Age of Absolutism: Russia by v1jQ0W3u


									Age of Absolutism:
•First, some geography
• Russia is BIG
• Physically diverse
• Ethnically diverse
Russia’s Time Zones
Topography of Russia
                    Rich Soil of the Steppes
Chernozen =
“Black Earth”

Grassland soils
for growing
cereals or for
raising livestock

“Bread Basket”
of Russia

Essential to
Russia’s well-
Themes in Russian History
Expansion by conquest
Need for warm-water port
The necessity of a strong, central

These will dictate Russian policy
(before 1000
Early Byzantine Influences:
  Orthodox Christianity
            Adoption of Orthodox
• The Mythic Story: The Rus leader
  Vladimir sent emissaries to visit
  Catholics, Jews, and Muslims. After
  visiting Constantinople, they were so
  astounded at the Hagia Sophia that
  they returned to convince Vladimir that
  Greek Orthodoxy was the best choice.
  Vladimir then married the sister of the
  Byzantine Emperor.

• The Likely Story: Trade routes to
  Byzantium encouraged the exchange of
  ideas. Religion came this way. Orthodox
  Christianity established in late 900s.
Interior of a Byzantine Church
           The Kievan Rus
• Approx. 800-1150
• Northwestern Russia
• Independent City States, loosely connected,
  sometimes rivals

• Strategic Cities:
   – Novgorod
   – Kiev
   – Moscow
  Trade routes
 connecting the
Kievan Rus with
Europe and Asia

   (Note the
 Novgorod and
• Oldest Slavic city in Russia (859)

• Eastern-most trading post with the
  Hanseatic League (furs)

• Decline: Could not feed population, had to
  import grain

• Annexed by the Grand Duke of Muscovy,
  becomes part of Kievan Rus
         Golden Age of Kiev
• 980-1054
• Orthodox
• Creation of the
  first East Slavic
  written legal code
• Trade with the
  West brings

                       “Kievan Merchants Sailing Abroad”
• Hereditary nobles, essential   • Felt equal to the Tsar, often
  to the power of Kievan           caused trouble during crisis
  princes                        • Tsars begin to create a new
• Under Ivan III, government       form of nobility, loyal to
  centralized, power of Boyar      them
      Kievan Administration
• Boyars occupied the highest    • The domestic life of
  state offices and through a      Muscovite boyars was
  council (The Duma) advised       regulated by a code, the
  the Grand Duke of                Domostroy.
  Muscovy.                          – This dictated rules
• Boyars received large grants        regarding religion, family
  of land and were the major          and social life,
  legislators of the Kievan           education, professions,
  Rus.                                and service to the Tsar.
The Mongols Invade Russia: 1237-1240
The Mongols Invade Russia:
• Policy is to keep rival Russian states weak and

• Golden Horde: Mongol name for Russian
• 1340s – plague weakens Mongol rule
• Multiple Khanates and civil war furthers weakens
  Mongol authority
• Muscovy challenges Mongol rule
                  The Cossacks
              “Adventurer, Free Man”
• Disgruntled Boyars and
  escaped serfs
• Originally independent guards,
  small bands
• Maintained borders between
  eastern Europe and Russian
• Horsemen
• Occasional uprisings against
  the Tsar
• By 19th century, Tsars began
  to reward Cossacks in
  exchange for loyalty
   – Elite
   – Suppress domestic
   – Abandoned the Tsar in
Rise of
• Grand Duchy of Moscow
   – medieval Russian principality centered on
     Moscow between 1340 and 1547
   – Attacked, burned by Mongols in the 13th
     century, but geographically secure
      • River access to the Baltic and Black Seas
• Ruled by ambitious and determined princes (the
  “Grand Dukes”)
       The Rise of Muscovy
• Strong dynasty, smooth transitions
• Rival states became further fragmented
• Independent: Vasily II (1448) declares Russian
  Orthodox Church separate and self-ruling from
• Ivan III “The Great”
   – 1462-1505
   – Continues expanding Muscovite borders to
     include “ethnically” Russian (tripled during his
   – The first true ruler of the “Russian” people
   – Centralized government
   – Denied Mongol authority
     Ivan III (“The Great”)

