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Boris Godunov (, )

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Boris Godunov (, )  Boris Godunov (, )

Boris Godunov

Boris Godunov (about 1552  1605) was the Russian tsar since 1598;  came  to
power in the time of oprichnina; was the  tsar  Fedor  Ivanovichs  wifes
brother and actually rulled the state instead of him.  He  strengthered  the
central authoritybaning on the nobility and supported  peasants  enslavement
Boris Feodorovich Godunov (about 1549 or 1552  April 13/23, 1605,  Moscow),
the Russian tsar.


                                   Origin

According to the legend the Godunovs came from the tatar  prince  Chet.  Who
came to Russia in the time of Ivan Kalita. This legend is  written  down  in
the annals dating back to the beginning of the 17th  century.  According  to
the  tsar  chronicle  of  1555  the  Godunovs  (as  well  as  Saburovs,  the
Velyaminous) come from Dmitriy Zern, who was evidently, a feudal  lord  from
Kostroma. Inspite of the validity of this point of view, there  is  still  a
chance that there is some truth in the legend about Chet too. And it is  not
accidental that some ancestors of separate branches  of  Chets  descendants
had the names of the tatar origin (Sabur, Godun).
Boris Feodorovich Godunovs father died at the  end  of  the  Gos.  The  son
became an  oprichnik.  He  was  married  to  the  tsars  favorit  Malyuta
Skuratovs daughtes. Since the beginning of 1570s the rise of  the  Godunovs
begins. Boris Feodorovich  himself,  wasnt  close  to  the  tsar  Ivan  the
Terrible, though he became a boyar in  September,  1580.  At  least  on  the
wedding of the tsar and  Maria  the  Nude  (November,  1580).  He  was  only
tsaritsas (bridesmade) drugka. But the increasing role  of  the  family
in significant, as the whole clan  of  the  Godunovs  were  present  on  the
wedding. They slowly but steadily went up the rank stairs,  at  the  end  of
the 1570s  the beginning of  the  1580s  they  won  several  cases  and  so
security their position among the Moscow nobility. Godunov  was  clever  and
cautious, trying to keep in the backgroung for the time  being.  The  tsars
son Feodor was married the Godunovs sister Irine.  Godunovs  rise  is  the
result of a historical accident and, at the same time, the manifestation  of
the common regularity of the  self-development  of  Russian  society.  Boris
would have been on of the many Godunovs in  the  History,  if  there  hadnt
happened a quarrel between  the  tsar  and  his  son  Ivan  in  Alexandrovsk
Sloboda November, 9, 1581. Ivan the Terrible sbruk his  son  with  his  cane
and got in a temple and in ten days (November, 19) the  prince  died.  After
Ivan Ivanovichs death Feodor became the successor to the throne.
Up to 1584 Godunov wasnt close to the tsar, but some  deeds  and  plans  of
Ivan  the  Terrible  affected  the  interests  of  the  Godunovs  and  Boris
inpanticular radically. The tsar wanted to marry Maria Gastings, a  relative
of Elizabeth, queen of England and to dissolve the marriage  between  Feodor
and childless Irine Godunov. In the tsars last year  Godunov  got  a  great
influence at the count. Together witn B. J. Belsky he  became  of  Ivan  the
Terribles favorites. Godunovs role in the death of the tsar is  not  quite
clear March, 18, 1584 Ivan the Terrible, according to D. Gorseys  evidence,
was strangled. It is possible, that there was a  plot  against  the  tsar.
However, anthropologist M. M. Gerasimov, who was studying  the  tsar  during
the last minutes of his lofe and they announced the tsars  death  from  the
porch.
Feodor Ivanovich came to the throne. The new tsar was incapable  of  rulling
the country and required a clever adviser. The struggle for the right to  be
the spokesman of the interests if the new monarch flared up and  Boris  came
the winner out of it. Feodor reigned for 14 years and, at least, 13 of  them
Godunov was the actual ruller.


            Internal and Foreign Policy of Godunovs Government.

The activity of Godunovs Government timed at all-round streng the  ning  of
statehood. Due to his efforts  the  first  Russian  patriarch,  metropolitan
Yov,  was  elected.  The  establishment  of  patriachate  testified  to  the
enhanced prestige of Russia.
In internal policy of Godunovs  government  the  common  sence  and  thrift
prevaited.  Unprecedent  construction  if  cities  and  fortifications  took
place. The church building was also  carried  to  facilitate  the  stale  of
posadsky people. The big servants  (officials)  held  trading  people  and
handcraftsmen in their white slobodas, which  were  released  from  paying
the state taxes, before. But now everyone  who  was  engaged  in  trade  and
crafts should enter posadsky communities and participate  in  the  payment
of dutries to the treasury. So the number  of  such  people  increased,  and
each payer had to pay less, as the total sum remained constant.
The economical crisis of 1570s  the beginning of 1580s (forced) caused  the
establishment of serfhood. In 1597 the decree of                         ,
according to which the peasants who had run from their masters  during  the
last five years were subject to investigation, caurt and returning  back  to
the peaces they lived  before.  Those  who  ran  six  and  more  years  ago
werentsubject to that decree and more years ago  werent  subject  to  that
decree and didnt have to be returned to their former owners.
In foreign policy Godunov proved to be a talented diplomat. On the  18th  of
May in 1595 in Tjavrin (near Ivangorod) the peace treaty between Russia  and
Sweden was concluded. Godunov  managed  to  take  avantage  of  a  difficult
internal political situation in Sweden,  -  and  Russia,  according  to  the
treaty, got back Ivangorod, Yam, Koporye and volost Korela.


