A Thousand Pieces of You: Imperial Russia

One of the alternate universes that Marguerite visits in A Thousand Pieces of You is a world in which the Russian Empire never fell. Here’s a look at some of the history of Imperial Russia and the fall of the Russian royal family that inspired the alternate universe featured in A Thousand Pieces of You.

Reign of the Russian Empire

Lesser_CoA_of_the_empire_of_Russia.svgThe “Russian Empire” most commonly refers to the state that existed between 1721 and 1917, and was declared such by Peter the Great (Tsar Peter I).

The empire is one of the largest in world history. It covered territory as far north as the Arctic Ocean, to the Black Sea in the south, the Blactic Sea on the west, and the Pacific Ocean and into Alaska on the east.

 Key Dates in the Russian Empire’s Rule

1721 – Peter the Great declares the “Russian Empire” following the Treaty of Nystad

1761-1796 – Reign of Catherine the Great; oversaw major expansions of the Russian Empire

Napoleons_retreat_from_moscow1812 – Napoleon’s failed invasion of Russia; thousands of French troops were killed by guerilla peasant fighters. They were famously unprepared to survive in Russia’s harsh winter conditions.

1815 – Tsar Alexander I oversees the re-drawing of Europe during the Congress of Vienna, following Napoleon’s defeat.

1825 – Nicholas I comes into power; Decemberist Revolt

1853-1856 – Crimean War between Britain and Russia

1855 – Alexander II takes the throne, amidst widespread calls for reform

1861 – Emancipation of the serfs

1894 – Nicholas II takes the throne (following Alexander III); rumblings of revolution begin

romanov family1904 – Nicholas’s wife, Tsarina Alexandra, gives birth to the couple’s first son (they already had four daughters), Tsarevich Alexei. The young prince suffered from hemophilia — and his disease lead to the rise of peasant Grigori Rasputin, who allegedly provided healing powers for Alexei.

1905 – “Bloody Sunday” and the beginning of the Revolution of 1905 – in which Russian peasants were massacred when a crowd stormed the Tsar’s Winter Palace in St. Petersberg. (YA readers may remember this key event from J. Nelle Patrick’s Tsarina.)

1914 – Russian joins World War I, amidst growing turmoil within Russia

1916 – Assassination of Rasputin

1917 – Tsarist system overthrown by the February Revolution

1918 – Tsar Nicholas & the rest of the Romanov family is executed

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