Rulers of Russia from 1613 to 1917. The name derived from Roman Yurev (d. 1543), whose daughter Anastasiya Romanovna was the first wife of Ivan IV the Terrible. Her nephews assumed the surname Romanov, and the dynasty began with the election of Michael Romanov as tsar in 1613. He was succeeded by his son Alexis (r. 1645–76), followed by Alexis's sons Fyodor III and joint rulers Ivan V and Peter I. When Peter was sole ruler, he decreed in 1722 that the monarch could choose his successor, but he was unable to effect the law, so the crown passed to his wife Catherine I, his grandson Peter II, and Ivan V's daughter Anna. The line of descent returned to Peter's daughter Elizabeth (r. 1741–62), her nephew Peter III and his wife Catherine II the Great, and their son Paul I. Paul established a definite order of succession and was followed by his sons Alexander I (r. 1801–25) and Nicholas I (r. 1825–55). Nicholas was succeeded by his son Alexander II, grandson Alexander III, and great-grandson Nicholas II (r. 1894–1917), the last ruler of the Russian monarchy.
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