Time of Troubles, Russia, Class Warfare


The end of a dynasty in medieval or early modern Europe was often followed by a calamitous period of conspiracy and revolt, intrigue and bloodshed. Such was the case in Russia from 1598 to 1613, the period later called the Time of Troubles. Few epochs still weigh on the collective conscience of the Russian people as does the Time of Troubles. Fears associated with this period remain to this day, as evidenced by the frequent references to it after the fall of the Soviet regime. But the Time of Troubles has not always been well understood. The chroniclers and revisionists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries unfairly maligned or deified many of the dynamic characters that shaped this era and ignored or misinterpreted the forces behind the political and social upheavals. Such misunderstandings were perpetuated in the early to mid-twentieth century, notably by Western biographers.