From the end of the XI to the beginning of the XIV century in Russia, while observing the unity of language, faith, memory of the unity of the whole land, as the patrimony of the Rurikovichs, the processes of federalization or division of the country took place. They were caused by the emergence and development of a territorial community, in which each city of Russia perceived its neighbors as another “state”. Within the framework of the structure of the territorial community, it could not be otherwise.
I have already written about what the period of the neighboring-territorial community is. But I think this term should be clarified again. Since school education, everyone knows that the period from the middle of the XI-XIII centuries. - the period of feudal fragmentation. This concept was formed in the 30-40s of the twentieth century. under the influence of Marxist formational theory. Formation theory in the classical form was developed by historians in the USSR during the discussions at the end of the 20-30s, based on the developments of K. Marx and F. Engels.
As for the attribution of the early periods of the Russian stories to feudalism, here the key factor was the desire to show that Russia did not lag behind its neighbors in Europe and was on a par with them. To the natural question of what happened and what led to a severe lag behind most Western European countries and completely new countries such as the United States, it was explained that the backlog began due to the fact that Russia was stuck in the Middle Ages due to the political superstructure that significantly slowed down the process ... But ... let's not get ahead of ourselves, but go back to the XI-XII centuries. So, with the development of social and historical sciences, the view, both in the West and in the USSR, began to gain momentum on the presence of significant features and differences between countries both in the feudal formation and the signs of societies that do not fit the concept of “feudal”. I do not in the least deny the existence of a "feudal formation", unlike those historians who at first were apologists of feudalism, and then, after 1991, began to deny "feudalism" itself, rushing to use various anthropological theories. True, they were in a hurry, since current trends indicate that the formation approach, of course, differs from the approach of the 50-70s. XX century, remains the most systemic, explaining the development of at least European language groups.
Anthropological theories, such as, for example, the notorious "chiefdom" (earlier chiefdom, complex chiefdom, etc.), do not cancel or replace the formational approach to the development of mankind, but are an element of development associated precisely with the pre-class or potestarian period. Period, which consists of the tribal and territorial-communal system.
What was previously designated feudalism in school textbooks is a pre-class, potestarian society with only signs of the state and a horizontal, not hierarchical, system of government. Before feudalism during the second half of the XNUMXth - first half of the XNUMXth century. is still far away.
This period can be characterized as a time of multi-vector struggle:
First, the newly formed volosts (city-states) fought for their independence from the "center" - Kiev and the "Russian land".
Secondly, the city-states clashed with each other for tribute from the border tribes between Polotsk and Novgorod, Novgorod and Suzdal.
Thirdly, there were clashes between the princes of the House of Rurik for more profitable "feeding" in the city-states and for the "golden table" of Kiev.
Fourthly, the suburbs had collisions with the "older" cities: Pskov with Novgorod, Chernigov with Kiev, Galich with Vladimir Volynsky, Rostov with Suzdal, Vladimir on the Klyazma with Rostov.
We will show how events developed only in two iconic lands of Russia.
Kiev and Russian land
The same processes took place here as in the rest of the lands of the tribal "super-union" created by Russia.
First, Kiev was the oldest, that is, the oldest city of Russia, the capital of the entire "super-union".
Secondly, Kiev and its community have long been the "beneficiary" of income from lands subordinated to Russia.
Thirdly, the transition from a tribal to a territorial structure in Kiev also caused social changes that took place in all lands: the disintegration of the clan, an increase in inequality, the emergence of new categories of semi-free and slaves, yesterday's free communes, an increase in criminal offenses and usury.
Fourthly, its suburbs were actively fighting for independence: the first was Chernigov, followed by Pereyaslavl and Turov, which became the centers of new volosts.
And, finally, in Kiev there is a struggle within the framework of "primitive democracy", where the princes stood not above the community, but next to it. That is, a structure is being formed, which is called by modern researchers a city-state.
