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An Empires
of History

Khanate of Kazan

Starting Resource: 11
-- From Land: 8
-- From Trade: 3

Capital Territory: Kazan
Nation Class: Small

Total Starting Military
Infantry: 10
Cavalry: 7
Knights: 0
Artillery: 0
Generals: 1
Merchantmen: 0
Frigates: 0
Ships of the Line: 0

Click on the map to view your nation's position and starting troops

Kazan, which like Rome stands on seven hills, is the capital of the ancient people and country whose names, though familiar, are shrouded in misconceptions. The people are the Kazan Tatars; the country is Tatarstan. The Tatars have their own language, their own culture, their own age- old traditions and festivals, their own faith, but their past has been and remains intertwined with the history of Russia in the most dramatic and sometimes fateful way.

The name 'Tata' or 'Tatar' originated at the start of the Middle Ages in distant China, where it was used for one of the Mongol tribes. Whether or not it is true that these Tatars were in the front ranks of the terrifying Mongol hordes under the great conqueror, Genghis Khan, in any event all the Turkic speaking tribes to the east of Old Russia who were subjugated by the Golden Horde and combined into a state by them began to be called Tatars. After its defeat by the tribes of the Great Steppe, Old Russia also started to be called 'Tartaria' in western chronicles. It is an historical fact, however, that the people who bear the name Kazan Tatars were living on the land between the rivers Volga and Kama much earlier than the invasion of Genghis Khan, and are not at all 'newcomers'. The Kazan Tatars have always kept alive the memory of their true, historical name: the Volga Bolgars.

Where do the Bolgars of the Volga come from? As early as AD 550, Gothic annals mention the Turkic tribes of Bolgars living to the north of the Black Sea. The powerful state of the Bolgars in the Black Sea area held out in the wars with Byzantium, but fell under the pressure of the Turkic Khazars, a vanished people, who dominated much of Eurasia in the seventh century. From the descendants of these tribes who went wandering over Europe came the Balkan Bulgars, the Volga Bulgars, and even the Caucasia tribes of Balkars, Kumyks and Karachaevs. The founders of modern Bulgaria, today's Tatarstan and neighbouring Chuvashia were, in the fifth to seventh century, one and the same people. Though the Balkan Bulgars, having accepted Christianty, soon lost their Turkic characteristics, nonetheless they preserved the old name of their country. The Kazan Tatars, on the other hand, preserved everything except their name. Such are the paradoxes of history.

Great Bolgaria of the early Middle Ages, which in the course of the history became the Kazan Khanate and contemporary Tatarstan, was a powerful and developed state, trading with all the known world: Bolgar leather goods and furs reached not only the countries of the East, but also Lithuania, Poland, Italy and Flanders. From the tenth century, the Volga Bolgars minted their own silver coins with Arabic inscriptions: eloquent testimony of the level of development of internal and foreign trade. The ancestors of the Kazan Tatars were the first in Europe to begin to smelt high-quality cast iron. The Bolgar towns between the rivers Volga and Kama were noted for ferrous metallurgy, pottery, gold and silver working, and the production of leather goods.

When the Mongol hordes came they subjugated the Bulgars and Kazan became an important city as a part of the Golden Horde. A couple centuries later, well after the sacking of the Golden Horde by the rival Mongol khanate under Tamerlane, the unity of the Golden Horde split and Kazan and the Uzbecks broke away to form their own khanates. During the reign of Olug Moxammat and his son Maxmud, Kazan forces occupied Muscovy and its subject lands several times. The Grand Duke of Moscow Vassily II was defeated in a battle near the Suzdal, and was forced to pay tribute to the Kazan khan. By 1483 Muscovy has merged with Novgorod and emmerged as one of Europe's largest states and is not the most potent threat to the Khanate of Kazan. Kazan will need an alliance with either Russia or the Uzbeck Khanate to have a chance of thriving or at the very least an alliance with the Golden Horde might make the two states a pill a bit too bitter to swallow.

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