Fedor Ivanovich

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Fedor Ivanovich


Born May 31, 1557, in Moscow; died there Jan. 7 (17), 1598. Russian tsar from Mar. 19, 1584; last of the Riurikovichi. Second surviving son of Ivan IV Vasil’evich and Anastasiia Romanovna Zakhar’ina-Iur’eva.

An ineffectual ruler, Fedor Ivanovich devoted great attention to such matters as the upkeep and decoration of the chambers at court. His claim to the throne of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was advanced twice, in 1573–74 and in 1587. Fedor died leaving no heirs.

The first years of Fedor’s reign were marked by a fierce palace struggle, which resulted in the dissolution of the five-member Regents’ Council—composed of Prince F. I. Mstislavskii, Prince I. P. Shuiskii, N. R. Iur’ev-Romanov, B. F. Godunov, and B. Ia. Bel’skii—which had been established by Ivan IV shortly before his death to rule Russia. Fedor’s younger brother, Dmitrii, the son of Ivan and Mariia Nagaia, was sent away to Uglich on May 24, 1584. In 1587, Fedor’s brother-in-law, Boris Godunov, became the de facto ruler.

With respect to internal affairs, Fedor’s reign was marked by a gradual improvement in the country’s economy and by a recovery from the crisis of the 1570’s and 1580’s and the Livonian War of 1558–83, in which Russia suffered defeat. Serfdom was strengthened by the ukases of 1586, 1592–93, and 1597, and state taxes on the urban taxpaying population were increased, resulting in the exacerbation of class conflicts.

In foreign relations, Russia’s international position improved somewhat during Fedor’s reign. As a result of the Russo-Swedish war of 1590–93, the cities and regions of Novgorod Land that had been seized by Sweden during the Livonian War were returned to Russia under the terms of the Treaty of Teusina (1595). Western Siberia was finally incorporated into Russia, the southern border regions along the Volga were consolidated, and Russia’s role in Transcaucasia and the Northern Caucasus increased. Russian expansion, however, conflicted with the interests of Poland, Sweden, the Crimean Khanate, and Turkey.

Thus, Fedor’s reign set the stage for the emergence of complex class and international conflicts, leading eventually to the Polish and Swedish intervention in Russia and to the Peasant War of the early 17th century.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Bogatyrev analyzes the "portraits" of Ivan IV and Fedor Ivanovich on two bronze cannons, the "Lion of Revel" (1559) and the Kremlin's famous "Tsar-Cannon" (1586), as reflections of "profound cultural changes in the conception of Russian rulership" (48).
The first two chapters of the biography cover Shuiskii's early career at the courts of Tsars Ivan IV and Fedor Ivanovich, a period in which Prince Vasilii suffered spells of disgrace, in 1582-83 and 1587-91.
For the specialist, too, the approach has certain merits: for example, following the long career of Vasilii Shuiskii through the reigns of Ivan IV, Fedor Ivanovich, and Boris Godunov into the Time of Troubles breaks away from the conventional periodization of the era; and Kozliakov's broadly sympathetic attitude toward Marina Mniszech provides a welcome contrast to the demonization of the Poles in much contemporary Russian popular historiography of the Time of Troubles.
Today, when Comrade Fedor Ivanovich recalled the treacherous shot in Smol'nyi, I shuddered.
Although several characters in the film, including the factory party cell secretary, Fedor Ivanovich, are shown to be uneasy about Pavel, they have no grounds to object to his steady promotion, so that Yasha's arrival with the compromising information comes as a veritable deus ex machina.
For one thing, the idea that one must not mix the personal and the political is alien to Fedor Ivanovich, who is displeased with Pavel's uncontaminated, powerful, and straightforward speech at the party meeting precisely because of Pavel's (apparent) ideological purity, his explicit and total dismissal of personal loyalty as a factor that could influence his attitude toward Anna's mistake.
The death in 1598 of Tsar Fedor Ivanovich, Ivan the Terrible's son, ended the old Muscovite ruling dynasty and presented the problem of finding a new tsar from outside the agnatic line of the grand princes of Muscovy.
(8) He was elected by a generally representative Assembly of the Land (vseobshchii izbrannik), lending legitimacy to his ascension, because he was the closest relative of Tsar Fedor Ivanovich, the last tsar of the old dynasty (178).
Many of the conclusions about the role of kinship and marriage in Muscovite political culture were arrived at independently by Robert Owen Crummey in his Aristocrats and Servitors: The Boyar Elite in Russia, 1613-1689 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1983); Crummey, "The Reconstitution of the Boyar Aristocracy, 1613-1645)," Forschungen zur osteuropaischen Geschichte 18 (1973): 187-200; and Crummey, "Crown and Boiars under Fedor Ivanovich and Michael Romanov," Canadian-American Slavic Studies 6, 4 (1972): 549-74.
Morozov pushes this date up further, into the reign of Fedor Ivanovich (1584-98), noting that the 16th-century volumes of the LLS include information up to 1574 and that their 17th-century copies extend through 1585-86.
If, as Amosov and Morozov both indicate, the Sinodal'nyi tom and Tsarstvennaia kniga preserve the political views of Fedor Ivanovich's reign--or at best, the last year or two of Ivan IV's--then we cannot use them as primary sources for the 1550s and early 1560s, except as those events were remembered and perhaps reconstructed several decades later.