The development of the "Russian land", and especially of Kiev, was significantly influenced by external forces that undermined its economic power. Centrifugal tendencies were the first factor caused by the struggle of volosts for independence from Kiev. They contributed to a decrease in tribute income. The second factor was the threat from the nomads of the steppes of Eastern Europe, a threat that turned into a permanent war that required enormous efforts on the part of potestary education, which was Kievan Rus.
To fight the nomads, the grand dukes of Russia hire Varangians, "swift dans", move militia fighters from the northern lands of Eastern Europe. On the steppe border along the river. The Rosy accommodate the captive Poles (Poles) and small tribal steppe groups (Torks, Berendei), which came to Russia, not wanting to obey the Polovtsians. Fortifications are constantly being erected - ramparts. In the course of the struggle, the Pechenegs were defeated, but in their place came the Torks, part of the tribal union of the Uzes, who seized Central Asia and Iran to the south and created a powerful state of the Seljuk Turks. The Rus also dealt with them, but they were replaced by a new and more powerful nomadic alliance of the Polovtsians. Their horde significantly outnumbered both the Pechenegs and the Torks.
The Polovtsy are the Kipchaks or the tribal union of the Kipchaks. The name of the Polovtsians is a tracing-paper from the self-designation of this tribe - "balls" - yellow. It is not connected with the appearance of the Kipchaks, it was just that in the steppe it was customary to use the color scheme in the names of ethnic groups: White Hephthalites, Black Bulgarians, White Horde.
In the 20s of the XI century. nomad-Kipchaks found themselves in the steppes of the Don, Donbass, and by the middle of the XI century. occupied the entire territory where the Pechenegs used to roam. They immediately began hostilities against Russia, and then Bulgaria, Hungary and Byzantium, and at the end of the XI century. helped the Byzantines to destroy the Pechenegs. In the XII century. some of the tribes went to Georgia, some concentrated on the exhausting war against the rich, but weakened Byzantium. At the same time, the Polovtsians move to the second stage of nomadism, and they have "stationary" towns - winter roads and summer roads, which made it easier for the Russians to fight them in the steppe. By the XIII century. Russian princes establish relations with them, marry Polovtsian khanshes, and Polovtsians in the XII-XIII centuries. participate as mercenaries in the volost wars in Russia.
But the Mongol invasion made significant adjustments. Some of the Polovtsians died in wars with them, some migrated or went to other countries (Hungary, Bulgaria). The rest were incorporated into the Mongol nomadic empire. In the steppes of Eastern Europe, it was the Polovtsians who became the basis for the formation of the "Tatars" ethnic group.
In 1068, the children of Yaroslav the Wise: princes Izyaslav, Svyatoslav and Vsevolod, who led the squads and the volost militia, were defeated by the Polovtsy on the Alta River. The nomads began to devastate the "Russian land". To the call of the Kiev veche to issue weapon and horses Izyaslav Yaroslavovich refused. After that, the Kiev community expels the prince and "puts on the table" Vseslav, the son of Prince Bryacheslav from Polotsk, who was imprisoned in Kiev.
It should be said that a veche or a national assembly is not a dean's sitting in a modern parliament. Everywhere, and not only in Russia, but, say, in Constantinople at that time, the property of the "guilty" manager was plundered. This was not a “plunder of the mob”, but a tradition-sanctified section of “good” or “wealth” of a ruler who did not provide the community with adequate protection and welfare.
Despite the fact that Izyaslav, with the help of the Polish king Boleslav, returned to Kiev and even carried out repressions against the Kievites, most historians agree that the situation in 1068 and 1069. speaks of the significant political growth of the veche as a popular government body in Kiev. It is significant that this took place in the "domain of the Rurikovich" - the Russian land: after all, it is one thing, as it was in the XNUMXth century. - only to listen to the opinion of the city community, and another thing is the right of the community itself to determine whether it needs such a prince or not.
