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Map OfRussia:

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Birth of Russia

  • It has been said the Slavs invited the chief of the Vikings (Rurik) to be their ruler
  • Later on the viking nobels intermarried with the Slavs as they adopted their culture which created a non existent barrier between them.
  • Princess Olga governed Kiev although later on Vladimir came to the throne around 980.
  • Yaroslav the wise son of Vladimir and led Kiev to a golden age.

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  • After the death of Yaroslav Kiev and the fight for the control of the Holy Land there was a decline of Kiev with the help of the mongol invasions.
Mongol Invasions
  • In the middle 1200's Horseman from central Asia invaded Russia.
  • They came under the rule of Genghis Khan.
  • In 1240 the Mongols attacked and demolished Kiev. They came under the leadership of Batu Khan.

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  • Many Russian inhabitants in Kiev were slaughtered.
  • After the fall of Kiev the Mongols ruled all of Southern Russia for 200 years

Russian Rule Under the Mongols
  • Russians were allowed to follow all of their own customs because the Mongols practiced religious toleration.
  • The only thing that the Mongols requested from the Russians was absolute obedience and massive amounts of payments.
  • Russian rulers often crushed revolts against the Mongols and collected oppressive taxes for the foreign rulers.
  • Mongols isolated the Russians from their neighbors in Western Europe.

An empire emerges

  • Ivan_III_of_Russia.jpgThroughout the 43 reign of Ivan the third Russia became a prestigious empire.

  • During this rule Ivan challenged the Mongols and used the name czar which has a similar meaning of the role of Ceasar.
  • As Ivan broke ties with the Mongols a war broke out known as the final break which took place by the Ugra River.
  • Although their was no figthing between both of these groups it was a mark of liberation for the Russian people from Mongol rule.


The Enlightenment
Some monarchs embraced new ideas and made reforms that reflected the Enlightenment spirit known as enlightened despots.
  • These enlightened despots supported the philosophes' ideas. However, they did not have any intention of giving up any power.
  • The foremost of Europe's enlightened despots were Fredrick II of Prussia, Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II of Austria, and Catherincatherine_ii_antropov_001aa.jpge the Great of Russia.

Catherine The Great

  • Catherine the Great ruled Russia from 1762 to 1796 as an enlightened despot in which she favored enlightened ideas yet ruled with absolute authority and made many reforms in Russia.
  • Did little to improve the quality of life for her people.
    Later on in her rule, her enlightened ideas changed due to the increase in serfs in 1773.
  • Catherine had an interest of ending the freedom for the many serfs and sent her army to destroy the rebellions. In a result the serfs were given little power unlike the nobles.
  • In 1793 and 1795 Russia received the rest of Poland's territory. At the end of Catherine's rule, she enlarged Russia and made Russia a great international power.


Peter The Great
Ruled the Russian Empire from May of 1682 until his death in 1725.
Carried out a policy of modernization and expansion that transformed the Tsardom of Russia into the 3-billion acre Russian Empire.
Heavily influenced by advisers from Western Europe.
Sought to gain more maritime outlets.
In August 1689 Peter the Great removed both Sophia and Golitsin from power and ruled as Russia’s sole leader.

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Napoleon Invades Russia



Napoleon's invasion of Russia is better known in Russia as the Patriotic War

In Russia it is also referred as the War of 1812

As a defense Russia practiced a scorched-earth policy- Burning grain fields and slaughtering livestock so there is nothing left for the enemy to eat.

September 7, 1812 Russians and the French fought at the Battle of Borodino

After Russians retreated which led the French to Moscow ( The Holy City Of Russia) and then the Russians burned this city rather than surrender to the French.

Due to the climate of Russia and the small amounts of food there was for French soldiers, thousands of the French died and only left 10,000 soldiers of the Grand Army to fight.