Russia Under Mongol Rule (1238 – 1480)

By | November 25, 2021

The politically fragmented Kiev Empire was no longer able to cope with the onslaught of the Mongols / Tatars advancing from the east. After the defeat of the Polovzians and Russians on the Kalka (1223), Batu Khan, a grandson of Genghis Khan, subjugated the Russian principalities in 1237-40 (1238 defeat and death of the Grand Duke of Vladimir, Yuri Vsevolodovich); only Novgorod was spared, but had to pay tribute. Batu Khan established the rule of the Golden Horde with the center inSaraj on the lower Volga. The Tatar lords withdrew their troops and contented themselves with the military successes of the Russian princes and the collection of duties and taxes. They left the existing political order and the privileged position of the Orthodox Church largely unchanged, but reserved the respective confirmation of the princely rights of rule through so-called Jarlyki (letters of grace).

Insubordination and resistance were mercilessly punished by punitive expeditions (1252 Grand Duke Andrei Yaroslavich, 1258/59 Daniil of Galicia-Volynia, 1327 Tver). Thanks to his skilful adaptation policy, the tactician Alexander Newski profited from the disagreement between the Russian princes. As Prince of Novgorod, he had successfully led the municipal contingent against the Swedes (1240 on the Neva) and against the Teutonic Order (1242 on the ice of Lake Peipus); In 1252 the Khan awarded him in place of his brother Andrei the dignity of the Grand Duke in Vladimir-Suzdal. From the bitter struggles among his descendants for supremacy in northeastern Russia, the small principality of Moscow finally emerged victorious. It fell in 1261 to Alexander’s youngest son, Daniil Alexandrovich (Daniel, ruler, Moscow), the founder of the Moscow line of the Rurikids (Danilowitschi). With the help of the Tatars, it was able to get rid of its most powerful competitor in Tver and create a power base through a successful policy of consolidation. The option of the church for the emerging principality meant an additional gain in prestige. In 1299 the metropolitan of Kiev had withdrawn to northeastern Russia, and in 1325 he finally settled in Moscow. Ivan I. Kalita (1325 / 28–41) succeeded in permanently securing the dignity ofthe Grand Duke, his grandson Dmitri Ivanovich Donskoi (1359–89) was able to defeat the Tatars for the first time in 1380 in open battle on the »Snipe Field« on the Don (Kulikowo Pole). The looming decline in power of the Golden Horde favored the efforts of the Moscow princes to unite (“gathering of the Russian land”), but they grew into a dangerous competitor in the Lithuanian Grand Duchy (united with Poland in personal union since 1386) western Russian territories (including Kiev, 1362).

In the period that followed, Western Russia, under the influence of Polish Catholics, developed closer to Western Europe. The influence of the Renaissance and Humanism, German city law and Western educational traditions prepared the ethnic-cultural division of the Eastern Slavs into Ukrainians, Belarusians and Great Russians. Since the enforcement of the de facto autocephaly in 1448 (election of the metropolitan by a Russian synod of bishops without the prior consent of the patriarch) and the separation from the Kiev metropolis in 1458 (since then “Metropolitan of Moscow and all of Russia”), the Moscow Church has also gone its own way should lead to the establishment of a patriarchy.

