Painful and weak-willed Fedor had long been the guardian of Godunov and was an obedient puppet in the hands of the powerful Boris, therefore after his death the choice fell on him. The roots of the Godunovs come from a non-native kind that rose in the period of the oprichnina, which allowed the future king to avoid disgrace and repression of Ivan the Terrible.
The enlightened autocrat struggled with drunkenness, strictly prohibiting the free sale of alcohol, which caused outrage among Muscovites. Earlier, Ivan the Fourth and his son Fyodor attempted to limit the pernicious addiction, but all of them were unsuccessful. Boris was actively engaged in enlightenment among his subjects, and even sent an approximate German Kramer to search for teachers and professors. The sovereign paid special attention to preparing his son and raising his daughter. Fedor Godunov, according to contemporaries, had the best teachers and grew up in an atmosphere of enlightenment. From his youth he was preparing to become the sovereign of Russia, and could be a worthy autocrat. Tsarevna Xenia was notable for her special beauty and sharp mind and was considered an enviable bride, even for European lords.
Entertaining historical a fact is Godunov’s attempt to install lighting on Moscow streets. For the solemn meeting of the European ambassadors on the orders of the king along the roads, bonfires were lit, which were controlled by special people. Then the autocrat obliged every evening to light candles and lamps and install them on the windows so that they illuminate the streets. The last decree regarding urban lighting was a document imposing on homeowners the obligation to install lights. From that moment, the streets of the poor differed from the elite in the number of pillars with oil-based lighting devices.
However, the quiet reign and love of the people were not long granted to Boris by fate. The accession to the throne itself was accompanied by a mysterious and inexplicable accident with Tsarevich Dmitry. Some historians are inclined to believe that the death of a child was violent, and King Boris initiated the killing, while others, on the contrary, point out that such an obvious crime to Godunov was not profitable. Numerous facts indicate that the last of the heirs was simply dealt with, and there are suspicions that it was precisely opponents of Godunov who did this in order to accuse him of a terrible crime. The first news about the beginning of the “ferment of minds” was the condemnation of the former comrade-in-arms of Belsky on the report of the tsar's confidants. Then Boris eliminated his closest rivals to the state throne, including the Romanov family, which later played no small role in the elections to the Zemsky Sobor. But the persecutions of Godunov differed sharply from the measures of Ivan the Terrible. Executions and torture were quite rare, and the king removed most of his opponents and dangerous rivals to monasteries, exiles and prisons. Most of them survived Godunov. Reviews of the chroniclers of the atrocities of Tsar Boris no more than an exaggeration, as documents are found that testify to the high level of content of the disgraced nobility. Removing some from the government, Boris inevitably attracted other, even more dangerous competitors, who became his destroyers at the end of the board. For example, the Shuisky then referred to remote corners of the country, then again attracted by the king to the closest circle. Godunov did not pay attention to such an old family as Mstislavsky, did not notice the cunning of Schelkalov and other representatives of the nobility.
Since 1601, a terrible famine broke out in the country, which made the people grumble at the tsar and the boyars. People who so passionately loved and honored Godunov remembered the tragedy in Uglich again. Popular anger, skillfully fueled by manipulations of interested nobility, grew, turning former trust in Godunov into fierce hatred. The situation was artificially aggravated by the actions of some merchants and boyars, who were buying bread, hiding it in their barns for sale at higher prices. Ordinary people died, more and more cannibalism occurred, and in the markets they sold pastries with human meat. Staying in hotels was very dangerous, as their hosts practiced killing their guests for the sake of making dinner. During this period, horses, cats, dogs and rats were eaten, a huge number of children died at the hands of their parents, who were distraught from hunger.
By the decree of Godunov, money from the treasury was allocated for burial, and state bread was distributed, but the crisis was growing, and people's love was finally lost. Only in 1603, the cost of bread began to approach the real one, and the consequences of the horror that befell the country smoothed out.
However, hunger did not pass without a trace. Rising uprisings and unrest began to break out everywhere. The interested elite cultivated in the people the thought that misfortune was a punishment for the people for the sovereign's atrocities. One of the most serious is the movement led by Cotton, whose forces were defeated by the tsarist troops led by Basmanov. An ominous omen of the terrible turmoil and the Polish-Swedish occupation was the appearance of a comet in the sky in 1604, which the astrologers immediately ranked as terrible signs. One can relate to omens in different ways, but one cannot deny the fact that 1604 the year was the moment when the Falsite 1 entered the political arena, which brought much misery and suffering to the Russian lands.
Godunov, being a clever and rational man, ordered at the very first news of the miraculously surviving prince from Uglich to conduct a detailed investigation of his origin. Today, historians hold different points of view on the identity of the first impostor. According to the official theory, the False Dmitry 1 was just a runaway monk Gregory Otrepiev. But there are specialists who say that this man really could have been a prince. In any case, Godunov tried to complete the investigation of the case as soon as possible, since he did not intend to share power with either an impostor or a real heir.
The death of Tsar Boris is also shrouded in mystery and darkness. Karamzin, for example, believes that his followers poisoned the autocrat, although the people were only told that the sovereign had died. There have been attempts on the part of the approximate to explain such a sudden demise of the king by suicide, but this does not seem to be true. Given the character of Godunov, he would hardly have refused further confrontation and struggle for power, leaving his beloved children to pieces and not securing them.