Most often, sources depict the veche at critical moments in history, which gives rise to some historians to doubt it as a permanent body of land management. But the veche is an organ of direct and direct democracy or people's rule, when the right to participate in government is not delegated to elected representatives, who also existed, but is exercised through the direct participation of all townspeople in the square. The "collective mind", of course, is not always right. We see spontaneous, ill-considered decisions, a rapid change of opinion caused by the element of the popular assembly - the element of the crowd. But this is the peculiarity of direct rule of the people.
It is significant that the Torg, the meeting place of the city meeting, was moved to the mountain, to the center of Kiev, next to the Tithe Church and the Cathedral of St. Sophia, which undoubtedly testified to the growing importance of the Veche in the life of Kiev.
And from the beginning of the XII century. an active struggle against the steppe inhabitants begins, and in 1111 the Russian princes inflicted a grand defeat on the Polovtsians, forcing them to migrate to the Danube and beyond the Don, thereby sharply weakening their pressure on the southern Russian lands.
In 1113, the "money-loving" and extremely unpopular prince Svyatopolk dies in Kiev, the townspeople plunder the estates of his thousander and Jewish usurers, who had previously received privileges in financial transactions from Svyatopolk.
Rezes or interest became a real scourge of the period of the formation of the neighboring community. Many members of the community fell into slavery for debt. The Kiyans invite Prince Vladimir Monomakh to the table with the condition of creating the "rules of the game" within the framework of a new situation, when the clan was no longer the protector of the individual. The adoption of moderate laws that streamlined the "cuts" - interest on loans, calmed the society. The rate was reduced from 50 to 17%, the amount of payments was clearly limited, the parameters and conditions for the "transition" of a free person to enslaving slavery - servitude were determined.
Similar reforms during the formation of the city-state in archaic Greece were carried out by many legislators, among whom the most famous and more radical than Vladimir Monomakh was Solon (638-560 BC), who wrote off debts and bought out fellow citizens who fell into bondage slavery.
The next steps towards the formation of the city-state were made in 1146, when the prince, who was sitting on the "golden" Kiev table, Vsevolod Olgovich (1139-1146), fell ill and died. The veche invited his brother Igor, but on certain conditions, the key of which was the question of the court: the veche demanded that the prince himself carry out the court, and not entrust it to the tiuns from the princely administration. The prince swore allegiance to the kiyans.
This important event in the formation of the city-state or "republic" in Kiev took place even earlier than in Novgorod. But Igor did not keep his oath, and the veche called another prince - Izyaslav Mstislavovich, the Kiev militia went over to the side of Izyaslav, and Igor was defeated, captured and tonsured a monk. But, despite this, when Izyaslav set out on a campaign against Suzdal with volunteers, the veche did not support the campaign against Yuri and the Olgovichi.
Because of this, Yuri Dolgoruky came to Kiev in 1150, since the people of Kiev did not want to fight for Izyaslav. But after a while they did not want Yuri, who was forced to leave Kiev. Vyacheslav wanted to sit on the prince's table, but the people of Kiev kicked him out too, directly declared that they wanted Izyaslav. Now the opinion of the community has changed: the city's militia supported Izyaslav in the war with the Suzdal people. After the death of Izyaslav, the townspeople elected his brother: "they put Rostislav Kiyane in Kiev."
Chalice of Yuri Dolgoruky. XII century. GMMK. Moscow
In 1157, Yuri Dolgoruky again came with a huge army from the Suzdal land. He not only fought against the hegemony of Kiev, but also wanted to sit on the "golden table" himself. In fact, Kiev was captured by the prince of a hostile and once subordinate volost. That is why Yuri places Suzdal residents as his "administrators" throughout the Kiev land. After the death of Yuri in the same year, the struggle against the invaders began: the Kievites beat and robbed his squad and the "citizens". Now the son of Yuri, Andrei Bogolyubsky (1111-1174), joined the fight against the hegemony of Kiev.
And the people of Kiev in 1169 signed an agreement - a "row" with the new prince Mstislav Rostislavovich, the same "row" was repeated in 1172.
