HISB93H3 Professor Dowler Fall 2009 Lecture Note

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24 Jul 2010
OCT 20
x Ivan the Terrible has been regarded as an example of a tyrant
x This vision however is not entirely accurate
x There is a folk legend that Ivan was the Father of the people and he protected his people from
powerful bureaucrats
x Terrible means awesome
x His reign is divided into three parts
o His minority: he came to the throne at 3 years old (1533). His mother Elena ruled on
o Second part began as his coronation as Tsar in 1546 (16 years old). It lasted until the
death of his wife (1560)
o The third part began after the death of his wife and extended until his death in
o 1533 his father died
o Elena was a competent ruler, appointed good advisors and with the help of the
Metropolitan, she managed to rule capably. There was a good deal of rivalry among
the boyars, Elena got caught up in the feud and she died mysteriously in 1538
o Because he was still do young, he could not rule, so the control went to Boyar Duma
and to some important bureaucrats and the Metropolitan
o The Boyars only thought about the benefits of their families come arising from
Duma, rather they believe power comes through personal relationships
o 1538, power struggle began between two Boyer factions for control over young Ivan
o Little Ivan was used as a pawn during this struggle
o Publicly, he was the prince and they treated him well
o Privately, he was subjected to neglect and bullying
o Ivan lived his life in isolation and fear with no parents to guide him
o He led the sort of childhood that could lead to the development to a paranoid
o Most paranoid personalities cannot fulfill their dream, Ivan could however because he
is an absolute monarch (revenge fantasies)
o In his early teens, he was showing signs of personal cruelty (he loved dog and bear
fights, attracted to violence)
o 1543, the townsfolk got fed up with the boyars so they staged a rebellion and killed
off most of the leaders of one of the factions
o It strengthened the second faction and it sobered them
o As a result, the government settled into a good rule under the leadership of people
such as Alexii Adashev was a state official and a priest name Sylvester
o 1546, a Church council crowned him as Tsar (he becomes the first crowned Tsar in
o Because personal connections were the key to power, the competition between boyars
o Ivan sent out a circular, orderiQJER\DU¶VWREULQJWKHLUGDXJKWHUVWRFRXUWWKH\ZHUH
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