Ivan's III role and achievement lay in his appreciation of the need for Russian unity and in the vision and ability he displayed in the pursuit of this great objective. His rule of forty four years was devoted to patient planning, strong diplomacy, and major wars. Ivan's main goal was to unite all Russia under the independent leadership and to create a centralized state in order to replace the old-fashioned and extremely inefficient alliance of princes who never before were able to achieve unity. Indeed, his firmness added certain magnificence, and made him the most outstanding among princess who expanded principality of Moscow.
From the start of his reign Ivan realized that he can't expand Russia's borders while Rus' was exposed to Tatar attacks and while Novgorod and other cities remained beyond his control. Therefore, after major wars, he freed Russia from Mongol Yoke and proclaimed himself as a "Tsar of all Russia." Second, Ivan imposed conditions in order to end Novgorod's independence and subjected the city to his entire will and had become sovereign there just as in Moscow. This was a great step toward transforming Russia into an absolute monarchy.
It is significant to note, that Ivan insured that no potential leaders remained alive to provoke rebellion against his authority. The veche could not longer meet. Patrimonial system was abolished and important regions were settled on service tenure. Indeed, he acted in defense of the Orthodoxy faith and in the interests of his patrimony. For example, Ivan effectively demonstrated his readiness to protect Pskov against its enemies and thus made the city dependable ally. This shows that Ivan was hard-headed ruler and most shrewd diplomat.
Ivan also played a major role in helping Russia to become a compact and powerful nation, while her rivals had grown...