He was left in the hands of reactionary boyars and priests, who encouraged him to hate his father and wish for the death of the tsar-antichrist.
Golitsuin it was who suggested taking refuge in that strong fortress and won over the boyars of the opposite party.
It was not only that he hated and distrusted the boyars, but he was already statesman enough to discern that they could not be fitted into the new order of things which he aimed at introducing.
The common people, whom he had always favoured at the expense of the boyars, thereupon implored him to come back on his own terms. He consented to do so, but entrenched himself within a peculiar institution, the oprichina or "separate estate."
The duma, or council, still attended to all the details of the administration; the old boyars still retained their ancient offices and dignities.
In an agony of remorse, he would now have abdicated "as being unworthy to reign longer"; but his trembling boyars, fearing some dark ruse, refused to obey any one but himself.
He purchased the allegiance of the stryeltsi, or musketeers, and then, summoning the boyars of the council, earnestly represented to them that Theodore, scarce able to live, was surely unable to reign, and urged the substitution of little Peter.
But the reactionary boyars, among whom were the near kinsmen of Theodore, proclaimed him tsar and Matvyeev was banished to Pustozersk, in northern Russia, where he remained till Theodore's death (April 27, 1682).
The opposition which he encountered came not from the burghers but from the boyars and the nobles.
Their ancient liberties, he abolished the popular assembly, removed the great bell to Novgorod, installed his own boyars in the administration, transported 300 of the leading families to other localities, replaced them by 300 families from Moscow, and left in the town a strong garrison of his own troops.
In the old times the grand-prince was simply primes inter pares among the minor princes, and these lived with their boyars almost on a footing of equality.
All through his reign he preferred to employ as officials men of humble origin, and habitually treated the boyars and great nobles very unceremoniously.
Dissatisfaction among men of Slavonic temperament, whose grandfathers had been independent princes, boyars or free lances, and the malcontents could not adopt the old practice of emigrating to some other principality.
Having convoked his boyars he reproached them collectively with robbing the treasury and committing acts of injustice, and he caused one of them, a Prince Shuiski who happened to be in power at the moment, to be seized by his huntsmen and torn in pieces by a pack of hounds, as a warning to others.
The chief con spirator, Shuiski, seized the power and was elected tsar by an Assembly composed of his faction, but neither Shuiski, the ambitious boyars, nor the pillaging Cossacks, nor the German mercenaries were satisfied with the change, and soon a new impostor, likewise calling himself Dimitri, son of Tsar Ivan, came forward as the rightful heir.
Like the tsar, he had the official title of " Great Lord " (veliki gosudar), and he had his palace, his court-dignitaries, his retinue, his boyars and his officials all organized on the model of those of the sovereign.
Matveyev, the most influential of the boyars, had married a foreigner who conversed freely with her husband's male friends, contrary to the Muscovite notions of respectability and decorum, and his house, in which the tsar was a frequent visitor, was furnished and decorated in foreign fashion.
The zemski sobor, which had played a considerable part in the struggle of the tsars against the great boyars in the 17th century, had met but once since the days of Peter the Great.
Kluchovski, Boyarskaya Duma (1882), an account of the boyars' duma from the 10th to the 17th century; Maksim M.
But his whole official career was a constant struggle with narrow routine and personal jealousy on the part of the boyars and clerks of the council.
Its terms were: the confirmation of the Treaty of Bucharest and the opening of the navigation of the Black Sea to the Russian flag; a stipulation that the hospodars of Walachia and Moldavia should be elected by the boyars for seven years, their election being confirmed by the Porte which, however, had no power to dismiss them without the concurrence of the Russian ambassador at Constantinople; finally, Servia's autonomy was recognized, and, save in the fortresses, no Mussulman might reside there.
The Union of Horodlo also established absolute parity between the nobility of Poland and Lithuania, but the privileges of the latter were made conditional upon their profession of the Roman Catholic faith, experience having shown that difference of religion in Lithuania meant difference of politics, and a tendency Moscow-wards, the majority of the Lithuanian boyars being of the Greek Orthodox Confession.
Razin proclaimed that his object was to root out the boyars and all officials, to level all ranks and dignities, and establish Cossackdom, with its corollary of absolute equality, throughout Muscovy.
A conspiracy against him of all the other great boyars and the metropolitan Dionysy, which sought to break Boris' power by divorcing the tsar from Godunov's childless sister, only ended in the banishment or tonsuring of the malcontents.
His fear of possible pretenders induced him to go so far as to forbid the greatest of the boyars to marry.
His tactful and conciliatory diplomacy speedily won over the boyars, whom he persuaded to offer the Muscovite crown to the Polish crown prince, Wladislaus.
The Milosla y skis were typical self-seeking 17th century boyars, whose extortions made them generally detested.
From the height of the Kremlin--yes, there is the Kremlin, yes--I will give them just laws; I will teach them the meaning of true civilization, I will make generations of boyars remember their conqueror with love.
"Qu'on m'amene les boyars," * said he to his suite.
* "Bring the boyars to me."
His speech to the boyars had already taken definite shape in his imagination.
Sought to share as boyars the princes' authority.