Ivan III tearing the Great Khan’s letter requesting
tribute payments in 1480.
    Ivan III: Foreign Policy
• Christian Boyars start to see a Tsar as a defender
  against Islamic invaders, Mongols
• Alliance with Denmark against growing Swedish
• Rules of conduct for Boyar class

• Moral code, with excerpts from Proverbs, as well as
  practical advice for all aspects of life (church,
  family, social customs)

• Patriarchal

• A wife which is good, laborious, and silent is a
  crown to her husband. Don't pity a youngling while
  beating him: if you punish him with a rod, he will
  not die, but become healthier.
Russia in the Late 1500s
    Ivan IV: “The Terrible”
• 1530-1584
• Grandson of Ivan III
• First to take title of
• Inherited at age 3;
  Boyars become
          Ivan The Terrible
• Modernizations:
  – Standing army
  – Parliament of feudal estates, council of nobles
  – Unified religious practices
  – Left rural areas to “self-manage” but restricted
    mobility of peasants – led to permanent serfdom
  – Trade with England
  – Annexed land farther south, east: Russia
    becomes multi-ethnic
          Ivan the Terrible
• Married 7 times
• After death of first wife, suspicious of Boyars
• Created his own territory of personal rule
  (Oprichnika) to combat Boyars
   – 1/3 of Russia at that time
   – Best land, trade cities
   – No taxes
   – In war with Sweden, Ivan ordered the death of
     3,000 in Novgorod
   – Disbanded in 1572
      • Failure, but showed the might and strength of
        the Tsar
          Ivan the Terrible
• 20 year war with Western Slavic states weakened
  his rule
• Naval blockades hinder trade, drought, plague,
  Moscow burns in 1571 (invasion from Crimean
• Ivan becomes mentally unstable
   – Uses Oprichnika to pursue enemies
   – Massacre of Novgorod
   – Beat son to death
   – Probably poisoned by closest advisor (Boris
   – Succeeded by son, Feodor, who left rule to Boris
               Boris Godunov
• Brother in law of Tsar Feodor
• Murdered Ivan’s last remaining
• Fostered foreign relationships to
  modernize Russia
• Made peace with Scandinavian
• Always feared a challenge to his
• Death (1605) left one son, who
  was murdered that year
  Time of Troubles: 1598-1613
• Little Ice Age continues to destroy harvests,
  create colder weather patterns (winter and
  summer), and weaken serfs

• Aristocrats don’t respect Boris Godunov (a
  Boyar) as Tsar
   – Romanov’s lead faction Pretenders to the throne
   – Cossacks are restless on the borders
   – Pretenders to the throne: all claim to be the last
     son of Ivan
            “False” Dmitry
• 1605-1606
• Granted freedoms, such as Serfs can change
  landlords once a year
• Brought back exiled royal families, such as
• Alliances with Pope and Poland to convert to
   – Married Polish princess
   – Boyars turn against him
   – Jumps out a window, breaks his leg, ashes shot
     toward Poland
  (r. 1613-

• Elected at 17

• Dynasty lasts
  for 304 years
  (until 1917)

