Russian state began to take shape more than a thousand years ago, and has passed several stages in its development.
One of the most difficult and dramatic of them - the time of feudal fragmentation. Its signs have already appeared in the middle of XI century.
Historians have identified a number of causes in Russia of feudal fragmentation.
Background feudal fragmentation
Traditionally it is considered that the period of feudalfragmentation began in Kievan Rus in the first third of the XII century. But some signs of political disunity of the Russian lands were visible long before that. In fact, Kievan Rus already at that time was a number of independent principalities. Initially, Kiev was the most powerful center of the country, but over the years its influence has weakened, and the lead was only formal.
At the end of XI century already occurred steady growthurban population, contribute to the strengthening of urban settlements. Subsistence farming has made certain princes quite independent owners of large estates. The small principality can produce almost all that was required for life, and a little dependent on the commodity exchange with other lands.
Russia in those days did not have a strong, influentialand a charismatic leader who could unite the country under his rule. In order to subjugate all the Russian land, required sufficient authority and outstanding personal qualities. On top of that many of the princes were many children in Russia, which will inevitably lead to strife, struggle for an inheritance, and the isolation of the descendants of the princes.
Russia in the period of disunity
The sons of Yaroslav the Wise, who until then togetherWe made military campaigns and actively defended the Russian land, as a result of divergent views on the management of land, began to quarrel among themselves and made a long and bitter struggle for power. In 1073 Svyatoslav drove from Kiev Izyaslav, the eldest of the brothers.
Adopted at the time of inheritance systempromoted strife and disunity. When dying old prince, the right to rule is usually passed to the eldest member of the family. And most of them became the prince's brother, which caused anger and irritation sons. Not wanting to put up with their situation, heirs by all means tried to push the opponents of the authorities, undeterred by the bribery, treachery, and direct use of force.
Vladimir Monomakh tried to rectify the situation,introducing a new system of succession to the throne. However, it is subsequently caused enmity and fragmentation, as did the power of the privilege of the local princes. At the beginning of the XII century the situation began to deteriorate, and the internecine clashes took bloody character. It got to the point that some princes to fight against opponents led to their land warlike nomads.
Russia consistently split first onfourteen principalities, and by the end of XIII century, the number of separate independent land has increased to fifty. The consequences of fragmentation have been disastrous for Russia. Small princes could not counter the threat of a significant external force, but because the country borders are constantly attacked by the steppe nomads, seeking to use the political situation in frail neighbors. Feudal fragmentation was also the main reason why Russia was ruled by the Mongol invaders.