Russia History Interregnum Time of Troubles

Time of Troubles

The period between the death of the last tsar of the Rurikid dynasty in 1598 and the accession of the first tsar of the Romanov dynasty in 1613 were years of civil war in Russian history. This fifteen-year period of national strife affected all classes of Russian society and all aspects of Russian life.

The Time of Troubles began with a three-year famine during the reign of Boris Godunov. The lack of food led to a wave of popular discontent and mass protests, which was used by Russia’s neighbours – Poland, Sweden, Crimea and Turkey. Polish and Swedish armies invaded Russia and captured several towns. False Dmitry I sacked Moscow at the head of a Polish army.

The country was on the verge of ruin, but the Russian people rallied. Led by Kuzma Minin and Prince Dmitry Pozharsky, they liberated Moscow and expelled the foreign invaders. The Land Assembly (Zemsky sobor) convened and elected a new tsar – Michael Romanov.

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