              Romanov Family Crest
Romanov Dynasty
    Peter the Great (r. 1682-1725)
• Grandson of Michael
• Older half brother
  (Theodore/Feodor) died
  without heir
• Older half brother, Ivan,
  is deemed too sickly to
  rule, so the Boyars
  choose Peter
• Older half sister (Sophia)
  leads rebellion against
  him; orders murder of
  friends, relatives
   – Rebellion of the
• Ivan and Peter become
  joint Tsars
Russia Under Peter I
                   Peter I
• Great modernizer
   – Imposed western ways (no beards, western
     clothing, French)
• Suppressed rebellions
   – Rank is determined by service, not inheritance
   – Diminishes power of Boyars
• Search for warm-water port (Black Sea)
   – Must defeat Ottomans, travels to Europe in
     1697 to gain support of rulers
   – France and Austria are busy with war of
     Spanish Succession
• Declared war on Sweden to gain control of the
  Baltic. Early Russian defeats.
            “Great Embassy”
• Alliance making fails, so
  Peter simply stays and
• Holland: shipbuilding
  and medicine
• England: city building
  (rebuilt St. Petersburg)
• Gains respect. At death,
  recognized throughout
  Europe as legitimate
  emperor and a rising
     Rebellion of the Streltsy: 1698
• While Peter is away, his      • He returns, wins, and
  sister, Sophia, attempts to     forces her to become a nun.
  overthrow him                   He loses only one man and
                                  personally helps execute
                                  over 1200 rebels.
• 1711: Peter
  defeated by the
   – Must give back
     Black Sea
• Great Northern
  War: 1700-1720
   – Gives up
     Finland but
     gains the Baltic
     States as part of
    St. Petersburg
• Peter wants a “Window on the
  West” so he builds a new
  capital to rival Versailles
• Russia’s capital until 1918
• Peterhof = Peter’s Palace
The Sun King Style
Empress Anna I
       • Daughter of Peter the
         Great's half-brother and
         co-ruler, Ivan V.
       • 1730-1740
       • Forced to sign papers
         naming Russia as a
         constitutional monarchy
         but ruled as an autocrat
       • Wide use of Secret
       • Married to a German
         prince, elevated Germans
         to high court positions
       • War against the
         Ottomans – gained
         southern territory
                   Ivan VI
• Tsar 1740-41 (born 1740,
  died 1764)
• Great grandson of Ivan V
• Adopted by his great aunt,
  Empress Anna
• Imprisoned, replaced on
  throne by Elizabeth,
  daughter of Peter I
• Murdered after 20 years of
Empress Elizabeth
       • Daughter of Peter the Great
       • November 25, 1741
          – Seized power from
            Empress Anna and the
            infant Ivan VI
       • "Who do you want to
         serve? Me, the natural
         sovereign, or those who
         have stolen my
       • Expands boundaries to
         include Finland
       • Involved in European wars
          – Pro-Austria, Pro English
          – Attempts to reduce
            power of Prussia
            • Elizabeth left no heir
Peter III   • Nephew of Elizabeth, hated all things
               – Married to a German princess (2nd
            • Ruled for only 6 months in 1762
               – Arrested, abdicated, probably
                  murdered by wife, Catherine
            • Probably incompetent to rule
            • Unpopular
               – While Tsar, made peace with
               – Willing to go to war with Denmark to
                  regain “hereditary” territory
               – Intrigued by Lutheranism
               – But . . . incorporated capitalism and
                   • Serfs cannot be purchased by
               – No longer forced nobles to serve in
                  Catherine II
• Empress 1762-1797
• German, but loved all things
• Protégé of Empress Elizabeth
• Gained territory from
  Ottomans and
   – Crimean peninsula on
      Black Sea
• Allied with Poland, Prussia,
  and Sweden to counter the
• Feared uprisings
   – Pugachev Rebellion:
      caused her to become less
      tolerant, more autocratic
      later in life
An Enlightened Ruler
     • Ambitious, intelligent, shrewd
     • Welcomed western ideas
        – Saw modernization as a way to
          advance Russian interests
     • “Age of Imitation”
        – Supported intellectualism
        – Foundation for great Russian art, music,
          and literature
     • Intellectual relationship with Voltaire
        – Believed in “enlightened rule”
     Paul I
• Son of Catherine, but
  raised by Empress
  Elizabeth (his great
• Encouraged in love
  of Russia from birth
• His death brings era
  of stability
   – Succession is no
     longer challenged
   – Through
     marriages, develop
     strong ties to
     Prussia and other
     German states
Expansion under the Tsars
 (red is heartland, lighter areas added later)
The Pendulum of Russian History

         Pro-West                        Anti-West
  For Progress and Change                Isolationist
  Encourage New Ideas and                Xenophobic
         Technology                  Ultra-Conservative

 Peter, Catherine              Most Tsars
 Intellectual elites           Russian Orthodox Church
 Merchants/businessmen         Military
 Young members of the          Boyars
  middle class (middle class
  is very, very small)          Peasants


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