Rulers and heads of state in Russia

The rulers and heads of state of Russia
(Princes of Novgorod
Rurik 862-879
Oleg 879-882)
(Princes or Grand Dukes of Kiev
Oleg 882-912
Igor 912-945
Olga (regent) 945-962
Svyatoslav Igoryevich (945) 962-972 / 73
Yaropolk Svyatoslavich 972 / 973-980
Vladimir the Saint 980-1015
Svyatopolk 1015-1016
and 1018-1019
Yaroslav the Wise 1016-1018
and 1019 / 36-1054
Isjaslav I. Yaroslavich 1054-1068, 1069-1073
and 1077-1078
Wseslav Bratschislavich 1068-1069
Svyatoslav Yaroslavich 1073-1076
Vsevolod I. Yaroslavich 1078, 1078-1093
Svyatopolk Isjaslavich 1093-1113
Vladimir II Monomakh 1113-1125
Mstislav I. Vladimirovich 1125-1132
Yaropolk Vladimirovich 1132-1139
Vsevolod II. Olgovich 1139-1146
Isjaslav II. Mstislavich 1146-1149, 1151-1154
Yuri Dolgoruky 1149-1151
and 1155-1157
Rostislav Mstislavich 1154, 1159-1160, 1161-1167
Isjaslav III. Davidovich 1154-1155,
1157-1159 and 1160-1161
Mstislav II. Isjaslavich 1167 / 68-1169
Grand Duke of Vladimir
Andrei Bogolyubsky 1169-1174
Yaropolk Rostislavich 1174-1175
Mikhail Yuryevich 1175-1176
Wsewolod III. Jurjewitsch 1176–1212
Juri Wsewolodowitsch 1212–1216 und 1218–1238
Konstantin Wsewolodowitsch 1216–1218
Jaroslaw Wsewolodowitsch 1238–1246
Swjatoslaw Wsewolodowitsch 1246–1248
Michail Jaroslawitsch 1248
Andrei Jaroslawitsch 1248–1252
Alexander Newski 1252–1263
Jaroslaw Jaroslawitsch 1264–1271
Wassili Jaroslawitsch 1272–1276
Dmitri Alexandrowitsch 1276–1281
und 1284–1292
Andrei Alexandrowitsch 1281–1284
und 1292–1304
Michail Jaroslawitsch (von Twer) 1304–1317
Juri Danilowitsch 1317–1322
Dmitri Michailowitsch 1322–1325
Alexander Michailowitsch 1325–1327
Großfürsten von Wladimir – Moskau
Iwan I. Kalita 1325/28–1341
Simeon der Stolze 1341–1353
Iwan II. 1353/54–1359
Dmitri Konstantinowitsch 1360–1363
Dmitri Iwanowitsch Donskoi 1359/63–1389
Wassili I. Dmitrijewitsch 1389–1425
Großfürsten von Moskau
Wassili II., der Geblendete 1425–1433/34,
1434–1446 und 1447–1462
Juri Dmitrijewitsch (von Galitsch) 1433 und 1434
Wassili Kosoi 1434
Dmitri Schemjaka 1446–1447
Iwan III. 1462–1505
Wassili III. Iwanowitsch 1505–1533
Zaren bzw. (seit 1721) Kaiser von Russland
Iwan IV., der Schreckliche (seit 1533 Großfürst von Moskau) 1547–1584
Fjodor I. Iwanowitsch (letzter Rurikide) 1584–1598
Boris Godunow 1598–1605
Fjodor II. Borissowitsch 1605
Pseudodemetrius I. 1605–1606
Wassili IV. Iwanowitsch Schujski 1606–1610
Interregnum 1610–1613
Haus Romanow
Michail Fjodorowitsch 1613–1645
Alexei Michailowitsch 1645–1676
Fjodor III. Alexejewitsch 1676–1682
Sophia (Regentin) 1682–1689
Iwan V. 1682–1696
Peter I., der Große 1682/96–1725
Katharina I. 1725–1727
Peter II. 1727–1730
Anna Iwanowna 1730–1740
Iwan VI. 1740–1741
Elisabeth Petrowna 1741–1762
Peter III. 1762
Katharina II., die Große 1762–1796
Paul I. 1796–1801
Alexander I. 1801–1825
Nikolaus I. 1825–1855
Alexander II. 1855–1881
Alexander III. 1881–1894
Nikolaus II. 1894–1917
Vorsitzender des Allruss. Zentralen Exekutivkomitees
Jakow M. Swerdlow 1917–1919
Michail I. Kalinin 1919–1922 *)
Russische Föderation
Boris N. Jelzin 1991–1999
Wladimir W. Putin 2000–2008
Dmitri A. Medwedjew 2008–2012
Wladimir W. Putin seit 2012
*) Staatsoberhäupter 1922–1991 Sowjetunion

The Moscow Empire (1480-1712)

After overcoming the dynastic crisis from 1425 to 1453, which was carried out with extreme cruelty among the sons and grandsons of Dmitri Donskoy, the most important ruler on the Moscow throne, Ivan III the Great (1462-1505), brought the work of Moscow unification with the Incorporation of Yaroslavl (1463), Rostov (1474), Novgorod (1478) and Tver (1485) largely at the end.

