This article will examine the Russian lands and the rise of Moscow in the late 13th and early 15th centuries, as well as some aspects of the transformation of Muscovy, as the Western travelers called the new vast state, into a mighty power.
The transformation of Moscow into the capital city
The beginning of the elevation of Moscow belongs to the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries. The first stage of this historical process was the reign of the Great Moscow Prince Ivan Danilovich, nicknamed Kalita. The prince received the nickname for a smart, prudent and prudent policy of saving and multiplying his fortune. Prince Ivan Danilovich constantly bought up land from other rulers, monasteries, individuals.
The constant increase in possession becomes the hallmark of the wise policy of the Moscow princes. The small princedom principally rapidly acquires palace villages, volosts and even specific towns. Kalita himself bought cities such as Galich, Belozersk, Uglich, and they become part of the Moscow principality.
Attractive policy of Ivan Kalita
The rise of Moscow is becoming swift and irreversible. The policy of the Grand Duke of Moscow, the basis of which was stability, calm and prosperity, becomes attractive not only for boyars from other specific principalities. Nobles from distant lands move to Moscow. The city grew and grew rich literally before our eyes. Ivan Kalita also ruled for the cultural development of Moscow, turning it gradually into a capital city.
A major impetus to the rise of Moscow was the move of the Kiev Metropolitan here. This finally approved the leadership of the principality of Ivan Kalita.
At this time, the first Kremlin was built. The construction of oak logs in 1339 became a stronghold for the protection of the city center and the adjacent tenements. Great attention is paid to the safety of merchants and the protection of trade routes.
The genealogical books of most of the boyars' families indicate that their ancestors settled in Moscow during the reign of Ivan Danilovich.
Russian lands and principalities in the second half of the XIII - early XV centuries
Tver and Moscow claimed to be the center in the process of uniting Russian lands to fight for the overthrow of the Golden Horde yoke. This struggle becomes a national idea. And for a successful confrontation, a single center is always needed, which consolidates the liberation impulse.
The strongest in Russia was in those times the principality of Tver. But fate did not prepare for him, but for Moscow to become the head of the process of uniting the Russian lands. The rise of Moscow occurred rapidly, and it rightfully acquires the status of "gatherer of the Russian lands".
The dynasty of Moscow princes was founded by Daniel Alexandrovich, the youngest of the sons of Alexander Nevsky. At the beginning of the 14th century, the territory of the Moscow principality expanded rapidly there. Kolomna, Pereyaslavl, Mozhaisk are part of the principality, and the entire Moscow River, from the source to the mouth, passes into the possession of the Moscow princes. Over the course of several decades, Moscow became one of the largest principalities and entered the struggle for great reigning.
Tver or Moscow
The reign of Ivan Danilovich Kalita became the apotheosis of the struggle for the right to become the head of the unification process. Tver princes had a label from the Horde to the great reign, as heirs of a more ancient branch. But in 1327 the situation changed radically. Tver rebelled against the Horde tax collectors.
Ivan Danilovich suppressed the Tver uprising together with the Mongol army. Disputes about this event do not subside to this day. A clever politician sacrificed the population of one Russian land, in order to protect the rest from the fierce revenge of the Horde rulers. Participation in the suppression of the uprising allowed Ivan Danilovich to get a label for the Great Reign, which contributed to the rise of Moscow and since then has constantly remained with the Moscow princes.
The confrontation of Moscow and Novgorod at the end of the XIV - XV centuries
The beginning of the process of the collapse of the Horde was accelerated by the defeat of its troops led by Temnik Mamai in the Kulikovo battle. Khan Tokhtamysh with a new foray for a short time restored his influence over Moscow. But the growing influence of the Moscow principality becomes irreversible. In 1393 Vasily I succeeded in transferring the Nizhny Novgorod and Murom principalities to Moscow from Tokhtamysh. Moscow is becoming an independent and strong center of the Russian lands.
This period was marked by the many years of struggle between Novgorod and Moscow for the right to be the center of not only political influence, but also the formation of the foundations of the statehood of the Russian lands. Novgorod at that time was the largest principality, which remained outside the orbit of the political influence of Moscow. Attempt by Basil I to attach to Moscow Dvina land, which belonged to Novgorod, ended in failure. Novgorod remained an ally of Lithuania hostile to the Moscow princes.
Grand Prince Vasily II was able to use the discontent of Novgorod with his boyars, and in 1456, as a result of a successful march, he defeated the Novgorod militia. The Novgorod press and the legislative board were abolished and gave way to the grand duke.
As a result of the competent actions of politicians, a small settlement, once founded by Yury Dolgoruky, turned into the first city of the Empire. The unification of the Russian lands is almost complete. The rise of Moscow and the process of state-building entered the final phase. The period of fortification and flourishing begins.
Historians identify several main reasons for the transformation of Moscow into the capital:
- beneficial geographic location,
- wise policy of Ivan Kalita,
- moving to these lands of the Kiev Metropolis.
The limited scope of this article allows us to describe the rise of Moscow briefly, but it will serve as an impetus for an in-depth study of the history of our state and the great deeds of our ancestors.