Ivan the terrible
Ivan the Terrible, or Ivan IV, was the first tsar of all Russia. During his reign (1533-1584), Ivan acquired vast amounts of land through ruthless means, creating a centrally controlled government. “Ivan IV, called Ivan the Terrible, came to the throne in 1533 when he was only three years old. His young life was disrupted by struggles for power among Russia’s landowning nobles, known as boyars. The boyars fought to control young Ivan. When he was 16, Ivan seized power and had himself crowned czar”
Born to the ruling Moscow branch of the Rurikid dynasty, Ivan nominally became grand prince at the age of three after the death of his father, Grand Prince Vasily III. During the regency of Ivan's mother, Yelena Glinskaya, from 1533 to 1538, ruling circles strengthened Ivan's position as nominal ruler by eliminating Prince Andrei Ivanovich of Staritsa and Prince Yury Ivanovich of Dmitrov, representatives of the royal family's collateral branches.
Achievements and Legacy
The years from 1547 to 1560 are often called Ivan’s “good period.” He won great victories, added lands to Russia, gave Russia a code of laws, and ruled justly. “Ivan III of Moscow, who ruled Russia from 1462 to 1505, accomplished several things. First, he conquered much of the territory around Moscow. Second, he liberated Russia from the Mongols. Third, he began to centralize the Russian government” “Ivan III was succeeded by his son, Vasily, who ruled for 28 years. Vasily continued his father’s work of adding territory to the growing Russian state. He also increased the power of the central government. This trend continued under his son, Ivan IV, who would become an absolute ruler.”