procured the marriage of the tsar with Maria Miloslavskaya, himself marrying her sister, Anna, ten days later,[3] both daughters of Ilya Danilovich Miloslavsky. Morozov was regarded as a corrupt, self-seeking boyar and was accused of sorcery and witchcraft. In May 1648 Muscovites rose against his faction in the Salt Riot, and the young Tsar
was compelled to dismiss them and exile Boris to the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery. Four months later, Boris secretly returned to Moscow
to regain some of his power.[4] The popular discontent demonstrated by the riot was partially responsible for Alexis' 1649 issuance of a new legal code, the Sobornoye Ulozhenie. Later reign[edit] Military reform[edit] In 1648, using the experience of creating regiments of the foreign system during the reign of his father, Alexis began reforming the army. The main direction of the reform was the mass creation of Regiments of the New Order: Reiters, Soldiers, Dragoons and Hussars[5]. These regiments formed the backbone of the new army of Tsar
Alexis. To fulfill the reform goals, a large number of European military specialists were hired for service. This became possible because of the end of the Thirty Years' War, which created a colossal market for military professionals in Europe[6]. Rebellions[edit] Throughout his reign, Alexei faced rebellions across Russia. After resolving the 1648 Salt Riot
Salt Riot
Alexei faced rebellions in 1650 in the cities of Pskov
and Great Novgorod. Alexei put down the Novgorod rebellion quickly, but was unable to subdue Pskov, and was forced to promise the city amnesty in return for surrender. The Metropolitan Nikon distinguished himself at Great Novgorod
and in 1651 became the Tsar's chief minister.[4] By the 1660s, Alexei's wars with Poland and Sweden
had put an increasing strain on the Russian economy—Alexei's government had begun minting large numbers of copper coins in 1654, in an attempt to increase government revenue, but this instead led to a devaluation of the ruble and a severe financial crisis. As a result, angry Moscow residents revolted in the 1662 Copper Riot, which was put down violently.[4] In 1669, the Cossacks
along the Don in southern Russia erupted in rebellion. The rebellion was led by Stenka Razin, a disaffected Don Cossack
who had captured the Russian terminus of Astrakhan. From 1670 to 1671, Razin seized multiple towns along the Volga River. The turning point in his campaign was his failed siege of Simbirsk
in October 1670. Razin was finally captured on the Don in April 1671, and was drawn and quartered in Moscow.[4] War against Safavid
Iran[edit] Main article: Russo-Persian War (1651–53) In 1651 Safavid
troops attacked Russian fortifications in the North Caucasus. The main issue involved the expansion of a Russian garrison on the Koy Su River, as well as the construction of several new fortresses, in particular the one built on the Iranian side of the Terek River.[7][8] The successful Safavid
offensive resulted in the destruction of the Russian fortress and its garrison being expelled.[8][7] In 1653 Alexis, initially thinking about sending the Zaporozhian Cossacks, eventually decided to send an embassy to Persia for a peaceful settlement of the conflict. In August 1653 courtier Prince Ivan Lobanov-Rostov and steward Ivan Komynin traveled from Astrakhan
to Isfahan. Shah Abbas II agreed to settle the conflict, stating that the conflict was initiated without his consent. Wars against Poland and Sweden[edit] Main articles: Russo-Polish War (1654-67)
Russo-Polish War (1654-67)
and Russo-Swedish War (1656–58)

