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Ivan the Terrible. Russo-Swedish War (1554–1557)
Ivan the Terrible (25 August 1530 – 28 March 1584) he was proclaimed grand duke on the death of his father Vasily III Ivanovich (1533), and took the government into his own hands in 1544, being then fourteen years old.
In 1547, Ivan IV, grandson of Ivan the Great, was crowned the first czar of all Russia (the term czar was derived from caesar) in the Kremlin's Uspensky Cathedral. In addition, Moscow became the capital of the Holy Russian Empire.
In the same year, Ivan married Anastasia Romanov. He married several more times after her death in 1560, but this first marriage seems to have been the happiest. The Romanov dynasty ruled Russia from 1613 to 1917, and traces its claim to the throne through Anastasia's brother, Nikitu.
Ivan ruled with a deep-seated paranoia and ruthlessness; it's said that he gouged out the eyes of the architects who built St. Basil's so that a cathedral of such beauty could never again be created.
The czar's power became absolute when Ivan the Terrible succeeded in conquering the remaining independent principalities, such as Siberia.
Ivan organised the Streltsy (members of the army elite) to govern his districts and the Oprichniki (the first police force) to suppress boyar (ruling-class nobles) rebellion.
He confiscated the property of the boyars and granted state property to those who served him. Since his soldiers were tenured to the state for life, their land grants became hereditary and they formed a new ruling elite.
In 1582, after the Livonian War with Poland and Sweden, Russia lost her far northern territories and her access to the Baltic. In the same year, the czar also killed his son, Ivan, in a fit of rage.
When Ivan the Terrible died in 1584, Russia was left in a state of almost total political and economic ruin.
Russo-Swedish War The Russo-Swedish War of 1554–1557, considered a prelude to the Livonian War of 1558–1583, arose out of border skirmishes. It ended when the parties agreed on a truce in the Treaty of Novgorod (1557).
Prelude The relation between Sweden and Russia was not the best. Ivan IV of Russia did not consider the Swedish king Gustav I his equal and refused to negotiate with Swedish ambassadors in person. Ivan made the king's ambassadors confer with a governor of Novgorod rather than receive them in the Moscow Kremlin as could have been expected between equals.
Conclusion During the summer of 1556, Swedish attempts to achieve peace with Russia were made. Peace negotiations were scheduled to begin later the same year, and in March 1557, a peace treaty was signed. The treaty preserved the status quo and accorded free passage across the border to merchants of both countries.
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