Elena Nasedkina

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  • 00:00: Star Media Babich Design The quiet Kostroma cloisterhas never seen so many nobles. Ambassadors of the NationalAssembly came from Moscow.
  • 00:36: They kneeled before greatnun Martha and begged her with tears to bless her son tobe the Tsar of the Moscow State. He is the only one whohasn’t stained his good name during the Time of Troubles.He is our only hope… If Mikhail refuses, theTime of Troubles will return. Our land won’t survivesuch a grief again.
  • 01:07: The House of Romanov. Episode One Year 1598. The son of Ivanthe Terrible Tsar Feodor died. He was the last of the RurikHouse that ruled the country
  • 01:39: for over 700 years.Feodor didn’t have children and his younger brother Dmitridied under unclear circumstances. People elected BorisGodunov to be their new Tsar. Soon an imposter surfacedclaiming to be Dmitri who allegedly survived.The False Dmitri seized the Russian throne and married a Polish Marina Mniszech announcingher to be a Tsarina. In a year the False Dmitriwas murdered and Marina was forced to leave Moscow.
  • 02:10: When a new impostorcame there she allegedly recognized him as herhusband and soon gave birth to his son Ivan. Shedreamt of turning him into the Russian tsar. The Moscow State remainedwithout any ruler. Using the anarchySweden and Polish invaded its territory openly. The war started. Russia lost Karelia,Novgorod and Smolensk. Only 10% of the rest ofthe lands were ploughed. There was nobody leftto work on the land. The population decreased several times.
  • 02:41: Everybody realized that Russianeeded a legitimate Tsar. Otherwise the state will perish. The awful winter of 1613was coming to the end. People were coming to Moscowfrom all over the ruined country. They had to performan unbelievable deed. The National Assemblyconvened in Moscow to decide on the Motherland’s fate. The National Assemblyis the Russian parliament
  • 03:16: of the 16-th and 17th centuries. It convened in extraordinaryevents to decide on the most crucial political issues. About 1000 people cameto the Assembly in 1613. They were of all classes includinggentry, clergy, merchants, bureaucrats and peasantry. On March 3 the decisive voting was held. After exhausting disputes anddoubts 16 year old Mikhail Romanov was elected the Tsar.
  • 03:46: Mikhail’s father, Feodor Nikitich Romanov, was a cousin of Tsar Feodor,the son of Ivan the Terrible. Therefore he could legitimatelylay claims to the throne. But after Boris Godunov came to power Feodor Nikitich was eliminated. He was forced to become amonk under the name of Filaret and his wife Xenia was made anun under the name of Martha. They were sent to different monasteries. Later Filaret was takenprisoner by the Polish. While carrying out a diplomaticmission he was arrested
  • 04:17: together with other membersof the Russian delegation and practically taken hostage.The Polish didn’t inform Filaret that his son was beingelected a Tsar in Moscow. The decision of theAssembly was announced at the Red Square in presenceof a huge crowd of people. Mikhail Feodorovitch willbe the Tsar and the ruler of the Moscow State and all the Russia!
  • 04:47: The scary Time ofTrouble was the backdrop of Mikhail’s childhood and youth years. He was taken away from hisparents when he was only 4 and sent to the village. Later his mother came to take Mikhail back.They spent a few years in thedown-and-out Moscow. Then they escaped to Kostroma, to Ipatyevo cloister wherethey led a quiet life. Hoarse and exhausted ambassadors
  • 05:25: who brought the icon ofOur Lady of Feodor with them had been talking the Romanovsinto taking the power for hours. After many years of anarchy,Time of Troubles and destruction a new Tsar ascendedto the Russian throne. He became the founder of thenew Tsar house of Romanov –
  • 05:55: by the God’s will the GreatTsar and the Great Duke, the Ruler of the Entire Russia… On Sunday of July 11,1613 the festivities dedicated to his crowning started. Chapter One. Mikhail Feodorovitch
  • 06:33: There was no going back now. Mikhail FeodorovitchRomanov ascended the stairs of the Assumption Cathedralas a son of a noble and descended them as aTsar. The state he was to rule was on the verge of collapse. So the young Tsar listenedto his intuition and chose the only possible mode ofruling – collective governance. On his initiative the NationalAssembly that used to work
  • 07:04: only once in a few years startedmeeting on a regular basis turning into a highest consultativebody of the Russian State. Despite expectations of manypeople, Mikhail Feodorovitch didn’t become a marionette in the hands of the enemy noblemen clans.He ruled the country for real. When one Dutchman hinted thatstrict measures were needed the Tsar answered: “Don’t youknow that our Russian bears never hunt in the first yearof life? They only start hunting when they get older”.
