invasion to Russia'>Golden Horde is the feudal state based in the beginning of 40s of the XIII century, led by khan Baty (1236-1255), the son of khan Dzhuchi. The authority of khans of Golden Horde reached territory from low Danube and Finland gulf in the west up to basin of Irtysh and low Ob on the Volga, from the Black, Caspian and Aral seas and Balkhash lake Balkhash in the south up to the Novgorod lands in the north. However the original Russian lands were not included territorially into the Golden Horde, and were in vassal dependence on it, they rendered tribute and submitted to orders of khans. The centre of Golden Horde was the Low Volga region, where at the time of Baty's reign the city of Saray-Batu (near modern Astrakhan) became the capital. In the 1st half of XIV century the capital was tranferred to Saray-Berke [based by Berke khan (1255-1266), near modern Volgograd].
Golden Horde was an artificial and fragile state association. The population of Golden Horde was various. In settled areas Volga Bulgars, Mordovians, Russians, Greeks etc. lived. Turkic tribes Polovtsy (Kipchaks), Kanglys, Tatars, Turkmen, Kirghiz etc. constituted the basic part of nomads. The level of public and cultural development of the population of Golden Horde was also various. Among the nomadic population half-patriarchal, half-feudal relations dominated, in the areas with settled population - feudal relations.
After the conquests accompanied with monstrous destructions and human victims, an overall objective of Golden Horde governors was a robbery of the enslaved population. It was achieved by severe exactions. The basic part of the lands and pastures was concentrated in the hands of Mongolian feudal nobles for the benefit of which the labour population bore duties.
Craft manufacture of the nomads of Golden Horde had the form of domestic crafts. In the cities of Golden Horde there were various crafts with manufacture for the market, but manufacturers were, as a rule, the masters who had been taken out from Khoresm, Northern Caucasus, Crimea, and also Russian, Armenians, Greeks etc. Many cities in the won territories, ruined by Mongols, were in decline or had disappeared. The large trading centres were Saray-Batu, Saray-Berke, Urgench, Crimean cities Sudak, Kafa (Feodosia), Azak (Azov) on the Azov sea etc.
In the head of the state there were khans from the family of Baty. In especially important cases of political life kurultays - congresses of military and feudal nobles led by the members of the ruling dynasty, were summoned. Beklyare-bek supervised over state affairs (prince above princes), Vezirs - over separate branches. In cities and areas subordinated to them Darugs were sent, their main duty was taxation. Frequently alongside with Darugs, military leaders - Baskaks were appointed. The state system carried half-military character since military and administrative posts, as a rule, were not divided. Members of the ruling dynasty took the most important posts - Tsarevitches ("Oglans", owning lands in Golden Horde and occupying posts in the head of the army).
Fragile character of the state association of Golden Horde and especially growth of emancipating struggle of captured and dependent peoples became the main reasons of disintegration and destruction of Golden Horde. Already at its formation Golden Horde was divided into Uluses, belonging to 14 sons of Dzhuchi: 13 brothers were half-independent sovereigns, submitting to the Supreme authority of Baty. Tendencies to separate appeared after the death of khan Mengu-Timur (1266-82) when feudal war between tsarevitches of Dzhuchi family began. At the time of Tuda-Mengu (1282-87) and Talabug (1287-91) the actual governor of the state became Nogay. Only khan Tohte (1291-1312) managed to get rid from Nogay and his supporters.
In 5 years a new distemper began. Its termination connected with the name of Uzbek khan (1312-42); at his time and the time of his successor Dzhanibek khan (1342-57) Golden Horde reached the maximal rise of military power. Military forces at Uzbek totaled up to 300 thousand people. However distempers, that began in 1357 with the murder of Dzhanibek, testified the beginning of its disintegration. From 1357 till 1380 on the Golden Horde throne had been more than 25 khans. In 60-70s the actual governor became Mamay. In the beginning of 60s of XIV century Khorezm separated from Golden Horde, Poland and Lithuania grasped the lands in the river basin of Dnepr, Astrakhan separated. Mamay had to face the amplified union of Russian princedoms led by Moscow. The attempt of Mamay to weaken Russia by the organization of a huge extortionate campaign again resulted in the defeat of Tatars by the incorporated Russian armies in Kulikovo Battle of 1380. At the time of khan Tohtamysh (1380-95) distempers stopped, and the central authority began to supervise the basic territory of Golden Horde. Tohtamysh in 1380 crushed Mamay's army on the Kalka river, and in 1382 went to Moscow, captured it and burnt. After strengthening the authority he acted against Timur. As a result of some devastating campaigns Timur defeated Tohtamysh's armies, grasped and destroyed Volga region cities, including Saray-Berke, plundered cities of Crimea etc. Golden Horde couldn't recover any more after such a blow.
In the beginning of 20s of XV century Siberian khanate was formed, in 40s - Nogay Horde, then Kazan khanate (1438) and Crimean khanate (1443) appeared, and in 60s - Kazakh, Uzbek khanates, and also Astrakhan khanate. In XV century the dependence of Russia on Golden Horde was considerably weakened. In 1480 Akhmat, khan of the Big Horde, being at some time the successor of Golden Horde, tried to achieve obedience from Ivan III, but this attempt ended unsuccessfully. In 1480 Russian people were finally released from the Tatar-Mongolian yoke. The big Horde stopped its existence in the beginning of XVI century.