|San José State University |
The Economic History of Moscow, Russia
Moscow initially developed within a loop in the Moskva River in a region of many loops in that river.
Upriver the Moskva River split off a smaller branch called the Neglinnaya, which downstream rejoined the larger branch.
Therefore the site for Moscow was effectively on an island.
This location was considered to provide protection by having the city surrounded by water on four
sides. As history later showed the site was not all that secure.
Although there is evidence of human occupation of the site going back to the New Stone Age it was not
until the eleventh century CE that the building of a city on the site commenced.
The Timeline of the History of Moscow.
- c. 1100 CE: The first constructions for the city that would become known as Moscow began.
- 1147 CE: The first mention of Moscow in an extant document. It was in a record of a monastery.
- 1156: The construction of the Kremlin (Citadel) was started. The name Kremlin derives
from word for the conifer tree trunks that were used to build the first protecting walls. A trading settlement
grew up east of the Kremlin.
- c. 1240: The Mongol Horde captured Moscow and set it on fire. The Moscow authorities accepted
- 1293: The Mongols once again captured Moscow and looted it.
- 1296: The Kremlin was strengthened with a new wall.
- 1326: The head of the Russian Orthodox Church transferred the church administrative headquarterseathern
to Moscow from Vladimir. A stone cathedral is constructed within the Kremlin. Soon afterwards Vladimir was incorporated into the administrative district
- 1367: The Kremlin was enlarged and new walls and towers were built of white limestone.
- 1378: Moscow forces defeated an attempted attack of Moscow by the Mongols.
- 1380: Forces from Moscow defeated the forces of the Mongol Khan at the Don River.
- 1382: Mongol forces once again capture Moscow and loot it.
- 1445: There was an uprising of the poor.
- 1478: The city of Novgorod was annexed to the growing principality of Moscow as the dominant Russian state.
East of the Kremlin the trading sector grew in size and importance. This sector, known as the Kitay-gorod,
is where the artisans and crafts people lived.
- 1485-95: High brick walls with 19 towers were constructed around the Kremlin. The cathedrals were also rebuilt.
- 1534-38: A brick wall with 12 towers was built around the Kitay-gorod. Moscow spread beyond the Kremlin and
Kitay-gorod. The new development became known as Beli-gorod (White City).
- 1547: Two fires destroyed most of Moscow outside of the Kremlin. There was an uprising of the poor.
- 1555: The first printing house for Moscow was established.
- 1571: The Crimean Tatars captured Moscow outside of the Kremlin and set it afire. Only a small fraction of the
population of Moscow survived.
- 1584-91: A five-mile wall with 29 towers and 11 gates was constructed around Beli-gorod.
- 1591: The Crimean Tatars attack again but are thwarted by the new wall around Beli-gorod.
- 1592: Earthen ramparts were constructed around the developments which had grown beyond
Beli-gorod. This sector became known as Zemlyanoy-gorod (Earthen City). Beyond
Zemlyanoy-gorod a chain of fortified monasteries was established.
- 1601-03: Severe famines occurred.
- 1605: The old Czar died and a usurper called The False Dmitry was installed in the Kremlin
by a Polish military group.
- 1606: The False Dmitry was killed and his Polish supporters were driven out of Moscow.
- 1608-1610: The Poles return with a second False Dmitry and occupy the city.
- 1611: Muscovites attacked the Poles who retreated to the Kremlin and held out there until 1612.
- 1613: Michael Romanov was crowned Czar and the Romanov dynasty lasted until 1917.
- 1648: There was an uprising of the poor protesting an increased tax.
- 1687: The first institution of higher education in Moscow was established. It was located in the Kitay-gorod district.
- 1701: Czar Peter the Great established a School of Mathematics and Navigation.
- 1703: Peter the Great initiated the construction of Saint Petersburg. The first newspaper company for Moscow was established.
- 1712: Peter the Great moved the capital of the Russian Empire from Moscow to Saint Petersburg.
- c. 1725: Peter the Great established state industries to encourage the continued growth of Moscow.
- 1741: A barricade 25 miles long with 16 gates was constructed around Moscow. Custom tolls were collected at the gates.
- 1755: Moscow University, the first university in Russia, was established.
- 1786: A medical and surgical college was created.
- 1812: French forces under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte occupied Moscow in September, but retreated in October
upon the onset of the Russian winter.
- 1813: A great program for the redesign and reconstruction of Moscow was launched.
- 1837: A Moscow stock exchange was created.
- 1851: A railway line between Moscow and Saint Petersburg was opened.
- 1861: Serfdom was abolished throughout the Russian Empire. This enhanced the migration of peasants
from the countryside to Moscow.
- 1917: The Bolsheviks seized power in Saint Petersburg and shortly thereafter also in Moscow.
- 1918: The national capital was moved back to Moscow.
- 1922: The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was formally established with Moscow as its capital.
- (To be continued.)