Shocking secrets of the Russian Empire
Russian kingdom reformed by Peter I in absolutist Russian Empire, was the third country in the world space of all that ever existed. Steppes, forests, mountains and rivers stretching from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Pacific Ocean in the east.
For almost four hundred years, this vast territory ruled by the iron hand of the autocrat to ensure the completeness of its power cruel, sometimes horrific actions. The following facts may surprise even the one who is quite familiar with the history of his native country.
Russian autocrats often used cruel torture to strengthen its power. Ivan the Terrible was famous for (among other things) the invention of special giant pans on which to bake their enemies alive. Empress Elizabeth preferred to tear enemies languages, Peter I smacked guilty stiff leather whip, shoot by centimeter of the skin with a single blow.
The palace intrigues
In the theory of Russian kingdom it was considered the most absolutist form of government throughout Europe. In practice, the yard was a snake pit of eternal rival boyar factions, ready for power to make any actions. Mother of Ivan the Terrible was poisoned when he was only 8. Fyodor Godunov suffocated after only 7 weeks of the reign of Peter III was killed on the orders of his wife, who ruled the next 30 years as Catherine the Great. Alexander I's reign admonished Count Pahlen, who was involved in the murder of his father: "Enough of childish, go to reign."
The imprisonment of Ivan VI of
Two-Ivan VI became king in 1740 and was able to hold on to the throne of the whole year: the country was under the regency of Biron at first, and then Anna Leopoldovna. Baby emperor was deposed Elizabeth and went to solitary confinement, where he spent all his life. In Shlyusserbugskoy fortress of the true name of the prisoner, no one knew. Camera accident was devoid of windows, so daylight Ivan VI never seen. Under the reign of Catherine II (and its same order), one of the guards quietly strangled the potential pretender to the throne.
In an effort to build a reliable protection against the boyars Ivan the Terrible surrounded himself with a group of mercenaries who have received a very large powers. The guardsmen wore a black dress, while the seats tied a dog's head, symbolizing the fate that awaits traitors. They acted as the secret police of Ivan IV, torturing and killing anyone suspected of disloyalty. In 1570, the guardsmen rushed to Novgorod, killing more than 10,000 of any innocent people. The once powerful trading city has never recovered from this blow.
Impostors and Smoot
Russian empire experienced a very difficult stage of the interregnum, when the throne claimed by several impostors. "Time of Troubles" the XVII century was marked by natural disasters, the Polish-Swedish intervention and the socio-economic crisis. The beginning of the Troubles put rumors that the legitimate prince Dmitry (dead, in fact, as early as 8 years of age) is alive. Impostor False Dmitry I seized power and was savagely mauled by the boyars, False Dmitry II stayed on the throne as much as 4 years, but ended his days as well. False Dmitry III was executed in 1612, and in the XVIII century Cossack Pugachev Emelyan organized a huge uprising, said that he is killed by Peter III. Another "Peter III" appeared in Montenegro, and there are rules for some time, until the Ottomans did not pay personal barber to cut the throat of the impostor.
Cults and sects
In the vastness of the empire flourished sects and cults are formed during the split of the Russian Orthodox Church. Whips beating themselves with whips, Molokans refused to serve in the army and tried to create their own commune in Siberia. All was darker sect eunuchs who considered sex source of all sin and practiced ritual castration, which is applicable even to small children.
Russia's largest religious split with Peter, when Patriarch Nikon decided to reform the Russian church. Among other things, underwent modernization and some basic rites - baptism, for example, was supposed to three fingers instead of two. Traditionalists, led by Avvakum refused to accept innovations. Old Believers held their religious rituals in secret: the government called them "splitters" and pursued relentlessly, that only strengthened the determination of the traditionalists. Learning that move them the king's troops, the Old Believers throughout the village were locked in the church and burned himself alive.
The Great Hunger
The strongest crop failure in 1891 plunged the country into famine. Despite the numerous reports received from the zemstvos, newspaper articles and rumors of panic in all sectors of society, the government has long recognized the fact of starvation - despite the fact that some of them struggle with the measures already taken. Until November 1891 (when the whole empire have died, tens of thousands of people), censorship is forbidden to publish the most egregious information. The word "hunger" is replaced everywhere false "crop failure". The result of "bad year" were 400,000 deaths.
The Russian Empire was built on the backs of the serfs, bound to a particular place and forced to work on controlling the territory of the landowner. By the XVII century landowners were allowed to buy and sell the castle, which is translated into the category of the most recent of these slaves. Technically, the nobles were not allowed to kill the peasants, but the choice of penalties for an offense remained in a host of conscience. The death of a slave from injury in the punishment did not involve any consequences. Serfdom was abolished in 1861: this time, Russia had a population of almost 63 million - at least 46 million were serfs.