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The Romanov Dynasty began with the election of Mikhail Romanov a 16 year old boyar by the zemskii sobor The Romanov family ruled Russia from 1613 to 1855 and during this time Russia became a major European power The first rulers of this dynasty struggled to end internal disorder foreign invasion and financial collapse Mikhail Romanov was a weak ruler his father Metropolitan Filaret was the real power until his death in 1633 After Mikhails death his son Alexis ruled from 1645-1676 Mikhail and Alexis relied on the advice of the zemskii sobor which grew in power It passed some legislation and represented the gentry and merchants against the boyars However Alexis often deferred to his boyar advisors who usually did not work for the best of the country and peasant uprisings and Cossack revolts were common Revolts occurred in 1648 1662 and 1670-1671 The revolt from 1670-1671 is the most famous It was led by a Don Cossack named Stenka Razin who become a hero for the common people He was eventually executed However while the Cossacks rebelled they also helped Russia by leading the way in expansion into Siberia Peter the Greats reign transformed Russia He strengthened the rule of the tsar and westernized Russia while at the same time making Russia a power in Europe and greatly expanding Russias borders During his reign Russia became an empire and Peter became the first emperor of Russia Peter became co-ruler with his half brother Ivan when Peter was ten As both Peter and Ivan were young Sofia became regent Peter was mostly ignored and so spent much time with the foreigners in Russia He became very interested in western ways and in warfare A favorite childhood activity involved directing troops he gathered and playing war games The two troops he started as a child continued to exist and became the elite guard regiments the Preobrazhenskii and Semenovskii Peter also made two tours
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