Military Review

Salt Riot. To the 365 anniversary of the first Russian tax refome


The famous Moscow Salt Riot 1648 of the Year was a reaction to Russia's first tax reform. The words “reform,” “reformer,” have been fundamentally discredited by inept and disinterested liberals who have been looting the country under the guise of reforms. But the famous boyar Boris Ivanovich Morozov (1590-1661), under which the salt tax was imposed, was, whatever they might be, a reformer in the positive sense of the word.

Back in 1633, during the reign of Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich, he was appointed uncle (tutor) of Tsarevich Alexei. In the 1645 year, when the heir was only 16 years old, Mikhail Fedorovich died, and his spouse followed him. Mentor of the young Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich 55-year-old Boris Morozov became the second (and in fact, before the king came of age, the first) in the state. In 1645 – 1648, Morozov led several orders at once — the Big Treasury, the Foreign Quarter, the New Quarter (the pub) and the Streletsky, that is, he concentrated in his hands the management of finances, foreign policy, the armed forces and the state wine monopoly.

The opinions of historians about the role of Morozov as regent-ruler of Russia are contradictory. For example, they talk about his abuses, about the selfish motives of change. Is it so?

To answer this question, we must remember what the Russian state was in 1645. It has increased significantly to the east - by 4267200 square kilometers (eight modern Frances!). On this vast territory lived all 10000 pioneers who laid new cities - Yakutsk, Olekminsk, Verkhoyansk, Nizhnekolymsk ... Moving deep into Siberia brought the state a new source of income, forgotten from princely times of the European part - fur. Foreign merchants bought Russian sable worth its weight in gold. At that time, the furs sold to the West were about the same for Russia as oil and gas are for modern Russia. But in order for the fur income to the treasury to be constant, a lot of money was required. Tens of thousands of new colonists and new staging points-jails were needed to master the vast expanses of Siberia. All this cost a lot of money, which was not in the treasury.

Mikhail Fedorovich, the first king from the Romanov dynasty, rules 32 of the year. During this period, which constitutes the life span of only one generation, Orthodox Russia, with great difficulty, managed to recover from the shock that threatened it with complete annihilation and heal a normal life. However, the revived country did not yet have enough strength to regain the status of a great power, conquered by Ivan the Terrible. The foreign policy position of the state in the north, west and south was the same as after the Troubles. The enemies of Russia still enjoyed the advantages that, without embarrassment, they mined themselves in 1605-1613. Russia was actually in the blockade of neighboring European states. In 1632, the Zemsky Sobor approved the decision of the “great sovereigns” - Patriarch Filaret and his son Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich - to win back the Russian lands they had seized from the Poles. But the main thing was not in formal approval, but in the fact that the people, with the votes of "chosen from the whole earth," agreed to bear the burden of war.

From the merchants and merchants they took the “fifth money” for the needs of the army, that is, one fifth of all revenues, and the nobles and high clergy were obliged to give “inquiry money” - as much as they would be asked.

A rather powerful army was formed (66000 man with 158 guns), in which officers first appeared, mostly foreigners. There was a whole regiment of mercenaries - reitar.

The army moved to Smolensk. At first it worked successfully. Voivode Shein 8 months was besieged by Smolensk, the Poles were preparing to surrender, but then they came to the aid of King Vladislav with a large army. At the same time, a Crimean Khan struck the Russians in the back. Now our army was surrounded by Smolensk. According to the Polyanovsky peace treaty, he had to leave it to Poland.

A few years later, it became possible to break through to the Russian-Azov-Black Sea coast. 18 May 1637, a detachment of Don Cossacks led by ataman Mikhail Tatarinov took a well-fortified Turkish fortress of Azov at the mouth of the Don from the raid. In the summer of 1641, the Turks sent a huge army and navy (up to 200000 people) at Azov. They discharged siege specialists from Europe, and brought in a hundred battering rams. However, all their efforts were in vain. Azov did not give up. True, the Cossacks were extremely exhausted and asked Tsar Michael to send troops to help. The king gathered the boyar duma, then the Zemsky Sobor. But the unfortunate war with Poland was still too fresh in the memory of the 192 elected from different classes. The rich participants of the Council did not support the allocation of "fifth money", and even more so "inquiry money" for a new war. In such circumstances, the king did not dare to start it.