Alexis Mikhalovich

In 1653 the weakness and disorder of Poland, which had just emerged from the Khmelnytsky Uprising, encouraged Alexei to attempt to annex the old Rus’ lands. On 1 October 1653 a national assembly met at Moscow
to sanction the war and find the means of carrying it out, and in April 1654 the army was blessed by Nikon, who had been elected patriarch in 1652.[3] The campaign of 1654 was an uninterrupted triumph, and scores of towns, including the important fortress of Smolensk, fell into the hands of the Russians.[3] Ukrainian Hetman
Bogdan Khmelnitsky
Bogdan Khmelnitsky
appealed to Tsar
Alexei for protection from the Poles, and the Treaty of Pereyaslav brought about Russian dominance of the Cossack
Hetmanate in Left-Bank Ukraine. In the summer of 1655, a sudden invasion by Charles X of Sweden briefly swept the Polish state out of existence, in what became known as the Deluge. The Russians, unopposed, quickly appropriated nearly everything that was not already occupied by the Swedes. When the Poles offered to negotiate, the whole grand-duchy of Lithuania
was the least of the demands made by Alexei. Fortunately for Poland, the tsar and the king of Sweden
now quarrelled over the apportionment of the spoils, and at the end of May 1656 Alexei, encouraged by the Habsburg emperor and the other enemies of Sweden, declared war.[3] Great things were expected of the Swedish war, but nothing came of it. Dorpat
was taken, but countless multitudes were lost in vain before Riga. In the meantime Poland had so far recovered herself as to become a much more dangerous foe than Sweden, and, as it was impossible to wage war with both simultaneously, the tsar resolved to rid himself of the Swedes first. In the Peace of Kardis
Peace of Kardis
(2 July 1661), Russia retroceded all her conquests.[3] The Polish war dragged on for six years longer and was then concluded by the Truce of Andrusovo
Truce of Andrusovo
(11 February 1667), nominally for thirteen years, which proved the most durable of treaties. According to the truce, Polotsk
and Polish Livonia
were restored to Poland, but the more important Smolensk
and Kiev
remained in the hands of Russia together with the whole eastern bank of the Dnieper
River. This truce was the achievement of Afanasy Ordin-Nashchokin, the first Russian chancellor and diplomat in the modern sense, who after the disgrace of Nikon became the tsar's first minister until 1670, when he was superseded by the equally able Artamon Matveyev, whose beneficent influence prevailed to the end of Alexei's reign.[3] Response to English Civil War[edit]

Alexis turning his back to Peter the Great
Peter the Great
on the Millennium Monument in Novgorod.

When Charles I of England
Charles I of England
was beheaded by the Parliamentarians under Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
in 1649, an outraged Alexei broke off diplomatic relations with England and accepted Royalist refugees in Moscow. He also banned all English merchants from his country (notably members of the Muscovy Company) and provided financial assistance to "the disconsolate widow of that glorious martyr, King Charles I." [9] Schism with the Old Believers[edit] Main article: Raskol In 1653, Patriarch Nikon
Patriarch Nikon
established a series of reforms that aimed to bring the practices of the Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
into line with its Greek counterpart. Most notably, the church began to mandate the use of three fingers instead of two in making the sign of the cross. This resulted in significant dissent among the church community. Nevertheless, Alexei continued to support Nikon until 1658, when Nikon abandoned his post due to a personal insult, leaving the seat of the patriarch vacant.[10] In 1666, the tsar convened the Great Moscow
Synod, which was attended by Patriarch
Macarios III of Antioch and Patriarch
Paisius of Alexandria, in order to address the problems caused by Nikon. The synod agreed to formally depose Nikon, and also decided to excommunicate all who opposed the reforms of the church; those opponents broke away from the official Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
to form the Old Believers
Old Believers
movement.[10] Assessment[edit] According to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition:

It is the crowning merit of the Tsar
Alexei that he discovered so many great men (like Fyodor Rtishchev, Ordin, Matveyev, the best of Peter's precursors) and suitably employed them. He was not a man of superior strength of character, or he would never have submitted to the dictation of Nikon. But, on the other hand, he was naturally, if timorously, progressive, or he would never have encouraged the great reforming boyar Matveyev. His last years, notwithstanding the terrible rebellion of Stenka Razin, were deservedly tranquil.[3]

Alexei's letters were first published by Pyotr Bartenev
Pyotr Bartenev
in 1856. They have earned him a place in the history of Russian literature, as assessed by D.S. Mirsky:

A few private letters and an instruction to his falconers is all we have of him. But it is sufficient for Sergey Platonov
Sergey Platonov
to proclaim him the most attractive of Russian monarchs. He acquired the moniker Tishayshy, which means "most quiet" or "most peaceful". He received this moniker through the ways he behaved- he would be kind and friendly, but the sounds created from instruments would provoke him. Certain aspects of Russian Orthodoxy, not its most purely spiritual, but its aesthetic and worldly aspects, found in him their most complete expression. The essence of Alexei's personality is a certain spiritual Epicureanism, manifested in an optimistic Christian faith, in a profound, but unfanatical, attachment to the traditions and ritual of the Church, in a desire to see everyone round him happy and at peace, and in a highly developed capacity to extract a quiet and mellow enjoyment from all things.[11]

Family and children[edit]

Alexei chooses his bride, by Grigory Sedov
Grigory Sedov
(the winner of the Tsardom-wide contest organized by Boris Morozov was his relative Maria Miloslavskaya).

