how moscow came to power -- 10/01/19

Today's selection -- from A Short History of The World by Christopher Lascelles. The rise of Moscow:

"In Russia, the Mongols of the Golden Horde ruled Kievan Rus through local princes who paid tribute to them. By assisting the Mongols in collecting these tributes, the insignificant trading outpost of Moscow began to flourish around the turn of the 14th century, becoming a relatively safe place to live, and attracting more wealth and people as a result. The city's importance was put beyond doubt when the Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church transferred there from the town of Vladimir, making it the spiritual capital of Russia.

Ivan III

"By 1480 the grand princes of Muscovy had accumulated so much wealth that nobody could challenge them. Grand Duke Ivan III of Muscovy -- father of lvan IV, known as 'the Terrible' -- began subjugating Moscow's rival cities, and became the first Muscovite leader to adopt the title of tsar and 'Ruler of all Rus'. It was during his reign that northern Russia was united under one sovereign, shaking off the yoke of Mongol rule.

"Although Mongol rule allowed Muscovy to grow and develop at the expense of the surrounding dry states, effectively fuelling the expansion of the nascent Russian Empire, it also isolated Russia from Europe. This partially explains why the kinds of major social and political reforms that were being introduced in Europe in the wake of the Renaissance and the Reformation did not reach Russia. Europe developed a middle class; Russia did not. This was to have profound consequences for the country's subsequent development. "


Christopher Lascelles


A Short History of the World


Crux Publishing Ltd.


Copyright 2011 Christopher Lascelles


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