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The Devil Stole His Mind: The Tsar and the 1648 Moscow Uprising
by Valerie A. Kivelson
The Devil Stole His Mind: The Tsar and the 1648 Moscow Uprising
Valerie A. Kivelson
The American Historical Review
Updated: March 6th, 2013
The Devil Stole His Mind:
The Tsar and the 1648 Moscow Uprising
VALERIE A. KIVELSON
ON THE FIRST OF JUNE 1648, IN THE CITY OF MOSCOW,a peaceful crowd of townspeople attempted to hand petitions of grievances to Tsar Aleksei Mikhai- lovich Romanov. When their efforts to communicate with their tsar were rebuffed, the supplicants turned into a violent and bloodthirsty mob. Twelve days later, the uprising subsided. Half the city lay in charred ruins, hundreds or even thousands of people had burned to death in the fire, three top advisers to the tsar had been killed by popular demand, and the reigning clique of boyars at court had been temporarily toppled. This toll does not begin to take into account the large number of people who suffered in the repressions that followed.
Through a seemingly insignificant gesture, the refusal of a petition, the tsar and his governing circle exposed their departure, and that of the growing tsarist state, from traditional Muscovite ways. By rejecting the petition, Aleksei Mikhailovich took a dangerous step toward undermining his own authority. From at least the mid-sixteenth century on, Muscovite tsars had based their legitimacy on a carefully developed political-religious ideology that bound tsar and people together in a divinely sanctioned covenant. Aleksei Mikhailovich relied on this traditional foundation for his rule, and yet the demands of state building and contacts with the Western states increasingly overwhelmed the traditional pat- terns and mores of a political culture based on personal connections and divine mercy.' The rebellion of 1648 erupted at a critical moment in Muscovite history, when traditional and bureaucratizing discourses clashed and remade themselves
I would like to thank Edward Keenan for his critical and informed reading of an earlier version and particularly for his help in pointing out problems of source use and translation. Also thanks to Cathy Potter, Nancy Kollmann, Richard Hellie, and the Chicago Russian History Workshop for their many valuable suggestions. The conclusions expressed here remain my own.
I use the term "traditional" throughout to refer to the set of beliefs and practices that had come to be accepted, by the mid-seventeenth century, as traditional and as defining what was distinctively Muscovite. Much of this perceived tradition was of relatively recent origin and much had been deliberately created by the Muscovite political elite, but by 1648 questions of origin were essentially irrelevant, given the broad perception of these traditions as ancient and integral to the culture. On the invention of tradition in Muscovy, see Gustave Alef, "The Adoption of the Muscovite Two- Headed Eagle: A Discordant View," Speculum, 41 (1966): 1-21; David B. Miller, "The Coronation of Ivan IV of Moscow,"Jahrbucherfiir Geschichte Osteuropas, 15 (1967): 559-74; and Miller, "The Velikie Minei Chetii and the Stepennaia Kniga of Metropolitan Makarii and the Origins of Russian National Consciousness," Forschungen zur osteuropaischen Geschichte, 26 (1979): 263-382; Michael Cherniavsky, "Ivan the Terrible and the Iconography of the Kremlin Cathedral of Archangel Michael," Russian History, 2 (1975): 3-28; Paul Bushkovitch, "The Formation of a National Consciousness in Early Modern Russia," Harvard Ukrainian Studies, 10 (1986): 355-76.
Valerie A. Kivelson
in opposition to and combination with each other. The words and actions of the various participants in the uprising allow us to establish the outlines of traditional Muscovite political culture, as well as the ways in which a new, bureaucratic culture quietly arose in state circles behind a carefully maintained faqade of traditionalism. The conflagration of 1648 was sparked when the effects of innovation could no longer be hidden, and the fierce conflict pitted an old vision of social order against the new.
In this article, I use the term "political culture" to signify the complex of beliefs, expectations, and practices, both consciously formulated and unconsciously followed, that set the limits of what was politically conceivable in the Muscovite cultural context.* A single, fairly homogeneous political culture appears to have pervaded the society, from top to bottom, with variations in interpretation or accent but not in basic vocabulary among different classes. Political cultures do not remain static, however, and by the mid-seventeenth century the governing circles in Moscow, facing the need to administer a rapidly expanding state, were developing the forms and assumptions of a very different, impersonal, bureau- cratic political culture. In this period, Aleksei Mikhailovich and his governing elite appear ambivalent, their contradictory actions manifesting their simultaneous adherence to two different sets of principles. The populace, by contrast, retained its commitment to the old ways as long as there was any possibility of belief in a good and merciful tsar. Inevitably, each side kept strong elements of the old political culture while adapting in part to the new, but their trajectories diverged. This clash of principles and expectations set the stage for discord.
Violent uprisings frequently shook the towns of the tsardom of Muscovy in the seventeenth century, and the accounts of them provide material for inquiry into popular conceptions of politics. The dramatic events of June 1648 are both representative of the issues and tensions underlying other seventeenth-century rebellions and unique in their timing and intensity. In other urban uprisings, from the riots during the Time of Troubles at the beginning of the century through the musketeers' revolts in 1682 and 1698, rebels expressed anxiety about similar issues: growing bureaucratization, rampant corruption, loss of contact with their tsar, and transgressions against religious norms and ancient cu~toms.~
2 For more on political culture, see Keith M. Baker, ed., The Political Culture of the Old Regime (Oxford, 1987); and my "Community and State: The Political Culture of Seventeenth-Century Muscovy and the Provincial Gentry of the Vladimir-Suzdal' Region" (Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford University, 1988).
For comparison with other uprisings, see S. F. Platonov, Ocherki po istorii Smuty v Moskovskom gosudurstve XVI-XVII vv. (Moscow, 1937); R. G. Skrynnikov, Sotsial'no-politicheskaia bor'ba v russkom gosudurstve v nuchale XVII veka (Leningrad, 1985); Sonia E. Howe, ed., The False Dmitri: A Russian Romance and Tragedy Described by British Eye-Witnesses, 1604-1612 (1916; rpt. edn., Cambridge, 1972). On riots in other parts of the country in 1648-1650, see E. V. Chistiakova, Gorodskie vosstaniia v Rossii v peruoi polovine XVII veka (30-40-e gody) (Voronezh, 1975); N. N. Pokrovskii, "Sibirskie materialy XVII-XVIII vv. po 'slovu i delu gosudarevu' kak istochnik po istorii obshchestvennogo soznaniia," in Istochniki po istorii obshchestvennoi mysli i kul'tury epokhi pozdnego feodalizma, N. N. Pokrovskii, ed. (Novosibirsk, 1988), 24-61 ;and his "Nachal'nye chelobitnye Tomskogo vosstaniia 1648-1649 gg.," in Literatura i klassovaia bor'ba epokhi pozdnego feodalizma v Rossii, E. K. Romodanovskaia, ed. (Novosibirsk, 1987), 70-104; M. N. Tikhomirov, Pskovskoe vosstanie I650 g.: Iz istorii klassovoi bor'by v russkom gorode XVII veka (Moscow-Leningrad, 1935). Grigorii Kotoshikhin's contemporary account of the 1662 Copper Riot duplicates much of the Russian commentary on 1648 almost verbatim. See Benjamin Phillip Uroff, "Grigorii Karpovich Kotoshikhin, On Russia in the Reign of Alexis Mikhailovich: An
The Devil Stole His Mind 735
The 1648 rebellion, however, came at a crucial juncture in the process of Muscovite state building. As the growing Romanov state moved rapidly in the first half of the century to extend and consolidate its authority through a burgeoning bureaucracy and an ever-expanding network of rules, laws, limits, and prohibi- tions, the people reacted with increasing dismay to the loss of the world they had known. After the disruptions of the 1648 rebellion, the state produced the great new codification and expansion of accumulated laws, the Ulozhenie law code of 1649. This document provided the basis for state building for the remainder of the century and served as the fundamental law code in Russia until the nineteenth century. Later rebellions thus occurred in a very different milieu, in which the principles of an absolutist, interventionist state functioned through established, codified laws. In 1648, by contrast, rules were still in flux. The rebels rose up at a time when the old ways were visibly breaking down but the new had not yet been consolidated. Because it occurred at this important moment in the formation of an absolutist state, the uprising of 1648 expresses the conflict of old and new conceptions with force and clarity. It also marks a watershed in popular political perceptions and behaviors.
The 1648 uprising has attracted the interest of both Russian and Western historians, who have investigated its causes, participants, and outcomes. As a topic, Russian rebellions received most attention in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries from Marxist scholars interested in demonstrating the inten- sity of class struggle in Muscovy and from Slavophile polemicists engaged in showing the Russian people's "nai've monarchism," their unshakable faith in their tsar-batiushka (little father) even in the midst of rebellion. Historians of both schools have generally explained early modern Russian rebellions as spontaneous, unthinking responses to material conditions and class tensions, with violence bursting forth in sudden, uncontrollable explosions or as the manipulated products of vanguard leadership directing a passive and unthinking population.4
Annotated Translation" (Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University, 1970), 187-98; K. V. Bazilevich, Denezhnaia reforma Alekseia Mi~ilovicha i vosstanie v Moskve v 1662 g. (Moscow-Leningrad, 1936); V.
I. Buganov, Moskovskoe vosstanie 1662 g. (Moscow, 1964). The 1682 musketeers' rebellion is different in many ways, since the population had already become accustomed to the new, post-Ulozhenie order, but still many of the same traits recur. See V. I. Buganov, Moskovskie vosstaniia kontsa XVII veka (Moscow, 1969); V. I. Buganov, ed., Vosstanie v Moskve 1682 goda: Sbomik dokumentov (Moscow, 1976).