  • 07:38: The ground under Mikhail’sfeet was still unstable. There were three claimantsto the Russian throne: Swedish king Carl Philipp on thenorth, Polish Prince Wladislaw on the west and the socalled “little thief” – the 3-year old boy Ivan,son of Marina Mniszech and impostor FalseDmitri II on the south. An army of Cossacks 3,000strong headed by adventurer Ivan Zarutskiy was on the boy’s side.
  • 08:08: But the Tsar’s troopsdefeated the Cossacks. The impostors were arrested,brought to Moscow and executed. The execution took placeat the square in presence of a huge crown of peopleby the Serpukhov Gates. The Dutch traveler EliasHerkman remembered it for the rest of his life. “Zarutskiy was impaled. ThenDmitri’s son was publicly executed.
  • 08:38: The snowstorm was blowing.The snow was slapping the boy on the face. He asked afew times in a crying voice: “Where are you taking me?”The people carrying the child were calming him downuntil they brought him, as a lamb to theslaughter, to the gallows. The poor boy was hung as a thief. The adventurers could have used the boy to start a new Time ofTroubles. To avoid that Mikhail,
  • 09:08: the first Tsar of the new dynasty,had to agree to the execution and mar his soul with a sin. The new Time of Troubles was avoided. But the war did start. The Swedish troops sieged Pskov. Mikhail ordered his diplomats todo anything to negotiate peace. In February of 1617 the StolbovPeace Treaty was concluded. According to it, Russia got backNovgorod with adjacent lands.
  • 09:41: Soon the Polish army went to Moscow. Prince Wladislaw who still hadclaims to the Russian throne headed it personally. The Polishmanaged to approach the Kremlin – the wall of the White City,the modern Avenue Circle. The Russians got to knowfrom the spies that the Polish were digging under itto mine the Arbat Gates. Despite all persuasion, theTsar refused to leave Moscow.
  • 10:11: He ordered to gather alarge detachment and wait. Apart from the state interests,he had a personal one. The Polish still held his fatherMetropolitan Filaret hostage. Mikhail knew: if he leftMoscow, he would lose the throne. If he lost the throne, hewould never see his father. He fought the Polish despitebearing substantial loses. On December 1, 1618 theTruce of Deulino was signed
  • 10:43: for 14.5 years. Russiangot its lands from Vyazma to Chernigov back. Nevertheless,many issues remained unresolved. Smolensk and other landswere still under Poland. Plus Wladislaw didn’trenounce his claims for the Russian throne.However the ravaged country couldn’t wage war anymore. Itneeded peace to take a breath, to rebuild – at least a dozen of years.
  • 11:14: However it was the firstpersonal major victory of Mikhail Feodorovitch.The main outcome of the truce for Russia was comingback of all the prisoners taken during the Time of Troubles. His father returned fromPoland. All nine years Mikhail felt their inseparable tie. From an early age, hewanted to be like his father. Mikhail was looking forwardto meeting his father,
  • 11:44: the legendary person– Metropolitan Filaret. After coming back from captivityand nine-year separation the father look a real Tsarof all the Russia before him – a God-chosen ruler. In tendays the Tsar issued an order to appoint Filaret the patriarchof Moscow and all the Russia. In future they’d ruletogether – a father and a son. The influence of his mother, theall-powerful and authoritative
  • 12:16: great nun Martha started to diminish. She was dismissed from the stateaffairs and was seeing her son less and less often. TheTsar was in his twenties now. The people were informed accordingly… At God’s will the Great RulerTsar Mikhail Feodorovitch is an adult man now. It is timefor the Tsar to wed himself… Mother Martha found a fianc?e for him.
  • 12:50: However, Mikhail madea decision without her. Long ago, during his exile hefell in love with Masha Khlopova, a daughter of one of his overseers. He promised to marry only her. Maria Khlopova was officiallyannounced the Tsar’s fiancee and settled in the higherchambers of the palace. The Saltykov brothers who werethe Tsar mother’s relatives were appointed her bodyguards.However right before the wedding the fiancee fell ill. TheTsar was terribly worried.
