In 1580s, and into nineteenth century, Russian merchants, soldiers, adventurers, and political prisoners moved across the Ural Mountains. Gradually changed Serbia which is the center source of mineral wealth and other natural resources. Russians had passed over 6,000 miles east of Moscow towards the fertile lands of Ukraine and headed towards the Pacific. Siberia was subjugated. Siberia was a central feature of the conversion of a landlocked regime centered around Moscow. It was a powerful absolutist state under the Romanov dynasty, which would rule Russia until 1917. Russia had become the largest territorial kingdom in 1700. Michael, the first Romanov tsar, caesar or emperor, was chosen by leading group of nobles in 1613.
Before Michael was chosen, the nobles had chosen the sixteen year old grandnephew of Ivan the Terrible who had ruled Russia from 1533-1584. Tsar Michael reigned from 1613-1676, he ruled during the period after civil unrest, which was known as Time of Troubles, which followed Ivan’s death. Through the 1640s to 1670s Michael and his succesors consolidated their power despite the number of unsuccessful revolts. Contacts with the West increased during the late seventeenth century. When Peter I, or Peter “the Great,” ascended the throne the stage was set for a dynamic assertion of royal power and display.