Causes of the Time of Troubles and its stages
The difficult period in the history of our country began after the death of the last reigning Rurikovich - Tsar Fedor Ioannovich. The people did not imagine existence without a legitimate tsar, and the boyars rushed to power, violating the interests of the state. The reasons for the Time of Troubles (as it is accepted to call it) are rooted in a deep political crisis caused by the struggle between the claimants to the royal throne. The situation was aggravated by terrible crop failure and famine. Against the background of a deep internal crisis, Russia has become the object of foreign intervention.
Causes of the Time of Troubles and its three stages
Time of Troubles can be divided into three stages, each of which is caused by the reasons that gave rise to it.
- The first is dynastic. It is a struggle between the claimants to the throne.
- The second is called social. This is the opposition of various social classes of an economically weakened country. It led to the invasion of foreigners.
- And the third stage is national. It involves the struggle of the people against the invaders.
The end of the Time of Troubles is the ascension to the throne of the young Tsar Mikhail Romanov. Let's stop at each stage in more detail.
Start of the dynastic period
The reasons for the beginning of the Time of Troubles came to light when Boris Godunov, elected by the Zemsky Sobor, ascended the Russian throne. A clever, far-sighted and energetic ruler, he did a lot to strengthen the country and raise the standard of living of Russians. But the terrible crop failure of 1601–1603 was a catastrophe that brought down the country's economy. Hundreds of thousands died of starvation. Political opponents blamed Godunov. Not having the authority of the hereditary king, but being only the elect, the ruler lost the respect and support of both the masses and the boyars.
The appearance of a False Dmitry
The situation was aggravated by claims to the throne by the impostor False Dmitry. The real heir to the throne, Prince Dmitry, died under unexplained circumstances in Uglich. Godunov was accused of his death without any proof, thereby undermining the foundations of his rule. Taking advantage of the circumstances, a False Dmitry with detachments of Poles invaded the territory of Russia, and was even proclaimed king.But he reigned only a year, and in 1606 he was killed. The boyar Vasily Shuisky ascended the throne. This did not bring a tangible normalization of the situation in the country.
The reasons for the Time of Troubles in Russia also included an economic component. It was she who caused the broadest social masses, including the nobility, clerks and Cossacks to be involved in the struggle. Particularly acute nature of the events gave the mass popular uprisings, called peasant wars. The most ambitious among them was the uprising, which was led by Bolotnikov. After bursting out the entire central part of the country, it choked and was crushed.
However, this did not stabilize the situation in the country. Shuisky's tough feudal policy caused discontent among the peasants. The highest strata of society accused him of failing to govern the state. To top it all off, another impostor suddenly appeared, claiming to be the king, - False Dmitry II. The country finally plunged into chaos, called the Time of Troubles. The reasons, stages, consequences and driving forces of this historical process have become the subject of many scientific studies that have shownthat an important role in the current situation was played by the aggressive policy of Poland.
Invasion of the invaders
Under the pretext of protecting the legitimate heir to the throne, which meant False Dmitry II, his troops invaded Russia. Having made another mistake, Shuisky turned to the Swedish king for help in the fight against an impostor. As a result, in addition to the Polish interventionists, Swedish appeared on Russian soil.
Soon the False Dmitri II, betrayed by the Poles, ended his days on the gallows, but the political reasons for the Time of Troubles did not find their resolution. Shuisky was forcibly tonsured by the boyars as monks, while they themselves swore allegiance to the Polish prince Vladislav. It was a shameful act. The Swedes came close to Novgorod and prepared for the assault. The Duma, which betrayed its people, formed an authority to govern the country, called by the number of its members “seven-boyars.” In essence, it was a government of traitors.
But not only the negative aspects of Russian life revealed the Time of Troubles. The reasons, stages, consequences, as well as the further course of the historical development of the country were largely determined by the depth of the national identity.The people wanted only a legitimate ruler, this largely determined the features of the dynastic struggle of the first period of unrest.
The confrontation between economic and political chaos resulted in peasant wars. And, finally, a wave of patriotism raised the people to fight the interventionists. Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky became the heads of the national liberation movement. In October 1612, the militia of many thousands led by the militia forced the Polish garrison in Moscow to capitulate.
In January of the following year, Mikhail Romanov was elected Tsar. This was the beginning of a three-hundred-year dynasty. For a long time, the country experienced severe consequences of dashing years, but nevertheless this event is considered to be the end of the historical period, called the Time of Troubles, the causes, consequences and significance of which still require in-depth scientific analysis.