The Decentralization and Gradual Decline of Kievan Rus’

The once powerful principality known as Kievan Rus’ experienced a gradual but steady decline in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact factors that led to the collapse, but it can partially be attributed to political decentralization and foreign invasions. Prior to the fall, Kievan society was characterized by uniform religion, a common language, and a common culture which kept the diverse state somewhat unified. The declining period, known as “appanage Russia”, was typified by a spreading out of political power and territories.… Read the rest here

The Rise of the Individual States in Rus’

As Kievan Rus’ became less and less centralized, individual principalities rose in its place as the chief governing bodies in the land.  These were much more independent of one another, and largely stayed more personal.  While this movement was occurring on the own accord of the princes, the pace was changed drastically as the hordes of Mongols began to go West.  While making it difficult for princes to stay sovereign, a large proportion of inhabitant of Rus’ felt the inclusion of Rus’ into the Mongol Yoke certainly had some benefits.… Read the rest here