When Mikhail I Romanov had heard about Grantville, he dispatched a team of spies consisting of Boris Ivanovich Petrov, Prince Vladimir Gorchakov, and Grigorii Ensheevich to investigate the town in the hopes that the future technologies would allow Russia to catch up with Western Europe's advances. Upon arriving in Grantville, the spies hired Bernie Zeppi as their researcher for Russia's brain tank. When presented to Mikhail in his court, Bernie gave him an electronic wristwatch as a present.
As czar, Mikhail had considerable formal prestige, but a relatively small role in government. His power was limited by an agreement which the Assembly of the Land (Russian:Zemsky Sobor) had forced on him when he became czar; his father essentially ran the government. Therefore, there were relatively few demands on him, and he had time to read the history of Russia in the OTL, and to think about what he'd read. By the end of 1634, he had realized that serfdom had to end or it would, sooner or later, bring down the Romanov dynasty.
In February of 1635, he took a first step in this direction by proclaiming "Limited Years", in which serfs could buy out of serfdom -- if they moved to Siberia to look for gold or other resources. This started a chain of events which led to him being effectively, but not officially, deposed by Fedor Ivanovich Sheremetev. He and his family were taken to a hunting lodge owned by the Gorchakov family, where they were kept isolated while Sheremetev claimed to be acting in his name.
He was freed in June of 1636, and decided to head east, with the intent of building a Russia without serfdom.
|Regnal titles (OTL)|
Succession broken due to
Time of Troubles
(throne claimed by Władysław IV Vasa)
preceded as Tsar by Vasili IV
|Tsar of all Russia|
| Succeeded by|