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The conditions of military service were improved, the armed forces were reorganized, and the system of command altered so that commanders were appointed on merit rather than simply by virtue of their noble birth.
From that moment onward, the Volga became a Russian river, and the trade route to the Caspian Sea was rendered safe.
In 1550 a new, more detailed legal code was drawn up that replaced one dating from 1497.
Russia’s central administration was also reorganized into departments, each responsible for a specific function of the state.
Ivan engaged in prolonged and largely unsuccessful wars against Sweden and Poland, and, in seeking to impose military discipline and a centralized administration, he instituted a reign of terror against the hereditary nobility.
Vasily had been able to appoint a regency council composed of his most trusted advisers and headed by his wife Yelena, but the grievances created by his limitation of landholders’ immunities and his antiboyar policies soon found expression in intrigue and…
Ivan lived exclusively in this entourage and withdrew from the day-to-day management of Russia’s administrative apparatus (now called the trampled with impunity on everyone beyond Ivan’s immediate circle.