The Cossacks were sent royal letters of commendation, 2000 rubles in salary, cloth, wine and various supplies, but ordered to leave Azov. In the 1643 year, they with proudly deployed prapor left the fortress. I had to forget about going to the sea.

All these long overdue foreign and domestic political problems fell on the shoulders of the new Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich and his "prime minister" Boris Morozov. There was no money in the country. As already mentioned, despite the way out of the crisis, it did not become the former Russia as it was before 1605, when it was considered to be strong European neighbors. The state’s fiscal policy was still extraordinary and went back to the 1616 “Worldwide Sentence”: taxing one-fifth of the income from merchants, and from peasants to 120 rubles from a plow (a huge amount for those times). The rich also had to pay in excess of taxes. With the boyars, the Stroganovs, for example, were due in 1616, 16000 rubles, but the Council obliged them to pay 40000 rubles more.

The Tsar wrote to Stroganov: “Do not take pity on your bellies, although you will bring yourself into poverty. Judge for yourself: if the Polish state and the Lithuanian people end up with a ruin to the Russian state, our true faith, then you and all Orthodox Christians will have no livestock and houses at all. ”
Naturally, after such appeals, all Orthodox paid — the boyars, the merchants, and the peasants. But they could not pay if it was not about the “final ruin”, but, say, about a new war, as in the times of the Azov seat. It was completely obvious that the post-crisis policy with its “patchwork of holes” and local methods of solving problems needed to be changed. The country needed a stable budget and a permanent military budget in particular. To do this, we had to move away from the necessary “sentences” of 1616 of the year, from the “fifth money”, “inquiry money”, from the numerous invented taxes that exhausted the poor population.

Boris Ivanovich Morozov began, as they say, by reducing the expenditures of the state apparatus. Let's listen to what foreign observers have said about this, since the opinion of compatriots is often biased: after all, Morozov, becoming a ruler, placed the most important posts of "his" people, as it happens all the time, and had many enemies among the boyars who were removed from power. The Englishman Samuel Collins, court physician to Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, wrote in the book The Current State of Russia (1671): “Boris, who held the rank of Lord Protector, reduced the number of palace servants, left others for half the salary, raised customs and sent all the old princes to remote areas: Repnina to Belgorod, and Kurakin to Kazan. ”

Austerity regime Morozov set throughout the state. The salaries of foreign officers, archers and gunners were reduced. Overseas merchants raised taxes. But at the same time, Morozov replaced numerous direct taxes, imposed on a given case, with a single tax on salt. He began a census of the population in the cities, so that all citizens paid the state taxes evenly.

Morozov’s fiscal policy, as you see, was rather balanced and did not strike only the poor, as often happens. In general, the greed of Morozov the ruler and the Morozov landlord was apparently exaggerated by his enemies and is not confirmed by the documents that have reached us. In the already cited book of S. Collins it is said about Morozov: “He died ... in extreme old age, having seen the successful action of his councils (italics mine. - A.V.), beloved by the sovereign and mourned by all the people, except the nobility, which until now can fulfill their intentions. "

So, Collins confirms that B.I. Morozov had many enemies among the nobles. It seems that this is where the origins of the riot that broke out against him in Moscow should be sought. No, I do not claim that the poor people were pleased with the burdensome salt tax. But we note that the rebellion began on 12 on June 1648 of the year, and the young king canceled the salt tax as early as January of the previous year (however, the arrears on it continued to be levied), immediately after his wedding with Maria Ilyinichna Miloslavskaya. (58-year-old Morozov, by the way, then married the sister of Maria Ilyinichna Anna and thus intermarried with the king).

