WI: Ivan V Is Healthy

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by JonasResende, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. JonasResende Well-Known Member

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    So, @President Roosevelt's TL got me thinking about the differences between the Petrine Reforms and the earlier Feodorian Reforms (well, that and some posts made in my Saxon Hercules thread). However, also the instability that plagued Russia in the 1680s and 1690s (and one could argue, all the way until the end of the Miloslavski line), had, at its root, the death of Feodor III, and the contested succession between his autistic, myopic full brother, Ivan V, and his healthier half-brother, Pyotr (later called the Great).

    So, what if Ivan is born healthy. Now, ISTR reading that the Miloslavski boys of Tsar Alexei were losers in the genetic lottery as a general rule, with all three of his sons who survived infancy (Tsarevich Alexei, Feodor III and Ivan V) all suffering from health-problems. Thus, the "healthy" means more like Feodor/Pyotr - i.e. active and intelligent - than OTL Ivan, who doesn't seem to have been much beyond pious.

    Ivan is born, reasonably healthy, and things progress as OTL until Feodor III dies on schedule. With a hale and hearty Ivan to succeed him, how does this affect things? Sophia Alexeïevna's regency? How do the Naryshkins react? Would the Feodorian Reforms continue? Could Ivan recall Golitsyn(?) from the disastrous campaigns in Crimea (or better still, block Golitsyn from leading them to start with?).

    Calling @Valena, @alexmilman and any others knowledgeable on 17th/18th century Russian history
     
  2. Valena Well-Known Member

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    Well, the differences will be evident since the late half of 1670ies. The more active Ivan will be a) receiving the same Simeon of Polotsk's tutelage Feodor, Alexis Jr. and Sophia received, though not necessary being the brilliant student; b) be no stranger to his elder brother's hunts and wargames amusement.
    The second part means that he'll likely have his own cadre of favorites, and by 1682 the events of Khovanchina may transpire quite differently from OTL, since, if Ivan has his share of public appearances not causing doubt of his health, the rebellion is non-starter from the beginning, or at least as anything else than rebellion against mismanagement (there was a story with theft of funds by Streltsy colonel, who was arrested and then released soon after Feodor's death). Sophia thus may be reduced to behind-the-scenes, but influental player, rather than frontline regent.
    That means that ATL Ivan will also select a wife on his own, though it is not known from which family. There was an idea to marry him to Maria Sheremeteva, a sister of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boris_Sheremetev
    That allows to put Boris Sheremetev (TTL brother-in-law to the Tsar) in charge of ATL Crimean campaigns, thus avoiding Golytsin's mismanagement of those.
     
  3. JonasResende Well-Known Member

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    Any reason why Ivan may not be a brilliant student (not like Petya was and look at the outsize impact he was to have - for good or bad).
    I like the idea of a mismanagement rebellion rather than it turning into the massacre of OTL, which means that Petya will probably have a more stable life (in theory), although I could still see the Naryshkins agitating for influence/power.
    Ms Sheremeteva could be interesting, especially if this means that Boris will be in charge in the Crimea. Any ideas what avoiding Golitsyn's mismanagement might accomplish? i.e. will Russia conquer the Crimea?
     
  4. Valena Well-Known Member

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    No reason, thus "may or may not", but anyways, that would be the top class humanist education.
    At the very least the results of 1695 campaign may be achieved as early as 1688.
     
  5. Valena Well-Known Member

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    I did a thread/discussion on topic sometime back, may repost it here when I have time.
     
  6. JonasResende Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I'm not overly clued up on the 1695 campaign, so if it achieves the goals as early as 1688 would that mean an earlier peace? Or simply that the Russians would keep pushing further?

    That'd be awesome, thank you
     
  7. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    Ivan is still young so Sophia is most probably a regent and Vasili Golitsin a prime minister. Which means that there is a chance for the steady reforms instead of the Petrian mess (and rollback of thr existing reforms by Naryshkin government).

    As for the military aspect, Sheremetev would be a nice military addition to Golitsin’s civilian administration. Both were (rather untipical) decent people. Not sure about Sheremetev’s ability to conquer the Crimea but he could do Azov.
     
