‘The Formation of the Muscovite state’ charts the history of Muscovy from the late 15th century to the early 19th century. Muscovy enlisted the aid of Cossacks to defend the long and vulnerable southern and eastern frontiers. The lesser princes and boyars were given extensive powers to require local communities to fulfil their obligations. The pomeshchiki (service estate-holders) paid taxes to the treasury and exacted services from their dependent rural population. The rule of Tsar Ivan IV (the ‘Terrible’) is described along with the civil war between boyar clans in the 17th century, popular discontent, and the Orthodox Church, which became subordinated to the state under Peter I and Catherine II.