* For discussions of class struggle and material causes, see P. P. Smirnov, Posadskie liudi i ikh khsovaia bor'ba do serediny XVII veka, 2 vols. (Moscow-Leningrad, 1947-48), 2: 158-95; and his "Chelobitnye dvorian i detei boiarskikh vsekh gorodov v pervoi polovine XVII v.," Chteniia v Imperatorskom Obshchestve Istorii i Drevnostei Rosskkikh pri Moskovskom universitete (henceforth, ChOIDR), 254 (Moscow, 1915), no. 3: 1-73; Chistiakova, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 21-105; I. L. Andreev, "'Sil'nye liudi' Moskovskogo gosudarstva i bor'ba dvorian s nimi v 20-40-e gody XVII veka," Istoriia SSSR, no. 5 (1990): 77-88. Along somewhat different lines, see Richard Hellie, Ensefment and Military Change in Mwcovy (Chicago, 197 1); Hans-Joachim Torke, Die staatsbedingte Gesellschaft im Moskauer Reich: Zar und Zemlja in der altwsischen Herrschaftsverfesung, 1613-1689 (Leiden, 1974); A. Zertsalov, "0 miatezhakh v gorode Moskve i v sele Kolomenskom, 1648, 1662, i 1771 gg.," ChOIDR, 154 (1890): 1-440.
For a discussion of the Slavophile view, see Daniel Field, Rebels in the Name of the Tsar (Boston, 1989), 1-27, esp. 1. See also I. D. Beliaev, Zemkie sobory na Rwi, 2d edn. (Moscow, 1902). Interestingly, S. V. Bakhrushin accepts the idea of popular naive monarchism. See Bakhrushin, "Moskovskoe vosstanie 1648 g.," in his Nauchnye trudy, 4 vols. in 5 (Moscow, 1952-59), 2: 78-79. For rebellion as an outgrowth of boyar leadership, see Bakhrushin, "Moskovskoe vosstanie 1648 g.," 59-68; Robert 0.Crummey, Aristocrats and Servitors (Princeton, N.J., 1983), 82-106.
Valerie A. Kivelson
Few historians have dignified the rebels as rational beings "whose will and reason constituted the praxis called rebellion."5 Little attempt has been made to under- stand the circumstances, logic, consciousness, and deliberate decisions that led Muscovite subjects to choose the path of revolt.
The present study attempts to do just that by investigating the complex relationship between state and society and by placing the material causes for discontent into their ideological and cultural context^.^ This relationship involved constant dialogue and unstable rules. I examine the contestatory spaces within the tsar-centered and God-centered political culture in which pious Russian Ortho- dox subjects could express and legitimize resistance to the tsar. A pervasive perception of the divinely sanctioned status of the tsar operated powerfully on Muscovite political behavior, generally encouraging acceptance of the established order but simultaneously creating a logically and theologically consistent basis for resistance to the crown, especially in the mid-seventeenth century as Muscovite political culture faced profound changes initiated by the court and state admin- istration.
Descriptions of the June events survive mainly in the accounts of foreign visitors and in Russian chronicles, commissioned officially at court and in monasteries or compiled by lesser clerks and clerics and family scribes for private
purpose^.^ Judicial records from suits arising in the aftermath of the uprising provide some additional material.8 A number of collective petitions, submitted in the name of the military servitors, merchants, musketeers, and townspeople,
5 Ranajit Guha's observation in the context of Indian rebellions, in "The Prose of Counter- Insurgency," in Ranajit Guha and Gayatri Chakrovorty-Spivak, eds., Selected Subaltern Studies (New York, 1988), 4647. My thanks to Edmund Burke I11 for allowing me to see his unpublished paper, "Reactionary Rebels? Janissaries, Artisans and the Roots of Anti-Modern Protest in the Eighteenth Century Ottoman Empire" (paper presented to the Social Science Seminar, Institute for Advanced Studies, 1990), which is very insightful on this subject. See also Juan R. I. Cole, "Mafia, Mob and Shiism in Iraq: The Rebellion of Ottoman Karbala 1824-1843," Past and Present, no. 112 (1986): 112-43.
This approach has not yet been applied specifically to uprisings. Bakhrushin took an important first step in this direction: "Moskovskoe vosstanie 1648 g.," 78-88. For a general examination of ideology and politics, see Edward L. Keenan, "Muscovite Political Folkways," Russian Review, 45 (1986): 138-48. For a different approach to the intersection between bookish ideology and actual politics, see Daniel Rowland, "Did Russian Literary Ideology Place Any Limits on the Power of the Tsar (1540s-1660s)?" Russian Review, 49 (1990): 125-55. For an earlier effort along these lines, see Michael Cherniavsky, "The Old Believers and the New Religion," Slavic Review, 25 (1966): 1-39.
More work needs to be done to establish the provenance of each of the various chronicle accounts of the uprising. Of the chronicles used in this analysis, the work called Novyi letopisets (New Chronicler) was produced in court circles by official commission, the Mazurinskii chronicle was a product of the patriarchal court under Ioakim and Adrian, and the Pskovskaia pervaia letopis' ("Pskov First Chronicle") probably represents a monastic endeavor. Information on chronicles from A. P. Bogdanov, "Letopisnye i publitsisticheskie istochniki po politicheskoi istorii Rossii kontsa XVII veka" (Candidate dissertation, Moscow, 1983), 2 vols. Thanks to Cathy Potter for this information.
The most convenient and comprehensive collection of source materials is K. V. Bazilevich, Goroakkie vosstaniia v Moskovskom gosudarstve XVII v. (Moscow-Leningrad, 1936). On the Assembly of the Land, see P. P. Smirnov, "Neskol'ko dokumentov k istorii Sobornago Ulozhen'ia i Zemskago Sobora 1648-1549 godov," ChOIDR, 247 (1913), book 4, pt. 4, 1-20. See also V. I. Buganov, "Opisanie moskovskogo vosstaniia 1648 g. v arkhivnom sbornike," Istoricheskii arkhiv, 3 (1957): 227-30. Available in English are Leo Loewenson, "The Moscow Rising of 1648," Slavonic and East European Review, 27 (1948); The Travels of Olearius in Seventeenth-Century Russia, Samuel H. Baron, ed. and trans. (Stanford, Calif., 1967); Samuel Collins, The Present State of Russia (London, 1671), 104-05.
recount the grievances of these middling segments of the Muscovite population.9 These petitions pose peculiar problems of source study. The one generally accepted as the first petition, submitted on June 2, survives only in a copy smuggled out to Queen Christina of Sweden in a numerical cipher by Karl Pommerening, Swedish representative in Moscow, decoded ineptly by Swedish clerks, and available to the non-Swedish reader in a haphazard Russian transla- tion by K. Iakubov. Fortunately, Heinz Eberhard Ellersieck's doctoral dissertation devotes some space to cracking the original code of Pommerening's missives and revising the Iakubov version.1° The second petition, presumably that of June 10,
1648, survives in a Russian text discovered by M. V. Shakhmatov in Estonia in the Tartu archives. Some scholars question the identification of this petition as distinct from the Pommerening petition. Linguistic evidence suggests that it may even have passed through the same convoluted Russian-Swedish-Russian trans- lation process as Pommerening's.ll The two do display striking similarities, but Muscovites routinely copied large segments of previous petitions into later versions, and so the duplication of large sections is not surprising. Significant differences support the argument that Shakhmatov's is indeed the June 10 petition described in other contemporary sources. Although some of the rhetoric and ideological elaboration of the two petitions may have been introduced in translation, many other documents of the time express the same demands and viewpoints, sometimes using precisely the same wording, thus validating the use of the June petitions as representative sources.l2
SOMECONFUSION REMAINS ABOUT THE PRECISE DATES and sequence of events, but the various accounts agree on the major points. The story of the uprising necessarily begins well before June 1, 1648, with some causes deeply embedded in the social and economic structure and others more immediately located in actions and policies carried out by state officials. Since the end of the previous century,
For the June 2 petition, see Smirnov, "Chelobitnye," nos. 4-5, 50-65; Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 46-51; K. I. Iakubov, "Rossiia i Shvetsiia v pervoi polovine XVII veka," ChOIDR, 182 (1897), no. 3, pt. 1: i-x, 1-240; 183 (1897), no. 4, pt. 1: 241-88; 184 (1898), no. 1, pt. 1: 289-494. For an English translation of Pommerening's petition, see Richard Hellie, trans. and ed., Readings for an Introduction to Russian Civilization: Muscovite Society (Chicago, 1970), 198-205. For the June 10 petition, M. B. Shakhmatov, "Chelobitnaia 'mira' moskovskago tsariu Alekseiu Mikhailovichu 10. iunia 1648 g.," VZstnik krdlovskd Eeskd spoletnosti nauk: T~~filosoficko-historic&;RoEnZk 1933 (Prague, 1934). 1-23.
lo ~einz Eberhard Ellersieck, "Russia under Aleksei Mikhailovich and Feodor Alekseevich, 1645-1682: The Scandinavian Sources" (Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles, 1955), 6-29, 79-89. For the Scandinavian context of Muscovite politics, see Andrew Lossky, "The Baltic Question, 1679-1689" (Ph.D. dissertation, Yale University, 1948).
Edward L. Keenan, personal communication, September 28, 1991. A debate continues in the literature about the dating of the various petitions. See Hellie, Ensefment and Military Change, 135-36;
P. P. Smirnov, "0 nachale Ulozheniia i Zemskogo sobora 1648-1649 gg.," Zhumal Ministerstva Narodnogo Prosveshcheniia, 47 (1913): 36-66; Chistiakova, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 78.
See esp. "Nakaz Vladimirtsev vybrannomu imi iz svoei sredy dvorianinu . . . " Uune 28, 1648), Leningradskoe Otdelenie Instituta Istorii SSSR (henceforth, LOII), sobranie A. M. Artem'eva, no. 2; V. A. Borisov, Opisanie goroda Shui i ego okrestnostei (Moscow, 185 l), no. 3: 239-40; Smirnov, "Chelobitnye," nos. 1-3. For close parallels in the 1642 Assembly of the Land, see Iu. V. Got'e, Akty, k istorii zemkikh soborov (Moscow, 1902), 51, 54-56. For somewhat later examples, see V. N. Storozhev, "Dva chelobit'ia," Bibliograjicheskiia zapiski (1892), no. 1: 8-15.
