Did the Russian State... Part X by Nils Johann ('Some of us have talked...')
To counter the claim in Crummey: It would be a mistake to see the English parliament aslittle more than a constant Byzantine court intrigue.
One trait was the 'popular' election of local tax-men. Crummey claims;
“The explanation for the Monarch's broad power lies not so much in the efficiency of his government as in the lack of barriers to his exercise of it; for no estates or corporate organizations limited the Grand Princes' freedom of action, and no constitutional norms defined their authority.”
Crummey's work ignores the bargain character of what Ivan builds, as these systems inevitably will communicate both ways. Further on, the work also ignores that there is Law, and that the system of Ivan seems to be a “normal” Divine-Right-Monarchy for its time. Even more remarkable, is Shepard's comment in his review of Crummey, when he concludes on the basis of Crummey's work;
“But at the end of Ivan's reign, after all the blood-letting, he still ruled with the collaboration of the clans of the higher nobility, and for the most part these were the same clans that had been pre-eminent in the opening years of his adult reign!”
It is a interesting contradiction to take note of. If there is cooperation with the high-nobility within the Rada, how can it be that there are “no estates or corporate organization” to limit the Grand Prince? The 'Zemsky Sobor' was also a tool for achieving cooperation, and this does not differ greatly from the English 'Parliament' during the period.
As we remember from Spittler's definition above, we are here looking at two semi-bureaucratic states where income comes from personal agricultural landholdings, and to a minor extent from the tariffs on foreign trade. Both monarchs, next to the tariffs on foreign trade, gain their means from their personal land-holdings. For any further taxation, the security of the realm needed to be at risk. This would also have been the main reason to call together 'Parliament'. The dominant reason for any self-respecting monarch to talk to a 'Common House', would have been to enact special taxes, without too much resistance. (This might be a motivational factor for the constant warfare of the period. Special taxes would have to be justified, as issues of defense of the realm. It served the concentration of capital, and the centralization of co-ordination, to the Crown.) However, if he could, the Monarch would avoid the hassle of having other people telling him how to run his 'firm'.
This takes us then to the great heist, performed in a similar way, in order to achieve similar ends, by both monarchs. The details of course differ, but Henry and Ivan do come to a remarkable solution to their challenges, regarding organizational and financial autocracy. Their goal is it to reduce dependence of people that are not necessarily to be trusted, discipline their own rank, and to gain a higher degree of fiscal independence. The Monarchs' role as Primus Interpares was changing in many emerging states during this time. As the positions become more polarized, we see the emergence of Autocracies (Denmark, Russia, Iberia, France, and England until the civil war), and their counterpart, noble-republics (The Netherlands, The Swiss federation, and to some extent also Sweden and Poland,).