This is how the formation of Kiev as a city-state took place. The same processes were going on in other cities of the "Russian land": Chernigov, Pereyaslavl, Vyshgorod. They actively fought against both the "older" city and the invasions of nomads. Chernigov stood out in the first half of the XNUMXth century, Vyshgorod, Pereslavl and Turov - in the XNUMXth century.
After several attempts, Andrei Bogolyubsky, the leader of the alliance of cities from Suzdal, Polotsk, Smolyan and Chernigov, took Kiev in 1169 and subjected it to a brutal plunder.
From that moment on, the weakened "capital city" begins to lose its significance as the "capital" of the super-union. Although the community continues to control the city, it is less and less interesting as a "table" and a place of "feeding" to the mighty princes of other volosts. At one time the table in Kiev was occupied by a prince from the insignificant Lutsk. And in 1203 the allies of Prince Rurik Rostislavovich (d. 1214), the Polovtsians, again defeated and plundered Kiev.
The struggle of Kiev for the former hegemony in Eastern Europe, the opposite desire of the emerging new centers of city-states in the northeast and west of Russia, the destructive actions of the princes seeking to control the golden Kiev table - all this extremely weakened the Kiev volost on the eve of the Mongol invasion.
North-East of Russia
Let us note several main points in the formation of a territorial community in this region.
First, the fight against the hegemony of Kiev was the most important for the Rostov land, which was a source of tribute for him.
Secondly, the formation of the land takes place through intensive colonization and the receipt of tribute from neighboring tribes.
Thirdly, as elsewhere, the "mezin" (junior) cities entered into a struggle with the old cities.
Initially, there was not even a prince in the Rostov land, it was ruled either by the governor from Novgorod, dependent on Kiev, or directly from Kiev. In the XI-XIII century. there is an active development of the territories of the northeast, gradually Rostov colonization is faced with the same movement from Novgorod, and this leads to wars over tribute. In 1136, under the leadership of Prince Vsevolod Mstislavovich, the Novgorodians fought with the Suzdal and Rostovites on Zhdanaya Gora. Despite the fact that the Rostov-Suzdal militia did not have a prince in this battle, they won. This victory became an important milestone in the struggle for independence. At the same time, in the course of the formation of city-states, the primacy from the main city of Rostov passes to Suzdal.
With the beginning of the XII century. the northeast is developing and strengthening economically, cities are being decorated. Vladimir Monomakh places his young son Yuri, the future Yuri Dolgoruky, in Suzdal as his governor. Upon the death of his father, Yuri becomes a full-fledged prince of the Rostov land. But within the framework of the princely ideas about the "golden table", he first tries to sit in Kiev, relying on the community of the Kiev suburb of Pereyaslavl, but after the failure he connects his future with the northeast. Moreover, the parish, in conditions when Kiev is trying to defend its rights to it, badly needed a military administration. And Kiev began a struggle with Rostov and Suzdal, relying on the support of Smolensk and Novgorod, with the aim of undermining the enemy's economy, totally destroying villages and fields. But the people of Suzdal, led by Yuri Vladimirovich, defeated the people of Kiev, Porshan and Pereyaslavl. Dolgoruky entered Kiev, but, not recognized by the Kievites, went back. The regiments of the Galician land entered the struggle for the "golden table". Finally, Yuri personally managed to sit down in Kiev for a very short time, appointing his governors here from Suzdal, as we wrote above. In the 40-50s. XII century. Suzdal and Galician lands achieved independence from Kiev and suffered devastating hostilities in the Dnieper region. Moreover, the prince of Suzdal was established in Kiev (for a short time). The hegemony of Kiev was undermined once and for all.
One cannot deny the role of princes as independent political objects, traditionally striving for the Kiev table, but the formation of city-states was the most important moment in the struggle that lasted two centuries. It was the volost militia, not without benefits for itself, that played the main role in this struggle.
It is a general historical fact that not only in Ancient Russia, but also among other peoples, a city-state was formed in the struggle against other city-states. So it was with Rome and in archaic Greece.
