Ivan The Terrible

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade October 2001

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A long time ago, in Moscow, a child was born. Little did he know that he was very soon to take on a huge responsibility. He was destined to be czar, but nobody had imagined that it would become of him at such a tender age. The young boy did do well building up his power, but his overwhelming childhood may have had an effect on his future harsh behavior. The brutal actions that occurred during his reign were undoubtedly the cause of his declination.

Firstly, Ivan was born in Moscow on August 25, 1530. (Encarta 98) His mother was Yelena Glinskaya and his father was Grand Duke Vasili III. (Butson 16) Ivan's father died in 1533, leaving (three-year-old) Ivan as heir. He was the first Russian ruler to be formally crowned as czar. When Ivan became Grand Duke in 1533, the nobles saw an opportunity to reclaim their power in Moscow.

By inheriting the thrown, Ivan was thrust into an incomprehensible childhood of terror and privation. (Duffy and Ricci 120) Immediately after he had become czar until his czarina Anastasia's death in 1560, were referred to as the Good Years. (Butson 27) They were the Good Years because it was when his aggrandizement occurred. He gathered advisors, known as the Chosen Council, and acted upon their guidance and criticism. His willingness to heed his advisors was very beneficial. They gave him ideas such as attempting modernization. Ivan was deeply concerned with trying to improve the life of the average Russian. He made prudent government policies, which kept Russian life in order.

Secondly, Ivan the Terrible was indeed the right nickname for this czar. Sorrow and violence took a major role in Ivan's life after the Good Years. He became more remarkable for brutality and erratic behavior than for statesmanship.