TYUMENTSEV I.O. Cossacks in the Movement of Zemstvo Militias in Russia (1611–1612)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2019.4.1

Igor O. Tyumentsev

Doctor of Sciences (History), Professor, Director,

Volgograd Institute of Management, Branch of Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration,

Gagarina St., 8, 400131 Volgograd, Russian Federation

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Abstracts. Introduction. The issue of the Cossacks’ participation in the events of the Time of Troubles in the last decades is one of the most relevant in connection with the modern social movement for “the recovery of the Cossacks”.

Methods and materials. Studies of the late 20th – early 21st centuries show that one of the main forces of the rebel movement at the first stages of the Time of Troubles were the Cossacks who were in military public service of the cities of the southern Ukraine of Russia. Researchers have quite deeply developed the issue of the Cossacks’ participation in the movements of impostors of 1604–1610, begun studying the history of free Cossack troops in 1613–1618. However, the Cossacks’ participation in the zemstvo liberation movement is investigated insufficiently now.

Analysis. The Zemstvo, an elective district and provincial administrative assembly in the prerevolutionary Russia, failed to call together a proper Assembly of the Land (Zemsky Sobor) of the correct composition. They were unable to do so due to the lack of members of the Sacred Council in the Boyar Duma detachments since the establishment of the Zemstvo militia. The lower curia of the Assembly of the Land was convened near Moscow. It comprised the members elected by the nobility and the tenements and formed the Sovet vsej Zemli. The Council appointed a three-man government which included boyar prince D.T. Trubetskoy, boyar hetman I.M. Zarutsky and Duma nobleman P.P. Lyapunov. On June 30, 1611 Sovet vsej Zemli adopted the Verdict which was a kind of Zemstvo Constitution. Under the circumstances, in the camps, there was a transformation of Cossack serving regiments from government and rebel troops into the free Russian Cossack Host on the pattern of the Don, Zaporozhye and Terek Cossack Hosts. The Cossack Circle similarly to Sovet vsej Zemli became a parallel supreme body of the state government. During one Circle gathering, P.P. Lyapunov was killed. After this, the significance of Sovet vsej Zemli in the camps near Moscow fell considerably. However, it was revived again in Yaroslavl in the regiments of D.M. Pozharsky and K. Minin. Over 1611–1612, it was the free Cossack Host that carried out the main siege of the capital and played a crucial role in saving the country. The free Cossack Host did not have constant members and in 1612 was divided into the Cossack camps headed by D.T. Trubetskoy, I.M. Zarutsky and D.M. Pozharsky. This factor subsequently led to the formation of two voluntary Cossack Hosts: Vyaznikovsky and Zaugorsky. However, the free Cossack Host and the Cossack Circle played an important role in electing the new Tsar.

Key words: Time of Troubles, movement of the zemstvo militia, free and serving Cossacks, liberation of Moscow, Cossack Circle, election of Tsar, structure of the free Cossack Host.

Citation. Tyumentsev I.O. Cossacks in the Movement of Zemstvo Militias in Russia (1611–1612). Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2019, vol. 24, no. 4, pp. 8-19. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2019.4.1.

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Cossacks in the Movement of Zemstvo Militias in Russia (1611–1612) by Tyumentsev I.O. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. 

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