The formation of Rostov, Suzdal and “mezinny” Vladimir took place in a similar way. In 1157, after the death of Yuri Dolgoruky, the Suzdal people of the "belt" of Andrei Yuryevich put him on the table at the veche. It is important that Andrei abandoned the struggle for the distant Kiev table and took up the solution of the affairs of the Rostov land: campaigns for tribute to the Bulgar, to other border areas, the struggle for tribute with the Novgorodians, and, finally, again with Kiev. It was not the prince's desire to move to another, even a "golden table", but the task of crushing a hostile neighbor.
And in 1169 Kiev was taken and ruined: the townspeople were sold into slavery, churches and monasteries, like temples of an enemy community, were plundered. And Andrey, by right of the strong, appoints princes to the once "senior" table of Rus.
Historiographic tradition often defines Andrei Bogolyubsky almost as the first monarch who, long before the great Moscow princes, united Russia, created the "nobility" on the basis of the junior squad. This is definitely a very strong upgrade. There is no need to talk about the monarchy, or about any nobility in the conditions of the formation of a neighboring community and a classless society. Andrei was an outstanding warrior, like a true Christian, and his desire to “be on Suzdal,” instead of distant Kiev, is due to the fact that he was brought up in this land, which was native to him. It is precisely with his activities that the victory of North-Eastern Russia in the struggle with Kiev is connected, and the acquisition, in modern terms, of sovereignty.
It is obvious that strong princes contributed to the success of the community, both in the northeast and in other parts of Russia.
After the death of Andrey in 1174, and there are many versions of this murder: from everyday life to sacred and political, the townspeople of the whole land gathered at a veche in Vladimir to elect a new prince to the table. At this veche of the whole earth, strife broke out between the city communities: Vladimir began a struggle with the elder Rostov.
The Rostovites contemptuously called the residents of Vladimir "our serfs, masons," which perfectly illustrates the relationship between senior and junior cities, subordinates and tributaries.
The princes Rostislavovichi, counting on tables in the Rostov-Suzdal land, moved to the northeast, without waiting for the decision of the veche. They were instructed to stop and wait for a decision in the southern border town of Rostov land - Moscow. Prince Mikhalko agreed with the residents of Vladimir and Pereyaslavl (Pereyaslavl Zalessky), and Yaropolk with Rostov. The appearance of their own princes in the younger cities did not suit the Rostovites, and they forced the community of Vladimir to confirm their subordinate status. And the brothers of Rostislavovich, headed by Yaropolk, grabbed hold of the rich tables, behaved "as usual", began to burden the townspeople with illegal extortions: fines and sales, taking away communal tributes in their favor. The two parties attended by the people of Vladimir did not give any sense, and then the third party summoned Mikhalko and Vsevolod Yuryevich to the table in Vladimir. Now the victory was on the side of Vladimir, small Moscow also joined him, and Rostov and Suzdal were forced to accept princes from the "little finger" Vladimir. The struggle for hegemony in the northeast of Russia continued after Mikhalko's death, and only Vsevolod, the son of Yuri Dolgoruky, remained on the table.
Vsevolod the Big Nest (1176–1212 - years of government) is associated with the further expansion of the Rostov land to the south, as well as the "appointment" of the prince from the city of Vladimir now in Novgorod. After his death in 1212, princes appeared in other city-states: in Rostov - Yuri, in Pereyaslavl - Yaroslav, in Vladimir the village of Constantine. And they all sat down at their tables in agreement with the veche.
From a scientific point of view, it is not necessary to speak about any monarchical tendencies, supposedly emanating from the peculiarities of the Rostov or Vladimir-Suzdal lands. Under the territorial-communal system, monarchy as an institution cannot exist, all the more it would be a big mistake to correlate all formidable or harsh rulers with this institution of government, which exists only in a class society. This territory, of course, developed in the general Russian way.
Because due to geographical reasons and migration-colonization at this stage of the territorial-communal formation, only the structure of the emerging city-state could provide adequate management of society.
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To be continued ...