Although every one of us studied Russian history at school, not everyone knows about who was the first tsar in Russia. This loud title in 1547 began to be called Ivan IV Vasilyevich, nicknamed for his difficult nature, cruelty and cool temperament Grozny. Before him, all the rulers in the Russian lands were great princes. After Ivan the Terrible became king, our state instead of the Moscow principality began to be called the Russian kingdom.
Grand Duke and Tsar: what is the difference?
Having dealt with the one who was first named the king of all of Russia, it is necessary to find out what the new title became necessary for. By the middle of the XVI century, the lands of the Moscow Principality occupied 2.8 thousand square kilometers. It was a huge state, stretching from the Smolensk region in the west to the Ryazan and Nizhny Novgorod districts in the east, from the Kaluga lands in the south to the Arctic Ocean and the Gulf of Finland in the north. On such a huge territory lived about 9 million people. Moscow Rus (so called the principality) was a centralized state in which all regions were subordinate to the Grand Duke, that is, Ivan IV.
Childhood of the Emperor
Knowing who in Russia became the first king, it will be interesting to get acquainted with the biography of this man. Ivan the Terrible was born in 1530. His parents were the Grand Prince of Moscow Vasily III and Princess Elena Glinskaya. The future ruler of the Russian lands was orphaned early. When he was 3 years old, his father died. Since Ivan was the only heir to the throne (his younger brother Yuri was born mentally retarded and could not lead the Moscow principality), the government of the Russian lands passed to him. It happened in 1533. Actual ruler with a young son for a while was his mother, but in 1538 she was no more (it was rumored that she was poisoned). Completely orphaned at the age of eight, the future first tsar in Russia grew up among the guardians-boyars of the Belskys and Shuyskys, who were not interested in anything but power. Growing up in an atmosphere of hypocrisy and meanness, he did not trust those around him from his childhood and expected a dirty trick from everyone.
Adoption of a new title and marriage
Being a 17-year-old boy, the newly-made king planned to marry. In search of the bride dignitaries traveled all the Russian lands. Wife Ivan the Terrible selected from one and a half thousand applicants. Most of all, young Anastasia Zakharina-Yurieva liked him. She conquered Ivan not only with his beauty, but also with his mind, chastity, devotion, calm character. Crowned by Grozny on the kingdom, Metropolitan Makarii approved the choice and married newlyweds. Subsequently, the king had other spouses, but Anastasia was one of them for him the most beloved.
The Moscow Uprising
In the summer of 1547, there was a severe fire in the capital, which could not be extinguished for 2 days. His victims were about 4 thousand people. The city spread rumors that the capital was burned by relatives of the Tsar Glinsky. An angry mob of people went to the Kremlin. The houses of the princes of Glinski were plundered. The result of popular unrest was the murder of one of the members of this noble family - Yuri. After that, the insurgents appeared in the village of Vorobyevo, where the young tsar was hiding from them, and demanded to give them all the Glinskys. The rioters could hardly calm down and send back to Moscow. After the uprising began to wane, Grozny ordered the execution of his organizers.
The beginning of the reform of the state
The Moscow uprising was transferred to other Russian cities. Before Ivan IV, there arose the need to carry out reforms aimed at bringing order to the country and strengthening its autocracy. For these purposes, in 1549, the Tsar elected the Rada, a new government group composed of loyal people (Metropolitan Makarii, Sylvester, Adashev, A. Kurbsky, and others).
This period includes the beginning of the active reform of Ivan the Terrible, aimed at centralizing his power. To manage various branches of public life, the first tsar in Russia created numerous orders and huts. Thus, the foreign policy of the Russian state was led by the Ambassador's order, headed by I. Viskovity for two decades. Acceptance of applications, petitions and complaints from ordinary people, as well as to conduct investigations on them was obliged by the Petition Hut, which is under the control of A. Adashev. The fight against crime was entrusted to the Robbery Order. He served as the modern police. Metropolitan life regulated the Zemsky order.
In 1550 Ivan IV issued a new "code of law", which was systematized and edited all existing in the Russian Kingdom legislation. When planning, take account of the changes that occurred in the life of the state over the past half century. The paper first introduced the punishment for bribery. Prior to that, Moscow Russia lived by the "Sudebnik" of 1497 years, the laws of which to the middle of the XVI century is markedly outdated.
