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The Oprichnina This Essay Is About The Oprichnina In Russian During Ivan The Terrible's Reign. It Goes Over What They Did And Why They Were Created

645 words - 3 pages

During the reign of Tsar Ivan IV, he created a special force of men known as the Oprichnina, loyal directly to him. Although they looked like monks wearing black and riding black horses, they were violent and are similar to modern day gangsters. In a final count, the Oprichnina numbered 6,000. An Oprichnik, one of the members, had a dog's head and a broom drawn onto his saddle, which meant they sniff out treason like dogs and sweep everything the Tsar wanted out of his land. The Oprichnina controlled a state within a state. They were ruled under a demeritocracy, meaning they were rewarded for being bad and evil. To become an Oprichnik, a recruit would have to be interviewed by someone in Ivan's court, or by Ivan himself. The recruits ...view middle of the document...

When Ivan became sick in 1553 his cousin, Prince Vladimir of Staritsa claimed he was heir to the throne. Ivan did not die and when he was healthy again, he had the Prince killed. To gain control over the Church, Ivan had Oprichniki kill priests and others who had to do with the Church. One of the more remarkable killings was the murder of Metropolitan Philip of Moscow. He would not bless Ivan during a church service, because of the Tsar's evil ways. This angered the Tsar so he had Philip killed, strangled by an Oprichnik. Again, Ivan took action against the Church, by killing the two Archbishops of Novgorod, Pimen, and Leonid. He had Leonid sewed up inside a bearskin and chased down by a pack of dogs. The Oprichnina also sacked Novgorod, pillaging and murdering the inhabitants as they pleased. They did whatever they could to be as brutal as possible. They threw people, living or dead, into the icy water of a local river. Other men in a small boat watched the water to make sure no one survived. Ivan then went on to attempt to sack Pskov. There Ivan decided not to sack the city, nevertheless the Oprichnina looted the churches and monasteries. Essentially, the Oprichnina were vehicles for countless murders.There are three reasons why Ivan may have created the Oprichnina: One is that he was trying to create a central government in which Moscow was the capital and he was the all-powerful ruler. By destroying all other rivals, he was able to maintain his own power. Another reason may be that he was a manic and crazy he thought that everyone was plotting against him. Therefore, by killing everyone he was able to feel safe. The third and more logical reason was that he needed a personal security force.

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