Alexis əlĕk´sĭs [key] (Aleksey Mikhailovich) əlyĭksyā´ mēkhī´ləvĭch [key], 1629–76, czar of Russia (1645–76), son and successor of Michael. His reign, marked by numerous popular outbreaks, was crucial for the later development of Russia. A new code of laws was promulgated in 1648 and remained in effect until the early 19th cent.; it favored the middle classes and the landowners, but tied the peasants to the soil. The reforms of Patriarch Nikon resulted in a dangerous schism in the Russian Church, and Nikon's deposition (1666) was a prelude to the abolition of the Moscow patriarchate in 1721. In 1654 the Cossacks of Ukraine, led in revolt against Poland by Bohdan Chmielnicki , voted for the union of Ukraine with Russia. War with Poland ensued and ended in 1667 with Russia retaining most of Ukraine. A serious revolt against the czar (1670) among the Don Cossacks under Stenka Razin was quelled by 1671. Alexis was succeeded by his son Feodor III . A younger son, by a second marriage, became Peter I (Peter the Great).
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