Russia History   Moscow State   Russian State in XVI century
 :: Articles
Government and Political System of Russia in XVI century.
Social and Economic Development of Russia in XVI century
Internal Policy
Reforms of the middle of XVI century
The Oprichnina (1565-1572)
The Reign of Tsar Feodor Ivanovich (1584-1598).
Foregn Policy
The Livonian War (1558-1583)
Russian Culture in XVI century
 :: Search
Search in articles
Search in current section
 :: Constructor
 :: Game server
 :: Test

Internal Policy

The major problem of strengthening of the grand-ducal power in the last years of Vasily III's reign was the question of succession. The first marriage of Vasily Ivanovich was childless, that gave a chance to his brothers - apanage princes Yury Dmitrovsky and Andrey Staritsky. That is why in November 1525 Vasily III supported by Metropolitan Daniel divorced his first wife, Solomonia Saburova who was from an ancient family of Moscow boyards. She was admitted to the veil by force and sent to Kargopol.

In January 1526 Vasily III married Elena Vasiliyevna Glinskaya, the young niece of Prince Michael Lvovich Glinsky from Lithuania, who was accused of treason and imprisoned in 1514. The choice of the bride testified not only a desire to have an heir who could lay claims to the crown of Poland and Lithuania, but also the yearning to improve relations with the Western Europe. In August 1530 Ivan, the first son of Vasily III was born.

When Vasily III died in December 1533 E. Glinskaya became a regent. Practically it was her uncle, M.Glinsky, who ruled. But shortly after he was removed by I.F. Ovchino-Telepnyev-Obolensky, the favourite of the Great Duchess. The reign of Elena Glinskaya was the time of central authorities strengthening. Thus, in December 1533 the apanage prince Yury Dmitrovsky was arrested and lately died in imprisonment. The rebellion of Prince Andrey Staritsky was successfully suppressed in 1537 and he himself was thrown into prison. At the same time intensive construction of fortresses and cities was carried out (including erection of stone walls around Kitay Gorod in Moscow). In 1535 a currency reform was conducted tо bridge a gap between the Moscow and Novgorod coining.

All that irritated Russian nobility greatly. In 1538 the Great Duchess suddenly died (it is probable that she was poisoned). And before long Prince Ovchina-Telepnev was arrested and starved to death in prison. After that there was a ten years period of vehement strife for power between court boyards and princely groupings headed by Princes the Shuysky (descendants of Suzdal princes), the Belsky and the Glinsky (an uncle of the Grand Duke). Instability of the supreme power in the country gave rise to feudal lords' tyranny in the provinces, what resulted in upgrowth of people's discontent and even overt revolts in a number of cities.

All that paved the way for a large revolt of Moscow population in June 1547. The reason was the grandiose fire that destroyed a significant part of the city. In the course of this revolt suppressed by the government one of the Tsar's uncles - Yu.V.Glinsky was lacerated, the houses of the others were plundered.

With a view to strengthen the central power on January 16, 1547 following the special ceremonial that was carried out by Metropolitan Makariy the 17-years old Grand Duke Ivan was recognized the Tsar of Russia and thus was formally equated with the West-European emperors. It emphasized limitlessness of the power of the monarch over the State. In February 1547 under the initiative of the metropolitan the church council canonized a big number of national saints, what ideologically underlined transformation of the country into the single Russian Power.

Copyright © RIN 2001-. Russia Russia site map Feedback