Tempest (1959)




Director:     Alberto Lattuada

Starring:     Van Heflin (Emelyan Pugachev), Viveca Lindfors (Catherine II), Silvana Mangano (Masha).

Language:  Italian.


Pugachev peasant uprising during the reign of Catherine the Great.



Historical Background:


Cossacks were the name of different population groups through the history of Russia.  The most prominent groups of Cossacks were found around the Don, Terek, Ural and Siberia regions.  In return for their military services, the Don Cossacks were granted certain privileges in Russia.

The Don Cossacks were runaway peasants who settled around the Don River in the mid 16th century. 

1762  --  Catherine gets rid of her husband, Tsar Peter III, and becomes Catherine II, the Great.

1768-1774  --  Russo-Turkish war between Russia and the Ottoman Empire.

1770  --  a Don Cossack, Yemelyan Pugachev, was a junior lieutenant under Count Peter Panin at the siege of Bender.  He was invalided and sent home. From there he roamed around and was arrested and imprisoned more than once for desertion.

1773  --  Pugachev declared himself Tsar Peter III and started a rebellion.  Those included in the rebellion were the Yaik and other Cossacks, Turkic tribes, industrial workers in the Ural Mountains, and the serfs. This rebellion became known as the Pugachev Uprising. Pugachev was able to control a part of the Volga area.

1774  -- the regular Army put down the uprising. 

1775  --  Pugachev executed.


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