The Mongolian Empires

By Kaeffer_L

The Mongols

The Mongols were known as the most brutal military force in the world until the modern age, as they used psychological warfare and terror tactics to even force cities to surrender before they attacked. This army was made from the nomadic people of Eurasia, united under Temujin, or in 1206, Genghis Khan, meaning "Universal Ruler". A khan is a chief in the Mongolian tribal government. Of the Mongolian's greatest achievement, being their army, who were a tough people, hardened by scarce resources and a harsh environment. Coupled by Temujin's clever battle tactics, even using stalking than trapping other armies like a hunter, the Mongolian army was extremely brutal, spreading terror by burning any town that resisted them and killing all the rebels. In addition, they sent agents ahead to spread rumors  of the Mongolian strength to further spread fear. The Mongolian army started Asian conquest in 1207, continuing for 20 years, until Genghis Khan lay in his deathbed. By this time he had 4 sons, who each were heirs to 1/4 of the empire, each quarter called a khanate. By Genghis Khan's death, most of northern China and Central Asia.

The four sons, Hulegu, Batu, Kublai and Chagatai each ruled their own khanate by their father's last request, "With Heaven's aid I have conquered for you a huge empire. But my life was too short to achieve the conquest of the world. That task is left for you." The 4 conquered the rest of China, Persia and eventually left much of Eurasia devastated, with millions dead and cities annihilated and all of the land between the Byzantine Empire to the Pacific Ocean except India, the Khmer, Vietnam kingdoms and Japan was conquered. Although the Mongols were very brutal in building their empire, they were rather forgiving while ruling their empire, as they allowed the empire to mainly function as they normally do, even allowing the original leaders to still rule their respective countries, with a tax, of course. They even adopted some features of their conquered countries, like getting Islam from Persia. Rule under one civilization allowed for peace and stability known as the Mongolian Peace or the Pax Mongolia.

Yuan Dynasty

In the Khanate of the Great Khan, the Great Khan, Kublai Khan, ruled the land to the north of the Song Dynasty China, determined to complete at least the conquest of China. Beginning in 1235, for many years, the Song Dynasty fought the Mongols, and repelled them until 1279, when the last Song emperor fell and Kublai was declared emperor of China and was the first foreigner to do so. However, taking over a country does not settle well among the citizens of the country, as the Chinese thought of the Mongolians as rude and uncivilized to the point of resenting their rule. However, Kublai did not force Mongol ways on China, even adopting a Chinese name for the empire. So to strengthen his control of China, Kublai moved his capital from Mongolia to a brand new city in China near Beijing, the current capital of China. Of course, as the new capital, he made sure it had multiple features including defensive walls and a lavish palace for ceremonies. As much as Kublai liked the Chinese culture, he did not want the Mongols to become absorbed into the culture, so he saw to it that no Mongol had any individual friendship with any Chinese people, including marriage. In addition, the Chinese were not allowed to own weapons or enter the military to learn Mongol tactics along with having heavy taxes to further limit their power. Even though he distrusted the Chinese, he allowed them to hold power on the local level only as no Mongols explicitly lived in China, as a trade-off, he also placed soldiers in China to keep the peace. The main reason for the heavy taxes was to support the multiple public works projects, including building new roads and even extending the Grand Canal to the new capital.

Due to these expansions on roads, Grand Canal and simply because they were under Mongolian rule, the Yuan Dynasty was allowed to trade anywhere the other Mongols could trade to, which was anywhere in the expansive empire and even in Western Europe. This increased trade due to the safety on Mongolian grounds. In addition to increasing ground trade, Kublai had also built large ships to improve sea trade. Kublai had also welcomed foreign traders to Chinese ports and even offering some traders special privileges. Thus, with all the policies put in place by the Yuan Dynasty, many travelers, missionaries and merchants. Marco Polo had visited the Yuan Dynasty with his father, taking the environment with him and had the experience wrote down then published, bringing great European interest to China. The Yuan Dynasty ended after several bad military defeats in attempts to further increase Mongolian land, and Kublai's death in 1294 further worsening things, Kublai's successor's failure in leadership skills, a power struggle erupted over the next emperor, which weakened the empire to a point that in 1368, a group of Chinese factions had rebelled, destroyed the Mongolian army, then cleared foreign rule in China.