Chapter 14 - Leuzinger High School

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Transcript Chapter 14 - Leuzinger High School

Chapter 14: The Mongol Advance

AP World History Leuzinger HS


• The Mongols (also known as Tatars, or Tartars) were a group of nomadic tribes from the steppes, or open plains, of Central Asia.

– They Herded Livestock and were excellent horsemen and archers.


• Mongols proved to be adept at “cultural borrowing.” – Mongols adopted a law code, a written script, new religious practices, and better technology through borrowing from other cultures.

• Before 1200 CE, the Mongols numbered between 1.5 and 3 million – Divided into thirty warring tribes.

The Khagan

• In 1206, Temujin, better known as Genghis Khan (or Chingiz, Jenghiz, or Chinggis) which means “ruler of limitless strength” was declared Khagan and unified the warring Mongol tribes.

The First Wave

• Mongol conquest begins in 1211 – Targeted Northern China at first • Breached the Great Wall by 1215 – Targeted the Silk Road trading city of Samarkand • Upon Genghis Khan’s death in 1227, the Mongols controlled a huge state encompassing Mongolia, Central Asia, Northern, and Western China.

Why were the Mongols so successful?

• Numbers?

– Not really…80,000 – 100,000 troops wouldn’t be enough to automatically overwhelm such a large territory.

• Talented Cavalrymen and archers who could fire from horseback, galloping at full speed, firing forward or backward.

• Adopted military techniques from neighbors, like siege warfare from Chinese and Central Asian states.

Wave #2

• Genghis Khan’s heirs continued the wars of conquest – Third son, Ogodei, ruled the Mongols as the Great Khan until 1241.

• Greatly expanded the empire and built new capital at Karakorum.

• Ogodei’s armies moved farther into China threatening the Song Empire (which the Mongols defeated in the 1260s) • Ogodei forced Koryo (or Korea) into tributary status.

Ogodei and the West…

• 1236: He sent a large invasion force to conquer as much of the west as possible.

• 1237-1240: Conquer most of Russia and Ukraine • 1240-1242: Took over parts of Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary • 1241: Death of Ogodei – They were stretched too thin as evidenced by their failure in Poland and the Germanic lands.

– Russia and Ukraine remain under Mongol rule for over 2 centuries.

Mongols in the Middle East

• Commanded by Hulegu, the Mongols advanced on the Middle East in the 1250s • Toppled the Abbasid Caliphate in 1258 by taking Baghdad.

– Continued their advance until 1260 – Stopped by a Mamluk army at Ain Jalut.

How Big was the Mongolian Empire?

• Ruled an empire from: – Poland in the West to Korea in the East.

– Siberia in the North to Vietnam in the South.

• Single political authority • Economic exchange – Silk Road flourished, especially trading cities like Samarkand.

– Merchants, Missionaries, and travelers of all sorts passed through…including the Venetian merchant, Marco Polo • Made travel safer • Imposed legal order

The Silk Road

Pax Mongolica

• Pax Mongolica, or Mongol Peace is used to describe the late 13 th Century (1200’s CE) as the brief semi-unification of Eurasia was realized. – The Mongols engaged in high level administration by borrowing and engaging in cultural adaptation.

• Uighur: A Turkish written dialect • The


, a Chinese law code • Paper currency from China • Religious beliefs like Buddhism and Islam.

– They used their skill with horses to create one of the world’s fastest and most efficient postal systems (the yam)

Breakup of the Mongolian Empire

• “One can conquer an empire on horseback, but one cannot govern it from there.” – Mongols were much better at conquering, than at governing.

– As the empire grew, the empire became spread too thin, and broke apart.

• 1260: The last Khan of a united Mongolian Empire (Mongke) died.

– Civil War broke out – The four largest units became independent states, or Khanates.

Chinese Yuan Dynasty

• The Chinese Khanate fell to Kublai Khan – Moved the capital from Mongolia to Beijing – Declared the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) – Conquered the rest of China including the Southern Song Dynasty in 1279.

– Foreign rule in China

Chinese Yuan Dynasty

• Mongols adopted Buddhism • Mongols adopted Mandarin Chinese as the official language.

• Kublai Khan is considered the unifier of China as a single state.

– Ruled until 1294 – Made China rich and powerful – Unable to conquer Japan (tried in 1274 and 1281) or Java (tried in 1293) – Forced neighbors to pay tribute

Chinese Yuan Dynasty

• Kublai Khan rebuilt China’s bureaucracy and economy.

– Repaired roads and canals – Built new cities – Restored trade with the west – Venetian Merchant Marco Polo visited Kublai Khan’s court in the 1270s.

• After Khan’s death, China did not enjoy such prosperity.

China after the Death of Kublai Khan

• Tremendous population loss (30-40%) as a result of the bubonic plague • Economic decline • Civil wars throughout the 1340s and finally, the dynasty was overthrown by Zhu Yuanzhang in 1368.

– Took the name Hongwu and established the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) • Longest lasting and of the most famous dynasty in Chinese history

The Other Khanates

• The Golden Horde ruled over Russia and parts of Eastern Europe until the mid 1400s.

• Il-Khan Mongols converted to Islam and ruled much of the Middle East until the rise of the Ottoman Turks in the late 1300s.

• The Jagadai Khanate ruled Central Asia well into the 1400s.

– Also converted to Islam, but struggled with the Il-Khans.


• Later, from 1370 – 1405 the Jagadai Khan, “Timur,” also known as Tamerlane, rose up and attempted to repeat the military triumph of his ancestor Genghis Khan.

• Quickly conquered Central Asia, Persia, Northern India (including Delhi), southern Russia, and parts of the Middle East.

– Expansion ended with his death, but relatives ruled over the vast Timurid Empire, including Silk Road cities like Samarkand and Bukhara into the 1500s.