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The Salt Riot, also known as the Moscow Uprising of 1648 ( , Московское восстание 1648), was a riot in Moscowmarker in 1648, triggered by the government's substitution of different taxes with a universal direct salt tax for the purpose of replenishing the state treasury, which, in turn, made salt a much more expensive commodity.

The beginning of the Salt Riot

The indignation of peasants and townsfolk forced the government to abolish this new way of taxation, but the previous arrears, however, were being collected for the past three years all at once. On June 1 of 1648, upon Alexei I's return to Moscow from his trip to Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavramarker, a crowd of townspeople surrounded the tsar and complained about the boyars and prikaz officials. The royal bodyguards started dispersing the crowd, pushing them away from the tsar. This caused a major outbreak of anger among the people. On June 2, most of the Streltsy joined the rebelling citizens. The insurgents burst into the Moscow Kremlinmarker and demanded the surrender of Leontiy Pleshcheyev (head of Zemsky Prikaz and Moscow police department), Duma diak Nazar Chistoy (salt tax initiator), boyar Boris Morozov (actual head of government) and his brother-in-law Pyotr Trakhaniotov (head of Cannon Prikaz). The tsar was forced to surrender Leontius Pleshcheyev to the people on June 3, who would be soon executed. The rebels set fire to the White City and Kitai-gorodmarker and sacked some 70 households of the most hated boyars, diaks, okolnichys, and merchants, killing Nazar Chistoy. Pyotr Trakhaniotov tried to escape, but was soon apprehended and executed on June 5.

The second phase of the riot

On June 6, the Streltsy withdrew from the unrest due to receiving the belated allowance and promises of salary increase. Boris Morozov, however, was relieved from his post by the tsar and sent to Kirillo-Belozersky Monasterymarker on June 11. After that, the uprising gradually began to fade away, partly because of the ravaging fires. Soon, however, the provincial nobility, big merchants, and top posad people seized the initiative and came out with a petition demanding the convocation of the zemsky sobor, salary distribution, increase of time limits for search of the runaway peasants etc. These demands, however, were very narrow in their scope and were aimed at the reinforcement of serfdom without meeting the needs of other categories of people. Upon Morozov's removal, a new anti-Morozov boyar group came to power, led by Prince Yakov Cherkassky and boyar Nikita Romanov. They began distributing money and lands to the dvoryane and made a few concessions to the remaining rebels, including the postponement of collection of arrears on June 12. The government’s measures widened the split among the rebels, and soon many of the leaders of the uprising were arrested and executed on July 3. On October 22, Boris Morozov was summoned to Moscow and appointed head of the Russian government yet again.

The end of the riot

Sporadic rebellions, triggered by the Salt Riot in Moscow, continued to take place throughout Russiamarker, but they would all die down by January of 1649 with the adoption of the Sobornoye Ulozheniye (Legal Code), which satisfied most of the demands posed by the nobility.

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