Appearance of the “False Dmitry” (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: The appearance of the “False Dmitry” during an age of pretense, turmoil, and chaos ultimately brings about political change and the realization of Russia’s need for a “good czar.”
Summary of Event
On July 18, 1605, the “False Dmitry” was crowned czar of Russia. The episode was part of an extended crisis that almost destroyed Russia between 1584 and 1613. Known in Russian history as the “Time of Troubles,” this period saw pretenders, civil wars, social revolt, famine so severe as to induce cannibalism, and, in its darkest hours, occupation of the Russian throne by Poland and the conquest of large sections of the country by Sweden. The immediate cause of the catastrophic series of events was the extinction of the Rurik line of princes who had governed Russia for more than seven hundred years. More fundamental were the incredible strains imposed upon all segments of the Russian population by the Muscovites in their drive to solidify their hold on Russia and to expand its borders in the east and the west.
The culmination of the transformation of Russia into an absolute monarchy occurred during the reign of Ivan the Dread, also called the “Terrible.” He waged merciless war against the powerful landed nobles, known as the boyars; by use of murder, pillage, rapine, torture, and exile, he ended their pretensions of independent political power in Russia. An unstable, violent,...
(The entire section is 1460 words.)
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