  • 13:20: The palace was brewing. TheSaltykovs called a council of foreign doctorsand announced solemnly: “The doctors examined herand said that a great disease is eating her alive. It’simpossible to cure her”. People were whispering:“The Tsar mother must be doing something. She doesn’twant him to marry Khlopova”. No matter how it was, poorMasha Khlopova and her relatives were exiled to Siberia. Lateran inquest with cross-examination
  • 13:50: showed that the Saltykovs were to blame. They were exiled to theirfamily estates for that. However, the wedding was alreadydisrupted. For a long time Mikhail didn’t even wantto listen about marrying. Only when he turned 28 hisrelatives started to worry. Without an heir, the existenceof the new dynasty was dubious. As before, the great nunMartha had a candidate. This time “though reluctantly,he obeyed his mother”.
  • 14:23: Mikhail married a nobleprincess Maria Dolgorukova. They celebrated a wedding,but soon the fiancee fell ill and died in three month time. She is believed to have been poisoned though it was never proved. After that Mikhail dismissed hismother from his marital affairs and arranged a traditionalelection of a fiancee. …look at the girls from thedistance attentively – appraise
  • 14:54: her age, face, complexion, eyes,hair. She must have no mains and be kind by nature. The tradition of electing aTsar’s fiancee was in essence a beauty contest. Therewere thousands of candidates. First special pickerssorted the girls at places. They evaluated threeparameters – their height, the size of their headand the size of their foot.
  • 15:24: Then the closest noblemen andcourt doctors inspected the girls in the capital. In the end 10to 20 the most beautiful girls were settled in the court andthe Tsar was getting acquainted with them personally. WhenMikhail announced his will the court was speechless. The Tsar chose Evdokia Streshneva to be his wife. She didn’tparticipate in the contest because she was a servantof one of the candidates and a daughter of a poor noblemen.
  • 15:56: Having his bitter experiencethe Tsar ordered to watch her as an apple of his eye.The name of the fiancee wasn’t announced in advance.She was settled in the palace just three days before the wedding. Mikhail’s family life was rather good. The Russian Cinderella- Tsarina Evdokia was kind and calm, loving and beloved. Only four out of ten Mikhail’s and Evdokia’schildren lived, three daughters
  • 16:29: and a son, Alexei. But it meantthat the new dynasty would live. Soon peace and harmonysettled both in his soul and in his country. A time has come to win back the lands
  • 17:03: lost during the Time ofTroubles. A new war with Poland was brewing. Mikhail Feodorovitchstarted the military reform. It was him and not hisgrandson Peter I who started introducing new detachmentsimitating the European ones. The Swedish army that wasthe strongest in Europe in those times was taken as an example. The regiment consisted of 8companies 200 soldiers strong, with 120 musketeers and 80 spadesmen. 1,100 new muskets werebought. They weighted 4 kg
  • 17:33: instead of 6, thereforeone could fire from them without a support. By1632 10 new detachments were formed thatamounted to 17,000 people. It is one thing to create a new army. It had to be taught how to win. However time for that hasn’t come yet. The achievements of thatlong war were minimal.
  • 18:03: The Polyana Truce of 1634 leftall the previously won lands except for the townof Serpeysk to Poland. Russia had to pay thecontribution of 20,000 rubles. But at least Wladislawrenounced all his claims to the Russian throne. The internal politicalsituation was much better. Thanks to Mikhail’s efforts,specialists from Holland
  • 18:34: and England were now comingto Russia more readily. They invested their capitalsinto the local production and stayed to live,establishing foreign settlements within the cities,like the German Village that became so famouslater. The Russians called all the foreigners “Germans”-“nemtzy” from the Russian word“nemoy” meaning “deaf” because they couldn’t speak Russian. During the tenth year of hisreign, Mikhail Feodorovitch
  • 19:04: invited English geologists toinvestigate the deposits of iron and copper ores behindthe Urals. In just 8 years, the first state steelmakingplant was opened at the Urals. The copper-making productionalso started. In 12 more years, a Dutch established an armory in Tula that is still workingtoday. In the first half of the 17th century, Russiastarted exporting arms to the most developedcountries of Europe. Many foreigners were surprisedby the taxes and duties
  • 19:37: in Russia that wereincredibly low for those times. The First Tsar of the Romanov dynasty cared about common workers.He knew that they were the backbone of theeconomic power of his state. The average wagesamounted to 3 kopeks a day. For that amount, one couldbuy 3 chickens or 45 eggs or 1.5 kilo of fresh salmon.One could earn enough to buy a sheepskin coat (50kopeks) in two weeks,
  • 20:07: boots (30 kopeks) in ten days and a cow (2 rubles) in two months. The Russian State wasgaining more and more weight in the world. To demonstratehis favor to the Patriarch the Persian Sheikh Abbas Isent a part of Lord’s Robe. The Robe is a seamless pieceof clothing received by one of the soldiers present atthe Jesus Christ’s crucifixion.
