A difficult period in the history of our homeland began after the death of the last reigning Rurikovich - Tsar Fyodor Ioannovich. The people did not imagine existence without a legitimate tsar, and the boyars tore for power, trampling on the interests of the state. The causes of the Time of Troubles (as it is customary to call it) lie in the deep political crisis caused by the struggle between the pretenders to the royal throne. The situation was aggravated by a terrible crop failure and famine. Against the backdrop of a deep internal crisis, Russia became the object of foreign intervention.
The causes of the Time of Troubles and its three stages
Time of Troubles can be divided into three stages, each of which is due to the causes that gave rise to it.
- The first one is dynastic. It is a struggle between the aspirants to the throne.
- The second is called social. This is a confrontation between different social classes of an economically weakened country. It led to the invasion of foreigners.
- And the third stage is national. It implies the struggle of the people against the invaders.
The end of the Time of Troubles is the ascension to the throne of the young tsar Mikhail Romanov. Let us dwell on each stage in more detail.
The beginning of the dynastic period
The Appearance of False Dmitry
The situation was aggravated by pretensions to the throne on the part of the impostor Falsdmitry. The real heir to the throne, Tsarevich Dmitry, died under obscure circumstances in Uglich. In his death, Godunov was unmistakably accused, thus completely undermining the foundations of his rule. Taking advantage of the circumstances, False Dmitriy and Poles detachments invaded Russia, and even was proclaimed king. But he reigned only a year, and in 1606 was killed. Vasily Shuisky, the boyar, ascended to the throne. This did not bring any tangible normalization of the situation in the country.
The Social Period
The causes of the Time of Troubles in Russia also included the economic component. It was she who caused the involvement in the struggle of the widest public masses, including the nobility, the clerks of the deacons and the Cossacks. Particularly acute nature of the events that occurred was given by mass popular speeches, called peasant wars. The most large-scale of them was the uprising led by Bolotnikov. Stirring the entire central part of the country, it choked and was suppressed.
However, this did not stabilize the situation in the country. The fierce feudal policy of Shuisky aroused the displeasure of the peasants. Higher levels of society accused him of the inability to govern the state. To top it off, another impostor suddenly appeared, claiming the role of tsar, False Dmitry II. The country finally plunged into chaos, called the Time of Troubles. The reasons, stages, consequences and driving forces of this historical process became the subject of many scientific studies that showed that the aggressive policy of Poland played an important role in the current situation.
The Invasion of the Invaders
Under the pretext of defending the legitimate heir to the throne, which meant False Dmitry II, his troops invaded Russia. Having made another mistake, Shuisky asked for help in the fight against the impostor to the Swedish king. As a result, in addition to the Polish interventionists, Swedish lands appeared on Russian soil.
Soon, False Dmitry II, loyal to the Poles, ended his days on the gallows, but the political reasons for the Time of Troubles never found their solution. Shuisky was forcibly tonsured by boyars into monks, and they themselves swore to the Polish prince Vladislav. It was a shameful act. The Swedes came close to Novgorod and were preparing for the assault. The Duma, which betrayed its people, formed an organ for governing the country, which was called "semiboyar" by the number of its members. In fact, it was the government of traitors.
But not only the negative aspects of Russian life revealed the Time of Troubles. The reasons, stages, consequences, as well as the further course of the country's historical development, were largely determined by the depth of people's self-awareness. The people desired only a legitimate ruler, this in many ways determined the features of the dynastic struggle of the first period of the Troubles.
The opposition to economic and political chaos resulted in peasant wars. And, finally, a wave of patriotism raised the people to fight with the interventionists. At the head of the national liberation movement were Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky. In October 1612, the thousands-strong militia led by them forced the Polish garrison in Moscow to capitulate.
In January of the following year, Mikhail Romanov was elected tsar. This was the beginning of the three hundred year dynasty. For a long time the country has experienced the dire consequences of dashing years, but nevertheless this event is considered to be the end of a historical period, called the Time of Troubles, the causes, consequences and significance of which still require profound scientific analysis.