Ivan the Terrible. Who such “knyazhata“?
So, Ivan the Third became the first Russian autocrat. But the autocracy is still very young, support, force on which the sovereign could rely was required for the autocrat. The landed gentry only appearing could not become it.
The support was possible only on the aristocracy. After the grand duke as a result of accession of other Russian principalities were valid “knyazhat“ - distant relatives of the Sovereign vseya Russia, the same as it, occurring from grand dukes Kiev or Vladimir: Vladimir Monomakh, Yury Dolgorukiy or Alexander Nevsky.
In Russia there was no mayorat - the rule of inheritance only to the eldest son therefore descendants of grand and specific dukes quickly decayed and, growing poor, turned into servants of monarchic. But not just servants - “the first servants“.
In the old grand duchy Moscow several ancient families, from generation in generations the holding major positions, - boyars Moscow (Chelyadnina, Pleshcheev, Sheremetev, Zakharyina - Yuryev - Romanov` ancestors, Morozov, etc.) were the main support of the sovereign . Knyazhat them was a little pressed, but all the same those kept strong positions at court of the sovereign.
There were also “Lithuanian natives“ - the most notable grandees of orthodox religion, citizens of the grand duke Lithuanian, once decided that it is more favorable to pass under the Moscow power. Owners of specific principalities, they sometimes, using an opportunity, passed with all the principalities. Even what was not allowed to local aristocrats was allowed them, - own specific principalities (them just younger sons and brothers of the sovereign could receive). “The Lithuanian natives“ won first place and in the government as which prototype it is possible to consider the Seigniorial Duma. Main of the Lithuanian princes - Mstislavskiye, Vorotynskiye, Glinskiye and Patrikeev and their descendants, of Golitsyn, Kurakiny.
And among “reign“ there were also “princes of blood“ - Shuyskiye`s princes, by the right of the origin from grand dukes Suzdal and Nizhny Novgorod demanding for themselves the first roles in the state. All the matter is that Shuyskiye were “sovereign princes“, but not sluzhily. Unlike others “reign“, they passed into the Moscow service from the principality in Shuya at once and earlier before served nobody. They always received positions of voivodes and deputies before others, in an extraordinary order. All princes of Shuyskiye received the highest rank of the boyar (usually the number of boyars during that old era did not reach 12).
But most of all among boyars was princes Obolensky - Kurlyatev - Obolenskiye, Telepnyov - Obolenskiye, Repnina - Obolenskiye, Kashina - Obolenskiye, Ovchinina - Obolenskiye, White - Obolenskiye, Serebryannye - Obolensky and other). This results from the fact that Obolenskiye`s princes were “litovsy natives“ and turned into the Russian citizenship with all Obolensky principality, that is too were sovereign princes, but, unlike Shuysky, them was much. Some branches of a family of Obolensky decayed, but as Obolenskiye`s clan were extremely strong.
So, force and power “reign“ were at the same time both force and power of the state, even their fight for a seniority always was are directed only against each other and never against the State. Concerning oprichnina there is a taken roots representation that the edge of policy of Ivan Vasilyevich was directed against boyars - opponents of centralization and strengthening of the state. And that the nobility was the main enemy of Ivan the Terrible.
We will try to understand a question thoroughly. The historian Vladimir Kobrin writes: “The thought that the nobility was constant aristocratic opposition of the central power arose in our science in many respects under the influence of acquaintance to history of Western Europe where proud and arbitrary barons resisted kings. But comparison it sins with inaccuracy. First of all, in Russia there were no seigniorial locks. Function of the lock - not protection against the thief, but military operations. The lock was besieged, the baron with the vassals defended it. It also created its independence“.
In Russia - when the enemy approached (overseas or from the neighboring principality), the boyar was never accepted to strengthening and defense of the estate. The Russian boyars protected not everyone the village, and all together - princely (later - grand-ducal) the city and all principality in general.
As it is widely known, the Seigniorial thought was the highest government agency; all decrees and laws made out as “sentences“ or “codes“ of the tsar and the grand duke with boyars. All historians agree that the government policy embodied in these decrees was directed to centralization of the country.
As for the old princely childbirth which lost the independence and became at first vassals, and then and the sovereign`s citizens vseya to Russia - of course, at many of them also the nostalgic melancholy for “good old days“, and a hostility share to a “krovopiystvenny“ family of the Moscow princes remained (as one of descendants of such specific princes - Kurbsky was expressed).
But life prevailed. The former specific masters were included into the Duma, became voivodes in regiments, deputies in counties, investigated lawsuits. These instructions had the all-Russian character, demanded traveling over the country. To princes there was necessary ancestral lands outside the patrimonial nest. There was one more incentive reason for acquisition of possession beyond its limits. A princely ancestral lands became shallow in family sections and began to keep them in one hands impossible. As a result at many princes of an ancestral lands in a patrimonial nest made only part (and that not main) their possession.
It is often possible to read that boyars owned an ancestral lands - large hereditary possession, and noblemen - small estates which were given only under a condition of service and were not descended. This ordinary opinion is not right. As a rule, the same person had in property at the same time both ancestral lands, and estates. Estates initially (since the end of the 15th century) were inherited and reached time of very big sizes.
If more attentively to get accustomed to oprichnina policy, then we will see that there are no bases to consider it directed against boyars. “How? - the reader well familiar with literature will ask. - All know that the tsar Ivan executed boyars! “
the Historian Stepan Veselovsky specially studied structure executed in days of oprichnina. Naturally, among victims there are many boyars. First of all, because they stood close to the sovereign and easier attracted on themselves his anger. According to the estimates of Veselovsky, it was the share of one boyar three - four ordinary land owners, and ten persons from the lower class of the population fell on one representative of a class of exclusive sluzhily land owners.
Thus, idea that Ivan the Terrible executed boyars, to put it mildly, not absolutely reflects reality: most of the victims of oprichnina - representatives of the people, is frequent in general any relation to boyars not having, and a great number of boyars also “reign“ served in oprichnina and safely escaped during executions.