  • 20:39: On obtaining the sacred RobeFilaret ordered a one-week lent and to bring the cloth to the sick. 67 people were miraculouslycured during the first six months and 4 – during the secondsix months of the year. A celebration dedicatedto the Robe was established in the church calendar. ACathedral of Robe Deposition was constructed on theterritory of the Kremlin. Today one part of the Robe is kept in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. After general savageryof the Time of Troubles,
  • 21:13: the new authorities cared aboutthe cultural revival of Russia. One of the first Filaret’sorders was to restore the ravaged Printing Courtand once huge Tsar’s library. Special people weresent to search for books in all the distant monasteriesand bring them to Moscow. Unique books that existed in oneissue stayed where they were – they were to be copied. After just three decades afterabsolute destruction and anarchy,
  • 21:44: Russia returned to theprevious level of economy. "The trade was expanding;crafts were developing. " The country was gettingricher and was rebuilding. Hunger and destructiondidn’t threaten it anymore. It was an epoch of economicand political stability. Meek Tsar Mikhail Feodorovitchmanaged to do the undoable. On July 12, 1645 Tsar wascelebrating his birthday.
  • 22:20: In the morning after the church service Mikhail seemed to feelhis imminent decease. He publicly forgave everybodywho ever insulter him or sinned against him. He ordered the general amnesty of all prisoners. On coming home, the first ruler of the Romanov house saidgoodbye to his wife and his son and quietly died. He lived exactly for 49 years,
  • 22:52: not a day more and not a day less. Russia was bidding farewellto its ruler for three days. Thousands and thousands ofpeople of all ranks and estates came to bow to his coffin.All the churches of the state held services in his honor.People ordered prayers to be served not only in churches but even at homes.
  • 23:22: The heir to the throne AlexeiMikhailovitch was as young as his father when heascended to the throne. However, the country he inheritedwas absolutely different. It had strong power insteadof anarchy and prosperity and well-being instead ofdestruction. Less than 30 years
  • 23:52: passed after the Time ofTrebles but the country rose from the ashes and moved forward. A man who was very talented,handsome, gifted, clever, lively and religious ruledthis now strong country. Ahead of him were triumphalvictories and bloody revolts, great achievements and fatal mistakes. Alexei Mikhailovitchwas destined to become
  • 24:22: one of the mostcontroversial Russian leaders. His descendants will callhis times “the golden epoch of the Moscow Russia”. Chapter Two. Alexei Mikhailovitch. The burden of the highpower wasn’t unexpected for young Tsar Alexei. Hewas being prepared to it
  • 24:52: since his childhood. Theeducation of princes started at 6. They were taught to readfirst with an ABC book and later with Psalter. Theheir’s personnel included 20 stewards, 6 teachers, 18musicians as well as bodyguards, acrobats and jesters. WhenAlexei was seven, he already had a set of real weapons – a smallharquebus, a bow with arrows, small sables, a fullarmor made in Germany
  • 25:25: as well as musicalinstruments, geographical maps and engravings from Western Europe. The head teacher of Alexeiwas a nobleman Boris Morozov. He was trying to broaden hisward’s outlook and to accustom him to the Western culture. Atthe beginning of his reign Tsar Alexei used to comeout to meet his noblemen in the German clothes. Therewere many Europeans at the court – interpreters, diplomats and teachers. Alexei’s personal doctor,an Englishman Samuel Collins
