Ivan The Terrible's Cruelty In Russian History

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Ivan Vasilyeevich, the first tsar of Russia, was known for his cruelty. Titled Ivan the Terrible, the tsar made a mark on Russian history when he began the absolute rule of Russian tsars. Through expansion and reform, Ivan built Russia from the ground up. However, the creation of a strong new nation came at a high price: the lives of thousands of Russian citizens. Ivan the Terrible helped shape Russian history and created a lasting legacy of Russian tradition. Born on August 25, 1530, Ivan the Terrible was the first son of Grand Prince Vasily III and Yelena Glinskaya. Ivan was crowned Grand Prince of Moscow at age three, immediately after his father's death. Ivan's mother was named regent until her death in 1538. In the power vacuum left…show more content…
As a boy he would often throw cats and dogs out the window of the Kremlin and watch with delight as they fell to their deaths. At the age of thirteen he ordered his mentor, Boyarin Shuisky, to be beaten to death. His first wife, Anastasia Romanovna, was able to tame his cruelty slightly during the early years of his reign. However, after Ivan mysteriously grew sick in 1533, she was unable to curve his paranoia. The defining moment of Ivan's switch to extreme cruelty was when his beloved wife died of unknown causes in 1560. Ivan flew into a rage, killing and exiling former allies if he suspected them of poisoning the tsarista (Ivan IV of Russia). With paranoia burning through him, Ivan left Moscow and threatened to abdicate his throne. The sudden loss of Russia's sole leader had the people panicking and pleading for his return. He agreed to resume his role as tsar, but demanded absolute control of the oprichnina, the land surrounding Moscow. To carry out his policing and spread of terror, Ivan created Russia's first secret police force, the Oprichniki. They systematically executed thousands for suspected betrayal, including many innocents such as Prince Alexander Gorbatyi-Shuisky. During this time Ivan saw a major personality switch. His formerly ascetic life was now consumed with lavish feasts and orgies for his pleasure (Ivan the
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