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The time of troubles in estimates of the Russian contemporaries and historical consciousness of the Russian society of the 17th century

 © 2004 M.E. Shalak


In the Russian history Time of Troubles of the Beginning of the 17th Century. holds a specific place. This period of deep crisis of the Russian statehood. Smuta's events substantially defined the course and the nature of the subsequent development of Russia. Smuta left an indelible mark in consciousness of the Russian people, became for many the most important event of the personal biography, a milestone of historical memory. Throughout the first half it steadily entered a round of those historical events on which the attention of the Russian publicists was riveted. As the Russian historical consciousness of the 17th century in many respects depended on Smuta's estimates by contemporaries, studying its state cannot be considered as full without

reconstruction of ideas of events of the beginning of XVTIv. and their estimates which existed in it and substantially defined further

social and political behavior of people. This circumstance turns studying an image of Smuta in consciousness of contemporaries and the closest descendants into interesting scientific a problem. It is necessary

to define value of its image in historical consciousness and communication between estimates of the past and the future of society and state. In particular, it means need of understanding a ratio of the beginnings of conservatism and the new beginnings for the Russian historical consciousness at the first Romanov on the basis of Smuta's estimates.

Studying historical consciousness assumes a research of its contents, structure, a role of significant historical events in aggravation of historical feeling and in consciousness revival. It is necessary to consider the general idea existing in literature on a phenomenon of historical consciousness. One of its first definitions was given by the sociologist Yu.A. Levada. According to him, historical consciousness is a set of the diverse forms which spontaneously developed or created by science in which society realizes the past, the movement in time [1]. But, except understanding of the past, the structure of historical consciousness includes also its assessment.

Spontaneously developed form of historical consciousness is folklore. We were reached by the songs devoted to Smuta's events which also deserve the study expressing the relation to it of a general population and reflecting features in the contents and forms of historical consciousness of these layers in comparison with political and intellectual elite of the Russian society [2]. The folk song devoted to the death of the prince Mikhail Skopin - Shuysky is of interest to characteristic of mass historical consciousness. In it the grief of the people concerning death of the young talented voivode in time, terrible for the whole country, was reflected:

And rosplachyutets guests Muscovites:

"And a teper our heads of a zagibla that there was no voivode at us,

Vasilyevich of the prince Mikhail!" [3].

At the same time historically precisely the envy of boyars to progress of the young commander is shown in the song. In consciousness of the simple people the fight of grandees for a royal throne accurately was reflected:

And sjezhalisya princes are boyars suprotivo to them, the Mstislavsky prince, Vorotynskoy,

And between themselves they told a word;

And told a word grinned:

"Highly the falcon rose and about cheese Matyora the earth hurt" [3, page 537].

Also we were reached by the folk songs devoted to the tsarevna Ksenia Borisovna Godunova. Despite negative attitude of contemporaries to her father, Boris Godunov, in songs the sympathy of the people for the fate of this girl was reflected. In them the tsarevna is tenderly compared to the little birdie who got into big trouble. The grief of the young tsarevna in national consciousness appears as the mountain of the ordinary girl who remained the orphan which the evil fate is prepared:

Splachettsa on Moscow the tsarevna:

"To Okhta to me gorevat are young that the traitor goes to Moscow, Eno Grishka Otrepyev of a rostrig that wants me put, and having put me, wants a postricha, impose a chernechesky rank!" [3, page 537].

At the same time how in the folk song it is shown for what such trouble comprehended the unfortunate tsarevna is very interesting, in our opinion:

"For what our tsarstvo zagiblo: whether for batyushkovo trespassing?" [3, page 539].

Here a short example of how historical consciousness of the people which at all simplicity of the form does not contradict the general assessment of the events which were taking place at the beginning of the 17th century is expressed in songs. In these sources such historical values inherent in mass consciousness as glorification of fight against overseas aggressors, condemnation of the seigniorial hostility weakening the country, rejection of the "elective" tsar, etc. are expressed

Other, more irregular shape of historical consciousness is the so-called conscious form. It assumes already the rationality representing. As A.I. Rakitov shows, the closed self-sufficient system of rules, criteria and etalo-

it is new which are valid and making identical sense for all members of this society (professional or social group, a class, ethnic community, etc.) [4]. All authors of historical and literary and publicistic works about Smuta belonged to political and intellectual elite of the Russian society of the first half of the 17th century. One of them - the prince I.A. Hvorostinin - figured at court of False Dmitry I. Other-Avraamy Palitsyn who was actively fighting for unity of forces of the Russian people during Smuta was Troitse-Sergiyev's cellarer of the monastery. The author of "The annalistic book" prince S.I. Shakhovskoy served also False Dmitry II and Vasily Shuysky. The clerk Ivan Timofeev was a prominent Russian publicist, the author of well-known Vremennik. The prince I.M. Katyrev-Rostovsky consisted related to Romanov and held high military posts. At last, it is the whole family of unknown authors of chronicles and legends which also belonged to a top of the Russian society of the beginning of the 17th century. Historical consciousness is developed substantially by intellectual elite of this society as social and economic, political, cultural and ethnic integrity. But at the same time, certainly, they did not realize in a distinct rational form of those criteria, installations and rules to which their own historical consciousness submits. Smuta's estimates which authors - the Russian publicists of the 17th century in the works about this time gave do not contradict those estimates, expressing historical consciousness of the people.