Valerie A. Kivelson
gentry landholders, cavalrymen in the tsar's army, had agitated for the abolition of a statute of limitations on the recovery of runaway peasants (which had made it difficult for petty landowners to retrieve peasants hidden on great magnates' estates) and for restrictions on great landowners' ability to kidnap or entice peasants off small estates and onto large ones. Townspeople fostered similar longstanding grievances against boyars and monasteries because of the existence within town limits of tax-exempt "white places," districts owned by great mag- nates. Taxpaying townspeople resented what they perceived as unfair trade advantages enjoyed by magnates' tenants, artisans, and shopkeepers, who could undersell taxpaying competitors.13
In addition to these long-term irritants, discontent in the city of Moscow crystallized around several more immediate issues in the early years of the reign of the young tsar, Aleksei Mikhailovich. In an effort to cut state expenses and build financial reserves, the head of the treasury, Aleksei's brother-in-law and chief adviser Boris Morozov, instigated an austerity policy, which inevitably served the state and its chief officials at the expense of the petty gentry and taxpayers. In compliance with the budget-cutting policy, Petr Trakhaniotov, Morozov's ally and head of one of the provincial regional chancelleries, withheld monetary grants owed to military servitors, particularly to musketeers and other soldiers. Nazarii Chistyi, a prosperous merchant serving as a high-level bureau- crat, introduced a number of onerous indirect taxes in 1646. With these two maneuvers, the new regime managed to alienate both military servitors (gentry and musketeers) and the taxpaying townspeople. The administration of Levontii Pleshcheev, another Morozov crony in charge of courts and commerce in the city of Moscow, added yet another irritant. Pleshcheev's malfeasance, excessive even by the standards of the day, provoked angry townspeople to petition the tsar for protection. The rejection of that petition sparked the rebellion.
The commotion began when nineteen-year-old Tsar Aleksei, returning from his annual pilgrimage to the Trinity-St. Sergei Monastery, refused the petitions proffered by his subjects. Violence rapidly ensued. An anonymous Swedish informant wrote:
Meanwhile His Tsarist Majesty. . . returned from [the Trinity Monastery] to the city of Moscow, upon which, as usual, from both sides musketeers [strel'tsy] accompanied him and took him to the city. The common people, according to local custom, came out to meet him some distance from the city with bread and salt, with wishes for all good fortune, asked [him] to accept [these gifts] and petitioned about Pleshcheev; however, the crowd was not only not heard out, but the musketeers even chased them away with shots. By order of Morozov, . . . sixteen people from the ranks of the petitioners were put in prison.
When further efforts to submit the petitions met similar refusal, "the people seized stones and sticks and began to throw them at the musketeers."l4 On the day after the initial encounter, when the tsar emerged from the Kremlin to attend church services, a crowd of townspeople pursued him with new petitions, now containing complaints not only against PIeshcheev but also against all "those who
IS Hellie, Enserfment and Military Change, 77-150.
'4 Bazilevich, Gorodskie uosstaniia, 53 (Anonymous Swede).
The Devil Stole His Mind 739
suck out their blood and torture them without cause."l5 Alarmed when the crowd followed the tsar back from church to the Kremlin and pushed their way in with him, Morozov ordered the musketeers "to lock the Kremlin gates and not to allow anyone in, but they could not carry this out in consequence of the large gathering of people; several thousand people penetrated into the Kremlin square and persistently and with loud shouts demanded a final settlement of their wishes and expressed complaints."l6 Demands grew to include not only the release of the captives from the day before but also the handing over of Pleshcheev.
Until this point, the uprising involved primarily middle-level members of the taxpaying urban commune of Moscow, artisans, workers, and small traders, from the point of view of tsar and boyars, a threatening but unarmed mass." At this moment, Morozov made his major mistake, turning the armed musketeers from loyal supporters into dangerous opponents. He summoned the musketeers and "ordered them to chase the mutinous crowd out of the Kremlin square and to put down the uprising."
But the musketeers resisted such an order from Morozov, and some of them went to His Tsarist Majesty and announced that they, according to the oath they carried and their duty, willingly would oblige and serve His Tsarist Majesty and protect him but that they did not want to stand in antagonistic relations with the crowd for the sake of the traitor and tyrant Pleshcheev. Then they turned to address the crowd and said that they had nothing to fear, that they [the musketeers] in this matter would not show them [the crowd] any opposition but, on the contrary, would even extend to them a helping hand.18
When the armed forces joined the rebels, their hostile firepower converted a minor expression of discontent into a serious threat to the ruling elite. Together, townspeople and musketeers invaded the sacrosanct walls of the Kremlin, massed in Kremlin Square outside the royal palace, battered and "dishonored" the tsar's representatives, including religious leaders and the patriarch himself, and forced the tsar to negotiate with them in person. The tsar appealed to the loyalty, piety, and sympathy of the crowd and tried to convince them to spare the lives of his advisers, especially Morozov, "who was like a second father to [him], who had educated and raised him," "but nothing came of it."l9 The crowd stood its ground, firm in its resolve to have the heads of Morozov and his most visible partisans.
While the crown temporized, the crowd surged into wealthy districts on destructive rampages, looting and demolishing the homes of hated boyars, bureaucrats, and merchants. They began their pillaging at Boris Morozov's house within the Kremlin walls and then proceeded to the house of the merchant- chancellor Nazarii Chistyi. They found the terrified Chistyi cowering in hiding and beat him to death.20 In their initial assaults, the crowd plundered the homes
l5 Bazilevich, Gorodskie uosstaniia, 35 (Pommerening's account).
l6 Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 54 (Anonymous Swede).
l7 Bakhrushin, "Moskovskoe vosstanie 1648 g.," 68-78. For a survey of the debate on the subject of who participated in the uprising, see Torke, Die staatsbedingte Gesellschuft, 229-31. See also Smirnov, Posadskie liudi, v. 2, 138-85; Chistiakova, Gorodskie uosstaniia, 62-63, 82-102. l8 Bazilevich, Gorodskie uosstaniia, 54-55 (Anonymous Swede). Richard Hellie informs me that the number of musketeers should be 600, but in Bazilevich's version it is 6,000.
l9 Baron, Olearius, 214; Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 57 (Anonymous Swede).
20 Loewenson, "Moscow Rising of 1648," 154; Baron, Olearius, 209.
of all of their key targets, Morozov, Pleshcheev, Trakhaniotov, as well as "many places of the Great ones, and Russy merchands, who had some relation unto the other, about 36 in number."*l This dramatic violence persuaded the terrified tsar to send Pleshcheev out into the crowd accompanied by official executioners, "to bee beheaded. But the Commons being extreamely enraged, could not have any patience, but drackd him on the market place, where they cuggelld him so black & blew and with axes they cut him asunder like a fish, the pieces they let lye nacked here & there."22 Further, some accounts attest, the sovereign "kissed the image of the Savior" and kissed the cross to confirm his promise to banish Morozov and Trakhaniotov from Moscow, "to wherever suits the pleasure of the community [mir]."23 Having gravely sealed this oath, the tsar then stalled in carrying it out. A new development, however, prompted the tsar to make good on his promise: immediately after Pleshcheev's dismemberment, raging fires broke out in many parts of the city. Estimates in both foreign and Russian sources place the number of casualties in the thousands. At least half the city burned to the ground.24 Rumors, in all likelihood started by the strongest anti-Morozov group- ing at court, the Cherkasskii-Romanov faction, flew around the city, asserting that Morozov's men had started the fires to distract the rebels.25 The deadly blazes, together with the ominous rumors, fueled popular rage. While the city burned, the crowd renewed its demands for Morozov and Trakhaniotov, Pleshcheev's "accomplices" and "protectors." In the face of popular outrage, the sovereign on June 5 ordered Trakhaniotov publicly beheaded. Trakhaniotov escaped the dismemberment that Pleshcheev had suffered, dying instead by the executioner's a~e.2~
Meanwhile, the gentry cavalry militia added its voice to the general protest. Regiments of provincial gentry-servitors had been summoned to the capital from all ends of the country for routine military duty just before the outbreak of violence. The militia contributed a decade of valuable experience in formulating petitions. Indeed, the two petitions that survive from this period claim to represent the gentry, merchants, "and people of all ranks." The placement of the gentry at the head of the list of supplicants, as well as the similarity in both substance and phraseology to earlier gentry petitions, suggests that the gentry formulated the petitions, while the absence of the concrete, particularist demands of previous gentry petitions probably indicates that the petitions were written in
21 Loewenson, "Moscow Rising of 1648," 154. The "Pskov First Chronicle" records the names of
the owners of many of the houses that were looted and burned. Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 76.
22 Loewenson, "Moscow Rising of 1648," 154.
23 Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 74 (Sbornik of the Leningrad Public Library).
24 The "Leyden Brochure" says 1,700 people died. Loewenson, "Moscow Rising of 1648," 155; the
anonymous Swede says 24,000 homes and 2,000 people perished, in Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia,
57. All accounts agree that more than half the city burned. Chronicles catalog the specific regions of the city that burned. See Bazilevich, Gorodskie uosstaniia, 36 (Pommerening);57 (Anonymous Swede); 74 (Sbornik of the Leningrad Public Library); 76 (Pskov First Chronicle); 77 (New Chronicler).
25 Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 74 (Sbornik of the Leningrad Public Library). Another Swede, named Peter Loofeldts, reported more subversive rumors that accused the tsar himself of ordering the fires started. Ellersieck, "Russia under Aleksei Mikhailovich," 326, n. 16, cites Peter Loofeldts, "Initium Monarchia Ruthenicae," Riksarkivet, Manuskriptsamlingen 68.