  • 25:57: admired his ward greatly. “The Emperor is handsome.He is strongly built. His hair is light. He doesn’tshave his beard. He is tall. His posture is grand.He is cruel in his rage but mostly he is kind,innocent, has great memory and is a patron offaith. One could name him among the most kind and wiserulers but for the thick cloud of informers and noblemenwho surrounded him
  • 26:32: and turned his goodinclinations to evil”. During the first two years of his reign, Alexei indulged indifferent entertainments or travelled to distantmonasteries to pray to God. He was also collectingRussian and exotic birds. He kept the elk farm inthe village of Izmaylovo and carried out agriculturalexperiment. He attempted to grow melons, almonds,cotton and grapes from Bukhara close to Moscow. However, it wasfalcon hunting that undoubtedly
  • 27:02: was the favorite pastimeof Alexei Mikhailovitch. There were no less than 3,000falcons on Tsar’s falcon farms. Tsar knew every bird by its name. There were 100 falconhunters of different ranks who got from 6 to 60 rublesa year not mentioning bonuses. All the falcon hunters servedthe Secret Affairs Department,
  • 27:37: therefore Tsar knewall of them personally. The chief hunter AfanasiyMatyushkin was his close friend. The upkeep of the falconfarms cost the state treasure 75,000 rubles a year.When Tsar was going hunting the hunting partystretched for a kilometer. First to go were 300 stewards mounted on richly decoratedhorses – three in a row. 300 mounted archers inbright-red jackets followed them –
  • 28:07: five in a row. They were followedby 500 heavily armored riders. After them went 40 paradehorses in precious harnesses. They were followed byreserve carriage horses and finally the Tsar himselfin the English carriage with accompanyingnoblemen and courtiers – another few dozens of people. The young Tsar was having funin a big way worthy of a Tsar. He entrusted his teacher BorisMorozov with the routine –
  • 28:41: the rule over the state.To do away with Morozov the noblemen decided to marry the Tsar – an adult married mandoesn’t need an educator. But Morozov provided for such a variant. When time came for theTsar to get married, the best beauties were broughtto him from all over the country. He liked one and gaveher a scarf and a ring. But when she came tohim for the second time
  • 29:12: in Tsarina’s clothes Morozovordered to tie the wreath on her head too tight. The girl fainted. It was announced that shehad the fainting sickness. Her old father, a poornobleman was exiled to Siberia and died from grief on the way. His family lost the Tsar’s favors. Morozov asked the youngTsar to help him choose a fiancee for himself, a widower. He presented theMyloslavskie sisters to him. Alexei instantly feel inlove with the elder – Maria.
  • 29:44: Morozov married the younger sister, Anna who was young enoughto be his granddaughter. In this way he strengthenedhis position by the throne what was his goal. The family life of AlexeiMikhailovitch was good. Although 5 years olderthan him, Tsarina Maria proved to be an ideal wife.They had lived together for 20 years and shebore him 13 children. Tsar Alexei was veryaffectionate towards his family.
  • 30:16: When in travels or wartrips he wrote long letters to his wife and children.However, his life wasn’t quiet and cloudless despitehis nickname the Quietest. On June 1, 1648 Alexei andhis court was coming back to Moscow from theTroitse-Sergiyeva Lavra. When the procession enteredthe city gates, it turned out that the path wasblocked by a huge crowd.
