Ivan the Terrible Essay

Ivan the Terrible Essay

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Ivan IV was a complicated man, with a complicated past, in a complicated country, in a complicated time; his story is not an easy one. Ivan the terrible, the man, could never be completely understood in a few words, nor in a few pages, and only perhaps in a few volumes. A man of incredible range his dreadfulness could only be matched by his magnificence, his love by his hatred.

Ivan life began in the same fashion it would continue: in a tempest. His father murdered when he was three years old, his suspected murderer-Ivan's uncle. Following this disaster Ivan succeeded to the throne. His mother, Jelena Glinsky, crowned herself "regent" and "protector", an ambitious choice that would prove deadly to her self, and detrimental to Ivan. Within five years of the death of his father Ivan suffered the loss of his mother.

The death of Ivan's mother would prove a critical loss. Not because of the loss of a beloved maternal figure, but the because it left Ivan utterly vulnerable. The boyars, or Russian nobility, assumed control of the lonely boy. The boyars respected Ivan in public; abused and tormented him in private. This would have mystified and eventually hardened a boy. This tortured existence, combined with wickedness of the lifestyle, was in fact, the probable cause of the cruel and stern man that Ivan would one day become.

Many families warred for dominance in Russia, but the most powerful were the Shuiskys. They were responsible for the worst of the crimes committed against Ivan. Then suddenly, on December 29, 1543, a thirteen-year-old Ivan ordered the arrest, torture, and death of Prince Andrew Shuisky. Ivan would no longer be ruled by anyone, but it was to late for Ivan's mental peace. Just as Ivan's boy...


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...ght (c) 2004. http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/I/Ivan4.asp

"Ivan IV." November 28, 2004. The History Channel. http://www.historychannel.com/perl/print_book.pl?ID=93837. .

"Summary: A Concise History of the Russian Revolution" Sparknotes. 2004. http://www.sparknotes.com/history/european/russianrev/summary.html

Axelrod, A. & Philips, Ch.: Dictators & tyrants (Absolute rulers and would-be rulers in world history), FactsOnFile, 1995

Green, V.: The madness of kings (Personal trauma and the fate of nations), Allan Sutton Publishing Ltd, 1994

Allen, T. (ed): De opkomst van Europa (1500-1600), in: Time-Life Wereldgeschiedenis, Time-Life Books, 1990

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