26 Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 74 (Sbornik of the Leningrad Public Library); 36 (Pommerening). On Trakhaniotov, see also the miracle tale of sin and redemption in Simon Azar'in's "Kniga o chudesakh" (Book of Miracles), in Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 79-8 1.
The Devil Stole His Mind 74 1
genuine consultation with members of other groups. Members of the gentry cavalry did not join in the violence against the tsar but neither did they take arms in defense of their besieged monarch.
With the passive support of the gentry militia, and half the capital in ashes, the now formidable front of discontent forced the ultimate concession. The tsar agreed to exile his brother-in-law from Moscow and promised that neither Morozov nor any member of his clan would ever occupy public office again. On June 12, an armed guard of 400 musketeers and gentry-servitors accompanied Boris Morozov into "perpetual" exile at the distant Kirill-Beloozero Monastery.27 To all appearances, the rebels had won. All top positions in the Kremlin were reassigned, with the most important jobs going to Nikita Romanov, Prince D. M. Cherkasskii, and others of their circle. Formerly powerful magnates found themselves posted to obscure positions, "sent hither and yon around the coun- tr~."2~
Taxes were reduced to satisfy the townspeople. A nervous peace settled on the capital. In the months following the initial disturbances, the musketeers and gentry cavalrymen, whose salaries were chronically several years in arrears, received not only their salaries but also bonuses in money and liquor from both the tsar and the patriarch.29 The treasury handed out tens of thousands of rubles. The Service Land Chancellery (Pomestnyi Prikaz) undertook large distributions of land to poor and landless servitors, and the estates and peasants confiscated from Morozov and others during the riots were apportioned among the service classes.30 In addition to granting material rewards, the state conceded a number of other points raised in the petitions. In response to specific requests made in the later petition, the government called an Assembly of the Land (zemskii sobor), that is, an assembly of top churchmen and boyars, along with delegates from the gentry, merchants, and townspeople from the provincial centers.31 An initial assembly convened in July, soon after the rebellion subsided, but the real business was carried out in a second, broader-based assembly beginning in September of that year. Out of this second assembly emerged the new law code, the Ulozhenie of 1649. Among other issues resolved in its many statutes were the heated questions of the statute of limitations on runaway peasants and the tax-exempt status of the magnates' "white places." On both issues, the new legislation satisfied the wishes of the gentry and townspeople, abolishing the statute of limitations and the tax-free zones.
The rebels' victory, however, was incomplete and short-lived. Many of them endured harsh reprisals. In July, a group of boyars' slaves agitated for freedom, for which six were executed and seventy-two arrested. Karl Pommerening
27 Chistiakova, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 80; Smirnov, Posdkie liudi, 2: 195. The Dutch account reports 300 musketeers. Loewenson, "Moscow Rising of 1648," 156. For the terms of the agreement and the response of the mir and all the land, see Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 75 (Sbornik of the Leningrad Public Library).
28 Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 37 (Pommerening).
29 Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 40-42 (Pommerening).
In 1648, Morozov ordered his stewards to return more than 300 peasant families to their owners, but owners of fugitives continued to sue him over the years for the return of many others. Hellie, Elzselfment and Military Change, 138; D. I. Petrikeev, Krupnoe krepostnoe khoziabtvo XVII v.: Po materialam votchiny boiarina B. I. Morozova (Leningrad, 1967), 172-75.
s1 Shakhmatov, "Chelobitnaia," 18-19; Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 37-38 (Pommerening).
reported to Queen Christina in his letter of September 19, 1648 that many people, "in spite of the promise of His Tsarist Majesty, were sent away for participating in the past mutiny, although they are charged with selling tobacco, vodka, and so forth."32 The final blow to the rebels followed scarcely four months after Morozov's banishment. On October 26, Boris Morozov returned to Moscow. Very soon thereafter, Prince Cherkasskii and Nikita Romanov receded from the center of politics, and Morozov and his supporters resumed where they had left off.
Thus to all appearances, the riot of June 1648 only disturbed the equanimity of the Muscovite court and capital briefly. It unleashed great violence, but its limited complaints against a few corrupt individuals, complaints that contained no systemic critique of the existing political order, seemed to pose no lasting threat. By sacrificing a few scapegoats and paying off its debts, the Romanov government apparently succeeded in reasserting the timeless order of traditional Muscovite society and, in time, even reinstated some of the individuals whose rule had sparked the violence. However, the popular discontent that fueled the uprising involved more fundamental issues than the conduct of corrupt individuals or specific taxes and imposts. Intensifying the people's agitation was the clash of a traditional, highly personalized, and theocratic ideological system with a newly arising, impersonal, rationalizing state order.
THEARGUMENT THAT AN IDEOLOGY OF UNITY AND HARMONY under God and tsar held sway throughout Muscovite society is an old one, but it has been tainted by its affiliation with the mystical and not always scholarly Slavophiles who originally introduced the cliche in their polemics on the Russian soul in the nineteenth century. Recently, a number of Western historians have discovered, upon reading attentively the documents Muscovy itself produced, that the Slavophiles had a point: Muscovy did present itself officially, in literary, visual, and ceremonial representations, as a pious, integrated society, united in serving God's earthly agent, the tsar. Although this ideology could not eliminate pettiness, rivalry, or violence (which is precisely what the Slavophiles asserted it did), it provided the vocabulary for discussing politics and the lens through which politics was viewed at the time.33 Muscovite writers represented their political world in terms consistent with this theocentric, patrimonial construction, however conflictual or violent the reality. Religious devotion and piety intermeshed inseparably with political loyalty and obedience. The tsar was chosen and anointed by God in his
32 Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 39 (Pommerening).
33 Recent works that look at the vocabulary and imagery used in Muscovite literature and court ritual include Daniel Rowland, "The Problem of Advice in Muscovite Tales about the Time of Troubles," Russian History, 6 (1979): 259-83; and Rowland, "Limits"; Nancy Shields Kollmann, Kinship and Politics: The Making of the Muscovite Political System, 1345-1547 (Stanford, Calif., 1987); Paul Bushkovitch, "The Epiphany Ceremony of the Russian Court in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries," Russian Review, 49 (1990): 1-18; Robert 0.Crummey, "Court Spectacles in Seventeenth- Century Russia," in Essays in Honor of A. A. Zimin, Daniel Clarke Waugh, ed. (Columbus, Ohio, 1983), 130-57; Michael S. Flier, "Breaking the Code: The Image of the Tsar in the Muscovite Palm Sunday Ritual," in Medieval Russian Culture 11, Michael Flier and Daniel Rowland, eds. (forthcoming); and Michael Flier, "The Iconology of Royal Ritual in Sixteenth-Century Muscovy," Byzantine Studies: Essays on the Slavic World and the Eleventh Century, Speros Vyronis, Jr., ed. (New York, 1992), 53-76.
exalted status. With his office, he accepted the responsibility to rule the Orthodox flock in piety, humility, and justice. The 1648 petitions are full of examples of this conception of authority: "God chose Your Sovereign Father of blessed memory and You, Great Sovereign, . . . and entrusted to You, Sovereigns, the tsarist sword for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of the virtuous."34 Aleksei Mikhailovich himself wrote in a letter just a few years after the riot: "[Wle, the great Tsar, daily pray to the Lord God and His Most Pure Mother and all the saints that the Creator should accord it to us, the great Tsar, and you, the boyars, to be of one mind and rule the people in fairness and justice to every0ne."~5
Surviving source materials consistently indicate that a tsar should rule over his people as a shepherd over his flock, as a stern yet beneficent father, "with threats and mercy," as Tsar Aleksei phrased it in a letter.36 All interactions with the state, whether legal disputes in court or communications between provincial and central offices, were framed as humble petitions addressed directly to the tsar. Elite servitors of all degrees used demeaning diminutive forms of their own names and called themselves "slaves" of the tsar in their petitions: "I, little Ivashko, Your slave, petition You." Townspeople and peasants addressed the tsar as his "orphans," emphasizing even more the paternal, protective role of the tsar in relation to his helpless children: "We, Your miserable orphans, townspeople of Moscow, petition You." The "nalve monarchist" view finds support in this language of faith and dependency. Yet this interpretation must be accepted cautiously, for formal invocation of the tsar as protector of orphans may prove only that scribes recorded official stock phrases; it does not necessarily reveal any deeply held popular belief.37
In general, little evidence survives to test whether or not the ideology discern- ible in official documents and literary texts held sway over the minds and cultural practices of the various levels of society.38 The records of mass uprisings, and particularly those of 1648, provide a rare opportunity to see not only how the rebels and the gentry framed demands in formal petitions but also how they acted, how they conducted their protest when open rebellion freed them from any encumbrances of legal, official forms. In words and actions, the uprising demonstrates that the urban taxpayers and gentry petitioners did indeed share many of the assumptions of the political culture of the church and court and had internalized the officially propagated image of the tsar as stern father and pious shepherd. In conformity with these ideas, the protesters repeatedly differentiated in their complaints between their good tsar and his evil advisers, a distinction
34 Shakhmatov, "Chelobitnaia," 14.
35 Quoted in V. 0. Kliuchevskii, Kurs russkoi istorii, 3 vols. (St. Petersburg, 1907), vol. 3. Translation from V. 0. Kliuchevsky, A Course in Russian History: The 17th Century, Natalie Duddington, trans. (Chicago, 1968), 346.
36 Kliuchevsky, Course in Russian History, 346.
37 The phrase "to petition" in Russian carries even more graphic imagery. The words "bit' chelom" mean literally "to beat one's brow [to the ground]," or to kowtow. On formula in Russian petitions, see H. W. Dewey and A. M. Kleimola, "The Petition (Celobitynaja) as an Old Russian Literary Genre," Slavic and East European Journal, 14 (1970): 284-301.
