Posted 4 ноября 2021, 14:14

Published 4 ноября 2021, 14:14

Modified 24 декабря 2022, 22:37

Updated 24 декабря 2022, 22:37

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Tamara Eidelman - about the holiday: "There was unity in the 17th century, but not in the struggle with the Poles"

4 ноября 2021, 14:14
On November 4, Russia will host the National Unity Day for the sixteenth time. According to VTsIOM (The All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center), only a third of the country's citizens know about what is celebrated on this day.

What are we celebrating, Tamara Eidelman said in the next issue of "History Lessons" on her YouTube channel.

According to a survey by the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion, 32% of compatriots know that on November 4, the country celebrates National Unity Day. Another 24% of respondents believe that November 4 is the Day of Unity / Unity, and 4% are sure that they celebrate the Day of Independence of Russia. According to 3%, November 4 is the Day of Russia. 2% of respondents each said that this is the Day of Reconciliation or Consent or the Day of the Constitution of Russia. Another 1% of Russians know that the feast of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God falls on this date.

Historian, Honored Teacher of Russia Tamara Eidelman dedicated another episode of the "History Lessons" program to this holiday on her YouTube channel:

In 2005 we have a new holiday on November 4 - National Unity Day.

It is believed that we are celebrating the anniversary of the event that took place in 1612, when the People's Militia, led by Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky, drove Polish troops out of Kitay-gorod in the center of Moscow. The Poles took refuge in the Kremlin and sat there for some time, but the main victory was won.

In the 17th century, Russia used the Gregorian calendar (chronology according to the old style), which is at odds with the Julian calendar adopted today. The discrepancies were different every century. In such a mysterious way, this event was counted according to the difference of the 21st century, and it turned out that October 22, according to the old style, is November 4. But in the 17th century, the discrepancy was different, so October 22 in the Gregorian calendar was considered November 1. In fact, it turns out that this is not so much the anniversary of the victory as the anniversary of the Kazan Mother of God, which even today the church celebrates on October 22, respectively, according to the new style on November 4.

The celebration of the Kazan Mother of God was timed to October 22 precisely because the victory was won on that day.

It is more interesting to find out what kind of battle it was, and how did the Polish garrison end up in Moscow? Why Minin and Pozharsky gathered a militia and moved to Moscow? Where was the army that was supposed to defend the city?

To understand this, it makes sense to start from 1584, when Tsar Ivan the Terrible died, leaving a devastated and very impoverished country. He could pass the throne only to his son. By the time of his death, of the many children, only two remained - a son from the first wife of Anastasia Romanova, Fedor, and a very small boy, Tsarevich Dmitry. He was the son of the last wife, Maria Naga, who, according to no canons, could not be considered a legal wife. She was considered the queen and the wife of the king, but the church did not recognize so many marriages. Maria Nagaya was the seventh or eighth wife, so her son could not have any rights to the throne.

Fyodor Ioanovich was already an adult and married, but Grozny himself and everyone around him understood that he could not rule well. Therefore, dying, he appointed boyars who were supposed to help the new king. Very quickly, one of the councilors pushed everyone else aside and became almost an autocratic ruler. It was Boris Godunov, who ruled the country until the death of Fyodor Ioanovich in 1598. He has no children left, Tsarevich Dmitry died seven years earlier in Uglich. The dynasty was interrupted. The Zemsky Sobor gathers, which elects Boris Godunov to the kingdom.

In Lithuania, Grigory Otrepiev becomes a servant to the tycoon Adam Vishnevetsky, who declares that he is the escaped Tsarevich Dmitry. Vishnevetsky was interested in Poland going to war against Russia. He believed that the Moscow tsars took part of his possessions from him. Adam Vishnevetsky takes Grigory Otrepiev to Krakow to the king, where he is recognized as the heir to the Moscow throne.

King Sigismund did not want to get involved in a war with Russia, but he also did not forbid his subjects. Adam Vishnevetsky and Yuri Mnishek, to whose daughter Tsar Dmitry wooed, are recruiting an army. Grigory Otrepiev, Tsar Dmitry Ioanovich, as he is already called, is sent with an army to Russia. The army suffers a crushing defeat, but a rumor spread throughout Russia that the son of Ivan the Terrible had appeared. Detachments of Cossacks come to him, cities open their gates. Boris Godunov dies. His son Fyodor ascends the throne, young and not very ready to rule.