The fact is that in Russia of that time (as, indeed, in the present), there was a paradoxical situation: there were a lot of taxes, but there were many such people who did not pay them at all or partially paid them.

They lived mainly in settlements, that is, in settlements or urban areas that are free, as their name implies, in whole or in part from taxes. Such privileges were used either by peasants and artisans from church settlements, or by the owners of “strategic” at that time professions - archers, gunsmiths, blacksmiths, coachmen, etc. It is clear that settlements, like the current “free economic zones”, were forced measures era of overcoming the crisis after the Time of Troubles with its tactic of "patching holes". The normal tax policy of a stable state comes from the fact that the fiscal rules are the same for everyone. It was precisely to this that Morozov strove when he realized, having headed the Order of the Big Treasury, that the policy of “free economic zones” had become obsolete, since almost half of the population of cities did not pay taxes. And these people were better off than, say, “black-nosed” peasants who did not enjoy any benefits!

Especially a lot of settlements were at that time in Moscow and Moscow region. Naturally, Morozov's reforms did not cause any delight in their inhabitants.

However experience stories he says that ordinary Russian people are not inclined to rebel just because some measure of the government beats them. They rebel either because of completely unbearable living conditions, or at the instigation of reputable people who tend to trust.

The “color revolutions” and the “marshlands” of their variants were not born today. The Salt Riot and its selective focus - personally against Morozov and his people in the government had all the signs of instigation of the Moscow nobility in disgrace, who, however, having won, was forced, according to Collins, to act in the same direction as Morozov but not so successful.

There is no doubt that Morozov was overbearing and very jealous of those who would like to enter into the closest circle of the king besides his will, but tell me which politician, even the Christian politician, is free from such shortcomings?

Maybe the salt tax itself was a mistake, because it pulled the price increase for salted fish - the main food of the poor Muscovites. However, new types of taxes and duties, such as, for example, the introduction of a government yardstick for measuring tissues, which cost ten times more than the host yardstick, which for some reason was always less than the government one (hence the saying “measure it to your yardstick”) also did not use, to put it mildly, popularity. Fabrics, like fish, became more expensive, and merchants were deprived of the opportunity to cheat, which was unbearable for other representatives of this profession.

But where did you see the taxes that would suit everyone? For example, I know a lot of people who are not satisfied with the current 13-percent income tax. They say that the poor should pay no more than five, and the rich - 50 percent or even 75, as Hollande wanted in France (emotionally, I, too, “for”).

But suppose they introduce such a tax grid, and manufacturers immediately raise the price of their products, as was the case with Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich. What is called where throw, everywhere a wedge. One thing is clear: without a clear centralized taxation, Russia, which became in the reign of Mikhail Fedorovich a huge Eurasian state, could not exist.

Morozov's fiscal policy, even in the absence of abuses "on the ground" in any case, would cause discontent. Another thing is that not all discontent leads to rebellion, as we have already noted. Apparently, Morozov’s enemies considered that it was necessary to use a favorable moment, because otherwise it could not have been foreseen if the Morozov reforms were successful.

I will not describe a fairly well-known picture of the Salt Riot, let me just say that the key point was the refusal of the archers to carry out Morozov’s orders. And the archers, I remind you, also fell "under taxes."

The leaders of the people who broke into the Kremlin called Morozov "a traitor and an enemy of a common cause," which was not and could not be any evidence. The houses of Morozov and other boyars were ravaged, the rebels scored to death with sticks of deacon N. Chisty, whose name was associated with a salt tax. The crowd demanded that Morozov and the heads of his orders be issued for reprisal — that is, the entire government of that time. The situation had the distinct character of a planned coup d'état. The young king, having no firm support in crafty archers, was partially forced to yield: he gave into the hands of the rebels the boyars L. Plescheyev and P. Trakhaniotov, for whom, perhaps, there were abuses, but they certainly did not commit crimes deserving the death penalty. However, it was not enough for the rebels to tear apart Plescheyev and Trakhaniotov: they wanted Morozov’s blood. The patriarch walked three times from the king to appease the crowd, but did not achieve anything.

