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Tsar Nicholas II, the last tsar.
Tomorrow is a mystery,
but yesterday is

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Secrets of times gone by

The Tsars (or Czars) (Russian:царь tr:tsar') were the rulers (kings or emperors) of Russia and Eastern European countries. The term derives from the Latin term for Emperor (Caesar). The third to last Tsar, Alexander II, attempted some sort of parliamentary democracy (probably because of rising disdain for him), but was assassinated. The second to last Tsar, Alexander III, was terrified by this and backslid on his father's reforms. The last Russian Tsar was Nicholas II, who was an absolutist and utterly incompetent. He was overthrown in the first Russian uprising of 1917 and later murdered along with his family by the Bolsheviks.

The term has come to be attributed to high ranking public officials such as the drug Tsar (head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy) and Card Czar terrorism Tsar. When Barack Obama took office as President of the United States, some Republicans took his naming of "Tsars" to be purposeful foreshadowing of literal dictatorship.


If one wants to be completely pedantic in any discussion of Russian history from 1721 and onward, one can point out that technically the Tsardom ended in 1721 and the legal title of all future monarchs was "Imperator" (Ру. Император, "Emperor"), though the term "Tsar" continued to be used frequently even afterwards.

See also[edit]