The Mongols swept westward, conquering Poland, Hungary and Bohemia, besting the forces of the Holy Roman Empire, alarming all of Europe and prompting the Pope to call for a crusade against them. Fortunately for Europe, the Mongols were not to stay long. The death of Odegei Khan prompted a power struggle and Batu Khan, reluctantly, returned home to press his claim to become the next Mongol Emperor. However, that came to nothing with the throne going to Guyuk Khan and so Batu returned to the west to focus on expanding his own central Asian kingdom. He further consolidated his rule and established his capital at Sarai in what is now southern Russia (near what is now Selitrennoye). Batu became so powerful that some believed Guyuk Khan considered him a threat and was preparing to move against him when he died in what is now the western Chinese province of Xinjiang. Batu Khan had reached such a position of influence that he was in large part responsible for placing the next Mongol Emperor, Mongke Khan, on the throne. Batu Khan set up the Princes of Vladimir and St Alexander Nevsky was one of his tributaries. Batu Khan died in 1256 as the master of central Asia and none of his successors would ever be able to outshine him.
In 1313 Uzbeg came to the throne and made Islam the official, mandatory religion of the Ulus of Jochi, banning Buddhism and the traditional shamanism of the Mongols. Still maintaining the alliance with the Mamluks and even marrying into the Egyptian Royal Family, the Jochi were becoming further and further removed, in both blood and custom, from their Mongol roots. Uzbeg held Russia by setting the local princes against each other and kept his state running by periodic raids into Europe as far as Serbia and Greece. He involved himself in power disputes within the Muslim world and met with setbacks at the hands of the Poles and Hungarians before the spread of the Black Death brought ruin and an end to any dream of the Golden Horde expanding into central and western Europe. As the years past and the Golden Horde descended more and more into civil wars territory began to be steadily lost. The Lithuanians began to rebel and push back, the Russians began to rise in rebellion and it was only by an alliance with the emerging Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth that the Golden Horde was able to hold Russia and reassert control over it.
Although not always given a high profile, the Ulus of Jochi had a profound impact on world history and the development of many countries we know today. It was the western frontier of the great Mongol Empire founded by Genghis Khan. Russia united and became the strong country we all know, famous for immense endurance, after being ruled for quite a long time by the Tartars. The effect this had on the history of Russia and the Russian national character cannot be dismissed. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was formed, in part, because of the shared threat they faced from the Golden Horde. The Hungarians proved themselves matchless warriors and gained the support of western Europe for standing on the frontline against Tartar expansion and much of the expansion of the Ottoman Empire came about because of the weakening of the Ulus of Jochi. As a monarchy, it was not terribly stable or effectively managed, but its life, though long past, left a legacy that is still felt even today by the peoples of central Asia and Eastern Europe.