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  8. Valena Well-Known Member

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  9. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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  10. Valena Well-Known Member

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    I'm not thinking about Crimea, but Azov and Ochakov are pretty manageable. There is also no "weird war" of 1690-1694 when the Naryshkin government OTL pretty much sat on their ass doing nothing and did not perform its duties as an ally.
    By the way, can't find a thread, must have been a PM conversation.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
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  11. JonasResende Well-Known Member

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    Agreed that Sheremetev is not a military genius - however, as his English wikipedia article states "For much of the war he served as the commander-in-chief and most senior officer in the Russian army. Sheremetev was very cautious in his movements but proved more effective than the younger Prince Menshikov, the second-in-command, whose impulsiveness did not always lead to success". And sometimes a cautious man who is winning is better than a rash idiot who is losing.

    That said, if we have the original reforms continuing "unbroken", how might things in Russia be different by say, 1700 (I'm assuming Ivan, with better health, will at least see the turn of the century)? Also, is an Empress Sheremeteva completely out of left field (or might he try for a foreign low-ranking royal)? AIUI Sophia married him to Praskovia Saltykova in the hopes of him producing an heir quickly, however, Ivan was slow out the gate OTL.
     
  12. Valena Well-Known Member

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    He will stay traditional, at the very least. So a brideshow is in order, and then Maria may be picked (for reason, among other, of not elevating YET ANOTHER parvenue family by virtue of them becoming Tsar's in-laws, the Sheremetevs are the well-established boyar clan).
    Regading the reforms - by 1700 the military will be in better shape comparing to OTL, when there is no Naryshkins to roll the reform back.

    By the way, the fate of Peter TTL is interesting. Feodor III was adamant against causing any harm to Peter, who was a godson of his, but Ivan's attitude to his half-brother may differ. Though I don't think things will come down to outright fratricide, instead Peter will be free to do stupid boyish stuff he did OTL until his mother died, maybe to lesser degree.
     
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  13. JonasResende Well-Known Member

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    Maybe prevent Pyotr from marrying as a way of cutting off any threat from that side? Or do you think Ivan would still allow it? OTL he was pretty close to Natalia Naryshkina (which I see no reason to change just because of his better health). He'd probably be aware of the possibility of a threat from Pyotr and Natalia, but whether he'd do anything about it before he has a son (maybe two) of his own is open to question
     
  14. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    The allied duty is weird. IIRC, the main reason for the Tsardom to join the League was to negotiate a permanent possession of Kiev. Taking into an account that it was already in the Russian hands on "temporary basis" and that the PLC clearly did not have a realistic possibility for a major war with the Tsardom (after all expenses of the anti-Ottoman War), with the same success Sophia government could use a more cynical approach: just keeping Kiev and daring the PLC to try to take it back. Taking into an account, with a benefit of a hindsight, that coalition members screwed their Muscovite allies by refusing to include their demands into Karlowitz Treaty, this would be completely within framework of the accepted "Western" diplomacy.

    Capturing of both Azov and Ochakov made sense only within a general framework of the aggressive expansion along the Black Sea's Northern coast which would include Ottoman's defeat on a scale forcing them to guarantee some kind of a free passage through the Straits. But, short of an absolute miracle, it was unrealistic for Tsardom of that time to implement such a policy. It was not possible even in the 1730's when such an attempt had been made: even with the reforms of Munnich Russian armies were too slow and cumbersome to be able to hold the Crimea and without it the whole system would be rather shaky. Of course, it was possible, pretty much as in OTL, to take Azov (and temporarily) occupy Kerch thus forcing the Ottomans to some peace arrangements but what's the practical point without a merchant traffic and secured coastal area (none of these conditions were possible with the Tatars still active)?
     
  15. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    Russian Empire was a matter of undefined future and Tsaritsas tended not too play a serious role in Tsardom of Moscow so it would be pretty much of no importance to whom Ivan is married except that it may result in the promotion of different people. However, even with a benefit of such a promotion, Boris Sheremetev was as close to the top as was practically possible: from 1697 he commanded Russian armies in Belgorod defending the Southern border (aka, already was an independent army commander).
     
