/ / Stages and prerequisites of the unification of Russian lands

The stages and prerequisites of the unification of the Russian lands

Feudal fragmentation was characteristicstage for all medieval European states. Russia was no exception. Already in the XI century, the first tendencies to independent substantiation of individual principalities began to appear here. And in the first half of the 12th century, once one of the powerful states of the region is divided into completely independent principalities. Of these local formations later grew the Novgorod Republic, Galicia-Volyn, Chernigov, Vladimir-Suzdal, Moscow and a number of other principalities. Moscow was yet to become the new cultural, economic and, finally, political center of the Eastern Slavs.


The struggle for the unification of the Russian lands again under thethe rule of a single ruler begins already from the beginning of the XIV century. In this period, the crushing of principalities reaches its peak and the reverse process of centralization begins. By the way, this process was also typical for all of Europe: somewhere it happened early (as in England), and somewhere the consequences of medieval feudal fragmentation were overcome almost to the XX century (Germany, Italy). Thus, the prerequisites for the unification of the Russian lands were of a similar nature with pan-European tendencies. However, they also had a number of features.

Preconditions for the unification of Russian lands

stages of the unification of Russian lands
How feudal disunity contributed toweak trade ties between the regions of the country, as well as economic reasons were the basis of the unification of lands in the XIV-XV centuries. In particular, this was reflected in the progress of agriculture and the strengthening of trade ties. In addition, the development of agriculture led to a more intensive allocation and formation of a separate class of artisans. Domestic markets are created, economic ties are strengthened. Thus, the primary prerequisites for the unification of the Russian lands were covered in the natural socio-economic development of the East Slavic territories, which automatically led to the need for political unification. The formation of a single state has become a priority interest for a wide range of Russian society: merchants, artisans, the urban population and, of course, the nobility. Other prerequisites for the unification of the Russian lands lay in the aggravation of social contradictions. The fact is that the rise of agriculture constantly encouraged local feudal lords to intensify the exploitation of peasant communities. The most important manifestation of the intensification of this exploitation was the growing enslavement. Of course, on the part of the peasants, this caused resistance and constant riots. Weak politically and militarily important principalities needed a state bureaucratic apparatus that would give landowners guarantees of income, and for the peasants would create unified rules and protect them from the tyranny of landlords.

Stages of the unification of Russian lands

struggle for the unification of Russian lands

As you know, Moscow became the new center of the Eastern Slavs. This centralization, as a rule, is divided into four stages:

  • 1st stage. It began as early as the beginning of the fourteenth century and was characterized by the movement of the economic center from the southern territories to the northeast.
  • 2 nd stage. The second half of the 14th century and the beginning of the 15th century.During this period, the Moscow princes managed to overcome all their rivals and subjugate the rest of the Russian lands. Then the first loud victories over the Tatar armies happen - the Kulikovo battle.
  • 3rd stage. There is a war for power in Moscow itself.
  • 4th stage. Вторая половина XV и начало XVI в.Moscow princes: Ivan III and later Vasily III - complete the process of collecting Russian lands in a single state. In 1480 the Mongol-Tatar yoke was finally overthrown.