Elena Glinskaya - reform. Elena Vasilyevna Glinskaya, mother of Ivan the Terrible. Monetary reform of Elena Glinsky

Elena Glinskaya was the second wife of Vasily III and the mother of Ivan the Terrible. After the death of her husband, due to her young sonhood, she served as regent and in fact (in 1533 - 1538) ruled by Russia with the assistance of the Boyar Duma. The war with Lithuania and the most important internal monetary reform that had a beneficial effect on the economic development of the country fell on this period.

Marriage with Basil III

Born in 1508, Elena Glinskaya belonged to the princely family. Her relatives fled from Lithuania to Russia. Before that, Glinsky owned lands and cities in Left-Bank Ukraine.

Elena went down in history as the second wife of the Grand Duke of Moscow Vasily III. The family life of this ruler was dramatic.His first marriage with Solomoniya Saburova was unsuccessful. For unknown reasons, the wife could not get pregnant and give the sovereign a heir. Vasily did not want dynastic problems and decided to conclude a second marriage. Solomonia was sent to the monastery. The prince married Elena, a girl from the eminent Glinsky family.

monetary reform elena glinskaya

Birth of Ivan the Terrible

Many of Vasily's confidants, and especially church leaders, did not approve the illegal divorce and the new wedding. Religious people accused the sovereign of fornication. Some were repressed. Shortly after the wedding, in 1530, the mother of Ivan the Terrible gave birth to a child. Interestingly, many years later, when the heir became a bloodthirsty tyrant, the monks and philosophers again recalled the illegality of marriage. The fugitive dissident prince Andrei Kurbsky spoke about this: Ivan was conceived through a violation of the heavenly law, which was the reason for his incredible cruelty.

However, neither Vasily nor his second spouse lived to see those dark times. Their life together was not long, but quite happy. Interestingly, the Glinsky considered themselves descendants of Mamai, defeated by Dmitry Donskoy on the Kulikovo Field.Surely Basil knew about it, choosing a spouse. It turned out that his children were to become descendants of both Mamaia and Donskoy. Moreover, the mother of Ivan the Terrible gave birth to not one boy, but two. The second was, Yuri (1532 - 1563). True, this child from the earliest years showed signs of mental illness. In fact, he was incapacitated, although he was formally considered an important figure in the era of Grozny.

Elena Glinskaya reform

Regency start

Grand Prince Vasily III died suddenly (due to a mysterious illness) in 1533. His heir, Ivan, was three years old and could not rule. Under these conditions, Glinskaya Elena Vasilyevna became regent. The last woman to occupy leadership positions in the Russian state was Princess Olga, who lived in the 10th century.

Helen's inexperience tried to take advantage of all kinds of courtiers. It is known that at the beginning of her reign, the victim of charges of treason became the uncle of Ivan the Terrible, Prince Yury Dmitrovsky. He was put in a dungeon, where he soon died. A similar fate was shared by another brother of Vasily III Andrei.

reforms of the rule of Elena Glinskaya

Monetary reform

The most important event of the regency was Elena Glinskaya's monetary reform. It was the first centralized transformation of its kind in national history. Innovation was prepared by Vasily III.However, he died prematurely, and the need for change remained, so the wife of the deceased, Elena Glinskaya, took over them.

There would be no reform if it were not for the events preceding it. Continuing the policy of his father Ivan III, Vasily III annexed the Moscow principality of Pskov, Ryazan, Novgorod-Seversky and some other cities. Some of them lived independently, others belonged to Lithuania. After the unification, the scattered lands needed the introduction of a common currency, as before each region had its own money. The difference in the coins prevented trade, and therefore - the development of the economy.

value of the reforms of Elena Glinskaya

Prerequisites for innovation

Another problem was that some of the feudal principalities retained the regalia (exclusive right) for minting money. All this considered a relic of the past Elena Glinskaya. There was no reform for a long time, its necessity was in the air. The government is already late. The fact is that it was at that time that trade with both Western and Eastern countries was booming.

The mismatch of nominal values ​​led to errors in calculations and losses. Moreover, the counterfeiters used the mess.In the markets, it was easy to stumble upon unreal money. It was difficult to trace the criminals. And even if someone was executed, it did not reduce the number of cases of financial crimes. The monetary reform of Elena Glinskaya was intended to cut off the possibilities for a sub-mix - the replacement of precious metals in coins with cheaper ones than fraudsters throughout the country used.

Optimal solution

Vasily III led an active foreign policy. Fighting with Lithuania and Tatars, he periodically resorted to the damage of his own money, reducing their weight. In other words, when the treasury was in trouble, cheap metals went into the process of chasing. And although Glinskaya herself refused this practice, the consequences of previous manipulations still affected trade. Her government faced the task of determining the optimal level of silver in coins, at which the economy stabilizes and the outflow of quality money from the country stops.

In addition, ignoring the problem could lead to popular rebellion. The population, dissatisfied with the turmoil of commerce and impoverishment, became vulnerable to an outbreak of rebellion. This happened in national history, however, later.For example, in the 17th century, under Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, there was a copper riot. The essence of the monetary reform of Elena Glinskaya was to stabilize the circulation of money.


