To consider the Ruthenian Uniate Church in its historical perspective, and to encompass its complex phenomenon in a few pages is difficult for the historian who must treat this matter as an exception to the rule rather than an isolated historical event. It stands in sharp contrast to the historical precedent of the Kievan state whose inception and development, always represented politically, culturally, and ecclesiastically, the unity of all Russia. The division of Kievan Russia into principalities governed by members of the Rurik dynasty did not inhibit the cultural evolution, nor did it cut Russia off from contact with Western Europe. Rather, the cultural evolution developed in the general direction it had been given by Kiev, and contact with the West was further intensified in the principalities of Galicia-Volhynia and Novgorod. In addition to Kiev, several new centers of Russian political life developed in proportion to the number of principalities which increased as fathers divided their appanages among their children.