Download A Short History of Russia's First Civil War: The Time of by Chester S. L. Dunning PDF

By Chester S. L. Dunning

ISBN-10: 0271024658

ISBN-13: 9780271024653

Upon e-book in 2001, Russia's First Civil warfare greeted by means of students as a 'historical travel de force,' the 1st significant post-Marxist reassessment of the Time of issues. Now on hand in an abridged paperback, a quick heritage of Russia's First Civil struggle is fitted to school room use.

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Additional info for A Short History of Russia's First Civil War: The Time of Troubles to the Founding of the Romanov Dynasty

Sample text

As Tsar Fedor’s regent, he faced the thankless task of trying to cope with the country’s developing crisis. The harsh policies he came up with were controversial and failed to solve Russia’s problems; instead, they made matters worse and helped ruin the reputation of the tsar’s ruthless brother-in-law. Boris Godunov’s enemies rather unfairly accused him of being low-born. In fact, Boris’s ancestors had been boyars at the Muscovite court in the fourteenth century. Family fortunes declined over the years, however; Boris’s father was a mere provincial pomeshchik when his son was born in 1552.

With such a drastic decline in the number of peasant and urban taxpayers, revenues shrank dramatically and the tsar’s treasury suffered huge shortfalls. Sharp price inflation in the 1570s and 1580s made matters worse for everyone. The fiscal crisis became so acute and the decline in the size and readiness of the gentry militia so steep that Tsar Ivan could no longer afford to fight the Livonian War, which finally ended in 1583 on terms unfavorable to Russia. In spite of the end of the war and the death of the “terrible” tsar in 1584, however, the crisis deepened in many parts of the country.

42 R u s s i a’s F i r s t C i v i l Wa r Another reason for Godunov to relax the political struggle was the serious, multidimensional crisis descending on Russia at that time. In addition to the cascading effects of the demographic disaster, the “little ice age” produced increasingly severe weather and a terrible famine in 1588. Hunger and the high cost of food pushed more and more desperate peasants and townsmen to depart for the southern frontier, to sell themselves as slaves, or to turn to begging or banditry.

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