The Mongol Empire

Explain the rise and decline of the Mongol Empire.

Rise of Mongol Power

The Mongol empire was an empire that lasted from the 13th and 14th century and that expanded from Eastern Europe and across Asia, and it is the largest empire in the history of the world. It rose as the unification of Mongol and Turk tribes in present day Mongolia and expanded with Genghis Khan’s invasions. At its greatest point, it covered about 33 million square kilometers, and had a population of over 100 million people. Sometimes it is called the “Mongol World Empire” because it covered most part of Eurasia. Under the Mongol rule, new technologies were spread and exchanged across Eurasia. The empire began to split after the war in 1260 – 1264. At the time of Genghis Khan’s death the Mongol Empire ruled from the ruled from the Pacific Ocean to the Caspian Sea, which was as twice the size of the Roman Empire.

Mongols were very tolerant of most religions. At this time, almost every religion had found converts from Buddhism to Christianity and from Manichaeism to Islam. Genghis Khan set up an institution to ensure religious freedom. A few Mongols converted to Catholicism. Even though Christianity never held a great position in the Empire, many Khans were raised by Christians tutors and mothers. Mongols employed many Muslims and took their administrative advice. Muslim was a favored class of officials because they were well educated and knew Mongolian and Turkish. The first Muslim khan to adopt Islam as the official religion of the Khanate was Ghazan.
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Political Divisions

The Mongol Empire was divided into 5 main parts, which included:

- Mongolia, Southern Siberia and Manchuria
- North China and Tibet
- Khorazm, Mawarannahr, and the Hami Oases
- Persia, Armenia, Georgia, Cilicia and Turkey
- Golden Horde

At its greatest extent, the Mongol empire included Mongolia, Tibet, China, Korea , much of Russia, Siberia, Belarus, Anatolia, Georgia, Central Asia, Armenia, Persia and Iraq.

Mongol Military Invasions

Mongol invasions in Central Asia consisted of Genghis Khan’s victory over central Asian confederations such as Uighurs, Tartars, Mongols and Merkits, which all created the Mongol Empire. In the Middle East, the conquest consists of the submission of areas such as Iran, Syria, Iraq and parts of Turkey,. The major battles were the Battles of Baghdad in 1258, and the Battle of Ain Jalut in 1260. The Mongol invasions in East Asia consist of the invasions of Korea and Japan and the attempt of invasion in Vietnam. In Europe, the Mongol invasion consist of the invasions of Poland and Hungary, most of Russia and many others. Over a lapse of three years (from 1237 to 1240) the Mongols destroyed all major cities in Russia except for Novgorod and Pskov.

About 1162, there was born to a noble clan of the Mongols a child named Temuchin. He grew in prestige and power the way any charismatic individual did in that society, by success in raiding and clan warfare. It was common for charismatic leaders among Asiatic nomads to assemble short-lived confederations as large in area as the United States, only to have them disintegrate when the ruler died or lost his power. By 1206 Temuchin had done what no other tribal leader had ever done before: assemble all the Mongol tribes under a single ruler. At a ceremony in that year he was given the title Khan of Khans and the honorific name by which he is better known to history - Genghis Khan. What separates Genghis Khan (1162-1227) from all his predecessors is that Genghis extended his authority over a vast region and created institutions to perpetuate Mongol power.

China has historically existed in one of three patterns: a unified whole when the central government was powerful, at other times division into northern and southern kingdoms, and occasional periods of disintegration and civil war, called Warring States periods. When Genghis Khan came to power, China was divided into a northern Kin Dynasty and the southern Sung Dynasty. The Mongols invaded the Kin realm and raided it and Korea from 1211 to 1214 before the Kin surrendered and agreed to pay tribute.

In 1218, the event took place that would change Genghis' realm from just another nomadic confederation to a world empire. A caravan traveling from Mongol lands to the Persian Empire was stopped by the governor of a Persian frontier province in modern Uzbekistan. Suspecting, probably correctly, that the caravan included Mongol spies (the Mongols were voracious intelligence gatherers), he ordered the caravan massacred and its goods seized. To the Mongols, ambassadors and caravans under safe-conduct were inviolate, and this violation was unforgivable. Genghis sent ambassadors to the Shah of Persia demanding that the offending governor be turned over. To the Shah, ruler of a populous empire of a million square miles, this request seemed as preposterous as it would seem to us for the President of Haiti to demand that the President of the United States turn over the governor of Florida. The Shah humiliated the Mongol emissaries and put them to death, another unforgivable offense to the Mongols.

Genghis declared war, and although the Mongols took many rich cities with frightful bloodshed, they had barely touched the frontiers of the vast Persian Empire. However, Genghis made good use of the Mongol passion for accurate intelligence; he knew that the Shah's Empire was fragmented and filled with ethnic and religious groups who were held in check only by force. If the demand to turn over the offending governor was bold, what followed next was all but incredible: Genghis ordered two of his generals to hunt down the Shah in his own empire. To use the modern analogy above, imagine that the President of Haiti, having been refused, sends troops to fight their way across the United States to capture the President of the United States. Imagine further that they actually do it. The Mongols obliterated resistance when they encountered it but bypassed areas that offered none. The word soon got out that the Shah was the target, and that interfering with the pursuit was certain death. The Shah was soon in full flight for his life and barely made the Caspian Sea ahead of the Mongols. There, on an island, he died with only a few loyal followers, so poor they could not even afford a burial shroud. Mopping up operations continued until 1223. Intrigued by stories of the Caspian being landlocked, the Mongols sent a reconnaissance in force around the sea on a two-year journey (1222-1224). The Mongols carved a bloody track across Armenia and Georgia, and for the first time Europe learned of the Mongols.

