Jeffrey L. Neal
Western Oregon University: Senior Seminar Thesis, June 16, (2006)
Kievan Rus which was founded in 880 was made up of a loose knit alliance between small city states in what is today western Russia. The most powerful of these city states was Kiev. During the early thirteenth century the Mongol continued their march west until they conquered Kievan Rus in 1240. Although the Mongol did not occupy the Russian lands, the Kievan Rus period era was effectively over. The turmoil that followed the Mongol invasion allowed for Moscow, a previously weak and minor principality to rise out of the shadows and become a major political player. The goal of this paper is to examine how Moscow rose to power; this will be done by following the evolution of the Moscow princess attitudes towards their authority and right to rule, between the years 1325 until 1584.
To understand process of centralization in Moscow, several interpretations have arisen. Several historians have examined the Mongols contributions to the Muscovite state, while others’ interpretations viewed the Muscovites as rising to power in spite of the Mongols. In recent years much scholarship has been directed towards the question of how the Mongols influenced the rise of the Muscovite state. There has been three basic interpretation of the rise of Moscow. They are: complete denial of Mongol influence, recognition of Mongol influence, but gave the influence negative attributes, and attributed the rise of Moscow to the Mongol influence.