38 Edward Keenan has presented the provocative hypothesis that none of the religious language and imagery of high literary sources had any practical impact on Muscovite politics or ideology, because of a sharp separation of language, personnel, and culture between the religious and secular world. ("Muscovite Political Folkways," esp. 152-54.)
Valerie A. Kivelson
common to the language of rebellion throughout early modern Europe.39 The June petitions complain about the interference of unscrupulous "powerful people" (sil'nye liudi) between tsar and people: "By their destructiveness and greed they are fomenting trouble between You, the Sovereign, and the whole land, and they have almost accomplished this."40 According to the petitioners, boyars and chancellery officials deliberately obstructed communication: "Because we brought to Your Tsarist Majesty such a righteous complaint [against administrative corruption], these above-mentioned chancellery people and powerful people try with great craftiness and slyness to.. . ruin us, so that before the above-mentioned [complaint] would reach Your Tsarist Majesty's ears, it would be f~rgotten."~~
Foreign observers noted the distinction the rebels maintained between the tsar and his advisers. Both the anonymous Swede and Pommerening remark that the musketeers insisted on their continued loyalty to the tsar even as they turned against Morozov: "The musketeers refused to obey Morozov's order to fire on the crowd, saying that 'they recognize only His Tsarist Majesty alone and no other
favorite^.""'^* Even when the rebellion reached its fiercest pitch, according to foreigners' accounts, the crowd respected certain symbolic limits. Adam Olearius, ambassador to Moscow from the duke of Holstein, heard reports that, while screaming for Morozov's death, pillaging his home, and killing his servants, the people left Morozov's wife, the tsar's sister-in-law, alone. They departed with the none-too-comforting words: "Were you not the sister of the grand princess, we would hack you to bits." The same account reports that after falling upon the hated Pleshcheev and tearing his body to pieces, the crowd cried, "Thus will all such scoundrels and thieves be treated. God preserve His Tsarist Majesty's health for many years!"43 The people's distinction between tsar and boyars suggests a strong commitment to paternalist monarchism or perhaps the lack of a conceiv- able alternative.
Emphasizing the crowd's pious devotion to the tsar, one branch of both Western and Russian writing interprets the uprising as a fundamentally conser-
S9 The literature on popular uprisings in Western Europe is enormous. See, for example, Yves-Marie Berce, Revolt and Revolution in Early Modern Europe: An Essay on Political Violence, Joseph Bergin, trans. (Manchester, 1987); Natalie Zemon Davis, "The Reasons for Misrule," in Society and Culture in Early Modern France (Stanford, Calif., 1975); Christopher Hill, "The Many-Headed Monster in Late Tudor and Early Stuart Political Thinking," in From the Renaissance to the Counter-Reformation, C. H. Carter, ed. (New York, 1965);Anthony Fletcher, Tudor Rebellions, 2d edn. (London, 1973);Perez Zagorin, Rebels and Rulers, 1500-1660,2 vols. (Cambridge, 1982);Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Carnival in Romans, Mary Feeney, trans. (New York, 1979);E. P. Thompson, "The Moral Economy of the English Crowd in the Eighteenth Century," Past and Present, no. 50 (1971): 76136; Robert Forster and Jack P. Greene, eds., Preconditions of Revolution in Early Modern Europe (Baltimore, Md., 1970); Jack A. Goldstone, Revolution and Rebellion in the Early Modern World (Berkeley, Calif., 1991); R. J. Holton, "The Crowd in History: Some Problems of Theory and Method," Social History, 3: 219-33.
40 Shakhmatov, "Chelobitnaia," 15. My thanks to Edward Keenan for his improvements on this translation and others.
41 Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 47; Shakhmatov, "Chelobitnaia," 13.
42 Bakhrushin, "Moskovskoe vosstanie 1648 g.," 3,5.
43 Baron, Olearius, 208,2 10,2 11,2 12. Although Olearius himself was not in Moscow at the time of the uprising and must have reported hearsay, I rely on him as a fairly reliable source because of his generally scrupulous reporting and the proximity of his account to other accounts by Western eyewitnesses. See also Loewenson, "Moscow Rising of 1648," 155.
The Devil Stole His Mind 745
vative expression of solidarity with the tsar and the social hierarchy, a move to preserve the Orthodox tsardom from the distortions of evil advisers. Even within such an Orthodox, paternalist political culture, however, the tsar was not immune to criticism. Commonality of language and understanding did not guarantee harmony or submissiveness. The rebels' actions expressed an ambiguous message of loyalty and menace, for the same ideological vocabulary that fostered harmony and social integration could also serve as a destabilizing force, turning the urban populace against the tsar himself. The Orthodox community was obliged to correct or even depose the tsar if necessary to restore the divine order as they conceived of it.44
BOTH THE REBELS WHO SURGED UNINVITED INTO THE KREMLINand the more restrained petitioners who took advantage of the regime's moment of weakness to press their demands used the power of the dominant moral discourse to advance their own interests, even going so far as to turn that discourse against the tsar himself. The petitions called for punishment of corrupt officials and "powerful people" by invoking the tsar's accountability to God. "Remember that You, Sovereign, were called to the tsardom by God Himself, not by Your own wish." They drew a direct connection between the uprisings and the tsar's failure to punish the wicked. "And thus today, as a consequence of the fact that Your Tsarist Majesty is so patient, evil people . . . accrue all sorts of advantages and riches from serving on state business, regardless of the fact that through them destruction overtakes the entire people."45 They hinted at the possibility that the bond between tsar and people might be irrevocably severed by the tsar's toleration of evildoers, who had turned "Your Tsarist Majesty against the people, and the people against Your Tsarist Majesty."46 They reminded the tsar in no uncertain terms of his oath sworn on the cross at his coronation to protect the poor and weak, and added that his standing in public opinion was suffering: "we hear among all the people moaning and wailing because of the injustices of the powerful people . . . and everyone is weeping to the Sovereign that the Sovereign, they say, does not stand up for us poor people, for the lowborn and the defenseless, having handed over His realm to thievery."47 With this catalog of faults, the petitioners demonstrated that they found the tsar's performance wanting.
Mutinous townspeople and musketeers supplemented their words with more violent modes of communication, but the message, condemnation of the tsar himself, came across as clearly as in the petitions. The tsar's own actions forced the mutineers to recognize that the fault lay not only with evil boyars but also with the tsar. The uprising began when the tsar or his entourage unexpectedly and inexplicably refused to accept his subjects' petitions.48 Then the townspeople, in
44 Rowland, "Limits."
45 Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 48.
46 Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 48.
47 Shakhmatov, "Chelobitnaia," 19-20.
48 Most historians attribute his refusal to his youth and inexperience and say that he was frightened to take the petition. Even if this were true, his sense that he had a choice in the matter indicates a change in general cultural expectations. The sources are unclear about whether the tsar himself
collusion with the musketeers, burst into the Kremlin, the hallowed sanctuary of church and state. That nonverbal action alone demonstrated the mob's willing- ness to transgress against the supposedly unquestioned sanctity of the tsar. The authorities understood the significance of the intrusion and attempted to circum- vent any repetition by devoting the very first chapters of the new law code to asserting and protecting the inviolability of that sacred space.4g Once in the Kremlin, the crowd manhandled the tsar's emissaries and demanded to speak with the tsar himself. When the popular Nikita Romanov addressed the crowd in the tsar's name and asked them to disperse, Olearius writes, "the people answered that they were very satisfied with His Tsarist Majesty. They wanted very much to quiet down, but not before those responsible for their misery. . . were turned over to them."50 An implied threat, an alternate scenario of what might happen if the tsar did not satisfy their demands, lay behind this statement.
Relations between tsar and people grew overtly hostile on June 5, when the tsar failed to fulfill his promise to banish Morozov. Again, quoting from the anony- mous Swedish account:
the people even rose up openly against the patriarch. They were prepared to consider even His Tsarist Majesty a traitor at this point, until they achieved, in accordance with his promise, the exile of Morozov from court and from the city. They [the Muscovites] even decided if His Tsarist Majesty did not decide to do this voluntarily, to coerce him to this by force, so that He would have to swear by oath again to send him away the following day, which was done.51
The same willingness to condemn the actions of the tsar himself surfaces in Pommerening's notation in July, during the repression in the wake of the uprising: "[the musketeers] dare . . . audaciously to come out against His Tsarist Majesty, pointing out how His Tsarist Majesty, in spite of his promise and oath sworn on the cross, banished their leaders and others."52 Repeated threats to use
refused the petition on June 1 or whether his musketeer bodyguard or even his boyar entourage was responsible. Pommerening says that "His Tsarist Majesty himself did not want to accept the petition" (Bazilevich,Gorodskie vosstaniia, 35). The anonymous Swede is vague on the subject: "not only was the crowd not heard out, but the musketeers even chased them away with shots" (Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 53). It seems unlikely that the musketeers would have taken such an action without orders from above. The Leyden Brochure states: "The Bojates, environing his imperial1 Majestie, got these petitions, tore ye same not onely into pieces, flung the pieces into the petitioners faces, rayling at them mightilie" (Loewenson, "Moscow Rising of 1648," 153).
49 Chapter 1 of the Ulozhenie, "Blasphemers and Church Troublemakers," protects the sanctity of the church and of church services, highly relevant to the events of 1648 because petitioners followed the tsar to church and back on June 2, after the initial rejection of the petition. Chapter 2 deals explicitly with "The Sovereign's Honor, and How to Safeguard His Royal Well-Being," and Chapter 3 discusses "The Sovereign's Palace Court. [A Law to Ensure] That There Will Be No Misconduct or Fighting by Anyone at the Sovereign's Palace Court." Richard Hellie, ed. and trans., The Muscovite Law Code (Ulozhenie) of 1649 (Irvine, Calif., 1988- ), 1: 1-9. For commentary on precedent and sources of these chapters, see Richard Hellie, "Ulozhenie Commentary," Russian History, 15 (1988): 202-22; and his "Commentary on Chapter 3 of the 'Ulozhenie,'" Russian History, 17 (1990): 65-70.