  • 30:46: The city residents only wantedto give the Tsar their petition – a written complaint about theexcesses of the bureaucrats. But the Tsar refusedto talk to the people. His archers drove them awayand arrested the leaders of the complainants. On the next day, the Tsar went to Stretenskiy monastery.When he was coming back a huge crow by the Kremlinpushed the security aside. Somebody caught theTsar’s horse by the bridle. The 19-year old Alexei wasface to face with his subjects for the very first time.Despite being surrounded
  • 31:17: by enraged people hemanaged to keep his calm, accepted the complaintand promised to fulfill all the demands to immediatelygive all the bribe takers and embezzlers out. Thefirst in the list was the Tsar’s favoriteMorozov. He was accused of violations, lies and extortion. In the course of twoyears, Morozov turned
  • 31:47: into the richest landowner ofthe state and earned a fortune. To replenish the state treasuryhe cut or even cancelled wages of all the bureaucrats. Theydidn’t have another choice but to take bribes.Morozov appointed his people to the major positions aftergetting large sums of money from them. Finally, heraised the salt duty. Salt was the mainpreservative that allowed storing food for winter.When it became 4 times
  • 32:18: more expensive it stoppedbeing affordable to everybody. This could inflict hunger. The next events became knownin all the European court. This is a report of some Dutchtraveler, presumable a spy. “A crowd of peoplecame to the Tsar’s yard. The archers took thepeople’s side and burst into Morozov’s house. Theywere stamping their feet
  • 32:49: on everything, throwingthings out of the windows and prevented all theattempts to take anything from the house. Theywere shouting madly: “This is our blood”! Morozov escaped into one of the chambers ofHis Majesty and hid there.” The revolts took place allover Russia – in Ustyug, Sol-Vychegodsk and Kursk.The Tsar was under siege in his own palace. The pregnantTsarina almost lost the baby. In five months she didgive birth to a child
  • 33:20: but the Tsar’s firstborndidn’t even live for a year. The Tsar ordered manybribe takers to be executed but not Morozov. “The Tsar was cryingin everybody’s presence and begged people to lethis beloved educator live”. Morozov was exiled toKirillo-Belozerskiy monastery. The National Assembly urgentlyconvened in the Kremlin. It decided that to restoreorder in the state a unique
  • 33:50: and universal code of laws was needed. A special commission wasestablished and the Tsar himself took active part in its work. The Conciliar Code becamethe first legal code that encompassed all thespheres of the state’s existence and the first writtenmonument of the Russian law. It included 25 chapters andalmost a thousand of articles. The articles were copied andglued together into a roll
  • 34:21: 309 meters long. Right afterits approval 1200 copies of it were printed and sentto all the major cities. The Code took into accountinterests of all the classes with an emphasis on gentry.It stipulated open-ended search of the runaway peasantswhat meant their absolute and final serfdom. TheConciliar Code was in force for little less than200 years, up to 1832. When the revolt went downMorozov returned from the exile.
  • 34:55: But his place besideAlexei was already taken. The new friend of the youngTsar was the 43-year old archimandrite ofNovospasskiy monastery Nikon. Tsar Alexei was incrediblyreligious since his early age. He was very good at theology andloved solemn public liturgies. Nikon produced a greatimpression upon him. Soon he was ordained to becomethe Metropolitan of Novgorod and in three yearshe became a Patriarch.
  • 35:25: With the Tsar’s approvalthe new Patriarch started a large-scale church reform.In the course of four centuries since the Tatar-Mongol invasion,numerous misrepresentations and mistakes piled upin the church books. The rites came to differ fromthe Greek ones substantially. The way of life and moralsof the Russian clergy gave raise to complaints. The reform was aimed atbringing the church life to order
  • 35:59: through correction ofmistakes and discrepancies in religious books andbringing them in unison with the original oldRussian and Greek canons. It stipulated three-finger crossing, number of bows during services, form of musical accompaniment,spelling of the name “Jesus Christ” with two “i”s,correction of orthography and grammar of the Slavictexts and their approximation with the norms of the Russianlanguage of those times.
  • 36:31: People who didn’t accept thereform – the old believers – fled to distant woods. Theyorganized massive “burnings” – acts of self-burning in praying houses. The Archpriest Awakum whoused to hold the same views as Nikon now became one ofthe most zealous opponents of the innovations. Hespent 15 years in prison. But the number ofpeople who supported him was steadily growing. By the endof Alexei Mikhailovitch’s rule it was impossible to count them. Nikon’s opponents werezealously against everything
  • 37:01: that he was doing. Howevermany of his innovations were useful for the church.For example, he was trying to introduce discipline amongthe clergy and promoted education. Alexei Mikhailovitchsupported the reform. But he didn’t like thefact that Nikon interfered in the big politicalaffairs, diplomatic issues and war campaigns of theTsar. Bad rumors circulated about the Patriarchthat aimed at undermining
  • 37:31: the Tsar’s trust. Dissatisfactionof the Tsar with the Patriarch grew to the point when onceAlexei Mikhailovitch failed to come to the Patriarch’s servicein the Assumption Cathedral. It could only mean onething – the Tsar doesn’t want to see Nikon anymore. Nikon left to Voskresenskiy
  • 38:06: Novoyerusalimskiymonastery that he founded. He planned to wait for the Tsarto come to him to apologize. But the Tsar decided toappoint a new Patriarch. In 1666 the Great Assemblyof Hierarchs convened. Patriarch Nikon was officiallydismissed by the Assembly for wilfully leaving hisoffice. Archpriest Awakum
  • 38:38: was excommunicated for theschism. However, the results of the great church reformwere fully legalized. A zealous young man, alover of falcon hunting, a loving husband and father– Tsar Alexei Mykhailovitch was alone now. The QuietestTsar was destined to rule during the most turbulenttime in the history of Russia. During the entire reignof the Romanov house, the largest number of people’s revolts including Senka Razin’sdiscord happened while he ruled.
