Alcoholic war of Europe against Russia

Drunkenness in Russia has always been considered a Vice and never was a national radicalplanet in Russia has never been considered a national tradition. Drunk theme is not reflected neither in art nor song, nor tales, nor in the heroic epics. Drinking we impose the Western “enlightenment”…


Sober Russia

Author – Valery Samburov

The commitment of our people to alcohol, it is customary to mention, like about something for granted. Even the names of the movies are appropriate – “features national“hunting or fishing. Features – it is pouring in the ears alcohol. Incidentally, this feature of Russian often sticks out in the movie. The Goodies famously upset the glasses without getting drunk. Negative rampage or limp when he was drunk. And the Comedy and the performances of comedians on alcohol topics, built a good half of the jokes (the other half “below the belt”). Proof of the “Russian drunkenness” decided to withdraw from the depth of centuries, from the Chronicles. When St . Vladimir the Baptist came preachers of different religions, and a Muslim said its ban on wine, the Emperor pointed out that faith for us is not suitable, because “the joy of Rus – drinking art”.

Just note: the story of the choice of faith – only legend. A similar “wandering plots” known in the legends of different peoples, they are designed in hindsight to explain why it adopted a particular religion. Actually the choice could not be. Faith is not a commodity, it is not chosen – this is better, but more expensive, this is cheaper, but worse. It is always the same, come to her not by reason, not by logic, but by soul. Yes, and the bans do not fit. Mohammed forbade his followers the fermented juice of grapes. And in the Muslim Volga Bulgaria, which was contacted by St. Vladimir consumed beverages based on honey and not breaking them.

In Russia, too, prepared honey, beer, Greek wine brought. They were used for the holidays – hence the phrase about the “joy of Rus”. This tradition has gone from pagan times, drunkenness was considered sacred. There was also the tradition of princely banquets with the squad. But it wasn’t booze. It was also a special ritual that enshrines the military fraternity. Not accidentally, the bowl was called “brtiney”, it passed in a circle, each takes a SIP little by little.

However, it is possible to compare the attitude to drinking in different countries. According to Scandinavian sagas, it is easy to see that it was considered prestigious, the characters boast a amount of alcohol. Description of the feasts with the intoxicating seas can be found in German, English, French epic. In Russia drunk theme is not reflected neither in art nor song, nor in the heroic epics. Valor is not considered.

On the contrary, the system of Orthodox values promoted abstinence. Reverend Theodosius Of The Caves regularly visiting Kiev of the Emperor Svyatoslav Yaroslavich, instructed him to reduce feasts. Very temperance in eating and drinking remains one of the most popular rulers of Russia, vladimir monomakh. In the famous sermon of the children he wrote: “Beware of all lies, pyanstva and voluptuousness, equally disastrous to body and soul.” This line was continued by the grandson of Monomakh, St. Andrey Bogolyubsky. He even stopped the tradition of feasting with the boyars and retainers.

Of course, not all have followed a similar ideal. But you can highlight the pattern. Manifestations of alcoholism, appear on the pages of Chronicles, associated usually with negative characters or disasters. Svyatopolk the Accursed satiates army before the battle of Liubech. Killer of St. Bogolyubsky heated bravery in the crime, climb into the wine cellar. In 1377, Russian army relaxes in the campaign against the Tatars, “for Drunk people drunk” and was cut. In 1382 perebivaetsya Moscow, foolishly opens the gate to Khan Tokhtamysh and killed in the massacre. In 1433 the city of Basil II generously treats Moscow militia before the tragic fight with Yuri of Zvenigorod. In 1445, he feasts before he defeated the Tatars…

In General, can be traced negative attitude to alcohol abuse. Abroad, the opposite trend was observed. The census strongly extolled medieval songs Vagant, in the masterpieces of the Renaissance – works of Boccaccio, Chaucer, Rabelais. Descriptions of the debauchery continued in the court Chronicles. It boasted, flaunted! Although the Western feast of the era we are with you would seem quite a pleasant sight. In the dimly lit halls doslova smoked torches and oil lamps. Gentlemen and ladies tore the meat with his hands, he nibbled and sucked Mosley, the oil dripping on the fingers and sleeves. On the floor swarmed dogs, romping monsters and dwarfs, muffled chomping General horseplay and rude clown. If someone is intoxicated, fell asleep at the table or under the table in pools of vomit. He was mocked by fools, soiled face for the amusement of the rest of the audience – things like that was common even in the Royal courts.

