So I have a cousin.
His name is Ivan.
THIS IS NOT THAT IVAN. Because that Ivan is not really terrible. Most of the time.
BUT THIS IVAN IS PRETTY TERRIBLE.
The last time we looked at Russia, it was pretty happy. Their king was a good guy. In fact, he was Great. But that’s not this story.
WE’RE TALKING ABOUT IVAN THE TERRIBLE.
You see, Ivan’s childhood was pretty sad. He was clothed in rags and barely fed. Until the important people came over, in which he was dressed in beautiful clothing and fed like a king. Yeeeeah. His mother was also murdered when he was about 7 or 8. Which made this all worse. He also had his favourite nanny person thing taken away.
He also abused animals. Now I’m not exactly PETA or anything, but when people purposefully go and hurt animals it’s pretty sad. Like... seriously? Bah. So he took to throwing cats and dogs out the window. Like4srs.
And when when as about 13, he threw the next in line to a pack of wild dogs. Which meant he was Czar. And his first duty as czar was to find himself a wife. And out of a lot of women, he picked a woman named Anastasia. And it appeared that he did have a heart ,and it was for her.
Next, he decided he was going to conquer a country city thing. So how it looked on paper was something like he’d march on in to this meeting and help the people make decisions.
It was just a little more forceful than that. He pretty much became a dictator.
Now his laws weren’t to terrible at first. In fact, there were pretty good. He expanded the kingdom, and pretty much got rid of all the Muslim Tatars. This also helped a lot with trade.
And when he conquered a city full of them, he cried because of all the dead. And he felt bad, and he had pity on them.
But that flew right out the window. Like cats and dogs.
“Hey! You’re getting your blog in my judgement!”
“Hey! You’re getting your judgement in my blog!”
Because three years later, he had a celebration. And he built a church. “HEY! YEAH! WE KILLED A WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE! LET’S BUILD A CHURCH!”
And it looks like onions.
It was said that he hired two Italian artists to build it. And afterwards, he gouged their eyes out so they would never make anything as beautiful. Yeeeeah.
Or maybe it was two Russians. Maybe he took out their eyes. I dunno. It doesn’t say.
So Russia started up a little trade with the rest of Europe. However, this wasn’t a very big trade, because they were kinda like Japan in keeping themselves walled up. This made Ivan really rich, but the rest of Russia was really poor due to the Feudal System. The peasants were poor, the roads were unpaved, and almost everyone was illiterate.
And in 1560, Anastasia died.
Yeeeeah. Ivan believed she was poisoned, and he might have been right. Because some scientists found a LOT of mercury in her corpse’s hair. This made Ivan mad and insane. Which I’m thinking he was also poisoned, but had a higher tolerance. Mercury pretty much makes you insane, so I’m guessing Ivan got a little bit too.
Ivan sent a farewell letter (?) to the public, and sent one to Moscow about his official resignation. Sorta. He said that he was overthrown by some nobles and the church. Herpderp.
The Lower Class missed him SO BAD. So bad. They begged him to return, because they were afraid they’d crumble without him. So he went back to the throne.
WITH AN IRON FIST. A cruel and paranoid iron first. A very scary iron fist. A very insane iron fist.
And with an attempt to protect himself, he created a WHOLE NEW CLASS of citizens. They were basically a lot of bodyguards. Whether out of paranoia or legitamate danger, he had 1,000 at the beginning and it quickly grew to about 6,000. And this was the beginning of the infamous Russian secret police. They had very, very, VERY few laws except for one: PROTECT IVAN.
And there were two classes now: The ones protecting Ivan, and the rest of them. That means everyone was pushed into Serfdom. This RUINED the economy, and everyone was just confused. It was rumoured that there was a revolt brewing, so guess what Ivan did?
KILL THEM ALL.
At least 3,000 were killed. However, some say that up to 30,000 were killed. Some said that 6,000 were tortured to death. I dunno. But bad shtuff went down.
Ivan spent a lot of time praying, though. He drank excessively. He did all he could to instill fear into his people. He dressed his secret police in BLACK ROBES AND SKULL MASKS.
WHAT THE HECK.
They were the first Death Eaters~!
Okbutso. They’re now going to be called Death Eaters, kay?
The Death Eaters had little tortured chambers which resembled Hell where they impaled victims, roasted them, flayed (that’s skinned alive, for those who don’t know), and fried them. Yes, fried. With oil. Ain’t that nice?
So the Death Eaters were now murderous thugs. Yay~!
The thing that put him over the edge was when he hit his pregnant daughter. This caused her to loose the baby, and her husband got in a fight with Ivan. He killed him, and then proceeded to feel really really REALLY bad.
He suffered a ~strange illness~ towards to end of his life, which was probably poisoning. On his death bed, he wanted to make the vows of a monk and be buried as such. Someone thought this was a good idea, and let him be a monk. He was buried like one.
So yeah. He wasn’t really that bad at first, but... Yeeeeah. It got really bad at the end.
Oh, by the way...
Since the beginning on this lesson...
HE’S BEEN STARING INTO YOUR SOUL~!