  • 39:11: The Ataman from the DonStepan Razin who used to lead the Cossacks gangs by theVolga and the Caspian Sea wanted to turn the entirecountry into a free Cossack state and raised a revolt. Hispeople seized a number of towns by the Volga. Dozens ofthousands peasants joined him. The administration wasforced to fight the rebels with the regular army.The war lasted for a year until some Cossack majors gaveRazin out to the authorities.
  • 39:43: The life of AlexeiMikhailovitch was never calm. No sooner had he settleddown the issues of revolts and reforms had a new warwith his long-standing enemy – Poland – started. Since the Time ofTroubles Rech Pospolita had been holding many Russian lands including the strategicallyimportant Smolensk. When the Tsar left for the warterrible news came from Moscow – plague broke outthere. The Tsar’s family
  • 40:14: together with the entirecourt was urgently evacuated to the Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra.The capital was quarantined. In mid-17th century Moscow was one of the largest cities inEurope. Before the epidemic its population amounted toabout 300 thousand people. The same number lived in Paris. In Naples there were 270thousand, in London and Amsterdam – 200 thousand, in Veniceand Antwerp – 150 thousand,
  • 40:44: in Rome, Genoa andPrague – 100 thousand. In the course of fivemonths of the epidemic over 150 thousandpeople died in Moscow – a half of its population.The bodies of the dead piled up in the streets. However soldiers in thearmy demanded payment. The treasury remained inthe plague-ravaged Moscow. The archers could getinfected, and that would mean the end of the army.Alexei Mikhailovitch came up
  • 41:14: with an idea of aliteral money laundering. Silver coins were washedwith water and leach, rinsed and only then distributed amongthe troops. Nobody got sick. The war with Poland lasted for 13 years. The Russians managed to winthe entire Western Rus back. But the long war exhausted thetreasury so they had to sign the armistice and yielda part of conquered lands. According to the AndrusovTruce of 1667 Russia
  • 41:45: finally got back Smolensk,Chernigov and other lands invaded by the Polishin the Time of Troubles. The Left-Bank Ukraine becamea part of the Russian State. To replenish the treasuryAlexei Mikhailovitch’s government carried out the monetaryreform. Because of the deficit of gold and silver in the countrythey introduced a copper coin that cost as much as a silver one. The wages were now paid with copper
  • 42:16: while the taxes werestill gathered in silver. Soon the copper moneylost some of their value but the mints continued to produce them. In five years one silverruble already cost 12 or even 15 copper rubles in Moscow. At the end of July of 1662 when the Tsar was in hiscountry palace in Kolomenskoye proclamations were issued in Moscow that declared all thoseresponsible for minting copper coins to be thieves and traitors.People rushed to Kolomenskoye.
  • 42:48: When the Tsar went out of thechurch the crowd encircled him. One quick merchant even caughthim by the buttons of his jacket. Alexei managed to gather his composure. He promised to sort thatissue out, even swore to that, and shook hands with the quick merchant. The people started to disperse.The security of the palace managed to lead the Tsar out.But new rebels came from Moscow.