Then, according to an anonymous Swedish author, an eyewitness to the events, Aleksei Mikhailovich himself "came out to the people with a bare head and with tears in his eyes, begged and for God's sake asked them to calm down and spare Morozov for rendering great services to his father."

The king promised to remove Morozov from all public affairs. After that, there was some lull, and, using it, Alexey Mikhailovich sent Morozov to the Kirillo-Belozersky monastery under the strong protection of the archers.

At the end of August, 1648, when the situation had stabilized sufficiently, the king allowed Morozov to move to his Tver region, and from there to Pavlovskaya Sloboda, situated near Moscow. In October, Boris Ivanovich already appeared in the capital on the baptism of the Tsar's firstborn and soon again became the Tsar's closest adviser, but he had never occupied such a position in the state as before May 1648 of the year. But what is curious: the new head of government, I.D. Miloslavsky, B.I. Morozov, in May 1663, he asked for a loan of more than a thousand rubles (a very large sum at that time) from ... Morozov’s widow Anna Ilyinichna. Judging by the fact that the money was not given on parole, as it was then between relatives, but with an official record in the income book (“Boyar Ilya Danilovich loan”), it is unlikely they were intended for Miloslavsky’s personal use. Probably the head of government, with the help of a rich daughter, patched another budget hole.

In the middle of 1664, Mr. Semyon Dezhnev brought huge, at that time, money from 17340 rubles in silver from Siberia to the treasury. He himself 19 years did not receive a salary. What reward was waiting for a hero?

Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich appointed Dezhnev a third of his salary in money - 126 rubles 20 kopecks in silver, and two-thirds in cloth. Even if he gave all the money, it would be 378 rub. 60 cop., By 19 rub. 92 cop in year. But, apparently, the king could not pay all the money, money was in short supply. The state seems to be back in 1645 year ...

Fiscal reform was fully implemented only by Peter I, but in a much tougher version (especially for ordinary people) than Morozov had suggested.
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  1. avt
    avt 17 June 2013 09: 09
    Explanatory article .------ ,, "Color revolutions" and their "swamp" versions were not born today. The "salt revolt" and its selective orientation - personally against Morozov and his people in the government had all traces of instigations by the disgraced Moscow nobility, which, however, having won, was forced, according to Collins, to act in the same direction as Morozov, but not so successfully. "----- Very correctly noted. good The Tsar, of course, "Quiet" and the kingdom was stormy. What was the cost of the church reformation, practically the civil war, known as the revolt of Stenka Razin, not to mention the wars with the Lyakhs.
    1. fartfraer
      fartfraer 17 June 2013 09: 19
      what does the "swamp" have to do with it? we have taxes and so scale, just people have learned to lie to the state and hide income. well, and minimizing the cost of the state apparatus is carried out, only there are more officials than in the USSR. the author is a big request, if you are so interested this topic, then please write about the NEP, they have achieved economic recovery by reducing taxes and increasing their collection
      1. avt
        avt 17 June 2013 13: 21
        Quote: fartfraer
        what has the "swamp" to do with it? Our taxes are already scaled, just people have learned to lie to the state and hide their income.