Church and military policy
Under Ivan the Terrible, the influence of the Orthodox Church greatly increased, and the life of the clergy improved. This was facilitated by the Stoglav Cathedral convened in 1551. The provisions adopted on it contributed to the centralization of ecclesiastical authority.
In 1555-1556, the first tsar in Russia, Ivan the Terrible, together with the elected Rada, developed the "Code of Service", which contributes to the increase in the strength of the Russian army. In accordance with this document, each feudal lord was required to exhibit from his lands a certain number of soldiers with horses and weapons. If the landowner supplied the tsar with soldiers above the norm, he was rewarded with a monetary reward. In the event that the feudal lord could not provide the necessary number of soldiers, he paid a fine. "The Code of Service" contributed to improving the fighting ability of the army, which was important in the context of Ivan the Terrible's active foreign policy.
Increase of territory
In the reign of Ivan the Terrible, the conquest of neighboring lands was actively pursued. In 1552 the Kazan Khanate was annexed to the composition of the Russian state, and in 1556 - Astrakhan. In addition, the possession of the king expanded due to the conquest of the Volga region and the western part of the Urals. The dependence on the Russian lands was recognized by the Kabardian and Nogai rulers. With the first Russian tsar, the active annexation of Western Siberia began.
During the years 1558-1583 Ivan IV waged the Livonian War for Russia's withdrawal to the shores of the Baltic Sea. The beginning of hostilities was successful for the tsar. In 1560 Russian troops managed to completely defeat the Livonian Order. However, the successfully launched war dragged on for many years, led to the deterioration of the situation inside the country and ended in complete defeat for Russia. The king began to search for those responsible for their failures, which led to mass opals and executions.
Break with the Elected Rada, Oprichnina
Adashev, Sylvester and other figures of the Elected Rada did not support the aggressive policy of Ivan the Terrible. In 1560 they opposed the conduct of the Livonian War by Russia, for which they caused the wrath of the ruler. The first tsar in Rus dispersed the Rada. Its members were persecuted. Not tolerant dissent, Ivan the Terrible thought about establishing a dictatorship in the lands under his control. To this end, in 1565, he began to pursue a policy of oprichnina. Its essence was to confiscate and redistribute boyar and princely lands in favor of the state. Such a policy was accompanied by mass arrests and executions. Its result was the weakening of the local nobility and the strengthening of the power of the king against this background. Oprichnina lasted until 1572 and was discontinued after the devastating invasion of Moscow by Crimean troops under the leadership of Khan Devlet-Giray.
The policy pursued by the first tsar in Russia led to a strong weakening of the country's economy, the devastation of lands, the ruin of estates. By the end of his reign, Ivan the Terrible refused to be executed as a means of punishing those responsible. In his will from 1579, he repented of his cruelty towards his subjects.
Wives and children of the king
Ivan the Terrible married 7 times. In total, he had eight children, 6 of whom died in childhood. The first wife Anastasia Zakharyina-Yuryeva gave the king six heirs, of whom only two survived to adulthood - Ivan and Fedor. The second wife, Maria Temryukovna, gave birth to Vasily's son. He died at 2 months. The last child (Dmitry) Ivan the Terrible was born by his seventh wife, Maria Nagaya. The boy was destined to live only 8 years.
Adult son of Ivan Ivanovich, the first Russian tsar in Russia killed in 1582 in a fit of anger, so the only heir to the throne was Fedor. It was he who led the throne after the death of his father.
Ivan the Terrible ruled the Russian state until 1584. In the last years of his life because of osteophytes, it was difficult for him to walk alone. Lack of movement, nervousness, unhealthy lifestyle led to the fact that in 50 years the ruler looked old. In the beginning of 1584 his body began to swell and make an unpleasant smell. The doctors called the Sovereign's illness "the decomposition of blood" and predicted a quick demise. Terrible died on March 18, 1584 during a game of chess with Boris Godunov. Thus ended the life of the one who was the first king in Russia. According to Moscow, rumors persisted that Ivan IV was poisoned by Godunov and his accomplices. After the death of the king, the throne went to his son Fedor. In fact, Boris Godunov became the ruler of the country.