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Publisher's Summary

The formation of the state is a natural stage in the development of society. This is a very lengthy process, so any event that marks the transition to the state forms of life is very conditional. Primitive society could exist, guided by two basic principles that regulated social life: custom (tradition) and the right of the strong. Centuries-old traditions were rarely challenged, so there was no need for some special mechanisms to ensure their compliance. However, as primitive society gradually changed, the relations between the congeners became more and more diverse. The interests of an individual family did not always coincide with common interests, which destroyed the clan from the inside. There was thus a need to create new, more complex rules (like norms and laws) and to achieve their implementation.  

In the eighth and ninth centuries, among Eastern Slavs, the ancestral way of life was thoroughly destroyed, leading to the birth of the state. Neighboring communities could no longer be managed on the basis of old tribal customs. All this required the creation of new rules and norms. In the ninth century, the gradual strengthening of the Kniaz’s power continued. This process was accelerated under the influence of external factors: in the north of the East European Plain the raids of the Varangians became a constant phenomenon, and in the south the hostility of the Slavic and Turkic tribes increased dramatically.  

Between 862 BC and 882 BC, the majority of East Slavic tribes were united by Kiev. Thus under the rule of Kiev the Old Russian state (Kievan Rus’) was established. It was an early feudal state since it preserved the vestiges of the tribal system: the elements of military democracy. At the head of the state was the Grand Prince of Kiev, under which there was a council of the most distinguished and powerful princes.

©2018 Charles River Editors (P)2018 Charles River Editors

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