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The Internal Development of Ancient Russia

Still in the first half of the 9th century ruler of Russia added a new oriental title - kagan (khakan, meaning supreme ruler (khan of all the khans) among Turkic and Mongolian people) to the common Slavonic title - prince. It was the event of great significance. Firstly, the title - kagan - was awarded the ruler of Khazaria, the state founded in the 7th century in the regions of the Lower Volga and the Don by the Turkic nomads and the Khazars. Some of the Eastern Slavs (the Polyane, the Northerners, the Radimichi and the Vyatichi) had to pay a tribute to the Khazar kagan. The title awarded to the Kiev prince symbolized the independence of a new Russian state from the Khazars. Secondly, the event emphasized the leadership of the Russian prince over the princes of other great Slavonic communities, who at that time had the titles - 'serenity prince' and 'grand prince' (in the 9th and the first half of the 10th centuries the Kiev prince also had those titles alongside with the title - kagan).

In the 9th-10th centuries the Eastern Slavs' unions of tribal principalities became gradually dependent on Kiev. The service class nobility and the Kiev members of the prince's armed force played the leading role in that process. For some of the unions there were two stages of getting into the dependence on Kiev princes. At the first stage the union had some inner ' autonomy' and only had to pay a tax - tribute. The tribute was collected by Kiev detachments of the prince's armed force that went round the territory of the dependent union: such a kind of riding people round was called 'polyudie' (from the Russian word 'lyudi' - meaning people). In the 10th century the tribute was collected in fixed measures in the form of a natural product. There existed several units for taxation: a household and a plough (that in this case meant the unit of square measures of a single peasant's household).

There are some data showing that social processes peculiar to the region of Central Dnieper Russia also took place in other unions of tribal principalities (the system of taxation, the leading role of the service class nobility). The outstripping development of Russia was in putting forward the system of tributes beyond the frames of its own union and the transition to the exploitation of someone else's communities.

The second was in direct subordination of the union of tribal principalities, liquidation of local reign and appointing a representative of the Kiev dynasty to be a governor general. In this case a new town was being built. Later on, the town became the center of the territory instead of the old tribal center. Such a transition aimed at neutralization of the separatist tendencies of the local nobility.

The Drevlyane had been taxed since the 9th century but their absolute dependence refers to the years of 945-946. In 945 the Drevlyane rose against Kiev prince Igor (912-945), who broke the measures of taxation, and killed him. Igor's widow - princess Olga (945-964), revenging for her husband's death, ruined the Drevlyane's lands. However, Olga had to put the taxation in order, to establish its measures (so-called 'lessons') and the places of their concentration (so-called 'pogosts' - churchyards). The first stage of subordination for the lands of the Dregovichi, the Radimichi and the Krivichi refers to the 9th century, the second - by the end of the 10th century and the Vyatichi to the second half of the 10th century and the second half of the 11th century correspondingly (that Eastern Slavonic community fought for its independence much longer than the rest).

The subordination of the Volynyane and the Croats passed through one stage only: at the end of the 10th century they were subordinated directly to Kiev at once. As for the Ulichi and the Tiverians the Turkic nomads and the Pechenegs occupied their lands in the 10th century.

With the liquidation of the autonomy of the Eastern Slavs unions of the tribal principalities the form of exploitation of their population by the Kiev military nobility changed radically. So there was no need in riding people round - 'polyudie' undertaken by Kiev; the tribute was collected by the governor - generals of Kiev prince, who reigned the territories of the former unions of tribal principalities. Some part of the tribute collected (about two-third) was sent to Kiev, another one was distributed between the members of the prince's armed force of the governor general. The territories belonging to a single early feudal state, reigned by the prince - the vassals of the Kiev governor, were called 'volosts'. In the 10th century the state as a whole was named 'Russ' (the name used in the region of the Central Dnieper and on the territory, reigned by the Kiev princes) and 'Russian Land'.

Such a state structure had been formed by the end of the 10ht century in the epoch of Vladimir Svyatoslavich (980-1015) reigning, who appointed his sons to reign in nine biggest centers of Russia: in Novgorod (the Slovene land) - Vysheslav, later - Yaroslav, in Polotsk (the Krivichi) - Izyaslav, in Turov (the Dregovichi) - Svyatopolk, in the Drevlyane land - Svyatoslav, in Vladimir - Volynsk (the Volynyane) - Vsevolod, in Smolensk (the Krivichi) - Stanislav, in Rostov (the Finnish speaking tribe Mer) - Yaroslav, later Boris, in Murom (the Finnish speaking Muroma) - Gleb, in Tmutarakan (Russian land on the Taman Peninsula) - Mstislav.
Apart from the lands of the Eastern Slavs and partly the Finnish speaking people, forming the territory of the Ancient Russian state, in the 9th-10th centuries a wide Slavonic periphery was formed. It consisted of the Finnish speaking and the Baltic speaking tribes. They were not included directly in Russia, but they were obliged to pay tributes to the Russian princes. This territory was inhabited by the peoples, living along the north-western, northern and north-eastern borders of Russia: the Lithuanians, the Kurshi, the Zemgals, the Latgals, the Livs, the Chud, the Em (the Eastern Finland tribe), the Pechers, the Cheremis (the Mari), the Mordovians, etc.

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