According to the form of government, Kievan Rus was an early feudal monarchy and was a union of individual feudal lords connected by relations of suzerainty-vassalage. The country was ruled by a feudal monarch (prince), whose activities were directed by the council from the top of the feudal lords. To solve the most important issues, feudal congresses were convened.
The system of "feeding" was created on the ground, and the system of palace-patrimonial management prevailed in the center. In science, there is an opinion that Kievan Rus was created "on the basis of a confederal union" . However, this conclusion, made on the grounds that the territory of numerous Slavic tribes has entered the Kiev state, seems to us rather controversial.
Princely activity was based on the status of the head of state and was determined by the tasks facing the state. The essence and main purpose of the prince's power was to ensure external and internal security, while the prince was the organizer of the people's militia, he was the head of the general administration of the land, the guardian of external security and internal peace.The Kiev Grand Dukes were at the head of the general army, collected polyudye, exercised supreme control, appointed viceroys, monitored external relations, ruled the court, conducted military-diplomatic negotiations with other states. The level of diplomatic art in Kievan Rus was at the level of Western Europe. Already at the beginning of the X century. Rus concluded various kinds of international military, commercial and other contracts in oral and written form, for example, with Byzantium, Bulgaria, Khazaria, etc.
On hand Grand Duke of Russia were numerous "light and great princes and great hundred boyars," who often acted as rulers of the provinces appointed by the Kiev prince. They participated in the conclusion of the contracts of 911 and 944 years. with Byzantium. From the annalistic story "about the husband" (vassal) of Igor Svenelde it is clear that the latter had his own squad and that he received from Prince Igor the right to collect in his favor a tribute from the conquered tribes and spend it on the maintenance of his vigilantes.
During the X century. and the first half of the 11th century. princely power has increased significantly. At the prince there was a council that did not have a legal design, but played a big role in the prince's decision-making. The council consisted of approximate local princes, boyars, church hierarchs and city sergeants. The number of the prince's council, according to sources, was not constant and in each specific case was determined by the importance of the issue that was to be decided by princely advisers. Especially great was the importance of advice in the absence of the prince, when the prince died or went on a campaign. In this case, the council turned into the main authority and not only independently resolved all issues related to domestic or foreign policy, but also negotiated to replace the princely throne.
According to the existing chronicles and other sources, there are several ways to transfer power from one prince to another: 1) seniority in the clan (lestvichny principle); 2) the fatherland (possession of a certain territory that gave rights to the throne); 3) calling the ruling elite; 4) the order from the side of the prince who occupies this or that table; 5) the seizure of the throne by force.
Great, and then specific, princes during the discussion of vital issues not only consulted persons who are members of the princely council, but also with a broad assembly of city residents - the veche.
The very name of the veche comes from the word broadcast & quot ;. Veche (people's congregation) originates from tribal rivalry. Vigil meetings in the 9th-10th centuries. convened not only in the capital of the Kiev state - Kiev, but also in other major centers. Veche consisted of adult residents of the city. In the evening meetings, residents of the suburbs could also take part, which, however, was not necessary. Non-urban residents (for example, representatives of the surrounding nobility, etc.) attended the veche as an exception. Participants in the veche meetings were only full-fledged persons - not serfs and subordinate to the authorities of householders.
The usual method of calling a veche was to ring a special bell ("eternal", or "veche"). Sometimes, for the convening of the Veche, along with the veche, there were used special officials - birici (heralds).
A characteristic feature of the veche meetings was that decisions on them were taken not by a majority of votes, but unanimously. Needless to say, in order to achieve unanimity, it was necessary to overcome individual opinions. Sometimes it took a considerable amount of time to make a unanimous decision. In Novgorod, there were cases when veche meetings were delayed for a week.
The assembly was held only to solve the most important problems, which included questions about war and peace, the election and dismissal of princes, as well as the most important representatives of the prince's administration. In the event of war, the prince could gather the militia only with the assistance of the veche. In general, any question that the ruling elite considered important could be put to the veche.
