|History 101: Questions for “Russia: Land of the Tsars”
1) How did Winston Churchill describe Russia? This is a bit misleading given that Churchill was commenting on Cold War negotiations, but it still rings true overall.
2) How many Russias are there?
3) How far back does Russia’s history go?
4) What was Russia’s history entangled with?
5) How big would the Russian empire be?
6) Why can it be said that Russia was never a single country?
7) Before the Russian empire was created what connected (literally) the peoples of the Russias?
8) During the 9th century who sailed down the rivers and pioneered trade with Constantinople?
9) What did the native peoples call the Vikings?
10) What was the greatest city-state in the Russias?
11) What did Prince Vladimir want?
12) What did he need aside from a powerful army to legitimize his rule and unite Russia?
13) What happened when Vladimir died?
14) What happened in 1237?
15) How long would Mongol rule last?
16) What would the Russians call the Mongol soldiers?
17) Did the Mongols rule over Russia directly?
18) What title was given to the prince who gave the largest tribute?
19) What did the city-states of Russia need to do to resist Mongol rule?
20) When was Moscow founded and why?
21) What deal did Ivan I make with the Mongols?
*Moscow used Mongol support to control other princes and grew richer, but chaffed under Mongol rule over time.
22) What did Prince Dmitri do in 1380?
23) Did the struggle between the Russians and Mongols end?
24) When the Muscovite prince Ivan III gained enough wealth and power to cut off the Mongols and unite the Russians under one banner, what new title did he adopt?
25) What did Ivan III do when Constantinople fell in 1453?
*Ivan now claimed Moscow to be the “new Rome,” and brought in Italian architects to build palaces and cathedrals. The Kremlin had stone ramparts 16 feet thick with 19 towers. It was a royal city within the city.
26) What happened to the peasant under Ivan III?
27) What did Tsar Vasily do that caused the Patriarch of Jerusalem to condemn him?
28) Who were the “boyars” and what did they do when Vasily died?
29) What did Ivan the Terrible do at age 13?
30) After reaching into the past and adopting the title Tsar in 1547, what did he do to the boyars?
31) What did Ivan do in the mid 1500s?
32) What was (is) St. Basil’s_____________?
33) Who was Anastasia and what effect did she have on Ivan?
34) What happened in 1560?
35) Why did Ivan renounce the throne and leave the Kremlin?
36) When he agreed to come back on the condition of complete control, what did he do?
37) Who were the “Oprishniky” and what did they do?
*It was said that Ivan developed a liking for torture, fused with mysticism, and killed entire families so there would be no one left to pray for the dead.
38) What did the Tartars do in 1571?
39) What did Ivan do to his beloved son and what were the consequences?
40) What happened when Ivan the Terrible died?
*Between 1598 and 1610 the Russian crown was weakened. Six different men claimed the title and either died or were deposed.
41) What did the Russians do to the Polish pretender to the crown?
42) How did Russia’s situation get worse?
43) What did the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church do?
44) Who did the nobles, merchants, and priests search for as the new Tsar?
45) Mikhail Romanov was crowned Tsar in 1613 inaugurating three centuries of Romanov rule. What did the boyars get in exchange for their loyalty?
46) What was the problem with the heirs of Tsar Alexsei?
47) What did Sofia do about this situation?
48) Describe Peter.
49) What happened when Peter turned 17?
*At this time Russia was still medieval; they had had no Renaissance or Scientific Revolution.
50) What captivated Peter’s mind?
51) Peter had a passion for ships. What were the obstacles blocking his maritime ambitions?
52) How did Peter finally defeat the Ottomans and take Azov?
53) What did Peter do in the West?
54) What did Peter do to the boyars and the streltsi when he returned?
55) What did Peter do while Charles XII of Sweden was fighting in Poland?
*Peter used massive forced labor to create his new capital. St. Peterburg was to be the foundation of a new Russia and to even out rival Versailles.
56) How did Peter respond to Charles’ march on Moscow?
*Now Russia was a great European power with its first newpaper; hospital; museum; schools for navigation, geography, mathematics, astronomy etc.
57) What was the problem with Peter’s heir Alexsei and what did he do to him?
59) After remarrying a Lithuanian “camp follower” who gave him a male heir, what happened?