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The Astrakhan Revolt. Uprising under K.Bulavin's Leadership

The Astrakhan Revolt. The Revolt under leadership of K. Bulavin.

The Astrakhan Revolt.
One of the great revolts of trades-people was the Astrakhan Revolt of 1705-1706, caused by unbearable burden of taxes and introduction of foreign way of life by force. On July 30, 1705, at night risen trades-people, soldiers and workers broke in Astrakhan Kremlin and killed voyevoda N. Rzhevsky; 300 nobles and governing people were executed in the town. Insurgents shared the property among each other. The rebels established the system of elective organs under the leadership of Yaroslavl merchant Y. Nosov. Soon the troops of insurgents moved to neighboring towns of Caspian region, one thousand troops of astrakhans moved to take Tsaritsin.

To stop the riot the Government called for the Don Cossacks troop and Kalmyk taysha (Prince) Ayuka. These measures helped to localize the revolt. Soon, the troop of Government forces led by the field marshal B.P. Sheremetev was sent to suppress the riot, and in March, 1706 it took the town after a fighting. A few hundreds of Astrakhan rebels were sent to Moscow. For two years they were tortured in Preobrazhensky Department, many of them died during the investigation. Those who survived were executed in 1707.

The Uprising under the leadership of K. Bulavin.

In 1707-1708 a new powerful movement, which covered the Don, Slobodskaya Ukraine and Povolzhie, started. It was caused by the searching expedition led by Prince Y.V.Dolgoruky, who had returned more than 3000 fugitive serfs. The cruelty of the search roused the indignation of Cossacks. The former ataman of Bakhmut Cossacks K. Bulavin became the leader of the rebels. In September 1707 they defeated Dolgoruky's troop and started to gather fugitive serfs into the host. Tsars' Government demanded from the ataman of the Host of the Don L. Maksimov to stop the riot. After the defeat of Shoulgin town the rebels had to hide in Zaporozhian Host.

In spring, 1708, having been back to the Don, Bulavin continued fighting. Its center was in Pristansky town on Hoper. At the same time the riot spread to the neighboring to the Don southern districts of Russia. On March 22-23, the council of the rebels decided to go to Chercassk, and then to The Asov. At the end of April 7-thousand Bulavin's troop approached the capital of the Don; with support of ordinary Cossacks, who gave him a troop, K. Bulavin took the town and executed Cossacks' authorities. On May, 9 he was elected to be ataman of the Host of the Don. Troops of Bulavin's allies - I. Pavlov, I. Nekrasov and others -took several other towns in the south of Russia, took Kamyshyn and Tsaritsin, laid siege to Saratov, fought on Southern Donets, and as for Bulavin, he himself laid siege to Azov, but soon had to retreat.

At that time 32-thousand government force under leadership of Prince V.V. Dolgoruky was sent to the Don. This news strengthened already existing disagreement among Cossacks. As a result the plot was devised and on July 7, 1708 Bulavin was killed. But the riot didn't stop. The troops of atamans, sharing Bulavin's ideas - N. Goliy, S. Bespaliy, G. Starchenko and others - continued armed fighting in Povolzhie and Ukraine, remained in the upper reaches of the Don. In this period the riot covered 60 districts, and only at the end of 1708 the authorities managed to suppress its main centers. In the first decade of the XVII century riots among inhabitants of Povolzhie and Priuralie (the Bashkirs, the Mari, the Tatars, the Chuvashes), caused by unprecedented arbitrariness of Peter's administration and local feudal lords, and by forcible conversion to Orthodoxy, almost didn't stop (for example, the armed fighting of the Bashkirs in 1705-1711). There were indignation among workers at manufactures and different factories (for example, at Ural metallurgic factories) in Peter's epoch, too.

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