What were the reasons for the decline of Kievan Rus?

As with most of the world’s federations, the major reason for the fall of Kievan Rus was political instability created by the rules of succession. All of the different principalities were governed by members of the Rurik dynasty, but it was a staircase succession. Staircase succession means that the members of the dynasty were given different territories to rule, where the principal one was Kyiv. Each territory was ruled by a prince (tsar), but in Kyiv, the Grand Prince led them all. When the Grand Prince died, the next legitimate heir, that is, the oldest Rurik dynasty heir, not necessarily a son, left his principality and moved to Kyiv to be the Grand Prince.

After Vladimir died in 1015, there were three years of confusion and during this period, two of his sons (Boris and Gleb) were killed at the instigation of another son, Sviatopolk. In 1018, Yaroslav the Wise, who was one of the surviving sons, attained the throne and kept it until 1054.

Under Yaroslav’s rule, Kievan Rus continued to expand, but it was accomplished mostly through a series of marriages to royal families in Europe. He continued to maintain the federation’s trading power through this. But when Yaroslav died in 1054, power passed to his son Izaiaslav, who got involved in a succession battle that lasted through several rulers until 1240, when Mongols attacked Kyiv.

Picture Credit : Google 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *