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Статьи в рубрике:  Russian history



Early Inventors

Рубрика: Russian history   Опубликовал: Maks Янв 19, 2021

The inventive minds of several nations pictured the feasibility of designing and building a conveyance that could be peddled to move people from one place to another.

Two of the very earliest such contraptions were brought to fruition in Russia. One was the “self-propelled carriage» of Leonty Shamshurenkov; the other was Ivan Kulibin’s samokatka or “drive-itself.”

In 1752 Shamshurenkov worked assiduously on his carriage for five and a half months in St. Petersburg, until he felt by the end of October that it was ready. The Senate appointed a commission to test the invention and see how successfully it moved. Unfortunately, no description of the initial test drive has remained extant and nothing is known of the vehicle’s design.

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Elizabeth’s Economic Measures

Рубрика: Russian history   Опубликовал: Maks Янв 15, 2021

At the close of the end of the 1500s, the Duke de Sully was put in charge of the treasury and all financial matters of France, a kingdom desolated by a century of religious conflict. Enjoying his king’s unlimited trust, Sully initiated a series of economic reforms, the major one being the levying of arrears taxes — on whatever the state considered peasants to be in default of. Sully thus directed that the immense tax burden the peasants had been under be shifted from direct taxation of peasants to indirect taxation on the sale of goods. Since peasants made few purchases, they were little affected.

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Russia’s «Elizabethian» revolution, 1741

Рубрика: Russian history   Опубликовал: Maks Дек 16, 2020

Historians regard 1730s as one of the gloomier periods of Russian history. The niece of Peter the Great, Anna Ioannovna, the dowager duchess of Courland, part of modern Latvia, ruled with a stem hand. Executions were common and imprisonment and exile were freely meted out as punishment, even to representatives of Russia’s most noble families. Russians were particularly galled that Anna surrounded herself almost exclusively with Germans, who were given priority over the most privileged positions in government.

Named first favorite of the empress, Ernst Biron became the most influential person in the empire. Russians, with a snicker, referred to Anna Ioannovna’s reign as Biron’s state. When Anna Ioannovna expired at the end of her ten-year rule, she was succeeded to the throne by her anointed successor, Ivan VI, the two-month-old son of her niece, Anna Leopoldovna, and consort, Anton Ulrich of Braunsweig. Though Biron had been banished from Russia, the council of ministers and other Germanized servants of the state remained the same.

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Kamchatka expedition II

Рубрика: Russian history   Опубликовал: Maks Дек 10, 2020

Vitus Bering’s first expedition, 1725—1730, left unanswered a number of questions posed by those in command of the Russian Empire.

They were particularly eager to learn whether there was an ocean channel between Asia and North America or whether the two continents were joined at some pint between the northern Pacific and Arctic oceans. On his first voyage Bering had sailed in his clipper, the St. Gabriel, out of Lower Kamchatka, round the Cape of Chukotka and into what may have been a strait.

But since he had not sailed far enough northward to enter the Arctic Ocean to discern whether the continents did indeed form a single land mass, a second attempt had to be made.

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Feast for the eyes and the soul

Рубрика: Russian history   Опубликовал: Maks Дек 9, 2020

The remarkable wooden church on the island of Kizhi in Lake Onega stands forty metres in height. Built in 1714, the Church of the Transfiguration of Our Lord has twenty-two cupola domes. Most amazing, and a source of great pride to local Russians, is the astonishing fact that the builders, who were no doubt priests but whose identity remains unknown to modem historians, used not a single metal nail in construction, only wooden pegs.

The name Kizhi first appeared in 1496 in a chronicle containing an inventory of lands and geographical points belonging to the grand princes of Moscow. At the time the island was at the centre of a sizable territory that included villages on other islands and on Onega peninsula; by 1600 there were approximately 130 such settlements surrounding Kizhi.

According to descriptions by chroniclers the island was home to storage sheds and shops, and its bazaars were frequented by surprisingly large crowds from nearby villages and islands.

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Metallurgical Capital of the Urals

Рубрика: Russian history   Опубликовал: Maks Дек 2, 2020

The first blast furnace in the Ural Mountains was installed in the Nevyansk smelter, where it produced its first iron from locally mined ore in December 1701. It is even recorded that Nevyansk’s original smelting was directed by one Jacob Fadeyev, who, less than a month later in January 1702, produced the smelter’s first steel.

The steel that came to be produced in massive quantities in Nevyansk was considered Russia’s highest grade and one of the best grades in Europe.

Nevyansk, located on the eastern slope of the mountain chain that divides Europe from Asia, well deserves its reputation as the progenitor of metallurgy in the Urals. Nevyansk was begun as a state-owned enterprise; however, in March 1702 ownership of the smelter and its blast furnace passed into the hands of a master gunsmith called Nikita Demidov and his son, Akinfy. Through the Demidovs’ efforts, Nevyansk became a showpiece of early eighteenth century manufacturing.

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The reforms of Alexey Romanov

Рубрика: Russian history   Опубликовал: Maks Дек 1, 2020

Alexey, son of Russia’s first Romanov czar . Michael, was reputed to have been a calm man, given to concentrating on matters that troubled him until a solution could be found and not one to waste time on trivialities, in contradistinction to his son, who was to become Emperor Peter the Great. Admittedly, Czar Alexey was not always inclined to show judiciousness, as his ill-conceived attempts at monetary reform bore witness. Nevertheless, he is historically regarded as a wise ruler who on the whole made beneficial contributions to a Russia barely emerging from the Middle Ages.

The first of his major reforms was the drafting of his Code of Laws in 1649. Historians note that when Russia’s complete many-volume edition of all the laws of the empire was published in 1830, Czar Alexey’s Code remained enforceable law.

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Russia without state security

Рубрика: Russian history   Опубликовал: Maks Ноя 27, 2020

The criminal investigation of lawbreakers and political foes extends back to the earliest clays of recorded history. In medieval Russia serious crimes were investigated and prosecuted by a kind of government department, called a Chancery (prikaz) of Brigandage that pursued evildoers, especially gangs of brigands. For a time during the seventeenth century some of the powers of police investigation were assumed by the Chancery of Secret Affairs.

In the 1680s in the village of Preobrazhensky, where young Czar Peter lived with his mother, the Preobrazhensky Chancery was created to serve the czar, his family and his guards. In 1697 Peter elevated that prikaz to the status of the country’s chief police constabulary.

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The Nothern war for Baltic supremacy

Рубрика: Russian history   Опубликовал: Maks Ноя 25, 2020

From the earliest days of his childhood Peter I felt drawn to sailing and all things nautical; a strong navy would mean power over the seas. That power, however, was held by Sweden, which jealously guarded its sovereignty over the Baltic Sea.

Peter founded St. Petersburg Fortress in 1703 not only to provide a useful base from which to prepare for battles against the Swedes, but its proximity to the Baltic was meant to show the tsar’s contempt for his confirmed enemy.

Tsar Peter saw only war as a means of gaining access to the Baltic. Hence, he entered into an alliance with Saxony, Poland and Denmark to defeat Sweden’s bellicose monarch, Charles XII.

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The Exploration of Siberia

Рубрика: Russian history   Опубликовал: Maks Ноя 23, 2020

A number of explorations by Russian explorers and seafarers in the seventeenth century marked the critical, preliminary stage of Russia’s assimilation of Siberia. It was the century that saw the most important geographical discoveries in the vast, barren stretches of uncharted territory that lay eastward. In 1648 Semen Dezhnev and Fedot Popov, travelling in longboats equipped with sails sewn from hides, led an expedition that sailed from the mouth of the Kolyma River to the mouth of the Anadyr.

Their discovery of the narrow strait between Asia and North America, which was to be rediscovered eighty years later by Vitus Bering and given his name, made them the first Europeans to see Alaska. Although their discoveries finally came to be regarded as no less significant than the accomplishments of Magellan, Columbus and da Gama, the exploits of this pair of daring Russian explorers remained long unrecognized by historians.

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The Romanov dinasty

Рубрика: Russian history   Опубликовал: Maks Ноя 23, 2020

In October 1612 the Second Opolchenie, or people’s v olunteer army, of Kuzma Minin and Prince Pozharsky freed Moscow from the occupying forces of the Polish army. With the volunteer army’s triumphant entrance into Moscow , the period in Russian history known as the Time of Troubles was at last drawing to a close. Much of Moscow, howev er, had been laid waste by the occupying army. Streets were barren stretches of land, palaces and cathedrals stood without roofs, all that could serve as fuel or tinder had been burnt to ashes.

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The First Russian Students Abroad

Рубрика: Russian history   Опубликовал: Maks Ноя 23, 2020

For fifteenth-century Russians desiring to absorb Renaissance learning by studying in European universities, fulfillment of such a dream was fraught with difficulties. Not the least obstacle to overcome was the opposition of the Russian Orthodox Church, which feared the influence that might be exerted on Russian scholars by the Roman church. Only a period of conflict between Russia’s secular and religious authorities allowed the first few students to slip out of the country unnoticed.

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Russia’s Treasures in the Еаrth

Рубрика: Russian history   Опубликовал: Maks Ноя 21, 2020

То fortify the defenses of the state, Russia needed firepower, the main provider of which was the cannon. For the mass production of cannon the only basic requirement was metal, bronze being the alloy in use at the time. Similarly, the minting ol coins required constant sources of copper and silver, metals that were hauled into Russia from central Europe. Keenly aware of this need, Grand Prince Ivan III sent a prospecting expedition to the far northern Pechora area in 1491. That year marked the earliest, albeit modest, beginnings of Russia’s now vast mining industry.

Headed by Andrey Petrov, Vasily Botin, Manuil Ularievich the Greek and a number of metallurgists invited specifically for the purpose from Germany, the expedition, following the advice of the local population, discovered copper deposits in the Timan mountain range and on the bank of the River Tsil-ma. Within a year of their discovery they had dug a mine and had begun smelting copper and silver ore.

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End of the Mongol-Tatar occupation

Рубрика: Russian history   Опубликовал: Maks Ноя 21, 2020

Moscow developed rapidly during the fifteenth XVJL century, all the while claiming greater independence from the Tatar overlords. The Golden Horde was loath to honour any such claims of freedom.

To tighten the reins of control, Tatar chieftain Khan Akhmat, in 1472, led a large force of warriors to the Oka River, which marked the border of Rus. On the opposite riverbank the khan was met by a Russian army of comparable strength. All attempts the Mongols made to cross were promptly beaten back; their campaign ended in failure. Emboldened by success, Grand Prince Ivan III ceased paying tribute to the Golden Horde.

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Merchant from Tver Afanasy Nikitin

Рубрика: Russian history   Опубликовал: Maks Ноя 21, 2020

The existence of such a place as India was A known in old Rus as early as the 1300s. In the following century there even appeared a number of literary works based on Indian themes. A book called Alexandria included a short story about Alexander the Great’s war against India; collections of fables from India, among which was a well-liked tale called Stefanit andIkhnilat, attained some measure of popularity. These mythical stories depicted India as an incredibly wondrous and exotic place of dream-like happiness.

At the same time that these imaginative tales were written there also appeared a realistic, firsthand narrative that was unlike anything known previously. A merchant from the city of Tver, Afanasy Nikitin, travelled eastward in 1466 intending to go only as far as modem Azerbaijan; however, destiny decreed that his travels take him all the way to India, where he spent three years. Over the eight years of his journey he kept a log entitled Sailing the Three Seas, these being the Caspian, Arabian and Black seas.

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Master Artist Andrey Rublev. Painter of icons

Рубрика: Russian history   Опубликовал: Maks Ноя 20, 2020

In 1426 Father Nikon, abbot of Trinity-Sergiev Monastery, directed Andrey Rublev to paint an icon of the Trinity. The artist’s work became the spellbinding cynosure of the monastery’s Trinity Cathedral and is now acknowledged to be one of the world’s most masterful artistic achievements.

Employing the highest degree of artistic expression, he accomplished a rare feat, putting in visual form one of the most complex of Christianity’s holy mysteries, the three manifest natures of God that constitute the Trinity.

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Battle for freedom on Kulikovo Field

Рубрика: Russian history   Опубликовал: Maks Ноя 20, 2020

The Mongol-Tatar yoke that began in 1244 gripped Rus in an iron gauntlet. Yet the Russians never gave up hope, certain that one of their number would eventually take up arms against the tyranny of Genghis Khan’s descendents. Their hope was realized in the person of Muscovite Grand Prince Dmitry.

On 9 August 1378 the grand prince and his army stood on one side of the River Vozha near Ryazan; on the other were amassed the Tatar troops. As soon as the Tatars crossed the Vozha, the Russians attacked on three sides. The battle lasted till nightfall, by which time the Tatar horsemen had been routed. The victory, the first achieved against those who had imposed the odious yoke, renewed the Russians’ spirit.