The Mongol conquest of Persia had an interesting effect on Europe. There had long been a rumor of a great Christian King of the East, Prester John. The attack on Persia was thought to be the start of Prester John's campaign to help Europe destroy Islam. The rumors, interestingly enough, had a slender basis in fact. About 500 A.D. an aberrant Christian sect called Nestorianism was suppressed in the Byzantine Empire. (Orthodox Christianity holds that Christ was simultaneously human and divine; Nestorians believed Christ had two distinct personalities. If this seems subtle and irrelevant, welcome to the Middle Ages. It mattered to them.) Many Nestorians took refuge in Persia and from there diffused far across Asia. Many of the Mongols were technically Nestorian Christians, although their Christian beliefs were heavily mingled with other belief systems, and many Mongols saw no contradiction in being both Nestorians and adherents of other religions.

The Mongols were sometimes called the Tatars, which is actually a corruption of the Chinese term for one of the Mongol peoples. In Roman mythology, however, Tartarus was the Roman equivalent of Hell. Thus it's not surprising that Europeans equated the two and soon began calling the Mongols Tartars, the people from Tartarus. (The tartar on your teeth and the cream of tartar in your cupboard come from an Arabic word for a type of resin and have no connection, in case you were wondering.)

Mongolian Mail System

The Mongol Empire had the most ingenious and efficient mail system of the time, which was referred to as the Yam. The United States’ Pony Express resembled the empire’s Yam system. In the system, a messenger would travel a distance of about 40 kilometers and stop at one station, where he would receive a rested horse or rely on the next driver to deliver the mail as fast as possible.

Before his death in 1227, Genghis Khan authorized the use of paper money, which was backed up by precious silk and metals. Khan had encouraged foreign merchants before uniting the Mongols. They provided him with information about neighbor cultures, and were diplomats and official traders of the empire. Khan and his family supplied them with money and sent them to Khorazm. The Merchants supplied imperial palaces with food, clothing, etc. They also worked as tax farmers in Iran, China and Russia.

Foreigh trade
The Mongol Empire opene up trade and commerce on a scale never seen before.This was largely due to the Mongol peace, which made the cravans routes across Central Asia safe for trade and travel.These traiders also carried with them such Chinese products such as invensions as printing,gun power, the compass, paper currency, and playing cards.the most famous travelers to visit the Mongol Empire was Marco Polo. He traveled by caravan on the Silk Roads with his father and uncle, arrriving at Kublai Khan´s court around 1275. He recorded their respective journeys in books Marco Polo’s most well known book is “The Travels of Marco Polo”. In his books he described Kublai Khan to europeans but left behind little information about himself.

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All merchants and ambassadors, having proper documentation and authorization, traveling through their realms were protected. This greatly increased overland trade.Genghis Khan had encouraged foreign merchants before uniting the Mongols. They provided him information about neighboring cultures and served as diplomats and official traders of his empire. Genghis Khan and his family supplied them with capital and sent to Khorazm.then, their merchant partner business had rised under Ogedei and Guyuk. The merchants supplied imperial palaces with clothing, food and other provisions. Great Khans gave them paiza let it free from taxes and allowed to use relay stations of Mongol Empire.

The End of Mongol Rule

Over the concluding reign of the Kublai Empire, deficiency has been appearing in the Mongol. By expanding the empire and fighting with others to gain territory the armies has been suffering a great lost of life, equipment and supplies, in which the empire could hold anymore because the Empire was spending at lot of money on wars, public works, and luxury in the cities. This issue gave them problems that the government couldn’t resolve.

While the power of the Mongols turns down, chaos erupted all over the place. The empire has been losing territory and the economy was declined in which it turned into a powerless government, and many rebellions of the Chinese people keep appearing in order to be free of the Mongol rule.

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No More Mongols

When The Kublai Empire felt the mongols were almost banishing, When they fought to gain space they lost more things than they won. The goverment was gaving off to much money to unnecessary things such as luxiry and wars instead of resolving issues that the society had. Atfter all that the economy went down and everyone started invading and taking land so the empire declined.

During the last years of Kublai Khan's reign, the mongol rule started to gradually decline. Kublai tried to expand his territory but face several humiliating defeats in the making. In consequence, a large amount of lives and equipment were lost. the empire wasted lots of money on war, public works, and luxuries in the court that the working class felt resentment towards the officials due to them being overtaxed. these problems were too overwhelming for Kublai and his weak succesors to even think about resolving.

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Kublai Khan
when Kublai died in 1294, the yuan dynasty began to crumble. the family fought over whom would rule, and in an eight year period, four distinct khans had ruled. many fights had broken down in many parts of China in the 1300s due to thheir resentment towards the inefficient Mongols. the fights were also fueled from famine, flood, and disease, along with growing economic problems and official corruption. Moreover, the chinese rebellions finally succeded and were able to bring down the Mongols.

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By the time of the collapse of the Yuan Dynasty, the entire Mongol Empire had fallen apart. the government of Ilkhante in Persia fell apart in the 1330s. The Chagatai khans ruled Central Asia until the 1370s. only the Golden Horde in Russia stayed in power.

Kublai pays the debt of seeking power.

Between the last years of the Kublai Khans reign, they started to show some weakness. Among this weakness we can say thatt both their navy and armies were lossing significant strength. This was shown when Kublai started to send expeditions to Southeast Asia and failing. His armies and navies started to suffer embarassing defeats, loosing not only lifes, but declining the economy since they had to buy equipments and suplies.

This bad use of the empire money lead public disorder, This problems wich Kublai's less adecuated desendents could not fix lead to one of the roads of the Mongolian decline.

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