(1557–1598), Tsar of Russia reigned 1584–1598.
Fyodor Ivanovich was the second son of Ivan IV ("The Terrible" or Ivan Grozny ). Ascending the throne in 1584, three years after his father killed his older brother Ivan in a fit of rage, Fyodor Ivanovich was nevertheless too mentally deficient to govern. His brother-in-law, Boris Godunov (the brother of his wife Irene), ruled instead as regent. Fyodor did not have children and thus was the last descendant of Rurik to occupy the Russian throne.
Fyodor's father Ivan IV had the longest reign in Russian history, from 1533 to 1584, and the first half of his reign was marked by constructive achievements in both foreign and domestic policy. His defeat of the Tartars of Kazan (1552) and Astrakhan (1556) opened the way southward and eastward to Russian expansion. He also welcomed the British explorer Richard Chancellor in 1553–1554 and established commercial relations with England. By 1560 Ivan IV had established the power and legitimacy of the tsar. He authorized reforms in the army and even established a consultative body known as the zemsky sobor to debate issues and provide advice (although only when he solicited it).
After the death in 1560 of his first wife Anastasia—whom he suspected had been poisoned—Ivan IV became moody and violent. Withdrawing from the boyars and the church, he insisted on personal control, exercised through the establishment of the oprichnina —the private police force he could order to kill his personal enemies. In 1591, just seven years after he killed his oldest son, Ivan's youngest son Dmitry died under mysterious circumstances, possibly by the hand of Boris Godunov, a member of the lesser nobility who had become Ivan's protegé. In 1584 when Ivan's second son Fyodor Ivanovich became tsar, Godunov shrewdly exploited Fyodor's feeble-mindedness to assume de facto power as regent. When Fyodor died in 1598, the zemsky sobor elected Godunov as tsar.
Godunov was an effective regent and tsar. Although he did nothing to ease the burden on the peasants (issuing a decree in 1601 limiting their rights to move from one estate to another), Godunov made strides in economic development and colonization of Siberia. He also established the patriarchate in 1589. Before then the Russian church recognized the patriarch of Constantinople (now Istanbul). Under Godunov's tutelage, Russia waged successful wars against the Tatars (1591) and Sweden (1595).
Plots, intrigues, and natural disasters soon undermined Godunov's power, however. A stranger appeared, claiming to be Ivan's youngest son, Dmitry (the first of three "False Dmitrys"). A famine from 1601 to 1603 stimulated rural unrest and opposition to Godunov's rule. Godunov was killed in 1605 while suppressing a revolt during the advance on Moscow of one of the False Dmitrys. His death ushered in a "Time of Troubles" (Smut-noye vremya ), which lasted until the establishment of the Romanov dynasty in 1613.
See also: dmitry, false; godunov, boris fyodorovich; ivan iv; time of troubles
Lamb, Harold. (1948). The March of Muscovy: Ivan the Terrible and the Growth of the Russian Empire, 1400–1648. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.
Yanov, Alexander. (1981). The Origins of Autocracy: Ivan the Terrible in Russian History. Berkeley: University of California Press.
"Fyodor Ivanovich." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/fyodor-ivanovich
"Fyodor Ivanovich." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Retrieved October 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/fyodor-ivanovich
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.