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Aleksandr Nevsky — Holy warrior

Рубрика: Russian history   Опубликовал: Maks Ноя 20, 2020

In the year 1240 an army of Swedes entered Rus , and set up camp near the River Neva. Pelgusy, chief elder of the invaded land, sent to his allies in Novgorod an urgent message informing them of the threat and requesting aid.

In Novgorod Archbishop Spiridon gave his blessing to twenty-year-old Prince Alexander and sent him to drive the Swedes out of Rus. Appealing to his men with the now famous call to arms, “God be not with the mighty but with the just,” he advanced impetuously to the Neva.

Legend has it that at dawn on 15 July Pelgusy had a vision. In it he saw, radiant yet cloaked in mist, a longboat with oarsmen and two heroic vis-ages, which he recognized as the faces of saints Boris and Gleb. Pelgusy felt renewed confidence for such a vision augured well.

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Founding the Capital

Рубрика: Russian history   Опубликовал: Maks Ноя 20, 2020

In the year 1147, during one of the frequent internecine wars between the princedoms of Rus, Svyatoslav Olgovich, prince of Chernigov, saved himself from pursuit by fleeing into the lands of the Vyatichy tribe. He had lost all, was in hiding and his prospects were grim.

Suddenly he happened upon emissaries of his ally, Prince Yury of Suzdal, called Dolgoruky, meaning long of arm. Dolgoruky’s men had been seeking Prince Svyatoslav to hand him the following note from their prince: “Come to Moscow, my brother! Come bide with me in Moscow!” This simple message from Yury, son of Prince Vladimir Monomakh, was duly recorded in the Russian chronicles and marked the first recorded mention of a place called Moscow. From the year 1147 onward, chroniclers kept the history of the settlement named after the nearby Moscow River.

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The song of old Russia

Рубрика: Russian history   Опубликовал: Maks Ноя 20, 2020

Since Russia was not Christianized until 989, the festivities that were held before the eleventh century were by and large pagan rituals, little different from the pagan feasts that had been celebrated for millennia throughout Western Europe before the coming of Christianity. The ancient Slavs—much like the Vikings, Druids and Germanic tribes—sang in gladness to celebrate battle victories, the coming of spring and the birth of male heirs; in sorrow they sang to mark mournful occasions. Their songs hearkened back to the most primitive times of man. Animal bones were often placed in a heap and the villagers danced round them, whooping, moaning and yelling songs.

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Vladimir Monomakh

Рубрика: Russian history   Опубликовал: Maks Ноя 20, 2020

Trading in human beings and maintaining a slave population to perform labour existed in ancient times as a kind of law of nature, that the weaker deserved to be enslaved. Though enlightened mod-em man looks with abhorrence on the practice, slavery continues to exist in our own day, such international agreements as the Geneva Convention notwithstanding.

The basis of slavery in Old Russia, as elsewhere, was warfare and debt. Those who were captured in battle were deemed appropriate victims for the slave market. Similarly, those who were unable to pay back what they had borrowed, plus interest, often found themselves sold or traded into bondage.

There were, however, even in ancient times, sufficiently enlightened souls who reasoned that slavery, though generally in narrow definition, was unjust. Solon for one, the sixth-century B.C. Athenian who framed that city-state’s democratic laws, regarded enslavement of one’s own kind as a threat to a state’s existence. Accordingly, he ruled it unlawful for an indebted Athenian to be sold into slavery for payment of debts.

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In the beginning

Рубрика: Russian history   Опубликовал: Maks Ноя 20, 2020

А myriad of fascinating events must have at-ljL tended the founding of Rus, the precursor of modem Russia. About many of these events we can only speculate; as might be expected, relatively few were documented. There are, however, a surprising number of minor yet interesting facts that have sifted down to us, to be marveled at by modem historians. We know, for example, that in the 900s grand princes and their councils of elders began using silver spoons and wearing leather boots. In the following century, Russia’s first library of manuscripts was established in Kiev.

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Preface

Рубрика: Russian history   Опубликовал: Maks Ноя 20, 2020

Russian history is inseparable from mankind’s history. Any person considered enlightened and well rounded in erudition is obliged to include in this leamedness some factual knowledge about Russia and Russians. Thousands upon thousands of creative people and a virtually unlimited number of provocative events created Russia, established the country’s place in the modem world, gave it a wealth of cultural tradition, provided mankind with a virtual Solomon’s mine of scientific, technical and political knowledge. Открыть статью

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