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The Mongols. AKA: “The Devil’s Horseman”. Who are the Mongols?. To their enemies- ugliest, dirtiest barbarians to ever live To themselves- noble people whose war-like nomadic way was superior to city dwellers. Felt contempt for the rich civilizations of India, China, and Persia

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the mongols

The Mongols

AKA: “The Devil’s Horseman”

who are the mongols
Who are the Mongols?
  • To their enemies- ugliest, dirtiest barbarians to ever live
  • To themselves- noble people whose war-like nomadic way was superior to city dwellers. Felt contempt for the rich civilizations of India, China, and Persia
  • To history- between 1200- 1350 conquered much of the Islamic Empire, destroying Baghdad. Sent armies into Russia and China. They ruled the largest unified empire in history!
mongols from the steppe
Mongols from the steppe
  • Homeland: vast grassland north of China’s Great Wall (land was bare except for grass with savage winds sweeping through often)
  • Supported herds of horses, cattle, yaks, and sheep
  • Most important weapon – bow and arrow (pulling the bow took over 100 lbs of force. And a Mongol could pull at full gallop and hit a target 200 feet away!)
  • Home to nomadic invaders
      • Tartars
      • Huns
      • Turks
      • Mongols
steppe lifestyle
Steppe Lifestyle
  • Pastoralists
    • Seasonal, nomadic herding
    • Horses
    • Diet – meat and milk *Mare’s milk was a staple
    • Clothing – wool and leather
    • Clan-based family units
    • Camped at night in circular tents
  • Relationships with Settled Societies
    • Trade relations
    • Raiding
    • Assimilation
genghis khan
Genghis Khan
  • Khan= leader (for centuries, Mongols lived in loosely organized groups , each with it’s own Khan)
  • Background
    • Born in 1162?
    • Named Temujin (means “iron worker”)
    • Father was a clan leader – poisoned by rival clan
    • Raised in poverty  rose to clan leader
    • Killed Tatars = revenge
    • Made allies and fought battles to unite clans of the steppes
    • After one battle he is said to have killed everyone taller than a cart axel. Only the youngest children survived. They were brought up as his followers.
  • 1206 – became the Genghis Khan (“ruler between all the Oceans” , universal ruler)
conquests of genghis khan and the mongols
Conquests of Genghis Khan and the Mongols
  • Between 1206 and his death in 1227, Genghis Khan conquered most of Asia
  • 1211 AD– Jin Empire (in Northern China)
  • 1219-1225 AD– Central Asia (Khwarizm Empire)
    • Originally tried to set up a trade relationship
    • Sultan Mohammad of the Khwarizm Empire killed 1 ambassador and humiliated another
    • Genghis Khan led Mongol attack and destruction of this empire
  • 1227 AD
    • Conquered the Xia Xia Empire of Northern China
    • Died on the way to conquer Song China
mongol strategies and tactics
Mongol Strategies and Tactics
  • Decimal System of Organizing Units
    • Army = 10,000
    • Brigade = 1,000
    • Company = 100
    • Squad = 10
  • Training
    • Boy’s first toy – bow and arrows
    • Boys taught to hunt in groups military strategy
  • Tactics
    • Tricks – the Feigned Retreat
    • Heavily-armed and mobile cavalry (bow, sword, armor)
    • Psychological warfare
the mongol empire
The Mongol Empire
  • Continued Conquests by groups of Mongols led by Genghis Khan’s Sons and Grandsons (1227 – 1250s)
    • 1230s – 1250s – Northern China and Korea
    • 1240s – Russia
    • 1250s – Persia and the Middle East
  • 1260 – Empire Divided into 4 Parts = the 4 Khanates
  • Initially, they all worked “together” but later each Khan more independently
kublai khan
Kublai Khan
  • The conqueror of Sung China
  • Genghis’ grandson who was the Great Khan in the late 1200s
  • Unlike his ancestors, did not hate civilization. Loved lavish lifestyle
    • Conquered China in 1279 AD
    • Named his dynasty Yuan- ruled from the city Khanbalik (today it’s Beijing)
    • Tried to conquer Japan in 1274 and 1281 but failed
      • Kamikaze “divine wind” – Typhoon destroyed the Mongol fleet in 1281
the yuan dynasty 1279 1369 ad
The Yuan Dynasty (1279 – 1369 AD)
  • Changes to Chinese Government
    • Still an Emperor
      • A Mongol Khan , BUT lived and ruled like a Chinese Emperor
    • Still a Bureaucracy, but…
      • Mongols and Non-Chinese allies of Mongols at upper levels
      • Chinese bureaucrats at local level
  • Social Issues
    • Segregation – Mongols and Chinese kept separate
    • Chinese people placed at the bottom of the social class system
  • Trade
    • Silk Road restored
    • Grand Canal restored and extended
    • Foreign merchants and missionaries welcomed
      • Marco Polo – Venetian merchant who traveled to China and worked for Kublai Khan’s government from 1275 – 1292
      • Kublai Khan made him an official
      • Was captured Genoa and placed in prison- told stories the wonderful China. People didn’t believe him. A fellow prison gathered the stories. Instant success in Europe though most thought his stories to be fables.
    • Chinese economy prospered
decline of the mongol empires
Decline of the Mongol Empires
  • Yuan China weakens
    • Failed conquests of Japan and SE Asia weakened armies
    • Treasury drained by
      • Spending on luxuries of the Emperors
      • Public works rebuilding
      • Failed conquests
    • Chinese peasant revolt overthrew last Yuan emperor in 1369 AD
  • Fall of the Ilkhanate of Persia in 1330s
  • Fall of Chagatai Khanate in 1370s