Anna (Anna Ivanovna) [key], 1693–1740, czarina of Russia (1730–40), daughter of Ivan V and niece of Peter I (Peter the Great). On the death of her distant cousin, Peter II, she was chosen czarina by the supreme privy council, which thus hoped to gain power for itself. Anna signed articles limiting her power, but she soon restored autocratic rule, with support from the lesser nobility and the imperial guards. She made minor concessions to the nobles but restored the security police and terrorized opponents. Distrusting the nobility, she excluded Russians from high positions and surrounded herself with Baltic Germans. Her favorite, Ernst Johann von Biron, had the greatest influence. Allied with Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, Anna intervened in the War of the Polish Succession (1733–35), installed Augustus III as king of Poland, and attacked Turkey in 1736. Charles's separate peace with the Turks at Belgrade forced Russia to make peace in turn, at the price of all recent conquests except Azov. During Anna's reign began the great Russian push into central Asia. She was succeeded by her grandnephew, Ivan VI.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Russian, Soviet, and CIS History: Biographies