Troubles in Russia

Russian History - Troubles in Russia, Throne Rivalry

After the death of Ivan IV in 1584 the throne was taken by his retarded son Fyodor (1584 – 1598). The new tzar was incapable of reigning the state. He authorized the hardships of ruling to his custodian, Boris Godunov 91552 – 1605). Fyodor had no children of his own, and in 1591 when the last son of Ivan IV, Dmitry, mysteriously died, the Rurik dynasty ceased to exist. Godunov was Fyodor’s custodian until his death, and in 1598 Zemsky Sobor appointed him the tzar. However, Godunov did not succeed as the tzar. Besides Russia was hit by severe disasters in the early 17th century. In 1601 – 1603 it was famine. Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was quick in taking advantage of the situation. It supported the self-proclaimed tzar, who called himself miraculously saved prince Dmitry, or as others called him “ False Dmitry I”. In 1604 False Dmitry invaded Russia. Godunov died unexpectedly; his army, having killed his son and wife, took the side of the self-proclaimed tzar and put him on the throne.

The Time of Troubles arrived to Russia – the period of boyars’ families throne rivalry (1605 – 1613). On May 17, 1606 the conspirators killed False Dmitry and the throne was taken by Vasily Shuisky (1606 – 1610). He got through with False Dmitry II but allowed Polish and later Swedish occupation of the significant part of northern-westerns lands. As the result the overthrown tzar became a monk. The power was taken by the commission consisting of 7 boyars. The boyar government had ruled for about 3 years (1610 – 1613) until the strong national Territorial Army led by ordinary citizens Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky freed Russian lands from the occupants.