Historical consciousness of society finds manifestation in axiological aspect. Ideals. Estimates and other manifestations of human subjectivity. Being expressed through the system of the conventional values, play one of leading roles in the sphere of historical consciousness, causing, in particular, the general relation to the past and endured, to the memory of it as value. Historical memory of the individual and society is formed by an oposredovaniye of all estimates of the taking place events.

In our opinion, the system of values in structure of historical consciousness includes the standard moral foundations and ideals, ethical standards dominating in this society and value, personal judgment on the taking place events. In turn these personal values depend on the standard norms and the personal, individual historical experience experienced by the particular person from concrete people's psychology, from the level of its moral, ethical and esthetic development.

We will give an example of estimates which contemporaries gave to statesmen of the Time of Troubles. In works about Smuta the identity of the tsar Vasily Shuysky stands alone. It cannot be carried neither to heroes of that period, nor to anti-heroes. Some contemporaries praise it, others - convict.

The author of "Other legend" unknown to us wrote about Shuysky: "Divine Providence... we are orthodox Christians, all Russian area having elected also from -

loved to themselves on the kingdom... the husband she is just and pious, former blessed tsars Coren of the great boyar prince Vasily Ivanovich Shuysky" [5]. Further, the author speaks about him as about the true defender of the people: "and the taka believes the soul for a sheep., but also fleshes to the neshchada and. keeps true orthodox faith Christian., both operates and sets anything on a right track of rescue., but does not conduct us in death and. leads astray pogibelny [5, page 64]. The author of the legend expresses barefaced joy concerning accession to the throne of such "pious" sovereign. And in general all story is penetrated by feeling of devotion to Shuysky. Even his plot against the first impostor, the contemporary represents as suffering for belief in which Vasily Shuysky acts as the "pervostradalets" who in time distinguished "heresy Unflock" and with the God's help which prevented the impostor to catholicize Russia. But behind praises it is visible to the tsar Vasily that the author writes about him with unlimited flattery. He cares for bringing into obedience to the tsar insurgent people. The work the contemporary tried to strengthen authority of the tsar Vasily, to strengthen trust of the people to it. "Other legend" obviously appeared Shuysky' camp. Considering this tendentiousness of the author, to estimate Shuysky, relying on his point of view, so difficult, as well as to define personal, value judgment by the author of the taking place events. Though it is quite possible that the author of "Other legend" took a sincere liking and devotion for Vasily Shuysky.

We find comments of opposite character on the tsar Vasily in the work by I.A. Hvorostini-na. That does not love Shuysky that can be reasonable exile of the prince Ivan Andreevich by the government of Shuysky to the monastery for communication with False Dmitriy 1. From here and the general tone of statements about the tsar Vasily. Telling about election it on the kingdom, Hvorostinin wrote that Shuysky "seduced people with a pious look, humility. He incites and induces the friends artful speeches and transitory gifts, to the embodiment of the desire flattery declining them, hurries to make them all promises" [6]. Further Hvorostinin said that Vasily and all Shuysky at all tsars dreamed to receive the power and always planned plots against former governors. Here an example of other, individual approach to estimates of the same tsar depending on the concrete historical experience endured by other historical person. Hvorostinin wrote about Shuysky's time that "in days of the kingdom its any truth fall asleep, and the court true was not, and any virtue ran low" [6, page 447]. The author considered that god punished the tsar "unreason" and that began to make absolutely unworthy affairs and therefore the people excited a rebellion against it. "The tsar Vasily being in grief and grief. did not want to address not falsely god, being absorbed by the life beseeming young men and works" [6, page 449]. Then the tsar Vasily lost mind at all, trying by means of guessing of bonds -

to nat what to do. At the same time Hvorostinin does not approve violent overthrow of Vasily Shuysky: "But in the fifth year of its reign, the people by fierce hatred against it were executed. from boyars up to ordinary people all rose. and everything, neglecting the oath on a cross, out of envy banished it from a throne" [6, page 449].

two subjective points of view on Vasily Shuysky in literary and publicistic sources Are that

>. They reflected features not only the attitudes towards Shuysky, but also towards the standard standards of firmness of throne. Vasily Shuysky's characteristic made more independent in estimates unlike two other contemporaries the prince S.I. Shakhovsky deserves attention: "The tsar Vasily growth is low, the person is ugly, eyes had weak-sighted. In the book doctrine it is rather skillful and he was clever. It is very avaricious and stubborn" [7]. Thus, on the example of Vasily Shuysky we can see that the system of values in historical consciousness of the Russian society of the beginning of the 17th century included as concrete, personal estimates of different authors, and the general for all the moral standard of inviolability, sanctity of throne independent of personal qualities of the tsar.

