Russian Cot Essay

Russian Change Over Time
All rulers of Russia, though ruling in different time periods, Rurik, Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, and other significant tsars, all had different and similar views on culture, economy, and expansion.
In about 855 C.E., a native man of Denmark named Rurik became the first prince of the Russian dynasty Kievan Rus’. Kievan Rus’ had established contacts with Byzantium that extended steadily. These contacts that were centered around the city of Kiev, made it a prosperous trading center from which many Russians visited Constantinople. These exchanges led to a growing knowledge of Christianity. A Rurik descendant named Prince Vladimir I took the step of converting his people to Orthodox Christianity. He wanted to avoid Roman Catholicism, and it was a valid alternative to the prevailing animism. Vladimir organized mass baptisms for his people, even through the use of military pressure. He also imported church leaders from Byzantium to help train a literate Russian priesthood. As Kievan Rus’ became Christian, it was the largest single state in Europe.
The Kievan principality began to fade in the 12th century due to invasions and the decline of its heavily depended on Byzantium. The Mongols invaded and captured major Russian cities easily, though they did not penetrate farther west. The Mongols, know in Russia as Tatars, did not force their religion upon the Russian Christianity in return for tribute. Russia would emerge as a new power in Eastern Europe once it became independent from the Tatars through Ivan the Great.
Ivan the Great claimed succession from the Rurik Dynasty and organized a strong army, giving the government a military emphasis it would long retain. Russia had become purely agricultural due to the Mongol attacks, and Ivan called for reform. He also had plans to expand Russia claiming that he had succeeded Byzantium. Like Ivan the Great, Ivan the Terrible too had plans for expansion. These two early Tsars expanded...