50 Baron, Olearius, 210.
51 Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 58-59 (emphasis mine).
5* Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 41. Not only foreign sources testify to this kind ot'willingness to seek popular justice if the tsar's justice failed. In Pskov in 1664, gentry petitioners threatened "and if the tsar is not merciful, . . . we will gather the Iversk monks and hack them to pieces and destroy the whole monastery ." Akty Iverskogo Sviatozerskogo monastyria (St. Petersburg, 1878), cols. 356-57; cited in D. A. Vysotskii, "Kollektivnye dvorianskie chelobitnye XVII v. kak istoricheskii istochnik," Vspomogatel'nye istoricheskie distsipliny, 19 (1987), 133.
force against the tsar himself and to view him as a traitor undermine the 'halve monarchist" characterization of the Russian people as unquestioningly and unwaveringly loyal to their tsar. When the behavior of the tsar departed too obviously from his image as divinely ordained protector, an opposing biblical image, Tsar-Tormentor or Tyrant, was available in the cultural repertoire. By the middle of the seventeenth century, sermons, frescoes, and historical tales in- cluded this dread alternate image of the ruler. If not the most holy representative of God on earth, the ruler had to be judged a traitor to God and people.53
Evidence from court cases prosecuted in the aftermath of the rebellion further supports the notion that the common people saw past the division of guilt inherent in the good tsarbad advisers rhetoric. The tsar by no means stood above reproach. In a case brought to trial after the uprising, a group of soldiers accused a certain Savinka Korepin, a bondsman of Prince Nikita Romanov, of threatening to renew the "confusion and bloodshed." Witnesses attributed to Korepin the following seditious words: "the tsar is young and stupid, and everything [actually] comes from the mouths of the boyars Boris Ivanovich Morozov and Il'ia Danilovich Miloslavskii. They manage everything and the Sovereign knows this and keeps silent. The devil stole his mind."54 This radical statement leaves no room for shifting responsibility onto evil advisers. Moreover, the word "stupid" (glup) does not sound like a word of praise. If the poor bondsman was still employing the vocabulary of "good tsar, bad advisers" when he called the tsar stupid and said the devil stole his mind, then that ideological gambit had worn thin. The reference to the devil skirts dangerously close to the ultimate accusation against a tsar: not only is he a fool, but his mind is in the hands of Satan.
Muscovite political culture, with its emphasis on consensus, the tsar's direct link to God, obedience, and acceptance of the divine order, would at first glance seem to rule out any culturally legitimate basis for serious opposition to the tsar himself. Yet, as the examples above illustrate, the Muscovite gentry, merchants, muske- teers, and townspeople did question the propriety of the tsar's conduct without compromising their standing as loyal subjects and pious Christians. The expec- tations and alternatives available within Muscovite political culture made the concept of overturning the divinely ordained hierarchy unthinkable. The very sanctity of the divine order, however, gave protesters a set of criteria by which they could judge the tsar and to which they could hold him responsible. The earthly ruler could be overturned to preserve the divinely ordained hierarchy. Protesters derived the force of their critique from the tenets of Orthodox political culture. When armed with a mandate from God, Muscovite rebels possessed almost irrefutable legitimacy.
53 See Rowland, "Limits," 125-55; Ju. M. Lotman and B. A. Uspenskij, "The Role of Dual Models in the Dynamics of Russian Culture (Up to the End of the Eighteenth Century)," in The Semiotics of Rwsian Culture, Ann Shukman, ed. (Ann Arbor, Mich., 1984), 3-35. Cherniavsky makes a strong case using this biblical dualism in views of the tsar to explain the intensity of the church schism that divided Russian Orthodoxy in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries ("Old Believers and the New Religion").
54 Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 87. Bakhrushin examines this evidence and concludes that this description let the sovereign off the hook because of his youth and meekness (humility being a positive trait in an Orthodox ruler), and the blame fell squarely on the evil viziers, Morozov and Miloslavskii. Bakhrushin, "Moskovskoe vosstanie 1648 g.," 79-81.
Several of the chronicle accounts of the uprising reinforce the legitimacy of the protesters' actions. The chronicles, produced in well-educated circles, whether by chancellery personnel of various levels, monastic writers, or members of the nascent secular literati, describe the uprising in surprisingly sympathetic terms. They accept as true the popular charges against Pleshcheev and repeat without question the popular rumor that Morozov and Trakhaniotov, "by the devil's instruction, sent their bondsmen around all of Moscow and ordered [them] to burn down all of Moscow."55 Russian chronicles also sanction the crowd's violence metaphorically, by presenting it as a rude but still legitimate way of calling the sovereign's attention to grievances. The "New Chronicler" account, an official product of the court, reports that "the townspeople and various taxpaying people came together to the palace with great impertinence and petitioned the tsar with a cruel petition." Elsewhere, the people are said to approach the tsar with "an impolite petition."56 Because petitions, together with occasional Assemblies of the Land, provided the only acceptable means of communication between people and tsar, this conceptual equation of the riot with a petition lends the rioters a significant degree of justification. Little if any condemnation of the rebels appears in chronicle accounts. Because of the extreme corruption practiced by Morozov's ruling band and perhaps because of the tsar's egregious violation of norms of behavior in rejecting the petitions, people in high places apparently acknowl- edged the validity of the rebels' grievances.
The state itself, in an astonishing admission of its own impropriety and the legitimacy of the rebels' actions, exacted almost no direct retribution from the mutineers. Six boyars' slaves who joined the rebellion toward the very end were summarily executed and seventy-two arrested, but otherwise the extant docu- ments make little mention of punishing rebels, at least in the immediate aftermath of the uprising. This silence did not translate, however, into true amnesty for the rebels. Foreign accounts confirm that the state executed, imprisoned, or exiled many musketeers and townspeople in connection with the rebellion, but it did so on trumped-up charges of gaming or illegal sale of tobacco or vodka.57 In this way, Tsar Aleksei sought to maintain traditional forms. Evidently, he or his inner circle recognized that the rebels had the force of tradition on their side and that he had best mask punishment of the rebels behind fictive charges.
IFTHE REBELS FOUND THE LANGUAGE AND JUSTIFICATION for their opposition in the moral cosmology of Russian political culture, the question remains, what exactly precipitated their revolt? The most straightforward explanation takes the content of the townspeople's original complaint as full and sufficient cause for discontent. As one chronicle explains, "All the land petitioned the sovereign about Moscow City Chief [zemskii sud'za] Levontii Stepanovich Pleshcheev, that from him the
55 Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 74, 75 (Sbornik of the Leningrad Public Library).
56 Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 77 (New Chronicler); Tsentral'nyi Gosudarstvennyi Arkhiv Drevnikh Aktov, Prikaznye dela starykh let, 1648, d. 60; quoted in Bakhrushin, "Moskovskoe vosstanie 1648 g.,"
54. For a discussion of this issue, see Bakhrushin, 79. 57 Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 40 (Pommerening).
taxpaying community suffered heavy taxes and they were groundlessly charged with all sorts of robberies and thefts at his, Levontii's, instruction."58 In other words, corruption and abuses of power precipitated the revolt, at one level. Corruption, in its many ingenious forms, appears over and over again among the people's complaints. In their petitions, they describe bribes, forced gifts, excessive fees, slander, violence, graft, and injustice:
Chancellery officials are inclined to bribery and to craftiness. No one is allowed out of the chancelleries anywhere without paying a fee, and no one anywhere is given the Sovereign's service payment without [officials] taking a cut. Everything is being sold for high prices, and in the towns, because of these chancellery people, the taxpaying community has perished and is currently perishing.59
The people themselves, from gentry and merchants to ordinary taxpayers, identified corruption as the immediate cause of their discontent.
Profound corruption was not new in the middle of the seventeenth century, however, and along with the themes of bribery, violence, and extortion, other refrains ring just as loudly through the protests in 1648, refrains that extol a past golden age hallowed by Orthodoxy and Muscovite tradition. Pommerening detected resentment of innovation when he described the Muscovites' desire "to regain their old freedom." Hostility to Western innovation in particular can be heard in Pommerening's report that the rebels demanded the exile of D. Ia. Miloslavskii, the tsar's father-in-law, "because he introduced new taxes and other institutions from Holland."6O Nostalgia for a purer Orthodox past resounds throughout the petitions. They place the current "radiant sovereign tsar" in his rightful place in the procession of "Orthodox tsars and grand princes in the memory of eternal generations." They remind him that his father "of blessed memory" and he himself in the past had devoted their attention to helping the people with their "stern but merciful hands." They complain of arrogance and presumption, "which of old, under previous sovereigns," did not occur.el In their protest, the rebels and petitioners inveighed against changes taking place at a deep and sweeping level: the rise of the bureaucratic state and the concurrent depersonalization of relations with the rulers and representatives of state power.
Until the beginning of the seventeenth century, ordinary Muscovites probably had little contact with the state, aside from taxation or required service duties. In the seventeenth century, the state enlarged its aspirations and attempted to control the lives of its subjects to an astonishing degree: new laws itemized the consequences for gambling, brewing liquor, or consulting an herbalist; and a special category of laws regulated what was known in Russia as Sovereign's Word and need, that is, any hint of disloyalty to the tsar, including singing an off-color ditty or making an ill-considered remark while drinking in a tavern. Other decrees targeted vagrants, wandering minstrels, free Cossacks, and any others who moved spontaneously about the land in violation of the newly emerging
js Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 74 (Sbornik of the ~enin~rad Public Library).
j9 Shakhmatov, "Chelobitnaia," 18.
60 Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 38, 40 (Pommerening).
Shakhmatov, "Chelobitnaia," 11, 13; Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 46 (Petition).