Egregious drunken outrages were regularly seen in Rome, Paris, London. And in Turkey the wife of Suleiman the Magnificent, the infamous roxelana, planned to smuggle the throne to his son Selim. The allies took the European diplomats and spies. Its goal Roksolana reached, but Western friends her son has acquired appropriate habits, and was nicknamed Selim II the Drunk. None of Russian rulers even in a hostile lampoons like nicknames are not glued!

But it was impossible. For Grand Prince Vasily II the Dark had received a shock became a serious lesson. He began to struggle with alcoholism, and his son, Ivan III do banned alcohol. I wrote about this Venetian diplomat Josaphat Barbaro, praised this practice. To brew beer, to drink strong honey, wine or vodka were allowed only on holidays. If preparing for a wedding, christening, funeral, the head of the family appealed to the office of Viceroy or Governor, paid a certain duty, and he was allowed to make beer or honey. In other cases, the consumption of alcohol forbidden. A man appeared in a public place drunk, was procesuale Batog. And the clandestine manufacture and sale of alcohol entailed the confiscation of property and imprisonment.

In the early sixteenth century, during the reign of Basil III, in Russia there is a military unit of foreigners. In Zamoskvorechye was built by the German Sloboda. But Western soldiers and officers could not do without booze not thought of a sober existence, and they made an exception, allowed to make wine for personal use. As a result, among the Muscovites, the German settlement received eloquent name “the stickers”.

In addition, beer and wine were allowed to keep monasteries. Their statutes were based on the model of the Greek, and in Greece the diluted wine was the common drink. But the use was allowed in small quantities, strictly according to the Charter. Although there were violations, and St. Joseph of Volokolamsk was required to completely abandon intoxicating in monastic cloisters – away from temptation.

The same trend persisted in Ivan the terrible. Michalon Litvin’s treatise “On the customs of Tatars, Lithuanians and the Muscovites,” wrote that his own homeland, Lithuania, at this time, ruined drinking. “The Muscovites and Tatars Lithuanians inferior in strength but superior to them, activity, temperance, courage and other qualities that are approved by the state.” The example the author gave the terrible: “the Freedom it protects the carpet soft, not shiny gold, and iron… of abstinence Tatars oppose a Forbearance of their people, temperance, sobriety, art – art.”

The results showed in full measure. For example, Narva, which was considered impregnable, the Russians could easily take, when the people drunk and made a fire in the city. Even the traitor Kurbsky, defected to the poles, an unpleasant impression of continuous feast. Special disgust was caused by the participation in drinking of noble ladies. He described how the local lords and nobles only know one thing, “sit down at the table, for cups to talk to your drunk women.” “Drunk, they are very brave: take both Moscow and Constantinople, and even if the sky beat the Turks, then and there ready to take it off. And when you lie down on the bed between thick quilts, barely by noon, sleep it off, stand just live with a headache”.

Russian feasts nothing like that rampant had not. “Domostroy”, a very complete and comprehensive manual on the organization of household popular in the XVI century, recommended that women do even without alcohol to settle for a brew or non-alcoholic Braga (luckily, in Russia there was a rich assortment of such beverages). Weddings, christenings, funerals, Christmas, Easter, Shrovetide and other holidays does not look vulgar obiralovka, every holiday was done by certain customs. By the way, at weddings alcohol was intended only for guests, the bride and groom were supposed to be completely sober to conceive healthy offspring. And certainly was not drinking the courtiers peers. It was an official ceremony, with strict court etiquette was painted by the order of the toasts, serving dishes. Foreign diplomats sometimes really tried to drink in the insole, but this was done deliberately to have started the languages, spilling the secrets.

