HISB93H3 Professor Dowler Fall 2009 Lecture Note

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25 Jul 2010

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NOV 19
Zamskii Sobor
x The rulers of Muscovy wanted to avoid decentralization (that happened to Kievan Rus which
made it vulnerable to disintegration and Mongol conquest)
x The princes had to overcome lack of financial resources and trained personnel to support a
centralized administration
x Muscovite was always expanding (Kazan and Astrakhan, expansion into Siberia, annexation
of Eastern Ukraine)
x This was an extremely territory and finding the manpower to administer it was very difficult
x This problem was faced by other European states too but few of them had the territorial size
as Russia did
x This was necessitated by population growth, innovation in warfare, greater complexity in
society, justice, collecting taxes
x The princes first tried to rule their territories through family members and then more and
more they removed family members because they were always fighting and instead
appointed officials
x At one extreme was the system of Kormlenie (feeding) where a governor was sent out to rule
a district for a certain period of time and to support himself, he could exact tribute from
people he was looking over (they exploited the people)
x At the other extreme, we have the local self-government where townsmen elected their own
governor and tax collectors from people of their town
x The increasing use of boyars in policing and administrating justice on peasants on their lands
x With all the disruption caused by the time of troubles, local government and officials gained
more power
x It was local people from the gentry, the merchants, cossaks and peasants that organized the
war against Poles that drove them out
x The local officials formed the Zemskii Sobor
x After the election of the Romanovs, the Tsar was at the top who was assisted by the boyar
Duma and Tsars continued to draw military commanders and heads of the boyar duma and
the church too was represented in the boyar duma then various secretaries
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