Understood. And there were some shenanigans during the time of the British George's between father and son. But, yeah "innate instability" sounds about right.It struck me that it might give off the impression, and admittedly I went with 1800 specifically out of compromise between depicting keeping relevance (the political circumstances of Russia, while unique, weren't nearly as unusual in the early modern period as compared to the 19th century and onward) and depicting the full picture of Russia's sovereigns. I debated going as far back as Peter the Great, but decided that more focus should be put on the dialectic between the autocracy and popular sovereignty, which really only came to the fore in Europe with the Napoleonic period.
That said, earlier periods of history are just as tumultuous and interesting to learn about. Peter's antics in particular are fascinating - the man reminds me a lot of Theodore von Neuhoff if he were in established charge of a massive state rather than a pretender king. But the innate instability of Russia was as visible then as in the 1880s, between Peter's rather insane economic and modernization policies, Pugachev's rebellion during Catherine's reign, and Paul's various idiosyncrasies.