Ivan The Terrible Essay, Research Paper
The Terrible Greatness Of Ivan the IV
The era of Ivan the IV is one that triggers some of the most horrific nightmares to surface. It was a reign that spread a blanket of terror throughout Russia as Ivan the IV took his role as the first tsar to be bloody and tyrannical. Claims of pathological elements in his character cannot be denied as many lives were doomed to the fate of unnecessary death and suffering. Nevertheless, Ivan the IV established a solid foundation that would shape Russia s future. One aspect of his accomplishments lies in the depths of establishing links with the outside world. Ivan IV s strong desires to open the doors into the sphere of foreign policy launched Russia into future prosperity thus dimming the harsh lights that condemn him to madness.
The many years of Russia s attention being spent on wars brought upon an advantage to Ivan IV. The aspect of conquering for the satisfaction of occupying the most territory was secondary to the goal of opening links to the outside world. Good came out of the bloody and ferocious battles as Ivan IV was able to conquer lands that were essential for their location. Ivan IV had the challenge of facing three main Tartar enemies of Russia- Kazan, Astrakhan and Crimea. Ivan IV emerged victoriously as he established rule over Kazan and Astrakhan. The locations of these territories lied by a great source that enables communication and is essential for transportation and commerce. It is the Volga River that Ivan IV was able to obtain control over thus providing a step forward to the foreign world.
Energy and human spirit were drained once again when Russia waged another major war against the Livonian Order. Such a war was brought upon Ivan IV s preference to pursue a policy of westward expansion thus invading the Livonian Order who controlled the Baltic coast. The war lasted from 1558 to 1583 and ultimately only a small foothold was established on the territory. However, Ivan IV s strong fervor for more contact with the West pushed him to look beyond wars and into foreign diplomacy.
From as early as 1547 the Muscovite government had been encouraging and inviting specialists from western Europe to come to Russia to serve in Ivan IV s court. Doctors, artisans, and scholars came to Russia to contribute their specialized talents and add a mixture to the Russian community. This provided an environment of the outside world that Ivan IV desired. However, Ivan IV s real opportunity to build foreign relations came when ships started coming into the rivers of Russia.
In 1553 Ivan IV welcomed English sea-captain Richard Chancellor and his sailors who were in search of a new route through the Arctic Ocean that may lead them to the East. The English sailors had found their way to the Russian White Sea shore, near the mouth of the Northern Dvina, and relations were then quickly established between Russia and England. The agreement of 1555 allowed the English many commercial advantages as Archangel, lying on the Northern Dvina, would become their port of entry where they would not have to pay any fee. Ivan IV cherished his connection to the English world and quickly sent missions to England.
In retrospect, the reign of terror of Ivan IV provided many good outcomes. The Muscovite crucial needs and problems searched for a leader of keen intelligence and energy. Such a troubled government serves as the explanation to many of his actions. Ivan IV s despotic realm had its share of positive developments: obtaining the Volga route from the Mongolians, establishing a link with England through the White Sea route, acquiring a small hold on the Baltic coast- all are factors that built the strong foundation of the growth of the trading world of Russia. Ivan IV s success in prying open the doors to a foreign frontier enabled the seventeenth century to be marked with the importance of a beginning business economy.