The Rise of Russia
The rise of the Russian Empire, unlike the rise of Western colonial empires, although altering power balances through Eurasia, involved only limited commercial exchange. After freeing themselves from Mongol domination by 1480, the Russians pushed eastward. Some extension of territory also occurred in eastern Europe. Regional states, many differing from Russia, were present, with Lithuania and Poland rivaling Russia into the seventeenth century. Russia, with its Byzantine-influenced culture, had been unimportant in world affairs before the fifteenth century. Russia then entered into new contacts with the West without losing its distinct identity. Between 1450 and 1750, many lasting characteristics of the eastern European world were formed.
II. Russia’s Expansionist Politics Under the Tsars
a. Russia’s emergence as new power gained its power from Tatar control i. 14th century – Duchy of Moscow was center for liberation effort ii. Ivan III (Ivan the Great) claimed succession from the Rurik dynasty and old Kievan days 1. Ivan organized a strong army, and used loyalties to Orthodox Christian faith and to Russia to win support for his campaigns iii. 1480—Moscow was freed from any payment to the mongols 2. Also gained territory from borders of Polish-Lithuanian kingdom t the Ural mountains b. The Need for Revival
iv. Mongol control never reshaped basic Russian values 3. Russian landlords had only adopted ideas such as styles of dress and social habits 4. Most Russians remained Christians; local administrative issues remained in the hands of regional princes, landlords, or peasant villages 5. Mongol period reduced vigor of Russian cultural life 6. Russia became purely agricultural company; trade and manufacturing were limited; economic life deteriorated v. Ivan the Great claimed a...