Rus Articles Journal

How Boris Godunov used PR - technologies in pre-election fight?

What? Borisku on a kingdom? . Who does not remember this indignant Ivan the Terrible`s exclamation from the known comedy film? Alas, history of Russia often happens unpredictable. But it is amazing that in race for power both then, and similar receptions are used today. And way to an imperial wreath of Boris Godunov to that confirmation.

In the years of Fedor Ioannovich`s reign as a result of the bitter struggle which claimed not one ten lives, Godunov could become the sopravitel of the state making decisions on behalf of the autocrat and to get support of Orthodox church, having organized election in Russia of the patriarch.

On January 6, 1598 the tsar Fedor died. Race for power entered a decisive phase, all measures were put to use: intrigues and bribery, forgeries and falsifications, threats and rumors... At first Boris tried to put on a throne the sister, the imperial widow Irina, but under pressure of crowd (boyars organized national disorders), she refused the power in favor of the Seigniorial thought. The thought at once tried to collect the Territorial cathedral. But only Muscovites could get on the Cathedral - by order of Godunov all roads to the capital were blocked. In addition, in the Duma bitter struggle between supporters of applicants for a throne was developed. Godunov was not included into their number and was forced to take refuge in the Novodevichy Convent where already there lived his sister. The capital for the first time became the arena of bitter pre-election struggle which first stage Godunov lost. Only contradictions in the Duma where Boris spent the relatives and supporters in advance, did not allow boyars to deprive of his post of the governor.

Now all pre-election efforts are undertaken by the patriarch Iov betrayed to Godunov. In February it collected the Territorial cathedral to which invited ecclesiastics and supporters of the governor faithful it. On the Cathedral it was read charter in which the biography of the applicant was brightly described and skillfully his claims on a throne were proved. This charter can be considered as the first propaganda pre-election document in Russia.

The territorial cathedral made the decision on Godunov`s election on a kingdom and decided to carry out procession to the Novodevichy Convent and all unanimously with a great cry and inconsolable crying to ask Godunov to accept a kingdom. It was necessary to hurry. A seigniorial thought, without having managed to propose the single candidate on a throne, began to persuade the people to swear to the Duma and to found seigniorial board.

On February 20 the patriarch organized procession to the monastery. In this situation Godunov made the risky, but thought-over course, - he refused to accept a throne. The governor correctly calculated that further arrangements which will be skillfully organized by Iov will create a favorable public response.

Iov of Godunov did not bring. In the evening in Moscow bells rang out, all churches opened. For whom spiritual pastors all night long agitated - it is not necessary to doubt. In the morning to the Novodevichy Convent the religious procession accompanied with crowd of the people moved. Visibility of national support was reached. Pootkazyvavshis for the sake of appearance, Godunov agreed to accept an imperial wreath.

Formally elected to a kingdom, it did not hurry to Moscow. By tradition the solution of the Cathedral has to be approved by the Seigniorial thought. But the Duma was not going to do it, and Godunov`s supporters could not break its resistance yet.

Without the Duma statement Godunov solemnly drove on February 26 to Moscow. In Assumption Cathedral of the Kremlin Iov again blessed it on a kingdom. Duma members did not arrive to celebrations as did not consider Godunov as the duly elected tsar, and he had to return to the monastery.

Iov found a way out. At the beginning of March it collected a new Territorial cathedral on which decided to carry out general oath of allegiance to the tsar, and it was necessary to carry out it in temples. Godunov`s representatives who except the text of the oath carried a monetary salary to noblemen (powerful " went to the province; argument ).

Expecting results of the oath, Godunov did not move to the Kremlin, and Iov organized procession to the monastery again. Now Godunov is persuaded to sit down on the state . It refuses again. And then the nun Aleksandra (the tonsured queen!) issues the decree by which it rules to be crowned to the brother on a kingdom. Precedent - replacement of the legislative decision (a sentence the Duma) by the nominal decree, legally extremely doubtful was so created.

Godunov again solemnly drove to Moscow, but did not hurry to be crowned. Was necessary the most difficult - to break resistance of Duma members who before threat of crowning of Boris united and elected to a kingdom of the baptized Tatar khan Simeon Bekbulatovich.

Without having risked to enter open confrontation, Godunov found a way to result nobility in humility. At the southern boundaries suddenly there was a military danger, and Boris headed a campaign against the Crimean Tatars who this year to Russia and did not think of a campaign. In April began to collect regiments. Boyars, not to be accused of change, were forced to hold voyevodsky positions. As usual, there were mestnichesky disputes which Godunov resolved, rendering to boyars all signs of respect and attention. Also the abroad helped, the English queen sent it a congratulation on election to a throne, and the Crimean khan sent to it as to the lawful tsar, ambassadors to agree about the world.

In two months it was declared that the opponent uboyasha . Shelves dismissed, and Godunov solemnly returned to Moscow. By this time forgot partially about Simeon, and now it was possible to try to result Duma members in humility. In the second half of summer Moscow again kissed a cross I reign, and it became not in the Duma, and again in church, under Iov`s control. Also many of boyars swore to the new tsar, than eliminated formal obstacles for carrying out crowning.

On September 1 solemn procession went to the Novodevichy Convent. Now representatives of the Duma also participated in it. This time long it was not necessary to persuade Godunov; he graciously agreed to be crowned on ancient custom . In two days Boris Godunov at last was topped with an imperial wreath. That there were no doubts in legality of this event, the new Territorial cathedral which members (including the former opponents of Godunov) antedated the new approved diploma was called.

The long period of fight of Godunov for the power successfully came to the end. Its most responsible stage - direct fight for an imperial crown, Godunov managed to pass practically without shedding of blood, without creating serious public shocks in the country. Unfortunately, its reign which began so peacefully soon outgrew in time of troubles .