Russian-Lithuanian War 1486-1495

The Grand Duchy of Lithuania, in the 14th and early 15th century, had greatly expanded in a series of military conquests. The Personal Union established with Poland, and dominated by the latter, as well as internal strife within the Grand Duchy had weakened the latter. This weakness had invited Grand Duke Ivan III. of Muscovy to attack Lithuania and annex Lithuanian territory. King Casimir of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania, neglected the Grand Duchy. His failure to act on an alliance with the Tatars (the Khanate of the Golden Horde), concluded in 1472, enabled Ivan III. to once-and-for-all throw off the Tatar yoke in 1480. In 1486 Muscovite troops invaded the Grand Duchy, raiding the countryside and laying siege to fortified places; King Casimir again failed to act. Upon his death in 1492, the Boyar Council in Vilnius insisted upon the next Grand Duke to reside within the Grand Duchy. While Casimir's older son Jan Albrecht succeeded him in Poland, the Lithuanians elected his younger brother Alexander Grand Duke. Alexander attempted to stop further Muscovite ingressions; in 1495 he married Ivan's daughter Helena.
However, Ivan III. resumed war on Lithuania in 1500-1503.

Article Ivan III. of Russia, from Wikipedia, from Veliki Novgorod, from Russian History
Article Alexander of Poland, from Wikipedia
REFERENCE Manfred Hellmann, Grundzüge der Geschichte Litauens, Darmstadt : Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft 1976, pp.56-59

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on April 10th 2004, last revised on November 17th 2004

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