The Mongols Controlled A Vast Empire

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Information about The Mongols Controlled A Vast Empire

Published on March 24, 2008

Author: Malden


The Mongols Controlled A Vast Empire :  The Mongols Controlled A Vast Empire Who Were the Mongols?:  Who Were the Mongols? The Mongols were the “devil’s horsemen”---a nomadic band of warriors from central Asia They conquered lands from the Pacific Ocean to the Adriatic Sea They conquered the Slavs in Russia and the Muslims in Arabia They ruled the largest unified land empire in history The Mongol Homeland :  The Mongol Homeland The Mongol homeland was a great grassy plain north of the Great Wall The grass supported horse, cattle, yak, and sheep herds This dry grassland is called a steppe and is home to the Avars, Turks, Huns, Tartars, etc. These herders were nomadic who fought with bows Genghis Khan :  Genghis Khan For centuries the Mongols lived in loosely organized groups with separate leaders known as khans Around 1200 they were united by Temujin or Genghis Khan Genghis Kahn began his rise to power around 1180, defeated rival leaders, and showed no mercy Slide5:  In 1206 he became the accepted ruler of all the steppe people (the name Genghis Khan means “ruler of all between the oceans”) From 1206-1227 Genghis Khan conquered most of Asia He was a brilliant organizer He was shrewd…he carefully studied his enemies’ strengths and weaknesses He used cruelty and terror as weapons The Mongol Empire Divided :  The Mongol Empire Divided Genghis Kahn died in 1227 but his sons and grandsons continued on In a 50 year period they overthrew the Abbasid dynasty in Persia, burned Baghdad, conquered Kievan Russia, terrorized Eastern Europe, and defeated China’s Sung dynasty Slide7:  By 1259 there were four khans who each ruled a different part of the empire One ruled Turkestan One ruled the former Islamic empire in Persia One ruled Russia The last, the Great Khan, ruled China Each owed their loyalty to the Great Khan but became more independent over time Kublai Khan Ruled China:  Kublai Khan Ruled China The conqueror of Sung China was Genghis Khan’s grandson Kublai He ruled China from 1260-1294 beginning the Yuan dynasty He enjoyed living in the city and created his capital at Khanbalik (City of the Great Khan) now called Peking (Beijing) Failure to Conquer Japan :  Failure to Conquer Japan Kublai Khan tried to conquer Japan by sending two fleets to Japan in 1281 They fought to a standstill for 53 days until a typhoon swept across the Sea of Japan and the Mongol ships were swamped and the soldiers drowned This “kamikaze” or divine wind saved Japan from the Mongols Marco Polo At The Mongol Court :  Marco Polo At The Mongol Court Though warlike and cruel, the Mongols did make caravan routes across central Asia safe for trade and travel The routes had been shut down by robbers and warring tribes since the T’ang dynasty The Mongols kept those routes safe Slide11:  An Italian merchant from Venice, Marco Polo, visited China in 1275 He became a trusted official of the Mongol government All of his officials were foreigners because he distrusted the Chinese and kept them from the government Polo served the Great Khan for 17 years before returning to Venice by a sea route around the tip of India Slide12:  Marco Polo was captured in a war with the rival city of Genoa He spent time in prison writing the story of his travels and adventures He told of China’s fabulous cities, armies, wealth, postal service, etc. Most people didn’t believe these stories but it was clear to Polo at least that the Chinese civilization was the greatest in the world Questions For Deeper Thought: :  Questions For Deeper Thought: Why did the Mongols succeed in conquering Russia when no other army before or since has been able to do so? Many people say that Marco Polo faked his discoveries. Does it matter if he did? Why is it significant that Marco Polo was from Venice?

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