In the Old United States state, there were simultaneously a numerical (or decimal) and palace-patrimonial management system. The numerical system was rooted in the organization of the military militia, which was divided into thousands, hundreds and dozens, which were under the control of the Tysyatskys, Sotsky, and the Tenth. Over time, compliance with the numerical designation is lost. Thousand has become not a number of armed people, but a territorial concept. At the same time, the Tenth, Sotsk, and Tysyatsk became leaders of more or less large segments of the state. Thus, the thousandth retained the functions of the commander, turning into a voevoda; Sotsky became a city forensic administrative officer or, as in Novgorod, the head of the merchant organization.
The territory of the Old United States state, not distributed to local princes as patrimonies, was broken up into volosts and graveyards. At the head of the cities was a posadnik appointed by the prince and performing administrative and forensic and police functions: the organization of management in the city and surrounding volosts, control over financial charges and their distribution, collection of judicial fines. The posadnik had his youngsters, who formed the garrison of the city and ensured the fulfillment of the duties enumerated by the posadnik.
The volosts were governed by volostels, which had the same rights and duties as the posadniki in the cities. The volosts originally arose in the south. In the north for a long time there were graveyards - previously established territorial administrative centers headed by the elders. Over time, the graveyards outgrew the volost.
The functional duties of the posadniks and volostels were provided by the so-called "feeding system". The posadniks received one third of the taxable territory administered from the population for their own maintenance and maintenance of their squads.
To fulfill their functions, the posadniks and volostels had assistants in the face of the tiuns and ryadovichi, as well as the virnik, bridge, and other branches of government. All these administrative persons were kept at the expense of taxes from the population and other kinds of taxes.
The further development of statehood, feudalization of social relations led to the fact that the decimal control system was replaced by the palace-patrimonial system. The palace-patrimonial system is a system in which the organs of government in the prince's palace were simultaneously the organs of state administration, forming, as it were, a single indivisible whole that grew out of the idea of uniting the administration of the Grand Duke's palace with state administration. The princely court was not only a princely home, but also a center of state administration, where the prince's squad and prince's servants were located.
In the XI-XII centuries. prince's servants became the prince's druzhinniki, who for one reason or another did not leave the palace (first of all, the younger squad - tyuns, children, swordsmen, etc.); boyar druzhinniki, who did not have time to acquire land; city people; princely serfs. Their service was regular and routine. They occupied a variety of positions: a butler, a stableman (supplying troops with equestrian staff), a chashnik (in charge of food), a steward, a hunter, etc. There was even a special uniting all the prince's servants name - "Tion".
Along with the palace ranks, there were also officials who were also in the state of the princely administration: customs officers, tax collectors and the Cunomians, who collected trade duties; osmniki, who observed the construction; virniki, who charged vires (judicial fines for murder); swordsmen and laggards who assisted judges in cases.
Over time, among the prince's servants, the top of the tyranny begins to stand out, which began to receive for the service of the city, village, land, etc. Gradually, the palace posts are transformed into palace ranks, equated to the dignity of the boyars.
The main military force and at the same time the ruling social group in the Old United States state was the prince's squad, receiving from the prince the maintenance and salaries of money, food and other items collected for the prince in the form of tribute. In addition, already in the early days the guards began to receive land and land and own villages. There were significant differences among the militia. The elder retinue of the prince (rich and noble people) bore the name "boyars", the youngest - "adolescents", or "children's". The families of the senior militia (meaning age and social status), or boyars, concentrating in their hands considerable landed property, lay the foundation of the upper estate or clan landowning aristocracy. The squadron, which served as an armed guard of princely power, gradually became the main body of government and court. It was from the militia that the princes appointed posadniks, tysyatskys and other officials who united in one person the conduct of both military and civil and judicial matters.
The army was recruited from the population as necessary and collected from all parts of the Kiev state. Druzhinniki usually were mounted, the army - foot. The army had to be armed with a prince. At the head of the troops were voevody and tysyatskie.
In addition to the druzhina and rati, the Kiev Grand Dukes had mercenary detachments from the Varangians, Turkic nomads, etc. to suppress popular discontent and subordinate disobedient cities.
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