The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Anna Ivanovna
ANNA IVANOVNA, empress of Russia, born in 1693, died Oct. 28, 1740. She was the daughter of Ivan, the eldest brother of Peter the Great, and married the duke of Courland, who died previous to her ascending the throne. She became empress on the death of Peter II., grandson of Peter the Great, in 1730. Ostermann, the great chancellor, and the then all-powerful princes Dolgoruki facilitated her elevation over the heads of two daughters of Peter the Great, as Anna promised a limitation of the autocracy. But Anna brought from Courland to Moscow her favorite, the former equerry Biron, who prevented her from keeping her promise, exiled the Dolgorukis to Siberia, and ruled absolutely over the empress and the nation. He organized the system of espionage over all classes, officials and private individuals, which with more or less rigor prevailed for more than a century. Anna interfered in the affairs of Poland, in 1733, in favor of Augustus III. against Stanislas Leszczynski, and obliged the Courlanders to choose Biron for their sovereign duke, and on her deathbed named him regent during the minority of her nephew Ivan; but a revolution overthrew him, and he was exiled to Siberia.