A large army of Grigory Otrepiev enters Moscow. Fyodor Godunov and his mother are killed, False Dmitry becomes king. This is the first appearance of Poles in Moscow, because part of the Poles came along with the Cossacks and Russian townspeople.

The boyar Vasily Shuisky, who for many years maneuvered between different forces, rebelled against False Dmitry. Shuisky was the man who led the investigation of the death of Tsarevich Dmitry in 1591 in Uglich. He interrogated a huge number of people and said that the prince fell and ran into a knife. When False Dmitry seized the throne, Shuisky recognized him as tsar, refuting his own decisions made 15 years earlier. He immediately began to weave a conspiracy against False Dmitry, who exposed him, but forgave. The second conspiracy was crowned with success. The body of False Dmitry was burned, put into a cannon and fired in the direction of Poland.

But a rumor spread throughout the country that the king was saved. Vasily Shuisky was elected tsar and he ruled until 1610.

False Dmitry II appears, whom the Poles use to stay in Russia. Marina Mnishek, the wife of False Dmitry the First, who was already going to return to Poland, was detained by the Poles and forced to recognize False Dmitry II as her escaped husband.

Vasily Shuisky had to immediately face False Dmitry II, who stopped near Moscow, in Tushino. Polish troops roamed different parts of the country. Shuisky had to turn to the Swedes for help, who sent a detachment. At the same time, the Cossacks, peasants, some of the service people are still inspired by the thought that Tsar Dmitry is alive, and a powerful uprising begins, what is called in the textbooks the peasant war led by Ivan Bolotnikov. In fact, historians have long believed that this is not a peasant, but a civil war, in which practically all strata of society are participating. The rebels led by Bolotnikov reached Kolomenskoye. Shuisky finds himself in a difficult situation: there is no money in the treasury, the power is reeling. In 1610 he was overthrown and forcibly tonsured into a monk. Just at the same time, False Dmitry II perishes, who was thrown from Moscow towards Kaluga. There is a power vacuum.

The most notable boyars begin to look for a candidate, send an envoy to the Polish king Sigismund with a request to send a son, fifteen-year-old prince Vladislav. Let him rule in Moscow. But negotiations come to a standstill, as Vladislav refuses to convert to Orthodoxy. But formally Vladislav is considered the king. He sends a fairly large garrison, led by hetman Stanislav Zholkiewski, to Moscow, which rules on behalf of the prince Vladislav.

This situation develops by 1611, when the struggle against representatives of the Polish king begins.

The very forces that participated in the overthrow of Tsar Fyodor Godunov, supported or opposed False Dmitry the First, fought against Vasily Shuisky, unite and go to Moscow to expel the Poles. Historians will call this the first militia. This militia was defeated.

In the fall of 1611, the inhabitants of Nizhny Novgorod instructed the merchant Kuzma Minin to start collecting a new militia. They turn to Prince Pozharsky, a member of the first militia. A new army is gathering, which goes to Moscow.

Just as the second militia is besieging Moscow, fresh Polish forces arrive. Pozharsky's detachments burst into Kitay-Gorod on October 22, 1612. The Poles are retreating. Pozharsky walks with the icon of the Kazan Mother of God, so this day becomes her holiday. The Poles are driven out of Kitai-Gorod, the survivors are hiding in the Kremlin. The victory on October 22 was fundamentally important, and a few days later the Kremlin garrison surrendered as well.

The Polish intervention is over.

We are talking about the Day of National Unity, but unity is not visible at all. The detachments assembled by Minin and Pozharsky, the so-called zemstvo detachments, absolutely do not want to stand next to the Cossacks. The relationship is very wary, to the point that they killed the leader of a hostile detachment. They wanted to rob their own Russian people. In fact, there was unity. It only consisted in something completely different. It’s not at all that everyone gathered and poked at the Poles. Unity in the years of the Troubles was only beginning to form, amazing, not too typical for our country. There was a Zemsky Sobor. The first Zemsky Sobors began to gather under Ivan the Terrible, then they gained incredible influence during the Time of Troubles, but under the first Romanovs they gradually faded away. And what does unity have to do with it? Moreover, the Zemsky Sobor is a gathering of different people from different groups of the population, from different parts of the country, who gather and solve the most important issues for the country.