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 ebook presents a accomplished account of this sizeable country's heritage. It contains insurance at the conquest and rule of Russia via the Mongol Golden Horde; and the reign of terror through Ivan the poor.

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By Michael Kort

Detailing the social, fiscal, and political alterations and crises that the folk of Russia have needed to undergo, this ebook presents a accomplished account of this sizeable country's heritage. It contains insurance at the conquest and rule of Russia via the Mongol Golden Horde; and the reign of terror through Ivan the poor.

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Sample text

As he saw it, the city of Moscow, the capital of his realm, needed impressive stone buildings to match the grandeur of the state. To that end he imported prominent Italian architects, as his own country’s architects and builders did not have the skills necessary to build the grand structures he wanted. Some of those skills, such as solid-bond masonry, had been known in Russia prior to the Mongol invasion but had been largely forgotten. Others, including many of the modern technologies and methods used to build western Europe’s Renaissance churches, had never reached Russia as it stagnated during the centuries of Mongol rule.

The khan chose the Russian grand prince in the same manner. 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.

The Mongol warriors used a short bow of compound materials with a longer range than even the famous and far larger English longbow. Unlike the English bow, the Mongol version was small 13 A BRIEF HISTORY OF RUSSIA enough to be used by a mounted warrior; Mongol horsemen could shoot arrows quickly and accurately from their saddles while moving at a gallop. The Mongols even thought of defense: Each warrior wore a silk shirt next to his skin that stretched when hit by an arrow, allowing the arrow to be more easily removed without doing more damage to the wounded man.

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