How was the Grand Duchy of Moscow formed?

Moscow was established as one of the many small city-states in what is now Western Russia and Ukraine. In fact, Moscow was one of the last ones founded as it was initially established only in the twelfth century. This is late as the powerful cities of Novgorod and Kiev are more than 300 years older! Founded by Yuri Dolgorukiy, Moscow became important enough to have its own fortress, which is called the Kremlin. The city was situated near the Moskva River, and it was a vital stronghold. But by 1238, the city had been burned down by the Mongols who invaded the place. They either killed all of its inhabitants or carried them off into slavery. However, the Mongols let a native Russian rule the city after he was made to pay an immense amount of money for the honour of doing so!

The native ruler who restored Moscow to much of its previous glory was Alexander Nevsky. He helped to keep the city strong against the attacks of other European powers, while stopping its further destruction by the Mongols. After his death, his son Daniel gained power. He was aware that Moscow alone could not defeat the Mongols, so he convinced the Mongols that he sought to rule Russia on their behalf. As such he called his domain the Grand Duchy of Moscow.

This plan to work alongside the Mongols with the ultimate goal to defeat them continued. Ultimately, after almost 200 years, Ivan III the Great was able to put an end to the Mongol control over Russia and declared himself the ruler of all Russia.

Picture Credit : Google 

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