Emperor of All Russia

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Emperor of All Russia
Императоръ Всероссійскій
Lesser CoA of the empire of Russia.svg
Nicholas II of Russia01.jpg
Style His Imperial Majesty
First monarch Peter I
Last monarch Nicholas II
Formation 2 November 1721
Abolition 15 March 1917
Residence Winter Palace
Appointer Hereditary
Pretender(s) Maria Vladimirovna
Dimitri Romanovich

Emperor of All Russia, Empress of All Russia (Russian: Императоръ Всероссійскій, Императрица Всероссійская, Imperator Vserossiyskiy, Imperatritsa Vserossiyskaya) was the title of the ruler of the Russian Empire from 1721 to 1917. It was created in connection with the victory in the Great Northern War and appeared as the adaptation of the Tsar's title under the accepted system of titling in Europe. The prefix "of All Russia" was transformed from the previous version "(Tsar) of All Rus'".


Article 1 of the Fundamental Laws of the Russian Empire stated that "Emperor of All Russia is an autocratic and unrestricted monarch. To obey his supreme authority, not only out of fear but out of conscience as well, God himself commands". The article points to the fact that Russia had an unrestricted monarchy.

The full title of the emperor in the 20th century (Art.37 of Fundamental Laws):

By the Grace of God, We, NN, Emperor and Autocrat of All Russia, Moscow, Kiev, Vladimir, Novgorod; Tsar of Kazan, Tsar of Astrakhan, Tsar of Poland, Tsar of Siberia, Tsar of Chersonese Taurian, Tsar of Georgia; Lord of Pskov and Grand Prince of Smolensk, Lithuania, Volhynia, Podolia, Finland; Prince of Estland, Livland, Courland, Semigalia, Samogitia, Belostok, Karelia, Tver, Yugorsky land, Perm, Vyatka, Bolgar and others; Lord and Grand Prince of Nizhny Nogorod, Chernigov, Ryazan, Polotsk, Rostov, Yaroslavl, Belozersk, Udorsky land, Obdorsk, Kondia, Vitebsk, Mstislav, and all of the northern countries Master; and Lord of Iberia, Kartli, and Kabardia lands and Armenian provinces; Circassian and Mountainous Princes and their Hereditary Lord and Owner; Lord of Turkestan; Norwegian Heir; Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, Stormarn, Dithmarschen, and Oldenburg, and others, and others, and others.


The title of the Emperor of All Russia was introduced to Peter the Great. After the victory at the Great Northern War and signing the Treaty of Nystad, in September of 1721 Senate and Synod decided to award Peter with the title of the Emperor of All Russia with the following statement: "in the manner of the Roman Senate for the noble cause of emperors such titles publicly given them as a gift and into statues for the everlasting generations inscribed".

On this 20th day of October, after a consultation of the Senate together with the Holy Synod accepted the intention, to his majesty, in the testimony of a proper gratitude for his high grace and paternalism and effort which he for the welfare of state in all his glorious time of ruling and especially during the past Swedish War, deigned to manifest, and all-Russian state in such a strong and good fortune, and his people subjected to such fame over the whole world through his unique ruling led, as that to all quite known, by the name of all the Russian people to ask, so graciously to accept, following the example of others, from them title: the Father of the Fatherland, the Emperor of All Russia, Peter the Great ...

— Laws of the Russian Empire at Large. Vol.VI. No.3840

On November 2, 1721 Peter I accepted the title. Dutch Republic and Kingdom of Prussia immediately recognized the new title of the Russian Tsar, Sweden in 1723, Ottomans (Turkey) in 1739, Great Britain and Austria in 1742, France and Spain in 1745, and finally Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1764. Since then the Russian State was referred to as the Russian Empire.

On February 16, 1722 Peter I issued the Decree of Succession by which he abolished the old custom of passing the throne to the direct descendants in the male line, but allowed the appointment of an heir through any decent person, at the will of the monarch.