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Ivan The Terible Essay

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Ascending to the royal throne at the young age of 3, Ivan IV better known as Ivan the Terrible was thefirst ruler to officially take the title of Tsar in Russia.During his reign he took a number of steps to gain control of the peasantry and nobility, and laid the groundwork for absolutism in Russia.When Ivan the Terrible died in 1584 Russia was plunged into a time of confusion and violent power struggles.This was made worse by the death of Ivan's son Theodore who died in 1598 without an heir to the throne.Theodore's death issued in what historians call the "Time of Troubles" from 1598-1613.The confusion subsided in 1613 when Ivan's grandnephew Michael Romanov came to power.It was during Michael's reign that we seefirst begin to see relaxed military duties, and declining peasant conditions.This was a continuing trend that got worse and worse during both Michael's reign and the reign of his successor Alexis.The ascension of Peter the Great (Peter I) to the Russian throne marked a turning point in Russian society as well as in Russia's stance in Europe.Peter was appointed as co-Tsar at the age of 17, and in 1694 he took over the full title of Tsar.Peter's main focus was on strengthening the once proud armies of the Tsar, and continuing the Tsarist policy of territorial expansion.Not to be mistaken for purely a militaristic ruler, Peter was also a visionary ruler who wanted to Westernize and modernize Russian government, society, and culture, while at the same time working to gain absolute power over the economy, and the Clergy.
When Peter the Great came to power in 1689, his army consisted of mainly cavalry from the boyers and the service nobility with few foot soldiers.With an army that only served in times of need, and inferior soldiers, the Russian military was far smaller and less powerful than the permanent standing armies that had been established elsewher…

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