Time of Troubles

When the Smuta or Time of Troubles (Russian смутное время ) in the history of Russia is the time between the end of the Rurik dynasty with the death of Feodor I in 1598 and the beginning of the Romanov dynasty with the accession to power of Michael I. in 1613 refers.


During the reign of Feodor I. Boris Godunov led as the true ruler the country. He also tried during his later reign, to lead Russia out of backwardness, but came across the bitter opposition of the boyars and the church. In addition, in the years 1601 to 1604 occurred three famines that shook the economy and social structures of the country.

The situation was aggravated by the intervention of Sweden and Poland. Polish troops succeeded in 1605 to conquer Moscow and the Polish king Sigismund III. put the so-called false Dimitri on the Tsar 's throne, a Russian conman, as the Tsarevich Dmitry, who died under mysterious circumstances son of Ivan IV, claimed to be. Initially, this had the support of ordinary people, who longed for child ratios. However, the needle was in opposition to him. When he tried to reform the country in an oriented at Polish model sense, but he also lost the support of the peasants and had his support only in the occupying power. The more this was hated by their assaults, the more untenable the situation for the wrong Dmitri was. He was murdered and it broke the whole empire popular uprisings going on.

Now, the ratios were even more unstable: the be supportive to boyars and Sweden, new Tsar Vasily Schuiski was hated by the farmers and could never establish his rule throughout the country, especially since he was beset by a second false Dimitri. This he was able to defeat in 1610 with Swedish assistance, but its has been overthrown shortly afterwards with Polish help. The Poles, who had opened the hostilities end in 1609, occupied in the wake of the Polish advance Moscow. Shortly afterwards, Prince Władysław should (incurring the beginning of a " constitutional" development may be ) against certain safeguards are installed as Tsar. The marked by violence and robbery in Russian cities as well as contradictions between Catholicism and Orthodoxy Polish rule lost its support in society. In the north- west and in the east there were a number of cities that Władysław refused to take the oath. When his own father, King Sigismund III. ado even claimed the tsar 's throne and rule any restrictions rejected, this meant Władysław final disavowal. The result was a nearly three-year period of complete Herrscherlosigkeit.

1612 broke under the leadership of Nizhny Novgorod merchant Kuzma Minin and Prince Dmitry Pozharsky with the support of the Metropolitan Filaret in Moscow from a popular uprising, which ended the Polish occupation. At the two leaders of the uprising, the Minin and Pozharsky on Red Square reminds directly in front of St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.

The following year, then was Michael I. by a national assembly, the Zemsky Sobor elected the new tsar. This succeeded then in succession, to stabilize the country halfway and justify the tsar dynasty of Romanovs.


A dramatization of the first phase of this period is the opera Boris Godunov by Modest Mussorgsky, which is based on a drama of the same name by Alexander Pushkin.