Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Primary Sources: Tsars of Russia: Leaders in the Time of Troubles

1547–1721; alt spelling Czars


Starting with the death of Feodor I, who left no heirs, there was a struggle for leadership. This did not end until Michael Romanov became Tsar in 1613, beginnng the Romanov dynasty which ruled in Russia until the Russian Revolution of 1917. The time period includes the False Dmitry or Pseudo-Demetrius who tried to claim that they were Tsarevich Dmitry Ivanovich, the son of Tsar Ivan the Terrible, who had died in 1591.

Leaders during this period included:

  • The Godunovs (Irina Godunova, Boris Godunov an Feodor II)
  • False Dmitry I
  • Vasili IV Shuisky
  • Seven Boyars (Fedor Mstislavsky)
  • The Zemsky government (Dmitry Trubetskoy)

Online Sources: Leaders in the Time of Troubles

Book Sources: Leaders in the Time of Troubles

  • A selection of books/e-books available in Trible Library.
  • Click the title for location and availability information.


Search for More




  • Suggested terms to look for include - diary, diaries, letters, papers, documents, documentary or correspondence.

  • Combine these these terms with the event or person you are researching. (example: civil war diary)

  • Also search by subject for specific people and events, then scan the titles for those keywords or others such as memoirs, autobiography, report, or personal narratives.

Trible Library provides links to other websites to aid in research and is not responsible for the content or privacy policy of those sites.