Alexei's first marriage to Miloslavskaya was harmonious and felicitous. She bore him thirteen children (five sons and eight daughters) in twenty-one years of marriage, and died only weeks after her thirteenth childbirth. Four sons survived her, (Alexei, Fyodor, Semyon, and Ivan), but within six months of her death, two of these were dead, including Alexei, the 15-year-old heir to the throne. The couple's children were:

Dmitri Alexeevich (1648–1649); crown prince; died in infancy Tsarevna
Yevdokia Alekseevna (1650–1712) Tsarevna
Marfa Alekseyevna (1652–1707) Tsarevich
Alexei Alexeevich (1654–1670); crown prince; died unwed aged 15 Tsarevna
Anna Alexeevna (1655–1659); died in infancy Tsarevna
Sofia Alexeevna (1657–1704), regent of Russia (1682–89) for her two younger brothers; never married Tsarevna
Ekaterina Alexeevna (1658–1718) Tsarevna
Maria Alexeevna (1660–1723) Fyodor III (1661–1682); succeeded his father as Tsar
of Russia; died childless Tsarevna
Feodosia Alexeyevna (1662–1713) Tsarevich
Simeon Alexeyevich (1665–1669); died in infancy Ivan V (1666–1696); was co-ruler along with his younger half-brother Peter the Great; father of Empress
Anna Tsarevna
Yevdokia Alexeevna (1669–1669)

Alexei remarried on 1 February 1671, Nataliya Kyrillovna Naryshkina
Nataliya Kyrillovna Naryshkina
( 1 September 1651 – 4 February 1694). She was brought up in the house of Artamon Matveyev, whose wife was the Scottish-descended Mary Hamilton. Their children were:

Peter I (1672–1725), known to history as "Peter the Great," Tsar
of Russia Tsarevna
Natalya Alexeevna
Natalya Alexeevna
(1673–1716) Tsarevna
Fyodora Alexeevna (1674–1677)


Ancestors of Alexis of Russia

16. Roman Yurievich Zakharyin

8. Nikita Romanovich Zakharyin-Yuriev

17. Juliana Fedorovna Karpova

4. Feodor Nikitich Romanov, Patriarch

18. Ivan Vladimirovich Golova Khovrin

9. Varvara Ivanovna Golovina-Khovrina

19. Anna Danilovna Cholmskaya

2. Michael I of Russia

20. Vasil Shestov

10. Ivan Vasiljevich Shestov

5. Xenia Shestova

22. Timofey Gryaznoy


1. Alexis of Russia

24. Andrej Streshnyov

12. Stepan Andrejevich Streshnyov

6. Lukyan Stepanovich Streshnyov

3. Eudoxia Streshneva

28. Roman Alexandrovich Volkonsky

14. Konstantin Volkonsky

7. Anna Konstantinovna Volkonskaya

See also[edit]

