The century of choice: the Russian state ideology of the 17th century
The author deals with problems of the state ideology development in the 17th century, the last century of the Muscovite Tsardom’s existence. A succession of violent events started with the Troubled times, presented a series of complicated issues to the state and the people. Decisions of these issues had to determine the further course of Russia’s historical development. Like many other powers the Russian kingdom had to reconsider and reappraise the system of relationships between the Tsar and the people and to make a definite decision on the desirable character of the authority, whether it should have been an elective or hereditary one, limited or absolute. Relationships of the State and the Church acquired a peculiar acuteness. Later on these problems transformed into «Moscow is the Third Rome» and «Moscow is the New Jerusalem» theories. The problem of attitude toward possibility of reformation and innovations was one of the crucial issues the Russian society confronted with. Uneasy, fraught and connected with the social upheavals and conflicts solution of all these issues made the 17th century «the century of choice» in the Russian history.
Russian-Crimean Relations in the "Times of Trouble"
Taking relations between Russia and the Crimean khanate in the early 17th century as an example, the author demonstrates the importance which the Tsars of Russia imparted to contacts with the world outside of Russia. The period under consideration was characterized by the exceptionally difficult situation inside Russia. In ten years five supreme rulers succeeded each other in Russia, yet each of these autocrats (including the so-called "impostors", or false Tsars) devoted a great attention to the foreign policy. The author considers all messengers and embassies sent to the Crimean khanate as well as the reciprocal diplomatic missions and demonstrates the importance these relations had for Russia.
The Russian-Persian Diplomatic Contacts and the «Caucasian Question» in the Early 17th Century
Even during the Troubled times when Russia experienced a painful and profound crisis, Moscow state tried to maintain contacts with Persia and to protect its interests in the Caucasian region. On his part, the Shah of Persia was looking for chances of rapprochement with Tsars of Moscow, Boris Godunov, Dmitri the False I and Vassily Shuiski. Shah needed their support in his struggle with the empire of Osman Turks. This consideration did not prevent Shah from planning annexation of southern Russian lands at the culmination of the Troubled times. Only restoration of the state and order in Moscow made Shah Abbas I to repudiate such plans and helped to revival of friendly relations between Russia and Persia.