Enough is Enough. As a financial policy has brought Russia to the Copper rebellion

Painting by Ernest Lissner “Copper riot in Moscow.”1662. Museum of history and reconstruction of Moscow. © /

Photo: Valentin Cherdyntsev

/ RIA Novosti

History knows a large number of cases where serious shortcomings in the economy and public finances, has resulted in serious political upheavals. A vivid example of this kind is the Copper riot of 1662.

By the middle of XVII century Russia recovered from the shocks of the Troubles all the harder and began to defend their interests in the struggle with its neighbors.

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War in defense of Ukraine

In 1653, the Zemsky Sobor decided to take Russian citizenship Zaporozhian host “s cities and z lands.” Thus, it granted the appeal of Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky, or rather, the latest of several similar complaints.

Russian Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, the boyar and his entourage knew that such a decision will inevitably lead to war with the Commonwealth. But in 1653, the Russian authorities have decided to take this step.

In January 1654 in Pereyaslav Rada Cossacks swore allegiance to Russian Tsar. Following this, broke out of the expected Russian-Polish war.

The fight has become protracted, in 1656 he was joined by Sweden, concluded a Union with Lithuania. After the death of Bohdan Khmelnytsky part of the Cossacks returned under the rule of the Polish crown, which in Zaporizhia Army, the civil war began.

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“Copper idea” of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich

In order to continue the fight, the Russian Tsar was in need of large cash. And there wasn’t enough money, and even the new taxes imposed Alexei Mikhailovich, did not help.

Today it sounds strange, but in the middle of XVII century in Russia there was virtually no silver and gold mines. On the Russian money was silver in foreign coin and bullion received from foreign merchants.

Money on the yard of foreign coins minted Russian Kopeika, Denga and Polushka.

At this point in the Tsar”s idea: to issue a copper coin, equating it to the price of silver. Copper deficiency In Russia has not experienced.

Who exactly came up with the idea is unknown. Often called the name Fyodor Rtishchev, a favorite of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich. Whatever it was, in 1656, the minting of copper coins began.

At first, all did go well, and additional copper money helped to solve the financial difficulties of the Royal Treasury.

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Inflation of the XVII century

Then the problems started. First, glad the authorities are so actively stamped copper coins, which soon began to observe them over: they just didn’t have the goods.

Second, counterfeit copper coins proved to be affordable and profitable. With counterfeiters Imperial power fought tough practices, but the place of exposure came new fans of easy money.

Copper coin began to rapidly decline in price. By 1662 the rate of silver coins to copper was 1:12, and just a few months and all have fallen to 1:20.

As the war continued, and the king was forced to introduce new taxes. The population slowly went out.

1648 In Moscow and several other cities was rocked by the Salt riot, caused by the introduction of new taxes. Now Muscovites were ready to repeat the rebellion was only a pretext.

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25 Jul 1662 Muscovites were discussing the new step of the authorities: now the war with the Commonwealth had to give every tenth and every fifth money. The townspeople believed the innovation of predatory and blamed throughout the boyars.

At this time someone shouted that the houses hanging sheet with accusations against boyars of treason. Although they supposedly betray the king, turning to the side poles.

Who hung the leaves is unknown, but at the time found out about them a crowd was already given the command to remove them. Did not have time: one of the sheets fell into the hands of the audience. Betrayal an unknown author accused the father-in-law of the king, Prince Ilya Miloslavsky, Vasily Shorin, responsible for the collection of taxes going to military spending, as well as several members of the Boyar Duma.

Inflamed the crowd by reading the charges out loud a few times in different places of Moscow, decided that “traitors” should be killed and their homes to pillage and burn. But, wishing to give the violence legitimacy, Muscovites have decided to go to the king to demand from him to give traitors.

On the way to the king, the marchers could not resist and tore the house Vasily Shorin, who managed to escape. Captured his son, who was threatened and forced to testify in the presence of the king, accusing his father of treason.

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“The Direct line” with the sovereign

Alexei Mikhailovich in the day in the Kremlin was not. Your favorite Kolomenskoye he was celebrating the birthday of the sister. King reported: from Moscow to the Palace in Kolomenskoye approaching the crowd of several thousand people. The rebels are going to require a trial “nobles traitors”, many of which were just invited to the celebration.

Troops to stop the crowd in Kolomenskoye was not. The king has sent to Moscow a messenger for reinforcements, and he came out to the crowd.

Alexis in history earned the nickname the Quietest. Despite the fact that the visitors were rude and threatening, he managed to extinguish passions, saying that immediately going to go to Moscow to hear the charges and give the traitors their just deserts.

A little calm Muscovites moved back. But before reaching the city, they met with another, more aggressive crowd. Participants in the second group to make any concessions not going to go: they were going to achieve from the king to surrender the “traitors” for immediate slaughter as it was during the Salt riot.

The second day of the meeting of the king with the rebels ended that Alexei Mikhailovich began to threaten. To touch the Emperor, no one dared, but he was told: if you do not give the boyars, we will find you and kill you!

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Who drowned, hanged

The participants of the rebellion did not know that the situation has changed. For the time that they went back and forth in Kolomenskoye troops arrived. The king gave the go-ahead, and the archers began reprisals.

The bulk of The rioters were citizens far removed from military Affairs, so the riot turned into a massacre. The crowd herded into the Moscow river, where many drowned, some were killed by archers. The number of those killed directly in the dispersal of the rebels is estimated from several hundred to 1,000 people. Those who were captured alive, up to 150 people were hanged immediately, others began the investigation, which actively torture. Then the participants of the rebellion were sent into perpetual exile in distant cities of Russia.

Most interesting is that the search for the instigators, provocative hung out the sheets, and failed.

Despite the fact that, unlike the Salt riot, the authorities relatively easily coped with the events of 1662, it became clear that “copper experiment” time to finish.

In 1663 he issued a decree on the cessation of minting copper coins and a closure arranged for her monetary households. Russia is back to the silver coins. Copper coins were fully withdrawn from circulation and remelted.

official channels

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