Who was Ivan III the Great? When did he come to power?

Ivan III the Great was the grand prince of Moscow and the grand prince of all Russia. Russia gained independence from the Mongols during his reign, which put an end to 200 years of their rule. Ivan was the one who made Moscow the centre of Russia by expanding its borders.

Ivan III was born in Moscow in 1440. He was a successor of Moscow’s grand dukes and the son of Vasily II the Dark- a name he gained during the civil war when he was blinded by his cousin Dmitry Shemyaka during an attempt to capture power. But Vasily II declared Ivan co-ruler while he was only six years of age to assure his son’s succession. At twelve years of age, Ivan was married to Maria, the princess of the principality of Tver. The marriage led to the inclusion of Tver, which had been Moscow’s major rival since 1300, into the duchy. During the ten years before the death of his father, Ivan accompanied him and participated in all his dealings and crusades. When he took the throne at the age of 22, he was already an experienced prince, with strong character and capacity to deal with important issues.

Picture credit: Wikipedia

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