        This is understandable, but only such large-scale demonstrations on economic grounds always pursue a specific political goal, as a rule, to overthrow or limit the current regime. It only seems that this is how everything is twisted on Facebook. The Romanov dynasty did not take root at once and with a fair amount of blood from compatriots and ruling elites, both former and those who stood around the throne. It was not for nothing that the localism, destroyed under Petrusha No. 1, was ridiculed, and the rank lists were destroyed even earlier under Fyodor Alekseevich. So, go and figure out who the nobility was given by Zarusky, False Dmitry No. 1 or some other king of the Time of Troubles, and so all are entirely noble boyars. Well, as we have now, Baron Kobzon or some other businessman on the occasion of himself straightened his pedigree and now a set of their blogs is ready. Well, there are already quite enough thirsty for the monarchy ,,, The history of the city of Foolov "is not taught at school now laughing
        1. fartfraer
          fartfraer 17 June 2013 13: 41
          I am far from the "swamp" ones, but I haven’t heard that they put forward any demands with regards to taxes. By the way, it’s not about income, it’s about other taxes and fees, as well as about paying for the services of "natural" monopolies for legal entities . lice pr. "commerce".
  2. svskor80
    svskor80 17 June 2013 09: 38
    Plus article. Indeed, I know very little about Russia of the XNUMXth century.
  3. Isk1984
    Isk1984 17 June 2013 10: 04
    Indeed, what does the marsh have to do with it, then the Hard workers came to the Kremlin, the so-called ordinary people, he was not mad about fat, but from extreme extremes to tolerance, and you know how people endure it for a long time, but if you bring it to the handle, everyone will hold on to everything , So now this is a swampy Kremlin affair, but when Uncle Petit leaves the factories and the depot, then he gets everyone nuts, and the riot police will immediately dress the citizen .....
  4. Consul-t
    Consul-t 17 June 2013 11: 45
    How much we do not know about Russia.
    How many great people have been undeservedly forgotten and sunk into history, who, not sparing their belly, built the Great State.
    And we, descendants, excuse me, slowly we are all asking ... paradise ...
  5. Petrol
    Petrol 17 June 2013 12: 45
    "STATE" - the system is not for Slovenes, it is alien to us!
    1. fartfraer
      fartfraer 17 June 2013 13: 47
      at the moment, the citizens of the Russian Federation are not able to live without the state without losing the integrity of the territories. communal relations have quite evolutionarily replaced the creation of a single state - having united it is easier to solve many (all, to be precise) problems. The trouble is that the "servants of the people" forget that First of all, they should work for the benefit of the state and its citizens, and not for their own pocket. But this is the problem of the population, and not of these "servants".
  6. Uhe
    Uhe 17 June 2013 16: 05
    About 13% tax. The fact is that the rich in Russia pay even less - about 6%, and even with a certain nimbleness - even less;) What does it have to do with emotions when the overwhelming majority of citizens simply feed a bunch of usurpers who have taken office a source of personal gain and, in the guise of those who have taken control of all the wealth of our land inherited from our ancestors?
  7. Begemot
    Begemot 17 June 2013 17: 49
    Nothing changes in the Russian state: It’s cheating in every way, opposing a policy that would send money to the treasury, and not to their money, the archers are naughty, they voluntarily seize goods from the artisans and merchants, the Crimean Khan threatens to attack the Kemsku parish, and keep the army not at all. Merchants strive to withdraw goods from the limits, and do not return the money back, buy overseas huts.
    It's like reading today's news.
  8. Mikhail3
    Mikhail3 17 June 2013 18: 37
    What was the reformer's mistake? Inability to properly dispose of the army, of course. As often happens with us, the army has nothing to do with it. Well, I got it ...
    Second. Our man, Russian, is primarily Russia. This is our country, built on the holographic principle. Each of the real Russians thinks not only for himself, but also for the State. You see - when they burst into the Kremlin, who did the Buzoters call their enemy? A traitor to the common cause! That is, they based their claims not on the amount of the tax, not on "greed" or any abuses. They held a company among the residents of the capital, in which they primarily focused on the main thing. Tax harms the State! And, unfortunately, they believed them.
    That is, the main mistake of the reformer is the lack of work with people. Not lying lies that were used by enemies (the age of lies is short, and after that you won't wash yourself off, no one will believe anymore) but a systematic explanation of the ongoing transformations. Which could and should have been done, and there was an opportunity - for example, all the residents of the capital were literate almost without exception ... But no. This is also a Russian tradition - almost any of our government strives to make us happy, stunning us with another reform from behind on the sly. And then he is terribly surprised why he got it from the "happy" population in the snout ...
  9. avt
    avt 17 June 2013 18: 56
    Quote: Mikhail3
    You see - when they burst into the Kremlin, who did the Buzoters call their enemy? A traitor to the common cause! That is, they based their claims not on the amount of the tax, not on "greed" or any abuses. They held a company among the residents of the capital, in which they primarily focused on the main thing. Tax harms the State! And, unfortunately, they believed them.

