martedì 8 gennaio 2008

Mongol Empire

The Effects of the Mongol Empire on Russia
The history of Russia has always been a relatively sad and tumultuous one wrought with wars, power struggles, and abrupt changes. These changes have often been forcibly thrust wholesale upon Russia, rather than evolving through gradual, measured methods as in most peoples’ histories. From an earlier time, in which we know Russia as ‘Kievan Rus,’ the princes of the various cities (such as Vladimir, Pskov, Suzdal, and Kiev) constantly battled and bickered for power and control of the small semi-united state. Under the reigns of St. Vladimir (980-1015) and Yaroslav the Wise (1015-1054), the Kievan state was at its highest point and attained relative peace in contrast with years past. However, as history went, once the reigning rulers died, a power struggle ensued and wars once again flared.
It was perhaps the decision of Yaroslav the Wise before his death in 1054 to assign princedoms to his sons that set the future of Kievan Russia for the next two hundred years. Following this decision, civil wars between the various sons ravaged much of the Kievan confederation, draining it of essential resources it would later need. As the princes incessantly fought with each other, the confederation of cities known as the Kievan state slowly decayed, declined, and lost its former glory. Further weakened by the incursions of steppe tribes such as the Polovtsy (aka Cumans/Kumans or Kipchaks) and previously by the Pechenegs, eventually the Kievan state was ripe for a takeover by more powerful invaders from distant lands

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