Valerie A. Kivelson
vision of a static social order. Official legislation marks an effort to register these undisciplined groups, tax them, and recast them into one of the officially acknowledged categories of people: peasants, townspeople, or soldiers. Numer- ous edicts prohibited cavalrymen's sons, townspeople, or musketeers from joining the bureaucracy, thus limiting social movement.62 A series of decrees bound peasants and townspeople more and more tightly to their tax units. This trend culminated in the Ulozhenie of 1649 and the abolition of the statute of limitations on recovering runaway peasants, which established complete enserfment in Russia.
At the same time that the state was attempting to force the variegated population into fixed strata, new categories of people cropped up, often under- mining traditional notions about the correlation between birthright, occupation, and power. In the past, military service had been exclusively an elite occupation. In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, however, when Muscovite horsemen encountered Western infantrymen, the state introduced conscription from among the peasantry and established "New Formation Regiments" follow- ing Western models. Military service became increasingly the domain of the ordinary taxpayers. Provincial gentry, whose poverty left them little enough to distinguish themselves from their own peasants, must have felt this blow to their prestige sharply.63 Lines of birth and authority grew confused in administrative spheres as well. In the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, a professional bureaucracy developed alongside the traditional, small ruling clique of warrior- lords. The presence of new clerks and state secretaries, people without noble blood yet vested with tremendous authority as agents of the tsar, threw off previous calculations about power and upset the assumptions of the reigning political and social order. The ostentation of such non-noble upstarts aroused indignation, as seen in the ire of the petitions: "Your Sovereign's state secretaries and clerks . . . have bought many estates and have built themselves many houses, masonry palaces and such, which are beyond description, and where they are unworthy to live. In the times of previous sovereigns, of blessed memory, even the great and well-born did not have such homes."64 Low-born merchants and administrators, such as the unfortunate Nazarii Chistyi and his fellow merchant- official Vasilii Shorin, suffered the consequences of popular resentment of the disrupted social order. Gosti (leading merchants) and chancellery staff were the chief victims of uprisings all over the country, in 1648 and later.
Along with the new, unfamiliar bureaucrats was a new, unfamiliar system of laws and impersonal, bureaucratic regulation. In earlier centuries, the Muscovite state administration had been negligibly small, but it developed recognizable institutional structures in the sixteenth century and its staff grew ten-fold, from
62 N. F. Demidova, "Prikaznye liudi XVII v. (sotsial'nyi sostav i istochniki formirovaniia)," Iston'cheskie zapiski, 90 (1972): 347-52. On social legislation, see Russell Zguta, Russian Minstrels: A History of the Skomorokhi (Philadelphia, 1978).
63 Hellie, Ensefment and Military Change, 223-25.
64 Smirnov considers this passage, from a 1642 petition, closer to the original text of the 1648 petition than Pommerening's scrambled Swedish version. Smirnov, "Chelobitnye," no. 4: 53. This same complaint of grandeur above their station is leveled against chancellery personnel in 1642 and against coiners and metalsmiths in 1662; Got'e, Akty, 51; Uroff, "Kotoshikhin," 188-89.
hundreds to thousands, in the seventeenth.65 To facilitate standardization of procedure and centralization of control, the state sponsored the first printing press in Muscovy, under the auspices of the Patriarchal Court. Although the amount of material printed remained small until the time of Peter the Great, the seventeenth century saw the first relatively large-scale printing and dissemination of laws and decrees. The Ulozhenie reached all provincial governors' offices; Muscovites of all ranks, with the assistance of the local town square clerk or scribe, were then able to refer to its statutes when writing petitions. Printings of the law code sold out quickly, as not only officials but also individual buyers in the capital and in the provinces purchased their own copies.66
The intensification of state intrusion into people's lives was accompanied by a depersonalization of relations with authorities. The 1648 petitioners articulated their unhappiness about this bureaucratization. They complained not only about specific incidents, manifestations, or perpetrators of corruption but also about volokita, variously translated as red tape, delays, or bureaucratism. Most strikingly, the petitioners requested local administration of justice, so that men who were pillars of local society could mete out justice on the basis of compassion and understanding, rather than on the basis of inflexible regulations. Since at least 1637, the gentry had been submitting collective petitions advocating the estab- lishment of local courts, staffed by familiar, local judges, who would know their constituencies and administer justice accordingly. In the petition of June 10, 1648, "people of all ranks" repeated this suggestion and requested that the tsar "should order that unjust and incapable judges be removed, and He should choose righteous [people] as judges, whomever God informs Him, or else the Sovereign should place [responsibility] on all ranks of the people, and the people would choose judges among themselves-righteous, reasonable, sober-minded people."67 They advocated a return to godly justice, administered by judges designated by God through the agency of the tsar, or judges selected by the people, the other receptacle of Orthodox tradition and piety. As an integral part of their proposal for more intimate local justice, the petitioners suggested dismissing the entire boyar bureaucracy. They explained, with specious concern, that "the boyars could much more easily know and direct their household business if they were to give up and renounce Your Tsarist Majesty's judicial and various military matters so that they would not have to burden themselves with such public business."68 They condemned "all chancellery officials," not just notorious
65 Demidova, "Prikaznye liudi XVII v.," 347. See also A. A. Zimin, "0slozhenii prikaznoi sistemy na Rusi," Doklady i soobshcheniia Instituta Istorii (Akademii Nauk), 3 (1955): 164-76. 66 Gary Marker, Publishing, Printing, and the Origins of Intellectual Life in Russia, 1700-1800 (Princeton, N.J., 1985), 19; S. P. Luppov, Kniga v Rossii XVII veka (Moscow, 1971).
67 Shakhmatov, "Chelobitnaia," 19; Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 51 (Petition). For earlier petitions, see also E. D. Stashevskii, K istorii dvorianskikh chelobitnykh (Moscow, 1915), prilozhenie 1, 20-21; Smirnov, "Chelobitnye," nos. 1-3; Borisov, Opisanie, no. 3,: 23940; Got'e, Akty, 55-56. For an English version of the 1637 petition, see Hellie, Readings, 167-76, esp. 17 1.
68 Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 51 (Petition); Shakhmatov, "Chelobitnaia," 20. See also "Nakaz Vladimirtsev" (LOII);Smirnov, "Chelobitnye," no. 2.
ones. "And Moscow is the root of all of this terrible graft," states the later petition, implicating the bureaucratic system itself in creating such a web of iniquity.69
Although the evidence adduced thus far supports the proposition that imper- sonal regulation was antithetical to Muscovite political culture, the standard wisdom, that in the midst of the riot the protesters called for an Assembly of the Land to rationalize the disorderly accretion of laws and decrees on the books and to draw up a new law code, would seem to contradict this hypothesis. If the new Ulozhenie, that quintessentially bureaucratic document, was produced as a conces- sion to and with the cooperation of the protesters, this would seem to undermine the argument that they held an aversion to the notion of abstract, routinizing rule. Appeals for justice in conformity with written law had appeared in petitions for decades. In the collective petition of 1637, the gentry of various towns asked the tsar to order "us, Your slaves, to be judged in the towns according to Your Sovereign decree, and according to Your Sovereign's legal statute book" (Uloz- hennaia sudebnaia kniga), here referring to Ivan the Terrible's law code of 1550, a request repeated in another gentry petition in 1641.'O In their instructions to their delegate to the July 1648 Assembly, the gentry of Vladimir province reiterated the hope that "the Sovereign would establish among us His Sovereign system of
justice, and trials would be given to all people equally, whether they were great or in~ignificant."~~
A memorandum by Prince N. I. Odoevskii, who headed the commission that drafted the Ulozhenie, asserts that the delegates to the Assembly of the Land held on July 16 requested "that the Sovereign [should] order to be written up on all sorts of judicial matters a law code [Sudebnik] and statute book [Ulozhennaia kniga], so that henceforth all matters would be done and decided according to that statute book."72
While these calls for justice in accord with written law may sound like the appeals for a standardized and depersonalized system of justice, they must be read with care before their significance can be established. The same 1637 petition, which specifically asks that courts render justice according to the 1550 law code, simultaneously puts forth the request that judges be selected by provincial communities from among their own local notables, a step necessary to save the defenseless gentry from "perishing altogether because of losses inflicted by Moscow bureaucratism." In this context, the 1637 petition sounds a note of hostility to bureaucratic justice and ambivalence toward routinized procedure.73
69 Shakhmatov, "Chelobitnaia," 18. For an earlier expression of the same sentiment, see Got'e, Akty,
j0 Smirnov, "Chelobitnye," no. 1, no. 2. For translations of these documents, see Hellie, Readings, 171-72, 182-83. See also discussion in Cherepnin, Zemkie sobory, 261.
j1"Nakaz Vladimirtsev" (LOII).Their hope was restated in the preamble to the Ulozhenie: Hellie, Muscovite Law Code (Ulozhenie) of 1649, 1. Muscovites appreciated the merits of "equal justice" but only in the sense that all should be judged according to established procedure. The laws themselves and the sanctions applied were expected to vary according to social standing. See George G. Weickhardt, "Due Process and Equal Justice in the Muscovite Codes," Russian Review, 51 (1992): 463-80; Hellie, "Ulozhenie Commentary," 184-85; Daniel H. Kaiser, "Modernization in Old Russian Law," Russian History, 6 (1979): 230-42.
Smirnov, "Neskol'ko dokumentov," 6. Two separate Assemblies met in the wake of the uprising, first in July 1648 and then again in September 1648. The latter remained in session for many months while the law code was worked out fully.
