Download e-book for kindle: A Brief History of Russia by Michael Kort

By Michael Kort

ISBN-10: 0816071128

ISBN-13: 9780816071128

ISBN-10: 143810829X

ISBN-13: 9781438108292

Detailing the social, fiscal, and political adjustments and crises that the folk of Russia have needed to undergo, this e-book presents a entire account of this titanic country's background. It contains assurance at the conquest and rule of Russia by means of the Mongol Golden Horde; and the reign of terror through Ivan the negative.

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Example text

For centuries Kievan Rus had been forced to devote considerable resources to fending off steppe nomads, but that had never included the Mongol clans and tribes living deep in Siberia within the orbit of China. Then, at the dawn of the 13th century, a tribal chieftain named Temüjin, later known to a terrified world as Genghis Khan (c. 1162– 1227), united the Mongol tribes and everything changed. In the space of a few decades the Mongols would shake the Eurasian world, conquering empires, destroying cities and entire cultures, and spreading terror and destruction from the Pacific shore to the center of Europe.

In the course of its expansion, Lithuania had conquered a huge swath of territory that formerly belonged to Kievan Rus, including Kiev itself. As far as Ivan was concerned, Moscow was the legitimate heir to all these territories, not non-Russian, Catholic Lithuania, and he was determined to enforce that right. Ivan used diplomacy as well as military force against the powerful Lithuanians, especially an alliance with the Crimean Tatars, another of the successor states to the defunct Golden Horde.

The only major Russian town the Mongols did not attack and sack was Novgorod, protected from the Mongol cavalry by the dense forests and swamps of the far northwest. In 1241 and 1242 the Mongols overran Russia’s western principalities and pressed onward into Poland and Hungary, where they crushed the mounted knights of those countries, the most important battle taking place in 1241. The same dreadful scenario was repeated in the Balkans. The Mongols did 15 A BRIEF HISTORY OF RUSSIA not stop until news arrived in 1242 that their leader, the great khan in Mongolia, had died.

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A Brief History of Russia by Michael Kort

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