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He was a son of Aleksandr Mikhailovich, grand prince of Tver and Anastasia. He was appanage prince of Mikulin from 1341 to 1399 and also grand prince of Tver from 1368 to his death in 1399. He married Yevdokia. Their sons were Aleksandr, crown prince of Tver who died without heirs in 1357; Aleksandr Ordinets, appanage prince of Kashin from 1382 until his death in 1389, who also died without heirs; Ivan grand prince of Tver, Vasilii, appanage prince of Kashin, Boris, appanage prince of Kashin, Fedor, appanage prince of Mikulin. The family is shown on this chart.


In 1365 he became Grand Prince of Tver. More interfamily struggles over various inheritances brought him into conflict with Dmitrii Ivanovich, Grand Prince of Vladimir and Prince of Moscow. Mikhail sought assistance from his brother-in-law, Grand Prince Ol'gerd of Lithuania. Dmitrii attacked Tver was was repulsed. Later Mikhail brought Lithuanian troops to counterattack against his uncle, Vasilii, at Kashin. Im 1368 Mikhail went to Moscow and was imprisoned until he returned land taken from a cousin. Dmitrii then attacked Tver again and Mikhail went to obtain help in Lithuania. In November 1368 he brought Ol'gerd and the Lithuanians to attack Moscow. When Mikhail's uncle, Vasilii, died the former sought to gain power over all of Tver and Vladimir as well. By 1382 he had managed to strengthen his control over all the principalities within Tver.In 1370 Mikhail again struck against Moscow, occupying several towns. When he could not obtain assistance from Lithuania he went to the Golden Horde and obtained the yarlik as Grand Prince of Vladimir. Dmitrii blocked his return routes to Tver through Russian territory, forcing Mikhail to travel the round about way via Lithuania. In December he returned with Ol'gerd again and attacked Moscow a second time without success. Not detered, he again traveled to Sarai and again obtained his yarlik plus a promise of Tatar military support. He declined the troops but brought a Tatar official along on his return to insist on his installation at Vladimir. Still, Dmitrii refused him entry to the city, bribed the Tatar ambassador, and himself went to Sarai in 1371 to obtain the vital yarlik. While Dmitrii was at Sarai Mikhail took several towns. In 1372 he brought Ol'gerd with his Lithuanian troops a third time to besiege Moscow, but Dmitrii drove them off. At this Ol'gerd had had enough so he signed a peace treaty. Mikhail lost his acquired towns.

By 1373 Dmitrii was having troubles in Moscow and with the Tatars. Mikhail was prompted to take the offensive again by occupying Torzhok and campaigning against Uglich. Dmitrii mustered all the troops he could from allied princes and attacked Tver directly. This forced Mikhail to sue for peace and acknowledge Dmitrii as overlord. He promised support from Tver for Moscow's campaigns against Tatars or Lithuania. Mikhail was just stalling. He married three sons to Lithuanian princeses. In 1380 when the great Tatar invasion was launched by Mamai, Mikhail refused to join the Russian cause at Kulikovo field. Dmitrii won a surprising victory nonetheless, which boded ill for Mikhail. The Tatars came back in 1382 under leadership of Toqtamish and burned Moscow. On yet another visit to the Horde, Mikhail obtained his renewed yarlik for Tver from Toqtamish, but could not get the coveted title for Vladimir or Novgorod. Surprisingly Dmitrii received the title for Vladimir again. Nevertheless Dmitrii's power in Moscow was sufficiently weakened for Tver to gain strength again. Mikhail fortified his territories. After Dmitrii died in 1389, Mikhail was in the strongest position yet. The tradition of equal inheritance was too strong for him, however. On his death in 1399 he again divided his Tver territories among his remaining sons.(51)


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