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God, Tsar, and PeopleThe Political Culture of Early Modern Russia$
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Daniel B. Rowland

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501752094

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501752094.001.0001

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Did Muscovite Literary Ideology Place Limits on the Power of the Tsar (1540s–1660s)?

Did Muscovite Literary Ideology Place Limits on the Power of the Tsar (1540s–1660s)?

(p.82) Chapter 4 Did Muscovite Literary Ideology Place Limits on the Power of the Tsar (1540s–1660s)?
God, Tsar, and People

Daniel B. Rowland

Cornell University Press

This chapter talks about Richard Pipes' publication of a sweeping and influential reinterpretation of pre-Soviet Russian political culture. It analyses Pipes' central idea that Muscovite Rus´ was a patrimonial state and the tsar or great prince exercised power that is comparable to that of the possessor of dominium in Roman law. It also details how Pipes traced the growth of the actual power of the monarch and the gradual narrowing of the boundaries of possible action for all classes. The chapter explains why no class or social group was able to limit the excessive growth of royal power. It discusses the ideology of royal absolutism in Russia that was worked out by clergymen who felt that the interests of religion and church were best served by a monarchy with no limits to its power.

Keywords:   Richard Pipes, pre-Soviet Russian politics, Russian political culture, Roman law, royal power, royal absolutism, Russia

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