Other example of how in historical consciousness the standard, dominating in society moral and political standards intertwine with subjective, private judgments of particular persons, assessment by contemporaries of such eminent political figure Smuta as the patriarch Filaret, in the world - the boyar Fedor Nikitich Romanov can serve. All works about Smuta describe him only from a positive side. So, the clerk I. Timofeev speaks about him with the same awe, as well as about the tsar Mikhail Fedorovich Romanov [8]. Almost one and all, in particular unknown chroniclers, praise Filaret and admire courage, wise board, care of the people, etc. And it is not surprising as when the majority of works about Smuta was created, the patriarch Filaret was the main person in the Moscow state. It is natural that the official point of view which found reflection in social thought consisted in praise of a new dynasty. To speak about her representatives, especially about the patriarch and the tsar's father, something contradicting ideological installation of the state - was impossible. And nevertheless in estimates by contemporaries of the identity of Filaret it is possible to see also some derogations from this general praise. So, a cellarer Avraaly Palitsyn was not afraid to leave in the work news that Filaret Nikitich in Tushino was proclaimed by the patriarch [9]. This "cooperation" with False Dmitry II could not but soil Filaret in the opinion of the Russian society. In the comments on Filaret Nikitich the contemporaries allocate him with "sovereign" and very "opalchivy" character.

In the famous work by I.M. Katyrev-Rostovsky we do not meet noisy panegyrics to the patriarch Filaret at all though the last was his father-in-law [10].

In aggravation of historical feeling and in revival of historical consciousness the large role is played by significant historical events. The conflicts which reach sharpness at the known moments of world history always disposed to reflections about past and real, to attempts to comprehend historical process [11]. Disturbing times take away tranquility from people and in exchange give the ideas. The Time of Troubles of the beginning of the 17th century became such conflict, a turning point in the history of Russia. Smuta made a deep change in minds and moods of society. According to V.O. Klyuchevsky, it was that the custom on which the state order kept reeled, the legend which directed creators and guardians of this order was interrupted. "When people cease to act on a habit, let go legend thread, they begin to reflect strongly and fussy, and reflection makes them hypochondriac and fluctuating, forces them to try timidly various ways of action" [12].

Suppression of a dynasty of Ryurik dynasty was one of the most significant critical phenomena of Smuta. The clerk I. Timofeev stated the parable about the widow whose house is plundered by the servants who left "the slave organization" and indulged in willfulness. "At that time our earth can assimilate. to the certain widow who remained after the husband who is in power of the own slaves it is ruined, broken off and kind of on lots it is divided, punished by it on God's to a discretion" [8, page 333]. In an image of the widow Timofeev showed tragic position of the Moscow state which was left without the "natural", hereditary tsar - the owner.

For the Russian contemporaries of Smuta the state and the sovereign - undivided concepts, especially the hereditary, lawful, "true" sovereign. Therefore, according to "The new story about the preslavny Russian kingdom":

"and our earth without them, sovereigns, having become a widow/widower

and for a velikiya griefs, our in a velikiya, having reached sins,

and is the most bitter, division in it on sya be made" [13].

Election of the tsar was not considered as sufficient justification of the new government, caused not only joy, but also doubt, and alarm. When Kalita's dynasty was stopped, people became puzzled. Came to fermentation, to a condition of anarchy "on bondage" as V.O. Klyuchevsky noted. People gradually will begin to develop new concepts of supreme authority, to get over election on the kingdom, getting used that the state can exist also without tsar that the objectionable and unfair sovereign can be dethroned. It is one of characteristic examples of value of important historical events for changes which happen in public consciousness of the people, in emergence in it the new concepts and the ideas based on new perception of reality.

The value of historical consciousness and communication between estimates of the past and the future of society and state are shown in its influence on political practice. This communication is some kind of dialogue between the present and last [14]. Thanks to structures of historical consciousness the link of times is not interrupted, and the social group which is carrying out a certain type of activity does not break up. Historical consciousness generates communication in human history. It provides communication between the generations replacing each other, filling the gaps arising here, fixes a certain orientation of activity in historical time [14]. In it value of estimates by Smuta's contemporaries for future events of the 17th century. Estimating the past, giving positive or negative estimates to the taking place events, society directly influences the future, trying to make it if it is not better then it is not worse than what was already endured. Accurately expressed this thought

N. A. Berdyaev: "There is nothing more important for true historical consciousness as establishment of the due relation to the past and the future" [11, page 59].