Of course, there were violations of the prohibition, fought with them. German Staden, who served as henchmen told – if detained a drunk, he was kept till morning, to sobered, and then repent by flogging. In Novgorod and Pskov were found smuggling alcohol, it imported from abroad. The Emperor acted according to the law for the guilty to prison and confiscation of property. However, for the majority of partners were limited to the confiscation. Especially, a major scandal broke out with foreigners. In the period, when it was annexed Estonia, the service began to take prisoners Livonians. German settlement in Zamoskvorechye has grown. But the Livonians have abused the privilege to drive the wine, surreptitiously sold it to the Russians. At underground speakeasies flourished in Russia banned gambling, prostitution. French captain Margeret told: the Livonians on the extremely rich, net profit exceeded 100%. Yesterday’s prisoners “behaved so arrogantly, their manner was so haughty and the clothes are so luxurious, that all of them might have been taken for princes and princesses”.

But in 1579 these crimes came to light, angry and menacing. Was a tough war, and prigrevica in the capital strangers solder, corrupted the people, and grew fat on it! In a super-profitable business directly or indirectly involved in the whole German settlement, they all knew where chase and sell alcohol. Margeret and a number of his contemporaries confirmed that a settlement had been punished fairly, and very moderately. Ivan the terrible did not put the perpetrators in jail, but ordered confiscate all the property and inhabitants of the German settlement were evicted outside of Moscow. They were allowed to build a new settlement on the Yauza river, a five minute walk from city – to entice shoppers was inconvenient.

The ban on alcohol in Russia lasted about a century and a half and was cancelled Boris Godunov. He was a “Westerner”, have adopted the international rules. Fasten peasants, inflated taxes. But invented for the people and outlet – opened “Tsarev kabaki”. This allowed to let off the steam of discontent, but to squeeze extra profit, the wine has received the status of state-owned monopolies. In addition, the taverns were wiped detectives, if someone inadvertently chatted drunk, he was dragged to prison.

All these factors formed the background to the Turmoil. By the way, Holy monk Irinarch the recluse, who warned of impending disaster, that they sent for the sins of the people, and among the sins singled out the increased drunkenness. In terms of riots and war, the Tsar Vasily Shuisky tried again to toughen the fight against the Vice. Pole Maskevich was described, in Moscow were arranged in a special “industrial prison”. Here were people who had the temerity to walk around the city under a strong degree. If they were detained for the first time, were provided to sleep it off. The second time flogged with a whip. But if caught for the third time, whipped and sent to prison.

Further punishment was commuted from imprisonment and whip drunkards saved. And the country in the years of the Troubles were destroyed, to abandon substantial items of income were already hard. Taverns have been preserved. But remained the monopoly of the Treasury on the wine trade. For underground distilling and sale of the perpetrator whipped, confiscated property and deported to Siberia. Chase vodka in our country he could, but distilleries prefer not to build. The contract for the supply of alcohol, the Treasury passed to someone from the great merchants, and they bought in Lithuania or in Ukraine.

But if alcohol in Russia is now sold, this does not mean that drunkenness is encouraged. No, wine drinking is tried to minimize. With unhealthy passions fought, and the king and the Church, and landowners. Boyar Morozov wrote in his fiefdom of the Manager, required to ensure that the farmers “wine on the Smoking and tobacco are not kept and not smoked and not sold, dices and cards not played, attendants not metal and pubs not guzzle”. Patriarch Nikon is strictly eradicated this sin in Church structures. Keep the vodka in the monasteries completely banned. If there have been reports of drunkenness of a priest, if the servants of the Patriarch noticed the drunk priest on the street, and especially in the Church, he was defrocked or direction to the service in some of the taiga wilderness.

Kabakov in Russia, according to the testimony of foreigners was “not too much”. Chancellor Ordin-Nashchokin was conceived experiment with free trade of wine in Pskov, promised a significant increase in profits. But the Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich issued a question for the consideration of the Pskov people itself. For sale expressed only peasants. The clergy, merchants, artisans, nobles appreciated the idea with abhorrence. They say that drunkenness will lead to hooliganism, crimes and losses in trade, fisheries, agriculture. After these reviews the Emperor the innovation is not adopted.