  • 43:18: For some time Alexei was silentlylistening to their insults from the high porch. He hadalready summoned the archers and needed to gain time. Onseeing that the archers’ regiments encircled the crowd Tsar let himself go. The slaughter started. 2,500 people died in Kolomenskoy
  • 43:48: just in a few hours. Therevolt was suppressed; the Tsar had to cancel the copper money. The state even compensated thelosses like a bankrupt bank – 5 kopeks for one ruble.Inquests with tortures went on for several months in a row.The investigation commissions were trying to find theinstigators of the revolt. 150 people were hanged or quartered. About one thousand wasexiled with a letter “B” burned on their faces – fromthe Russian word “buntovshchik” – “the rebel”. During theCopper Revolt like 14 years ago
  • 44:23: the Tsarina was also pregnantand almost lost her baby. The shock had it effect later.In five months, the Tsarina died while giving birth.The girl that was born only lived for 5 days. After the revolt AlexeiMikhailovitch became incredibly suspicious. He established a special Department of Secret Affairs
  • 44:54: that combined the functionsof counter-intelligence, secret police, censure committeeand a penal institution. It also coordinated theactivities of other departments and was overseeing their work. In contrast with the otherdepartments, it was situated not in the Kremlin but at Lyubyanka. It had a number of torture chambers and the most numerous personnel. Many bureaucrats, shop sellers and especiallytavern keepers were unofficially paid by theSecret Affairs Department.
  • 45:25: The Tsar had his ownoffice in the department. With time he started to solvealmost all the issues there. The Secret Affairs Departmentwas also responsible for the Tsar’s personaloffice and the Day Reports – the first meteorologicalobservations in the history of Russia. By the end of his reignhe came to love flattery and glorification. Hiscourtiers were trying to beat one another in florid epithets.
  • 45:55: An educated monk andpoet Simeon Polotskiy was constantly comparingthe Tsar with the sun. All public appearancesof Alexei Mikhailovitch were staged with incredible grandeur. The monarch himself carefully devised and thought over all thedetails of the ceremonies. He would soon turn into an aging despot but for a meeting withHer. At an evening party in the house of anobleman Artamoniy Matveyev
  • 46:26: in accordance with thetradition His Majesty got his first glassfrom Matveyev’s niece, a 19-year old Natalia Naryshkina. At that moment the Tsar grew youngerand as if transformed. He had to observe theproprieties, though. The election of thefiancees was announced. 74 beauties passed their Tsar,but only one of them didn’t worry. Natalia Naryshkinaknew that the elections
  • 46:58: were staged as a blind.While the girls were thinking about who would become aTsarina Natalia was dressed in a very heavy dress and takento the Assumption Cathedral in the Kremlin to bewed. In a year and a half the Tsarina gave birth to a son. It was the 14th childof Alexei Mikhailovitch but he was as glad asif he was his firstborn. That boy went down in historyas the first – Peter I the Great.
  • 47:30: Being so happy AlexeiMikhailovitch decided to realize his long-lasting cherisheddream – the comedy entertainment or the theatre. A specialcomedy house was built in the village of Preobrazhenskoye. Pastor Johann Gottfried Gregornwas invited from the German village. He wrote a play based on stories from the Bible. The play was performed by 65 teenagers from the Lutheran school.The first performance
  • 48:02: in the history of theRussian theater took place on October 30, 1672. Theperformance lasted for 10 hours. The Tsarina and the princesseswatched the performance from behind a special gratethat hid them from the courtiers. Later another five playswere staged, also based on the Biblical stories, and the“Orpheus” ballet was rewritten. Alexei Mikhailovitch asif forgot about his age
  • 48:32: and refused to go old. Hestarted to study doctors’ books and combine herbs inpotions. He would listen to his doctors’ adviceattentively. He was especially fond of bloodletting andrecommended that procedure to all the courtiers. The Tsaroften beat those who refused. They say that sometimes the Tsarwould let his favorite falcon open blood as the birdnever missed the vein. In January of 1676 AlexeiMikhailovitch caught a cold
  • 49:10: and decided to treathimself on his own, as usual. But in a week his state became hopeless. On January 29 the Tsarreceived the last rites and blessed his elder sonFeodor to ascend to the throne. At night of January 30 the Tsar died. Alexei Mikhailovitch was 46 years old. Alexei Mikhailovitch lefta state that was rich,
  • 49:52: strong and stable. Hewas the one to create a potent base for the country’s future. However as a historicalfigure he would always be in the shade of hisyoungest son Peter the Great who finished what his father started. Alexei Mikhailovitch diedin the prime of his life. The country felt an orphan. The heir of the hugecountry Feodor Alexeyevitch
  • 50:29: failed to come to his father’sfunerals. He was brought there on special stretchersshaped like a chair. Looking at the sickly greenishface under the Tsar’s hat wise people were saying:“Brace yourselves. We shall expect the nobles’rule and the Time of Troubles”.