At the beginning of 1535 in Moscow a decree was issued on the need to replace old money. Historians have calculated that the planned devaluation during the transition was 15% (the weight of new coins decreased for which a single standard was made, which was 1/3 gram). There were also "polushki". So they began to call coins weighing 1/6 grams (they were intended for small calculations).

Affiliated feudal principalities were deprived of the opportunity to mint their money. Some exceptions were made only for Veliky Novgorod. The fact is that this city played the most important role in the trade of Russia with Europe. Merchant relations with the Old World were long and strong there. Too sharp changes could hinder trade, so Novgorod was allowed to mint the special coins of double weight, which were actively used in the Novgorod markets.

The ability to compromise was important, Elena Glinskaya understood. Reforms, however, were carried out resolutely.Very quickly, the country got rid of obsolete money. Novgorod coins (Novgorod) received a new recognizable image (rider with a spear) because of what they were called pennies. Moscow received the label "saber", because of the characteristic drawings of riders with sabers.

Glinskaya Elena Vasilievna


The key importance of the reforms of Elena Glinsky lay in the fact that innovations actually eliminated the former division of money circulation within Russia into Novgorod and Moscow. Differences remained in the documents, but they also disappeared in the XVII century. Elena Glinskaya contributed to all this. The reforms also made the Moscow monetary system decimal. For example, 1 ruble consisted of 100 Novgorod. It is believed that Russia became the first country where they began to apply a similar principle, which later appeared in other European countries.

What is the reason for the monetary reform of Elena Glinskaya? The need to get rid of obstacles that hinder the development of the economy. What is their consequence? The reforms helped not only the economy, trade and economy, but also the process of centralization. Russia, having united around Moscow, was now one more country in the field of financial relations.It no longer mattered from where a person came from - from Moscow, Ryazan, Tver or any other city - all residents began to use the same money. Foreign trade with neighboring countries also became significantly more active.

The fate of Glinskaya transformations

All reforms during the reign of Elena Glinskaya were carried out as quickly and efficiently as possible. On the one hand, this suggests that the transformation plan was drawn up under Vasily III, and on the other, that the spouse of the Grand Duke was in the know and was able to quickly take matters into her own hands in a difficult situation and finish her husband’s initiative. .

Standards introduced by Elena Glinskaya, existed intact until the Time of Troubles. At the beginning of the 17th century, Polish and Swedish interventionists made their own innovations in parts of Russia. When the Romanovs came to power, financial chaos reigned in the country again. These problems were resolved after the next monetary reform of Alexei Mikhailovich.

the essence of monetary reform of Elena Glinskaya

Foreign policy

In foreign policy, Glinskaya Elena Vasilyevna remained true to the course set by her late husband. The king of Poland and the prince of Lithuania Sigismund I, having learned about the death of Vasily, began to prepare for war.The last conflict of neighbors ended in 1522 with the victory of Moscow, many border lands were added to it, including Smolensk and some other cities. Sigismund hoped that Elena and the Boyar Duma would be mired in internal unrest and would not be able to resist his onslaught. He demanded that Russia return the lands lost in the last war. Ultimatum was rejected. Then a new war began. She walked in 1534 - 1537.

The campaign continued with mixed success. Sigismund could not capture Smolensk. Russian for the defense of the border neighborhood built a fortress Sebezh, but did not take Gomel. The Poles in the new offensive entered Gomel and besieged Starodub. After the Crimean Tatars attacked the Ryazan lands, Elena had to transfer part of the forces there. Finally, the enemy captured and burned Starodub. The authorities had to evacuate the inhabitants of the neighboring Pochep. The fortress was burned, and Sigismund got only ashes.

In the meantime, the Lithuanians opened a new front and attacked Sebezh in the modern Pskov region. The siege failed. Failure allowed the Russian army to seize the initiative. She reached Vitebsk.Since neither side was able to seize the decisive advantage, in 1537 a compromise peace was concluded in Moscow. Lithuania received the Gomel parish, Russia was preserved Velizh, Sebezh and Zavolochie.

mother Ivan the Terrible

Sudden death

Soon after the beginning of the regency, Elena began an affair with one of the nobles, Ivan Telepnev. This relationship did not like other boyars and commoners. The general population was not well regarded by the regent because of its Lithuanian roots. Uncle Mikhail Glinsky criticized her for the connection with Telepnev. He was imprisoned and died there.

Elena herself also lived a short time. She died suddenly on April 4, 1538 at the age of only 30 years. The princess was buried in the Ascension Monastery. She did not wait for the moment when her son Ivan would grow up. The heir was still a child, so the power passed to the impersonal Boyar Duma. Collective government failed. Aristocrats constantly intrigued against each other. Regular reprisals further spoiled the character of the future Ivan the Terrible.

So ended the reign of Elena Glinsky. The reforms and the results of her regency were positive, but the princess never achieved universal popular love, remaining almost unnoticed in Russian history.

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