What is Czar?

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What is Czar?
Czar is the term given to kings and males that belong to royal families. In its generic sense, it refers to a male emperor or ruler. It is also spelled as “Tsar”, “Csar”, or “Tzar” and originally this term referred to monarchs of Slavic origin. It is said that the first use of the term “Czar” was by the First Bulgarian Empire back in the year 913 up to 1018. Some people also know the term “Czar” from its Latin roots with the word “Caesar”, which literally means “emperor”. In the medieval times, the term “Czar” referred to supreme authority or rulers equivalent to what people know as “kings”. Other than Bulgaria, countries like Serbia and Russia also use the term “Czar” or “Tsar” when referring to their kings and/or emperors.

Bulgarian ruler Simeon I is considered the first authority figure to be called as “Czar” or “Tsar”. After him, various other people including those from other Slavic countries also used the same title. In Russia for example, the term was used from 1547 up to 1917. This long period is referred to as the “Tsardom of Russia” or “Imperial Russia”. Although there was a time in Russia that the supreme ruler was labelled as the “imperator”, the term “Tsar” or “Czar” continued up to 1917. Because of Russia’s long history with this term, many have defined “Czar” as something to do with an autocratic Russian ruler. Others also loosely use the term to refer to a person of great power or even an oppressive ruler or dictator. These generic definitions are rooted to several of Russia’s leaders who were considered too powerful during their own reign. It was said that Russian czars had absolute power in all matters of their country. Because of this, civil unrest became a common occurrence in Russia during the imperialistic reign of various monarchs and czars.

And since the term “Czar” or “Tsar” became popular in Russia, other members of the royal or ruling family also had titles derived from the original term for their kings and emperors. The queens were given the title “Tsaritsa” while the male heir apparent to the throne is given the title “Tsesarevich”. “Tsarevich” is given for the sons and grandsons of the royal family while “Tsarevna” is the title for daughters and granddaughters.

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