The second representative of the Romanov dynasty assumed the Russian throne when he was a juvenile — his father died when Aleksey turned 16. Nicknamed the Quietest for his mild nature, he ruled for 30 years. Was he a good monarch or not? It depends. During his reign, Russia annexed Little Russia, reconquered Smolensk and Chernihiv, continued its conquest of Siberia. Russia got a legal code named the Sobornoye Ulozheniye, invited foreign specialists, established a theater and introduced secular literature and vodka drinking habits. It was then that the bureaucracy gained strength. The peasants were bonded to the land owners, a part of the church dissented, misguided reforms sparked the Salt and Copper Riots and Stepan Razin’s Rebellion, which were suppressed brutally. The only indisputable thing in the tsar’s legacy was his counsel for the future generations “there is a time for all things,” which he added to the set of falconry rules.
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