Moscow successfully took the initiative on the Lithuanian front, and the so-called standing at Ugra in 1480 ended 240 years of foreign rule by Tatar. The new self-image was shown, among other things. in making contact with Western Europe (especially with the imperial court in Vienna) and in the splendid expansion of the Kremlin by Italian Renaissance architects. Moscow opened up to western technical progress in the 16th century and adopted western diplomatic customs. Through the marriage (1472) of Ivan III. with Zoë Poleolog, niece and closest living relative of the last Byzantine emperor, Constantine XI., as well as by adopting parts of the Byzantine coronation ceremony and the Byzantine double-headed eagle, Russia developed, especially under Ivan IV the Terrible (1533 and 1547–1584), an imperial imperial idea that was committed to orthodox traditions and was first formulated by the Pskov monk Filofej (Theory of Moscow as the Third Rome) and in the tsar’s coronation staged by Metropolitan Makari in 1547 as well as an active anti-Islamic foreign policy (conquest of the khanates of Kazan, 1552, and Astrakhan, 1556).

The discovery of the northern sea route by R. Chancellor (1553) opened a first unhindered access to the west, and the Stroganovs organized train Cossack under Jermak Timofejewitsch to West Siberia (1582 victory over Khan of Siberia) initiated an enormous expansion movement; this led to the Pacific (reached in 1639 by Cossacks under Ivan Jurjewitsch Moskwitin, 1648 founding of the port of Okhotsk) and finally to the North American continent (for the first time in 1741 with the “Second Kamchatka Expedition” led by the Danish Asian explorer in Russian service V. J. Bering) and to the borders of China (1689 Treaty of Nerchinsk).

Ivan IV, however, destroyed the successes of his reform policy (establishment of central offices, so-called prikase, legal codification, creation of a docile service nobility, army reform, church reform) through the reign of terror of the Oprichnina and the military defeat in the Livonian War (1558-82 / 83). He left a ruined country. The reign for his incapable of ruling son Fyodor I. Ivanovich took over his energetic brother-in-law Boris Godunow, who moved to Fyodors Death (1598) crowned tsar, but could not improve the desolate economic situation significantly. After his death (1605) there was an economic, then also a social and political crisis in which the rulers replaced each other in rapid succession (“Time of Troubles”, Smuta).

The conquests in the west were lost again; In 1610 the Poles occupied Moscow, which was liberated in 1612 by a Landwehr set up in Nizhny Novgorod under K. Minin and Prince D. M. Poscharski. A turning point only occurred with the election ofMichael, the founder of the Romanov dynasty, by an imperial assembly (1613) and the return of his father Filaret from Polish captivity (1619).

As the patriarch of the Russian Church and the de facto head of politics (until 1633), Filaret restored autocracy. His successors had to assert them against the growing unwillingness of the lower classes of the population (peasants, service and townspeople, Cossacks and foreigners in the peripheral provinces), who had to bear the burden of economic and social policy measures (Moscow uprising of 1648, Novgorod uprising of 1650, Copper money revolt of 1662, peasant revolts among others under S. Rasin 1670, Strelitzen revolts 1682 and 1698). Filaret’s grandson Alexei Mikhailovich (1645–76) found himself forced to make concessions to the service aristocracy and the townspeople and to curtail the privileges of the boyars and the Orthodox Church in the code of 1649 (“Uloschenije”), but at the same time brought serfdom to the peasants with the final fixation Plaice to a legal degree. The church reforms of the Patriarch Nikon led since the 50s of the 17th century to a fateful schism and to the separation of the Old Believers (Raskolniki) from the state church, which as the guardian of the medieval Russian way of life is increasingly against Western European ideas and against any modernization in Shielded technology and organization.

In foreign policy, the Romanovs stuck to the goal of the unification of all Russian countries. In the war against Poland-Lithuania (1654–67), which developed from the great Cossack uprising of B. Chmelnyzky of 1648, Ukraine was won with Kiev on the left of the Dnieper (Treaty of Perejaslav with the Cossacks 1654) and in »perpetual peace «Claimed by Moscow (1686). It sealed Moscow’s accession to the anti-Turkish alliance (Holy League) between the Holy Roman Empire, Poland and Venice and created the conditions for an active European and Balkan policy in Russia in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Russia Under Mongol Rule (1238 - 1480)