The Mongol empire was fully established in 1237 and dominated a vast area of Asia for the next two and a half centuries. The Russian principalities were deeply divided and therefore fell easy prey to the formidable and experienced Mongol armies which swept from the east across the whole region. Indeed the persistence of these divisions helps to explain the prolonged period of rule by the small Mongol armies. When in the 15th century, strong Russian princes finally came to power, the divide and rule policy of the Mongols became steadily less successful. In a strange reversal of roles, the Tatars (as the Mongols were called by the Russians) gradually began to enter into the service of the grand-princes of Moscow. It was from that moment that the process of Russian unification began to take place, culminating in a Tsarist empire that spanned much of the Eurasian landmass. Exploring this little-known piece of history, this book should be of interest to specialists on Russian history and the Mongol empire.
Russia and the first Mongol invasion; Genghis Khan and the founding of the Mongol empire; the first Mongol invasion of Russia; between the two Mongol invasions; the Mongol invasion of Europe; division among the Genghisids; the Batu-Berke period, 1240-1267; the ruler Nogai, 1267-1299; Tver and Moscow; the apex of the Golden horde and the rise of Moscow, 1300-1341; internal problems in the Golden Horde strengthen the position of Moscow and Lithuania, 1341-1380; an unexpected reversal; the fall of Tokhtamysh and the rise of Vitovt, 1385-1405; the end of the era of Jagiello and Vitovt, 1405-1430; the dynastic war, 1432-1447; the Russian church becomes independent; the foundation of the later Tsarist empire, 1447-1462; sovereign of all Russia; the Great Horde taken over by Mengli Girai; the establishment of an autocratic government; the influence of Mongol domination on Russia.