Existing pubs and Alexis made outside cities, in the field. Just passing by, not by a look. Night city gates are closed, the tavern won’t go. If the same person drank too much, it can lie somewhere in nature under a Bush, without offending the eyes of the citizens. Those drunk people roamed the streets, still waiting for the “industrial prison» it kept sobering.

However a hotbed of drunkenness remained a German settlement or Kukui. To portray it as the “oasis of civilization”, “barbarian country” not the slightest reason. Lived it richly, because the population was made up of merchants and officers. But Kukui was quite a small village (3 thousand inhabitants). The streets, unlike Moscow, was not paved. Eyewitnesses recalled that “the dirt came to the belly of the horses.” A European customs looked not shiny. In Koukou, as in all Russian towns and villages, there was an elected government, and the government had to develop for it in the special instructions. Suburban authorities were instructed to stop the duel, “duels and no death killing and fighting, not ciniti” not to permit clandestine trade in vodka, not to take “fugitive and itinerant people,” not to invite the prostitutes and “thieves of the people.”

But the trade in alcohol did not stop here. In it was attended by the foreign officers, involved subordinates of Russian soldiers. The raids did not yield results or just for the time were forced to suspend business. In General, Kukui was considered the Muscovites dubious place is not for decent people. “Left” vodka here, you could buy at any hour of the day or night. Flourished underground dens, came German, Polish, Scandinavian wench of easy virtue. Russian girls also had “turned”. A contemporary wrote: “women are often the first on a rampage from immoderate doses of alcohol, and you can see them half-naked and shameless, almost on any street”.

And it’s right here Lefort, Timmerman, Gordon and other mentors began to carry Tsarevich Peter Alexeyevich. He first was listed as an heir, he was not prepared to reign. And then father, Alexis, died, power went to the children from his first wife, Maria Miloslavskaya – Fedor, Sophia. Second wife of the late king, Natalia Naryshkin, and her children, pushed from the throne. They settled in the country Palace, educating Peter, no one seriously engaged. Foreigners do not miss the chance to be attached to a smart and curious boy. Taught many useful things, but it inspired a fascination with strange customs. “Kukuisky Academy,” the future king graduated as “excellent”.

Is it any wonder that during the reign of Peter’s attitude to alcohol has changed. “Bousova fun” began to be perceived as decent and respectable pastime. On feasts with copious libations were commanded to attract women. Began to build distilleries, dramatically broadened the network of taverns, austere and other drinking establishments. Only should take into account that this tradition was not Russian, and “kukuisky”. Western brought to our country along with the shaving of beards, dressing up in skimpy German chattaniki and wigs.

However, even after Peter in Russia drank much more moderately than in the West. Manufacturing and selling alcohol remained state-owned monopoly. And for the population a strong deterrent factor was public opinion. The life of the peasant was held in front of the village community, the Mir. The life of a merchant in the merchant community. Drunk everywhere admitted an outcast, a pariah, could not count on any respect and trust. These views and examples to educate young people – was it worth it to imitate the people whose fate had been so unenviable? Yes, and the nobles were required to monitor themselves, because each step is vigilantly monitored “light”. I noticed the fatal passion – including “evil tongues are worse than pistol”, it is possible to earn a total alienation, contempt.

The future German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck spent four years in Russia. But the drunk woman rolling under the fence, it was the first time in my life I saw later, in the “cultural” England. This so shocked the Bismarck, which he described this event in his diary. No, I’m not going to idealize our country. Gradually multiplied dens, a growing number of alcoholics. But it was considered outside normal life, “at the bottom”. Disgusted, repelled. And it is in any case there was no tradition. On the contrary, the rapid degradation of our country in the drunkenness went only from the end of XIX and in the XX century – as the destruction of folk and religious traditions, the collapse of the old society and old values. The second collapse occurred at the end of XX – beginning of XXI century – the destruction of the Soviet traditions and Soviet society, which is also not surprising. After all, the Soviet tradition still held the remains of the Russian, and the moral code of the Builder of communism largely tried to copy the old Orthodox setup.




Alcohol – Drinking in Russia



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