The disintegration of the Old Russian state is oneof the most important and significant processes of the early Middle Ages. The destruction of Kievan Rus left a huge imprint on the history of the Eastern Slavs and the whole of Europe. Calling the exact date of the beginning and end of fragmentation is quite difficult. The largest state of the world decomposed for almost 2 centuries, drowning in the blood of internecine wars and foreign invasions.
First signs of crisis
The reasons for the collapse of the Old Russian state are similar.with the causes of the fall of all the powerful states of the ancient world. Finding independence from the center by local rulers was an integral part of the progress and development of feudalism. The starting point can be considered the death of Yaroslav the Wise. Prior to this, Rus was ruled by the descendants of Rurik, who was invited to the reign of the Varyag. Over time, the rule of this dynasty covered all the lands of the state. In each major city sat one or another descendant of the prince. All of them were obliged to pay tribute to the center and deliver the squad in case of war or raids on foreign lands. The central government met in Kiev, which was not only a political but also a cultural center of Russia.
Weakening of Kiev
The collapse of the Old Russian state is not the lastturn was the result of the weakening of Kiev. New trade routes appeared (for example, "from the Varangians to the Greeks"), which went around the capital. Also, on the ground, some princes made independent raids on nomads and left their riches to themselves, which allowed them to develop autonomously from the center. After the death of Yaroslav, it turned out that the Rurik dynasty was enormous, and everyone wants to get power.
The younger sons of the Grand Dukes died, a protracted internecine war began. The sons of Yaroslav tried to divide Russia among themselves, finally rejecting the central authority.
Peace in Lyubech
Vladimir Monomakh convenes a congress of all the princes incity Lyubech. The main purpose of the collection was an attempt to prevent endless enmity and unite under one banner in order to fight back the nomads. All present agree. But at the same time it was decided to change the internal policy of Russia.
Such an agreement allowed to stopbloody civil war, but catalyzed the beginning of the disintegration of the Old Russian state. In fact, Kiev lost its power. But it remained the cultural center of Russia. The rest of the territory was divided into approximately 15 "land" states (different sources indicate the presence of 12 to 17 such entities). Almost until the middle of the 12th century, peace reigned in 9 principalities. Each throne was inherited, which affected the emergence of dynasties in these lands. Between the neighbors were mostly friendly relations, and the Kiev prince was still considered "the first among equals".
Therefore, a real struggle unfolded for Kiev.Several princes could simultaneously rule in the capital and counties. The constant change of various dynasties led the city and the surrounding area to decline. One of the world's first examples of the republic was the Novgorod principality. Here the privileged boyars (the descendants of the warriors who gained the land) firmly established power, significantly limiting the influence of the prince. All the basic decisions were made by the people's assembly, and the functions of the manager were assigned to the “leader”.
The final collapse of the Old Russian stateoccurred after the invasion of the Mongols. Feudal fragmentation contributed to the development of individual provinces. Each city was directly ruled by a prince who, being in place, could competently allocate resources. This contributed to the improvement of the economic situation and a significant development of culture. But at the same time, the defense ability of Russia dropped significantly. Despite the Lubic world, internecine wars for one or another principality took place several times. The Polovtsian tribes were actively attracted to them.
By the middle of the 13th century, a terrible hang over Russiathe threat is an invasion of the Mongols from the east. Nomads had been preparing for this invasion for several decades. In 1223 there was a raid. His goal was to explore and get acquainted with Russian troops and culture. After this, Batu Khan conceived to attack and enslave Russia entirely. Ryazan lands were the first to be hit. Their Mongols ravaged a few weeks.
Монголы удачно использовали внутреннюю ситуацию in Russia. Principality, although not hostile to each other, led a completely independent policy and did not rush to help each other. Everyone was waiting for the defeat of a neighbor in order to have their own benefit. But everything changed after the complete destruction of several cities of the Ryazan region. The Mongols used state-wide raids. In total, from 300 to 500 thousand people took part in the raid (taking into account the troops recruited from the conquered peoples). While Russia could put no more than 100 thousand people from all the principalities. Slavic troops had superiority in armament and tactics. However, the Mongols tried to avoid general battles and preferred quick surprise attacks. The superiority of the number made it possible to bypass major cities from different sides.
Despite the balance of power of 5 to 1, the Rus gaveviolent repulse invaders. The losses of the Mongols were much higher, but were quickly replenished by prisoners. The collapse of the Old Russian state was suspended due to the consolidation of the princes in the face of the threat of total annihilation. But it was too late. The Mongols were rapidly advancing deep into Russia, ruining one lot after another. After 3 years, the 200-thousandth army of Batu was standing at the gates of Kiev.
Consequences of the collapse of the Old Russian state
By the end of the 13th century, virtually all lands of Russiacame under the authority of other nations. The Golden Horde rules in the east, Lithuania and Poland in the west. The reasons for the collapse of the ancient Russian state are rooted in fragmentation and lack of coordination between the princes, as well as an unfavorable foreign policy situation.