Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Discuss the influence of the Mongol Rule on Russia in the 13-15th Essay

Discuss the influence of the Mongol Rule on Russia in the 13-15th centuries - Essay Example Russia before the Mongol invasion The 12th century became known as the peak of a period of feudal disunity in Russian and Soviet historiography. While there existed 15 quasi-independent principalities in the Russian lands of the mid-12th century, their numbers swelled to more than 50 on the eve of Mongol invasion (Vernadsky, 1973). The largest of these principalities included the Principality of Vladimir-Suzdal that dominated the North-East Rus, the mercantile Republic of Novgorod that was practically independent from the Riurikid dynasty due to its custom of electing its princes, and the Principality of Halych in the South-West that became a basis for Dual Principality of Halych-Volyn’ after the unification of Halych and Volyn’ under Volynian prince Roman Rostislavich (ruled 1189-1205) in 1199 (Martin, 2003, pp.97). The other principalities, including Ryazan, Smolensk, Chernigov and Polotsk, were generally weak and dependent on their larger neighbors. The political fra gmentation of Kievan Rus was accompanied by bitter infighting between various principal cliques for the domination over Kiev, which, while having lost its previous political and economic importance, still remained a lucrative prize for an ambitious prince. The most important feudal wars in the 12th to 13th century included the warfare between princely clans of Monomashichi and Ol’govichi in 1146-1154, the raid of north-eastern princes led by Andrey Bogolubsky against Kiev in 1169, and the war between Roman of Volyn’ and Suzdalian Grand Prince Vsevolod the Big Nest (ruled in 1154-1212) in 1202-1203 (Martin 2003; Vernadsky 1973). While the separation of Rus’ lands into distinct polities allowed rapid economic development at the local level and facilitated the formation of cultural centers independent from Kiev, it undermined the potential for joint struggle of different principalities against the Great Steppe nomads. The failure of the raid of Igor Prince of Novgo rod-Siversky against the Polovtsy (Cumans) in 1185 (Martin, 2003, p.146) and especially the first disastrous encounter between the united hosts of the Rus’ princes and the vanguard Mongol troops in the Battle of Kalka River in 1223 (Fennell, 1983, pp.66-68) showed that Kievan Rus’ was unprepared for the Mongol onslaught. Positive and negative influences on the development of Russia under Mongol rule After the subjugation of Volga Bulgarians in 1236, the Mongol armies led by Batu Khan and Subutai attacked the territories of Grand Principality of Vladimir-Suzdal in November 1237. The fall of Ryazan and Vladimir signified the end of organized resistance by north-eastern princes, while the death of grand prince Yuri Vsevolodovich in the Battle of the Sit River in March 1238 (Fennell, 1983, p.81) left the Rus’ princes without their formal sovereign, making any coordinated counterattack unlikely. The only territories of the North left independent were Novgorod and its vassal principality of Pskov. In 1239-1240 Batu Khan attacked the South-Western Rus, destroying Chernigov and taking Kiev in December 1240 (Fennell,1983, p.83). Finally, in 1241 the Mongols managed to capture and ransack Halych and Vladimir-in-Volyn’, the capital of Volynian lands. From that time on, the majority of Rus’ principalities was unable to resist the Mongols and

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