Tsars of Russia family tree


^ Aleksey Mikhailovich Romanov, Russian tsar, was born - Presidential Library ^ Sebag Montefiore, Simon (2016). The Romanovs. United Kingdom: Weidenfeld & Nicholson. p. 43.  ^ a b c d e f g h  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Bain, Robert Nisbet (1911). "Alexius Mikhailovich". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 578.  ^ a b c d Moss, Walter (2002). A History of Russia: To 1917. Anthem Press. pp. 163–166.  ^ The Cambridge history of Russia. Perrie, Maureen, 1946-, Lieven, D. C. B., Suny, Ronald Grigor. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2006. ISBN 9780521812276. OCLC 77011698.  ^ Vitalʹevich), Malov, A. V. (Aleksandr; Витальевич), Малов, А. В. (Александр (2006). Moskovskie vybornye polki soldatskogo stroi︠a︡ v nachalʹnyĭ period svoeĭ istorii, 1656-1671 gg. Moskva: Drevlekhranilishche. ISBN 5936461068. OCLC 75971374.  ^ a b Matthee 1999, p. 169. ^ a b Matthee 2012, p. 122. ^ Massie, Robert K. Peter the Great: His Life and World. Knopf: 1980. ISBN 0-394-50032-6. Page 12. ^ a b Moss, Walter (2002). A History of Russia: To 1917. Anthem Press. pp. 208–209.  ^ D.S.Mirsky, A History of Russian Literature. Northwestern University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-8101-1679-0. Page 27.


Matthee, Rudolph P. (1999). The Politics of Trade in Safavid
Iran: Silk for Silver, 1600-1730. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521641319.  Matthee, Rudi (2012). Persia in Crisis: Safavid
Decline and the Fall of Isfahan. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 978-1845117450.  Grigory Kotoshikhin's On Russia during the reign of Alexey Mikhailovich (1665) is a key source on domestic life of the tsar and his court. Yury Krizhanich's treatises from the 1660s are also very informative.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alexis I of Russia.

Romanovs: The first film. Michael I, Alexis I – Historical reconstruction "The Romanovs". StarMedia. Babich-Design(Russia, 2013)

Regnal titles

Preceded by Michael Tsar
of Russia 1645–1676 Succeeded by Feodor III

Russian royalty

Preceded by Feodor Romanov Heir to the Russian Throne 1629–1645 Succeeded by Alexei Alexeevich

v t e

Sovereigns of the Vladimir-Suzdal
Principality, Grand Principality of Moscow, Tsardom of Russia
Tsardom of Russia
and the Russian Empire

Grand Princes

Yuri Dolgorukiy Andrei I Bogolyubsky Mikhail of Vladimir Vsevolod the Big Nest Yuri II of Vladimir Konstantin of Rostov Yuri II of Vladimir Yaroslav II of Vladimir Sviatoslav III of Vladimir Andrey II of Vladimir Alexander Nevsky Yaroslav of Tver Vasily of Kostroma Dmitry of Pereslavl Andrey of Gorodets Mikhail of Tver Yuri of Moscow Dmitry the Terrible Eyes Alexander of Tver Ivan I Simeon the Proud Ivan II Dmitry of Suzdal Dmitry Donskoy Vasily I Vasily II Ivan III the Great Vasily III Ivan IV


Ivan IV the Terrible Feodor I Boris Feodor II Dmitry I (also as Emperor) Vasili IV Vladislav I Michael I Alexis Feodor III Peter I and Ivan V (co-rulers)

Emperors and Empresses

Peter I the Great Catherine I Peter II Anna Ivan VI Elizabeth Peter III Catherine II the Great Paul Alexander I Nicholas I Alexander II Alexander III Nicholas II

v t e

Tsareviches of Russia

1st generation (Rurikids)

Dmitry Ivanovich (1552) Ivan Ivanovich Feodor I Ivanovich Vasili Ivanovich Dmitry Ivanovich (1582)

2nd generation (Rurikids)

Ivan Dmitriyevich (pretendent, murdered at the age of three)

1st generation (Godunovs)

Feodor II Borisovich

1st generation (Romanovs)

Alexei I Romanov Ivan Mikhailovich Vasili Mikhailovich

2nd generation (Romanovs)

Dmitri Alekseyevich Alexei Alekseyevich Feodor III Alekseyevich Simeon Alekseyevich Ivan V Alekseyevich Peter I Alekseyevich

3rd generation (Romanovs)

Ilya Fyodorovich Alexei Petrovich Alexander Petrovich Paul Petrovich Peter Petrovich Paul Petrovich Peter Petrovich

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 62339723 LCCN: n81099051 ISNI: 0000 0001 2136 0628 GND: 118501909 SELIBR: 219523 SUDOC: 028065107 BNF: cb11997487d