    We placed the emphasis correctly. It was work with the population and a completely prepared political demand for a specific action by the government, a complete analogy with different springs and "swamp" springs where there is not even one step from fair elections to GDP, everything is in one bottle. Quite a prepared action, , disgruntled townspeople ". Quite a tough game of elites for power. Well, he answered "the quietest" also with an interesting, rather bloody move - the church reform of Nikon. Which finally consolidated the spiritual legitimacy of the dynasty. To carry it out, as a certain arbitrator, Patriarch Macarius of Antioch was summoned, in particular, he ordained quite a lot of priests in Russia during residence time. Antioch by the way present Suryia -Syria.
  10. Uzoliv
    Uzoliv 17 June 2013 19: 36
    Morozov’s financial policy is a very tough financial oppression that has affected all segments of the population. It is in this that one must look for the causes of the Moscow riot of 1648. The government simply did not have support. They cut down the salaries of not only palace servants - as the author writes; cut the salaries of the archers, reduced the cost of nobles and clerks, abolished a number of privileges for monasteries, introduced new taxes for merchants (here, however, there was one plus from the foreigners they began to take a fee on a par with the Russians, before that they had privileges), they took up hard on arrears.
    On the one hand, the Salt tax is a quite progressive measure, it is a normal indirect tax - you pay as much salt as you eat, and the government canceled two direct taxes - Streletsky and Yamskaya, hoping to cover these shortages with salt. As they say - they wanted the best, but it turned out as always. The rich had large reserves and did not buy much new salt, while the poor reduced their consumption. As a result, instead of increasing tax revenues, they received even less. And then the fun began. The salt tax was recognized as a failed measure and returned to the old taxation system. At the same time, the population had to pay for the missed time (and this is almost two years) Yamsky and streletskie money. And how would you feel about such a fortress?
    Of course, one cannot but agree with the fact that the treasury needed to be replenished, the state had a lot of tasks, including defense ones. And you need to save. But leadership must begin with itself. And here we need to look at the personality of Boris Ivanovich Morozov. Historians do not undertake to accuse him of bribery and bribery. It's about another, in modern terms - the use of official position. A small reference: in 1638 Morozov had 320 yards (a sort of average boyar), in 1647 already 6034, in 1653 - 7254 yards. Morozov’s fortune was due to the generous donations of the tsar and the Muscovites knew this, they became poor - the boyar became rich. Maybe this is the root of the people's dislike of Morozov?
    And the author writes that Morozov’s personal greed is not documented. However, there are documents, this is the correspondence of Morozov with his clerks and elders. in which he teaches them how to circumvent decrees, how to discourage an insistent plaintiff, or make an innocent defendant guilty. Cases are known when Morozov kept poached and harbored the peasants of neighboring landowners. He probably did this on the basis of humane, disinterested considerations.
    Based on the foregoing, I believe that the government did not have the patience and it went too far, plus the unpopularity among the people of the main reformer (and the subordinates took an example from him), this led to an explosion. Let me also remind you when Alexei Mikhailovich there were other unrest - a copper riot, a split, a revolt of Stepan Razin.
  11. avt
    avt 17 June 2013 21: 27
    Quote: Uzoliv
    Let me also remind you when Alexei Mikhailovich there were other unrest - a copper riot, a split, a revolt of Stepan Razin.

    hi Yes, I forgot and forgot the monetary reform with the introduction of copper coins. sad But this step was repeated by Roosevelt in America in the fight against depression, the same, under pain of criminal punishment, withdrew precious metals from the population, leaving only jewelry. But the "quietest" did not work from the first call.