Ivan IV the Terrible

(1533 – 1584)

After the death of Helen Glinsky came the 10-year-old autocracy of the boyars. Their rule was marked by the struggle of the rulers and the oppression of the people.

Ivan, looking at others, got used to arbitrariness and violent actions. Impressive child resented the insolence of the boyars in relation to him and his brother Yuri.

Ivan IV was abnormally nervous, easily aroused and came into agitation, but was very observant and possessed a wonderful memory. Very early in it was manifested a savage, painful cruelty. So at his age of thirteen he ordered the princes of Prince Shuisky to be torn to pieces.

He read everything he could find in the courtyard library, got acquainted with the stories – sacred, church and Roman, chronicles, and everywhere he was looking for an excuse for his ideas about power.

According to the historian Solovyov, he was a nervous king not only because the first took the royal title, but because he understood the whole significance of royal power.

In 1547, when Ivan was 16 years old, he solemnly married to the kingdom and assumed the title of King. Thus in history appeared the first married autocrat.

Soon he married Anastasia Romanovna, the daughter of the okolnichny Roman Yuryevich Zakharyin, whose family received the Romanov family name. So the house of Rurik was related to the house of the Romanovs.

Soon after the Tsar’s wedding in Moscow, a fire broke out, the people blamed Glinsky for arson, a rebellion broke out, during which one of Glinsky was killed. This event strongly influenced John, and he turned to state activities.

The closest place to the king was occupied not by the boyars, but by two worthy husbands: the archpriest of the court Annunciation Cathedral, Sylvester and the sleeping bag Alexei Adashev. Thus ended the reign of the boyars, and John himself began to rule the state.

In 1550, at the behest of the tsar, a new judicial code was drawn up, in which severe punishments were imposed on rulers and judges convicted of unjust court and bribery.

In 1551, Ivan convened a spiritual cathedral from the higher clergy. The articles that were discussed at this cathedral were divided into one hundred chapters, and therefore it is known in history as Stoglavy.

In 1552 Kazan was conquered, in 1553 the first trade relations with England. In 1556, the conquest of Astrakhan followed. In 1563 printing began in Moscow. In 1558, John declared Livonia war, which lasted until 1582.

The last important event of the reign of Ivan IV was the accession to Russia of the Siberian kingdom, won by the Don Cossacks under the command of Ermak Timofeevich in 1582.

After the death of her first wife Anastasia Romanovna and with the removal of Sylvester and Adashev, oprichnina and executions inspired fear at all, for which he was nicknamed Grozny – the Terrible.

Ivan IV reigned 50 years.

Feodor Ivanovich (1584 – 1598)