Influence of historical consciousness on political practice was noticeable in change of an old habitual view of the Russian society of the sovereign and the state. Earlier in relation to the tsar, all his citizens were considered as lackeys. But in the Time of Troubles the society was accustomed to work independently at weak, in terms of legitimacy of their power tsars and at their total absence during the period from 1610 to 1613. Such change sharp, unknown before could not pass in habitual political way completely for consciousness. There is a new political idea of the sovereign - the elected representative of the people. At the same time unlike former "elective" tsars - Boris Godunov and Vasily Shuysky whose election was not considered as sufficient justification of their power, in whom partly saw usurpers, election on the kingdom as "all earth" of Mikhail Romanov was considered as the same lawful matter in consciousness of the people as though it was the true, hereditary tsar. But, nevertheless, the human will in election of the autocrat raised doubts in society in which the traditional medieval outlook still dominated. Divine justification of deeds was necessary, "that it was given from god, but not from people" [15]. Therefore the medieval scribe confirms legality of "terrestrial" election of the sovereign and strengthens divine carrying out: "But also this is known to all byst, a yak not from people, but truly great this tsar is elected from God" [9, page 341]. However in society the thought of need of active territorial participation in affairs of the country, in election of the sovereign was developed. The will of the people becomes new political force, and in election of the tsar the contemporaries allocate it not the last place: "Solved reason, chose a word and decided business and made the good decision. It came true, people made, but on divine organization" [16]. And at the prince S.I. Shakhovsky we will not find the reference to God in election of the tsar at all: "And here one -

zhda met all people together... also sign the contract that will not leave this place until elect the tsar. people these reflected not one hour, and at last all unanimously exclaimed: "Let will enthrone the tsar Mikhail"" [7, page 421]. This concept of the author, in our opinion, corresponded already to the theory of the public contract which will be characteristic feature of the European historical thought partly from 17th century and which is not comparable to a medieval providentsializm any more. From these estimates of contemporaries we see certain changes in mood of the people.

It is necessary to stop especially on dependence of the political system of Russia at the first Romanov and domestic policy of this time from Smuta's estimates by the Russian contemporaries as factor of historical consciousness. Aggravation of historical feeling and revival of historical consciousness which we observe through a prism of estimates by contemporaries of events of Smuta of assessment of the past is the retrospective necessary for understanding of the prospect which rose before the country after Smuta for deeper understanding why ways of its development in the 17th century were so fancifully connected with the past why the novelty was shown through restoration. Smuta gave an impetus to the movement of the new concepts lacking an old state regime. But national consciousness preferred to return to old times, "the muddy spontaneous stream of national life delayed silt partial deepenings of public consciousness" [12, page 66]. As V.O. Klyuchevsky noted, the century which began cares of the new structure of the state and the highest management came to the end with the fact that the country was left without any basic laws, without ordered highest management Klyuchevsky explained this conservative trend with the fact that the new political concepts which arose in consciousness as a result of judgment of events of Smuta by contemporaries, torn off from old custom were very shaky. And so will be until they do not become the firm basis on which all way of life will keep. In society the new concepts which arose from past estimates are combined with strangeness to the new situation. Restoring order, people to be afraid to leave far from ideals of an old way of life. This dependence is characteristic also of the first Romanov' position. The new dynasty tried to work in the spirit of old to force to forget that it new and therefore less lawful. At the same time Smuta put old very much that restoration of destroyed received the nature of updating, reforming, in it and there is a paradox of a restoration trend for the 17th century in the presence of absolutely new concepts of structure of historical consciousness of the Russian society.

In the sphere of historical consciousness in general ideals, estimates and other manifestations of human subjectivity are very important. Historical memory is formed of alloy of personal perception of the taking place events and the general judgments. But the system of values of the majority still strong adhered to old times. Estimates of contemporaries of events of the Time of Troubles

at their deeper judgment develop eventually into conservative concepts which affected historical consciousness and social behavior of people in a new situation. Were, of course, and such as prince I.A. Hvorostinin who openly broke up with centuries-old Russians and orthodox customs and strongly fond of new cultural and political concepts. However these people were an exception of the rule, and the power openly punished them for it. The general thought practically of all works about Smuta the first half of the 17th century in particular of annalistic monuments is a just divine punishment by Smuta for a sin of recreancy of society from the old, bequeathed by ancestors way. And therefore restoration and steady following to traditional norms of political and spiritual life Moscow by the ancestral lands of Russia it was regarded as the guarantor from new shocks, destructive and disastrous for the state. In it the value of historical consciousness of society as communications between the past and the future of society and state is shown.


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On May 14, 2003

Eugene Scott
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