Thursday, November 7, 2013
The First Tsar
His domestic policies revamped the government, created the Zemsky Sobor (a Feudal style parliament) and strengthened the hold of the lords over the Serfs. He was responsible for the first "Modern " (for the 16th century that is) government in Russia.
He is often called "Ivan the Terrible" for his brutal actions against those that he believed were his enemies, both real and imagined. He is blamed for countless massacres (the cities of Novgorod and Kazan experienced especially brutal treatment), enslavements, banishments and murders including killing his own son during a fit of temper.
Ivan IV was a complex man, dangerous, often unpredictable, ruthless and always a ruler who understood power and how to use it to his best advantage. By the time of his death Medieval Russia had also died and the foundation for the Russian Empire had been formed.