By Chester S. L. Dunning
Upon ebook in 2001, Russia's First Civil battle greeted via students as a 'historical journey de force,' the 1st significant post-Marxist reassessment of the Time of problems. Now on hand in an abridged paperback, a brief heritage of Russia's First Civil struggle is suited to school room use.
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Extra resources for A Short History of Russia's First Civil War: The Time of Troubles to the Founding of the Romanov Dynasty
Quite apart from the oprichnina, for example, Tsar Ivan imposed much heavier taxes on his people than his predecessors and was not at all concerned about the impact of his exactions. Oprichnina terror also coincided with terrible famines and plagues that killed hundreds of thousands of Russians. Upon close inspection, it is also clear that the Russian economy was already beginning to experience severe shocks when the oprichnina came along, and it only made things worse. Russia’s slide into crisis, therefore, cannot simply be attributed to the oprichnina and the personality of the “terrible” tsar.
Ivan in 1556 issued a new military service code that formally extended the requirement to serve to all landowners. Privileged owners of votchina (hereditary) estates were now required to show up for military service alongside the pomeste-based gentry. In addition, holders of both votchina and pomeste lands were now required to provide an additional cavalryman (fully equipped) for approximately every four hundred acres of land they held. That significantly increased the size of the tsar’s army, but the additional burden on the gentry militiamen was not easily met even in good times by the poorer ones; in times of hardship, the requirement proved ruinous to many.
Country. ” War had been the principal activity of Muscovy; after unification, it continued to be the main activity of the new Russian monarchy. With the longest frontiers in Europe and an ambitious ruling elite, Russia quickly developed one of the largest and most powerful armies of northeastern Europe. During the sixteenth century that army was at war with at least one of Russia’s western neighbors, on and off, for nearly fifty years; on the Tatar front, to the south and east, warfare was almost constant.