                              Godunovs reign.

Godunovs way to the throne wasnt easy. In  Uglich  the  successor  to  the
throne Dmitriy, the son of Ivan the Terribles six wife,  grew  up.  On  the
15th of May in 1591 tsarevich dead  under  the  obscure  circumtrances.  The
official investigation was carried out by the boyar V.  I.  Shujsky.  Trying
to please Godunov he reduced the happening to the negligence of Maria  the
Nade, as a result of  which  Dmitry  accidentally  stabbed  himself  with  a
Knife, while playing with his coevals. Tsarevich  was  still,  he  stuffered
from fits and to give a Knife to  the  child  was  really  criminal.  It  is
possible that Godunov was involved in Dmitriys death, as only to  make  the
nurse let the sick child play with a Knife would be enough. January 6,  1598
the tsar Feodor died, and Febriary 17, The Zemsky Cathedral elected the  new
tsar, his  brother-in-law    Boris  Godunov.  They  supported  him  as  his
activity as a favorite was highly  valued  by  his  contemporaries.  Boriss
reign was marked by the beginning raproachment of Russia with the  West.  No
sovereign in Russia liked the foreigners as much as Godunov  did.  He  began
to invite the foreigners to service, releasing them from paying  taxes.  The
new tsar even wanted to invite the scientists from Germany, England,  Spain,
France and other countries in order to found in Moscow a high  school,  were
different languages would be taught, but the church opposed the idea.
Boriss reign began successfully. However, really terrible events broke  out
soon. In 1601 there were  long  rains,  and  then  early  frosts  came  and,
according to the contemporary,                                      .  The
next year the poor harvest repeated. The famine, lasting three years,  broke
out. The price of bread increased in 100 times. Boris forbade to sell  bread
at a  price  higher  than  the  settled  limit,  he  even  resorted  to  the
prosecufron of those who inflated prices, but he didnt succeed.  Trying  to
help the starving he didnt spare means, widely distributing money. But  the
price of bread was rising and money was losing its value. Boris  ordered  to
open the imperial barns for the starving. But even  theit  stocks  were  not
sufficient  for  all  hungry  people,  as  having  found   out   about   the
distribution, people from all the  ends  of  the  country  came  to  Moscow,
having left the poor stocks which, nevertheless,  were  available  of  their
places. About 127 thousand people starved and were  buried  in  Moscow,  but
sometimes there wasnt enough time to bury all of them. The  cases  of  man-
eaters appeared. People started to think  that  it  was  a  Divine  penalty.
There appeared the belief that Boriss reign wasnt blessed  by  God  as  it
was lawless and was achieved through a  lie.  And  so  it  couldnt  end  in
something good.
In 1601  1602 Godunov even resorted to the restoration of Youriev  Day.  To
tell the truth,  he  permitted  only  the  export,  not  the  going  out  of
peasants. Noblemen thus rescaled their  manors  from  final  desolation  and
ruin. The permission given by Godunov concerned only small  servant  people,
and didnt spread on the grounds of the members of the Boyar  Duma  and  the
clergy. But even this step didnt increase the tsars  popularity.  National
revolts began. The largest one was the revoltunder leadership of the  ataman
Khlop in 1603. Cossacks and lackeys took pant in it mainly. The tsars  army
managed to defeat the rebels but nothing could calm down the  country    it
was too late. There were rumours in the country that the genuine  tsarevitch
is alive. Godunov understood the threat, as in comparison with  the  borne
sovereign he has nobody. No wonder his vituperators called him slavetsar.
At the beginning of  1604  the  letter  from  a  foreigner  from  Narva  was
intercepted. It contained the information that  miraculously  saved  Dmitriy
was with the Cossacks and Moscow would see some big  misfortunes  soon.  The
investigation proved that the imposter was Grigiriy  Otrepjev,  coming  from
the galitek noblemen, who ran to Poland in 1602.
On the 16th of October in 1604 the Fals Dmitriy with few Poles and  Cossacks
set out to Moscow. Ewen the Moscow patriarchs damnations  didnt  cool  the
national  enthusiasm.  In  a  January  1605  governmental  armies,  however,
defeated the imposter and he had to go to Putivl. But the  imposters  power
was not in the army, but in the peoples belief that  he  was  the  heir-at-
law. The Cossacks from all the parts of Russia began come to Dmitriy.
On the 13th of April in  1605  Boris  Godunov  seemed  to  be  cheerful  and
healthy, ate a lot and with big appetite.  Then  went  to  the  tower,  from
which he often surreged Moscow.  Soon  he  descended,  saying  that  he  was
unwell. The doctor was send for, but the tsar fill worse,  blood  came  from
his nose and ears. The tsar fainted away, and soon died.  The  were  rumours
that Godunov poisoned himself in an attack of  despair.  He  was  buried  in
Kremlin  Arkhangelsk  Cathedral/  Boriss  son  Feodor,  an   educated   and
extremely clever young man, came to the throne.
Soon the riot, caused by Dmitriy the False, took place in Moscow.  The  tsar
Feodor and his mother were killed, and only Boriss  daughter  Xenia  stayed
alive. But the desolate fate of the imposters slave-woman awaited  her.  It
was officiality declared that the tsar and his mother  poisoned  themselves.
Their bodies  were  showcases.  Then  Boriss  coffin  was  taken  out  from
Arkhangelsk  Cathedral  and  buried  again  in  Varsonotsk  Monastery   near
Lubjanka. His family were buried in the same place, without  bural  services
as suicides.

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