Information about Empress Anna of Russia

Empress Anna of Russia (7 February 1693 - 28 October 1740)

Anna Ioannovna (Russian: Анна Иоанновна), also spelled Anna Ivanovna and sometimes anglicized as Anne, was regent of the duchy of Courland from 1711 until 1730 and then ruled as Empress of Russia from 1730 to 1740. Anna was born in Moscow as the daughter of Tsar Ivan V by his wife Praskovia Saltykova. Ivan V was co-ruler of Russia along with his younger half-brother Peter the Great, but he was mentally disabled and incapable of administering the country, and Peter effectively ruled alone. Ivan V died in February 1696, when Anna was only three years old, and her half-uncle became the sole ruler of Russia.

In 1710, Peter the Great arranged for the 17-year-old Anna to marry Frederick William, Duke of Courland, who was the same age as her. The newly wedded couple spent several weeks in Russia before proceeding to Courland. Only twenty miles out of St. Petersburg, on the road to Courland, Duke Frederick died. The cause of death was uncertain. After her husband died, Anna proceeded to Jelgava, the capital of Courland (now western Latvia) and ruled that province for almost twenty years, from 1711 to 1730.

In 1730, Tsar Peter II (grandson of Anna's uncle Peter the Great) died childless at a young age. His death rendered extinct the male line of the Romanov dynasty, which had ruled Russia for over a century, since 1613. There were five possible candidates for the throne: the three surviving daughters of Ivan V, namely Catherine, Anna herself and Praskovya, and the two surviving daughters of Peter the Great, namely Anna and Elizabeth. The Russian Supreme Privy Council led by Prince Dmitri Golitzyn selected Anna, the second daughter of Ivan V, to be the new Empress of Russia. She was selected in preference to her elder sister Catherine even though Catherine was at that time resident in Russia whereas Anna was not.

Empress Anna of Russia reigned in...
Reigned asIn CountryFromToCoins Issued
Императрица Анна (Empress Anna) Flag of Russia, Empire of Russia, Empire of 30 January 1730 28 October 1740 5
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