  16. knightdepaix Well-Known Member

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    Could Peter the Great create a duchy of Livonia over modern day Estonia and Latvia while fighting against Sweden in the Great Northern War and install Ivan V as the puppet ruler? Then his daughter Praskovya Ivanovna would became the de facto first ruler and duchess. Her granddaughter Anna Leopoldovna the second ruler. Anna's son Ivan VI the third. In essence, the Russia under the family of Peter the Great would control the access via Saint Petersburg to the Baltic Sea while the descendants of Ivan V controlled Latvia and Estonia. After the Napoleonic Wars, Ivan V's descendants would control the Grand Duchy of Finland and Livonia while Russia took over the southern portion of Livonia -- modern day Latvia to surround Prussia on two sides -- northeast and east.
     
  17. JonasResende Well-Known Member

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    By the time of the GNW, Ivan V was dead, and if Ivan's healthier, Petya is unlikely to be co-ruler as OTL anyway
     
  18. Aphrodite Well-Known Member

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    ivan would have been nearly 16, the age of majority for Tsars. He would have had a top notch education and a mind of his own. Whatever role Sophia plays in his reign would depend on her relationship with her- does he respect her opinions or does he see her as domineering.

    What he would have thought of his brother's reforms and what policies and personel decisions he would have made are pure speculation and dangerous prospecting

    As to Peter, he would have been raised as the heir apparent as there was no other choice. He would receive a top notch education and been exposed to the affairs of state but never allowed to form a rival clique. His trip abroad is unlikely
     
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  19. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    Vasily Golitsin already made an impressive career under Fedor: he was made a boyarin, a head of "Pushkarsky prikaz" (basically a military ministry) and "Vladimirsky Sudnii Prikaz" (the highest court in the Tsardom). In 1680 he was made a head of the armies guarding Ukraine and by a skillful diplomatic activities managed to stop the hostilities with a resulting Peace of Bakhchisarai (1681). Besides being a staunch supported of Miloslavsky faction, he belonged to the top of the Russian aristocracy but "Mestnichestwo" had been abolished on his insistence.
    So if Ivan is as intelligent as you want him to be, Golitsin is the best person he has in his disposal and if Ivan is smart, he keeps using him.

    Without getting into a complete fantasy land we can assume that alt-Ivan would continue the existing reforms including westernization of the Russian army. While it is rather unlikely that all proposals attributed to Vasily are going to be implemented (presumably he argued for abolishing a serfdom; which anyway was at that time far from the slavery introduced by Peter and his successors) but some steady progress can be expected. Most probably Russia would not lose 20 - 25% of its population and does not end up with a disastrous economic model.

    I'm not sure if giving Peter a top notch education would produce an educated person: he was clearly incapable of a systematic study preferring the physical activities. This does not mean that he was stupid but inability to concentrate on the desk-related activities and a systematic work was there. Hence his countless chaotic laws and regulations, endless reshuffling of administrative structures, etc. I'd say that given an opportunity he would keep playing with his "poteshny" troops (somehow when Peter III and Paul I were doing the same, it was considered a clear indication of a degeneracy), sailing boats on the lakes and spending the rest of his time drinking and whoring in the German Settlement.
     
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  20. Aphrodite Well-Known Member

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    @alexmilman If Ivan is healthy and of sound mind we can safely say a lot changes. First, there is no succession crisis and Peter is never made co Tsar. He would remain heir apparent until Ivan has a son. In OTL he has only daughters and Russian history would change dramatically if his lineage vied with Peters for the throne.

    Now for Peter's education- he wouldn't be Tsar when he was educated but heir apparent. While Tsars are obeyed, heir apparents must obey. Peter may have gotten a formal education whether he wanted one or not. His hands on approach though isn't bad and he may have been given some assignments under Ivan. If Ivan dies on schedule, Peter would have been 24 when he became Tsar. He would have been older and more mature. Its likely his reforms may have been more fully thought out and implemented much better.

    As for Ivan, his reign is pure speculation. He is a blank slate. There are thousands of decisions Ivan would make that could have a major impact. Most of the time, he would be exposed to powerful arguments for both sides

    On personel, Golitsin might seem an obvious choice but personalities rule in a regime like Tsarist Russia. Ivan might just not like him. Ivan would also know of many other capable officials who were loyal.

    We're on much firmer ground if we are talking about possible changes like Elizabeth remaining Empress for another five years rather than Peter III since we know the policies both pursued. We're still on firm ground when we look at someone like Franz Ferdinand who participated in government and left a vast amount of writings on political matters. But Ivan is a pretty blank slate
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
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