Russia to 1917 Syllabus

History 356 Fall 2003

Study Questions, Week 4

Cracraft, Ch. 2

Kollmann, "Muscovite Patrimonialism":

According to Kollmann, were the Muscovite Grand Princes/Tsars really autocrats?

Explain Kollmann's model of how Muscovite politics worked.

Explain the main points of Muscovite political ideology.

How did ceremony reinforce Muscovite ideology?

How did this ideology portray the Tsar, the boyars, and their relationship?

Were the boyars really harmonious? Explain.

What was the purpose of the autocratic ideology?

According to Kollmann, what caused the Time of Troubles (1598-1613)?

What does Kollmann consider the basic political unit of Muscovy?

Does Kollmann think there was an "estate" system in Muscovy? Explain.

What was the function of the state in Muscovy? How did it work?

In what sense did Ivan IV threaten the Muscovite political system?

According to K., who had real power in Muscovy? Explain.

According to Kollmann, what legitimized the Muscovite system?

What was the zemskii sobor, and what was its political function?

Explain the ritual and function of petitions to the tsar.

How was the idea of family honor related to Muscovite politics?

What is Kollmann's thesis, and how does it relate to Pipes' thesis?


Kaiser & Marker, Section III


In what directions did Muscovy expand in the 15th-17th centuries?

What disasters hit Muscovy during this period?

What was the Time of Troubles?

How did Mikhail Romanov become Tsar in 1613, and did this end "autocracy"?


Kaiser & Marker, Ch. 9


What do the editors consider the most important consequence of Muscovite expansion?

What was the Oprichnina? The Zemshchina?


Intro to "Foreigner Describes the Oprichnina":

Who was von Staden?

"Foreigner Describes the Oprichnina":

According to von Staden, how did Ivan IV reward those chosen for the Oprichnina?

How were oprichniki supposed to behave? What powers did they hold?

How did Ivan IV treat his enemies?

Did Ivan IV recognize the authority of the church during the Oprichnina? Explain.

According to von Staden, was Ivan IV alone responsible for the terror? Explain.

Did the oprichniki limit Ivan IV's power? Explain.

How did Ivan IV deal with the oprichniki when he turned against them?


Kollmann, "Facade of Autocracy":

Much of this selection is identical to that in Cracraft--however, it is not entirely identical, so


What is Kollmann's thesis?

What kept the Muscovite political system "stable"?

What is primogeniture, and why was it central to the stability of Muscovite politics?

How did this help lead to the Time of Troubles?


Crummey, "Ivan IV":

What is Crummey's thesis?

What evidence is there that Ivan IV was a reformer?

What were the goals of Ivan IV's "reforms"?

What did Ivan "reform" and when?

Was the state under Ivan IV becoming more or less centralized?

In the first 1/2 of his reign, how did Ivan IV mobilize support for his policies?

How does Crummey explain the meaning of the Oprichnina? Was it a counter-reform?

Why did it take place? What was the result?


Cracraft, Ch. 2

Hellie, "Enserfment in Muscovite Russia":

How and why did Vasilii II restrict peasants' freedom of movement?

How did the 1497 Sudebnik affect peasants? Why didn't it lead directly to serfdom?

Why did the 16th century state need to tie peasants to the land?

What was the impact of Ivan IV's reign on peasants? Explain?

Why did Boris Godunov forbid peasant movement? Results? Did this make peasants serfs?

How did the Time of Troubles contribute to the process of enserfment?

Why and where did peasants try to move during the "Smolensk War," and how did the state respond?

Does Hellie consider slavery and serfdom the same thing? Explain.

How was the decline of the peasants' status related to the status of the "middle service class"?

How did warfare change during the Smolensk War, and how did cavalrymen respond?

Why did the middle service class call for restricted access to and purge of its own ranks under Tsar Boris?

How does Hellie think "status anxiety" was related to enserfment of the peasantry?

How was the unrest of 1648 related to enserfment under the 1649 Ulozhenie?

For Hellie, was enserfment a sign of the state's strength?

How did the change in the legal status of townspeople in the 1590s-1640s differ from what had happened to the peasantry?

According to Hellie, what sort of society had Muscovy become by 1649? Explain.

Did the original reasons for enserfment remain by the 1660s? Why didn't serfdom disappear?

What is the difference between a pomest'e estate and a votchina estate?

How does Hellie explain the causes and results of the Razin rebellion?

According to Hellie, what drove Muscovite decision making? Does Hellie's argument contradict Kollmann's?


Intro to Documents/Ulozhenie of 1649:

What is manumission?

Ulozhenie of 1649, ch. 11:

What different types of peasants are noted in this law code?

What is to be done with fugitive peasants? Explain.

How were peasants tied to the land?

Could serfs be transferred from owner to owner? How?

What articles in this code are most revealing of peasants' legal status? Explain.

Why might these laws dictate "special" procedures for dealing with peasant women?

Were serfs property? Explain.

How long a period did owners have to recover fugitive peasants?

What is to be dome with landowners who harbor fugitive peasants? Are they to be treated the same under all circumstances? Explain.

Is the role of the state different in this law code than in those from earlier periods? Explain

how, and explain why this change might have occurred.

Explain the point of articles ##30-31.


Intro to Documents/Archpriest Avvakum:

Who was Nikon, why is he important in Russian church history, and why did Avvakum and   the "Old Believers" oppose him?

Avvakum Describes His Struggle (ca. 1673):

What evidence does this document present of Russian expansionism? Of relations between Russians and Siberian natives?

How did Avvakum use his exile to oppose the Nikonian reforms? How does he refer to the reformers? Explain.

Explain the relationship between Avvakum and Tsar Alexei after the former returned from exile.

What sorts of reforms did Avvakum condemn? Explain the evidence.

Why does Avvakum refer to the Morozov sisters as martyrs? What is an apostate?

What evidence does Avvakum give of the arbitrary nature of the Tsar's power?

Does Avvakum's view of holiness concur with earlier church texts we have read? Explain.

Explain Avvakum's account of the 1666-67 church council.

Why didn't Avvakum condemn the Tsar as an heretic?

Russia to 1917 Syllabus