Tsar (Russian: Царь; Bulgarian: Цар), also spelled Czar, or Tzar, or Csar, is a Slavic title which can be translated into either Emperor or King, and is derived from Caesar. It is used to name the supreme ruler of a state, most commonly autocracies in Eastern Europe.
"Tsar" was the official title of the supreme ruler in the following states:
- Bulgaria in 913–1018, in 1185–1422 and in 1908–1946
- Serbia in 1346–1371
- Russia from 1547 until 1721 (remaining in common usage until 1917)
And in the following micronations:
- Kaznian Empire in 2006
- People's Democratic Autocracy of Arborea since 2008
- Scientopia and subsequently New Scientopia in 2008–2009
- Tsarist Empire of Gishabrun in 2009–2012
- Orly in 2010–2012
- Tsardom of Nolland since 2012
- Tsardom of Slavstria since 2014
- Great Lawl Reich since 2015
- Kingdom of Viselander since 2016
- Tsardom of Phokland in 2019
- United Kingdoms of Misberia and Caloudonum in 2019–2020
- Empire of Kapreburg in 2019–2020
- Tsardom of Montescano in 2020
- Tsardom of Begon since 2021
Like many lofty titles, such as Mogul, Tsar or Czar has been used as a metaphor for positions of high authority, in English since 1866 (referring to U.S. President Andrew Johnson), with a connotation of dictatorial powers and style, fitting since "Autocrat" was an official title of the Russian Emperor (informally referred to as the Tsar). Similarly, Speaker of the House Thomas Brackett Reed was called "Czar Reed" for his dictatorial control of the House of Representatives in the 1880s and 90s.
In the United States the title "czar" is a slang term for certain high-level civil servants, such as the "drug czar" for the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, "terrorism czar" for a Presidential advisor on terrorism policy, "cybersecurity czar" for the highest-ranking Department of Homeland Security official on computer security and information security policy, and "war czar" to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In the micronational world, the term Tsar is not very common, as it was mostly used only in Eastern Europe. Consequently, the terms Emperor or King, either of which Tsar can be translated as, are more commonly used to describe a micronational monarch. However, there are still micronations which are ruled by a Tsar. In most micronations, Tsar is used as an Imperial title.