A Brief History of Russia by Michael Kort

By Michael Kort

Detailing the social, fiscal, and political alterations and crises that the folk of Russia have needed to undergo, this e-book presents a complete account of this substantial country's historical past. It comprises assurance at the conquest and rule of Russia by way of the Mongol Golden Horde; and the reign of terror by way of Ivan the negative.

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Their steel swords rained upon the Tatar helmets. . Indeed, the tide turned, and the Russian regiments began to cut the Tatars to pieces. And despair seized the infidels. Princes fell from their mounts, and Tatar corpses began to cover the field. And blood flowed in a stream. The infidels began fleeing on all sides. . And then Prince Dmitry Ivanovich addressed the dead: Fellow princes, boyars, and sons of boyars, you have found peace everlasting here, between the Don and the Dnieper, on the prairie of Kulikovo.

He waged a series of military campaigns against Kazan over a 25-year period to secure Moscow’s eastern frontier, and ultimately reduced Kazan to a vassal state. Meanwhile, in 1480, 240 years after the fall of Kiev, Ivan formally restored Russian independence by renouncing all allegiance to the remnant of the once-mighty Golden Horde. He backed up that declaration by sending an army to intercept a Tatar force sent by the khan to assert his authority. The two armies encountered each other on opposite sides of a tributary to the Oka River, but they did not fight a major battle.

Competing Russian princes used a variety of methods to secure their positions, including the coveted post of grand prince. Bribery and promises to deliver more tribute than their rivals were standard procedure. As long as they did not defy the khan and collaborated with him, the Russian princes could enjoy their positions as rulers over the local population. Life was much more difficult for the common people. They were subject to heavy taxes, initially collected directly by Mongol agents, and, beginning in the 14th century, by the Russian princes themselves They could be conscripted into the Mongol army and be enslaved if they did not pay their taxes.

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