Tsar is a title used to designate certain European Slavic monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

s or supreme rulers. As a system of government in the Tsardom of Russia
Tsardom of Russia
The Tsardom of Russia was the name of the centralized Russian state from Ivan IV's assumption of the title of Tsar in 1547 till Peter the Great's foundation of the Russian Empire in 1721.From 1550 to 1700, Russia grew 35,000 km2 a year...

 and Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

, it is known as Tsarist autocracy
Tsarist autocracy
The Tsarist autocracy |transcr.]] tsarskoye samoderzhaviye) refers to a form of autocracy specific to the Grand Duchy of Muscovy . In a tsarist autocracy, all power and wealth is controlled by the tsar...

, or Tsarism. The term is derived from the Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 word Caesar
Caesar (title)
Caesar is a title of imperial character. It derives from the cognomen of Julius Caesar, the Roman dictator...

, which meant "Emperor
An emperor is a monarch, usually the sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife or a woman who rules in her own right...

" in the European medieval sense of the term - a ruler who claims the same rank as a Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 emperor, with the approval of another emperor or a supreme ecclesiastical official (the Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 or the Ecumenical Patriarch).

Occasionally, the word could be used to designate other, secular, supreme rulers.

1547    Ivan IV of Russia aka Ivan the Terrible becomes Tsar of Russia.

1613    Mikhail I is elected unanimously as Tsar by a national assembly, beginning the Romanov dynasty of Imperial Russia.

1676    Feodor III becomes Tsar of Russia.

1698    In an effort to Westernize his nobility, Tsar Peter I of Russia imposes a tax on beards for all men except the clergy and peasantry.

1703    Tsar Peter the Great founds the city of Saint Petersburg.

1727    Peter II becomes Tsar of Russia.

1762    Catherine II becomes tsar of Russia upon the murder of Peter III of Russia.

1801    Tsar Paul I of Russia is struck with a sword, then strangled, and finally trampled to death in his bedroom at St. Michael's Castle.

1855    Alexander II becomes Tsar of Russia.

1861    Emancipation reform of 1861 in Russia: Tsar Alexander II signs the emancipation reform into law, abolishing Russian serfdom.