huun huur tu do you want me to saddle you where the young grass grows 1999
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Huun-Huur-Tu, “Do You Want Me to Saddle You?,” Where the Young Grass Grows (1999). The Mongol World Empire. The Imperial Alternatives. Run empire on traditional nomadic lines, as a tribal confederation But, what to do with sedentary peoples of China and Persia? Extermination?

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the imperial alternatives
The Imperial Alternatives
  • Run empire on traditional nomadic lines, as a tribal confederation
  • But, what to do with sedentary peoples of China and Persia?
    • Extermination?
    • Ruthless exploitation?
      • Example of Il Khanate
the imperial alternatives 2
The Imperial Alternatives - 2
  • Borrow practices of previous Turco-Mongolian Peoples
    • Cooked and uncooked barbarians
    • Uighurs
      • Introduced writing to Mongols
    • Qara-Khitai (or Khitans)
      • Darugachi, a provincial administrative figure
      • Yam – the postal service
the imperial alternatives 3
The Imperial Alternatives - 3
  • Adopt methods of the settled peoples
    • Most prominent in China and Persia
    • Persia: local elites, such as Juwayni, recruited into service
the imperial alternatives 4
The Imperial Alternatives - 4
  • China
    • Lower level of bureaucracy staffed by Chinese
    • Upper levels reserved for non-Chinese, often from Central Asia, such as Mahmud Yalavach
mongol institutions
Mongol Institutions
  • The Army
    • In a sense, all Mongols belong to the army
    • Highly mobile
    • Decimal organization
slide8
Army becomes an “artificial tribe”
  • Tendency to become an army of professional mercenaries
mongol institutions 2
Mongol Institutions - 2
  • The Great Yasa (1206?), or law code
  • Taxation
    • Head tax (qubchur)
    • Sales tax (tamgha)
  • Communications
factors for imperial disintegration
Factors for Imperial Disintegration
  • Horizontal stratification: a nobility emerges
  • Vertical differentiation: armies split off from rest of the people
  • Sedentarization and denomadification of ruling elites, e.g. Kubilai Khan
slide13
Example of Kubilai Khan
    • Moves capital to Beijing
    • Adopts Chinese dynastic name (Yüan)
    • Becomes a Buddhist
factors for imperial disintegration 2
Factors for Imperial Disintegration - 2
  • Lack of clear rules for succession to imperial throne
    • Mixture of hereditary right and election
    • Both lineal and lateral succession recognized
    • Designation by ruling khan also used
factors for imperial disintegration 3
Factors for Imperial Disintegration - 3
  • Ögodei, 3rd son of Chingiz Khan,designated and elected, 1229
  • Küyük, son of Ögodei, elected, 1247
  • Möngke, son of Chingiz’ youngest son, elected over opposition, 1251
  • Kubilai, brother of Möngke, elected in a disputed election, leading to civil war, 1260
disintegration
Disintegration
  • Empire becomes group of sub-khanates
  • Example of China
    • Mongols illegitimate in eyes of Chinese
    • 1353-54: plague and rebellion
    • Inflation
    • 1368: Ming dynasty established
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