73 Smirnov, "Chelobitnye," no. 1: 39.
Along the same lines, the 1641 petition called for justice in accordance with the law code but asked that it be administered personally "by the tsar and boyars in council," not within the bureaucratically constituted chancelleries. The petition specified that the tsar himself should act as ultimate arbiter.74
Upon close reading, the story that the Odoevskii memorandum tells of the origins of the Ulorhenie is equally mixed. No evidence survives to suggest that either the rebels or the petitioners ever requested a law code during the uprising itself. They called instead for a public meeting with the tsar at which they could communicate with him and express their woes directly. Foreigners' accounts and the Odoevskii memorandum document this request, which appears fully in the June 10 petition:
If You would have mercy, Sovereign, having heard the weeping of all the people, You would summon to Yourself, Sovereign, Moscow-rank gentry and provincial gentry and petty gentry, and Moscow merchants. . . [of various degrees] and all the people. . .and He, the Sovereign, would question all the people about what graft and violence cause them to groan and weep, and they themselves will tell the Sovereign all about this.75
As this passage illustrates, the petitioners called for personal access to their tsar in order to reestablish communication and engage his pious mercy and righteous wrath. They made no mention of a new law code.
A law code was not a stated objective of the uprising at all. The Odoevskii memorandum states that interest in a law code arose not during the rebellion but rather in the course of the first Assembly, which gathered in the Kremlin dining chamber. Attending the Assembly were "the holy Iosif, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, and the church hierarchs and boyars and okol'nichie [the next rank after boyars] and chancellery people, and also at the Assembly were stol'niki [other high-ranking servitors] and Moscow servitors," an assortment of lesser provincial servitors, merchants, foreigners, "and the best people of the urban tax-paying c0mmunes."~6 Delegates of middle ranks of the service and urban population proposed the compilation of a statute book. A suggestion raised by a relatively elite gathering, in the intimidating halls of the Kremlin palace, in the immediate presence of the assembled ecclesiastical and secular authorities, seems at most a distant echo of a genuinely popular demand. Even among the provincial gentry, the call for a new law code appears to have developed under the tutelage of the Assembly itself, not to have expressed a wellspring of existing sentiment. In June 1648, when the gentry of Vladimir province instructed their delegate about what he should do at the Assembly, they said nothing about a new law code but rather placed great hopes in unmediated discussion with their sovereign and his boyars. If forthright communication occurred, then "among us, the Sovereign's slaves, friendship and love will be our reward."77 As the assemblies met, however, the
74 Smirnov, "Chelobitnye," no. 2.
75 Shakhmatov, "Chelobitnaia," 18-19. For other references to the request, see Smirnov, "Neskol'ko dokumentov," 6; Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 37-38 (Pommerening). For similar emphasis on the importance of direct communication, see "Nakaz Vladimirtsev" (LOII).
76 Smirnov, "Neskol'ko dokumentov," 6.
77 "Nakaz Vladimirtsev" (LOII).
delegates found themselves interacting far less with their revered sovereign than with a committee of boyars and bureaucrats who had drafted the new law code.7"
What the delegates asked for in a new law code and what they ultimately received were worlds apart. The only models of formal law that most Muscovites were familiar with before 1649 werk the edicts issued in response to individual cases and the earlier law codes, the Sudebniks of 1497 and 1550, which scantily outlined fees and trial procedures. Both previous codes had concentrated on regulating officials and official procedure, stipulating harsh penalties for corrupt judges and other agents of the law. This circumscribed experience with law could scarcely have prepared the petitioners for the new statute book, which differed fundamentally from the previous slim volumes on courtroom conduct. They could not have anticipated the massive, aggressively controlling Ulorhenie, a legal code strikingly innovative in its effort to regulate not only judicial procedure but also the conduct of society at large. The Ulozhenie answered popular calls for judicial reform, but the end product differed radically from what must have been the initial expectation. As the century progressed, Muscovites of all stripes became increasingly adept at using the bureaucratic and legal system to serve their interests. After 1649, petitioners began to beg for more enforceable regulations and increased state intervention, but in June of 1648, traditional and rationalizing conceptions of law and justice still had little in common. Gentry, merchants, musketeers, and townspeople turned to increased legal regulation only when their more familiar conception of merciful, personal justice proved untenable.79
The requests for code-based justice and a new statute book take on a new light if situated within the context of the present examination of Muscovite political culture and especially within the context of the petitioners' desire for personal, local justice. For a decade, petitioners had begged for a reform of the judicial system based on principles of mercy, derived from piety and familiarity. As is evident from the various options repeatedly suggested by exasperated petitioners, they learned through experience and failure. Over time, they had formulated three possible modes of reform for the corrupt legal system. Ideally, the tsar would appoint godly men, according to his divine mandate, who would judge in virtue and piety. When that route failed, as seen in the appointment of scoundrels such as Pleshcheev and Trakhaniotov, petitioners proposed that the tsar allow, local selection of upstanding men to judge according to personal standards of mercy and righteousness. When for ten years that proposal garnered no response from the Kremlin, petitioners fell back on the third option, the only one
78 On zemkie sobory, see A. I. Zaozerskii, "Zemskie sobory," in V. V. Kallash, ed., Tri veka: Rossiia ot Smuty do nashego vremeni; Istoricheskii sbornik, 6 vols. (Moscow, 1912), 1: 115-62; L. V. Cherepnin, Zemkie sobory russkogo gosudarstva v XVI-XVII vv. (Moscow, 1978); Shakhmatov, "Chelobitnaia," 1-1 1 ;
I. I. Ditiatin, Rol' chelobitnii i zemkikh soborov v upravlenii Moskovskogo gosudarstva (Rostov-on-Don, 1905), 39-43; Smirnov, Posadskie liudi, vol. 2, 158-250; Hellie, Ensefment and Military Change, esp. 137-40; V. 0. Kliuchevskii, "Sostav predstavitel'stva na zemskikh soborakh drevnei Rusi," Sochineniia v deviati tomakh, 9 vols. (Moscow, 1987-1990), 8: 277-374; Kliuchevsky, Course in Russian History, 142-53.
79 Vysotskii, "Kollektivnye dvorianskie chelobitnye XVII v.," 125-38; A. A. Novosel'skii, "Kollek- tivnye dvorianskie chelobit'ia po voprosam mezhevaniia i opisaniia zemel' v 80-kh godakh XVII v.," Uchenye zapiski Instituta istorii RANION, 4 (1929): 103-08; and Novosel'skii, "Pobegi krest'ian i kholopov i ikh sysk v Moskovskom gosudarstve vtoroi poloviny XVII veka," Trudy Instituta istorii RANION, 1 (1926): 325-54.
appearing to hold out any hope for reform: legal regulation of the tsar's officials. Petitioners and Assembly delegates made this concession to the new bureaucratic culture in a contradictory fashion, embedding it in the old language of divine mercy and piety. Their requests for justice by code sprang from the perceived breakdown of traditional norms and practices and a hesitant realization of the need to rein in the tsar's oppressive, irresponsible deputies. The events of 1648 marked a watershed in legal and political perceptions. The petitioners, like the state authorities, found themselves at a juncture between two political cultures and torn between the two.
A FINAL LOOK AT THE INCIDENT that triggered the 1648 uprising proves particu- larly revealing. With tensions high in the capital, the townspeople paraded out to welcome their pious tsar back from his annual pilgrimage. They also offered him petitions, along with their hopes that his personal mercy would intercede between them and bureaucratic red tape and corruption and would set everything to rights. Tsar Aleksei's unexpected refusal to take the petitions and the consequent disappointed faith in the tsar ignited the mob's violent response. The Moscow townspeople, who called themselves his "orphans" in petitions, had been acting on the well-defined conception of the fatherly role of the tsar and became enraged when the tsar did not fulfill his assigned role. They took seriously the divine contract that bound them to obey the tsar and obligated the tsar, in turn, to protect and defend them. When the monarch spurned his subjects' petitions and failed to respond with mercy and understanding to their legitimate grievances, those subjects, now truly orphaned, rebelled. In both the June 2 and 10 petitions, submitted after the tsar's initial act of rejection, the people harped on that sore point, reminding him that in the past, both he and his father before him "with Your awesome hand [strashnoiu svoeiu rukoiu] took care of us with gracious charity. . . You personally [sami] took our bloody-teared petitions from us" and listened to them and acted on them.80 their violent rebellion, the people protested that the tsar no longer played his role as refuge of last resort, as intercessor on behalf of the "poor, lowly, and defenseless" of his realm. The new law code of 1649 formalized this radical revision of traditional norms: chapter 10, article 20 states that people must submit their petitions to the appropriate official in whichever chancellery held jurisdiction in the case, not to the tsar. If someone attempted to by-pass this new, classically bureaucratic procedure and handed a petition to the sovereign himself without first petitioning the chancellery, the code stipulated: "punish such petitioners for that; beat [them] with bastinadoes."sl
so Shakhmatov, "Chelobitnaia," 12; Smirnov, "Chelobitnye," no. 4. See also Bazilevich, Gorodskie vosstaniia, 46 (Petition).
Hellie, Muscovite Law Code (Ulorhenie) of 1649, chap. 10, art. 20, p. 27. Similarly, chap. 1, arts. 8 and 9, forbid the handing of petitions to the tsar or patriarch during church services. Until 1767, the sovereign still remained available as an avenue of 'appeal after the grievance had passed through proper channels. The refusal of petitions triggered the 1648 Tomsk uprising and also figured prominently in complaints leveled against Patriarch Nikon. On Tomsk, see Pokrovskii, "Nachal'nye chelobitnye," and "Sibirskie materialy," esp. 48. On Nikon, see Cathy J. Potter, "The Russian Church
Valerie A. Kivelson
These words, like the sovereign's actions, starkly summarize the changes in progress. By spurning the proffered appeals, the tsar had eloquently demon- strated that he had little interest in preserving the traditional image of a merciful ruler extending his personal protection to his people. l'he act reverberated with significance: the age of personal intercession had given way to the age of the law code and the civil servant. The Muscovite populace was right in suspecting that people at the top were betraying their traditional ways. A new form of authority had entered the corridors of the Kremlin, while the public still responded to authority as traditionally conceived, as the earthly incarnation of a moral, divine cosmology.
and the Politics of Reform in the Second Half of the Seventeenth Century" (Ph.D. dissertation, Yale University, 1993),chaps. 3-4.