The Birth of the Captive Autocracy: Moscow, 1432

in Journal of Early Modern History
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Relying on Russian chronicle sources of the fifteenth century, this paper argues that beginning with Vasilii II in 1432, the grand principality of Moscow mirrored the political structure of its overlords, the Golden Horde. The most recent work by Mongolists and Turkologists on ruling traditions and state structures of the Mongol khanates show that the successor states to the Chingisid empire were ruled not by an autocratic khan but by a council of four qarachi beys, heads of the four leading clans. The selection of the teenager, Vasilii II, as grand prince of Moscow in 1432 was a decision made by a coalition of three of the four qarachi beys in order to weaken a rival bey, and simultaneously also weakened the rulership of the grand prince of Moscow by increasing the power of the boyar and princely clans surrounding him. However, the political model the princely clans-plus-grand prince was effective and flexible and later facilitated the rise of Moscow over its former rivals and overlords.

The Birth of the Captive Autocracy: Moscow, 1432

in Journal of Early Modern History



Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 14 14 3
Full Text Views 7 7 3
PDF Downloads 10 10 6
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0