Imperial state of Central Asia founded by the Mongol Genghis Khan in 1206. Who defeated the Mongols?
|Date||1206 – 1368|
|Capital||Avarga, Karakorum, Janbalic.|
The Mongol Empire was an imperial state of Central Asia , founded in 1206 by Genghis Khan , who managed to impose his authority over all Mongolian tribes.
It is the second largest empire in history, after the British Empire , as it covered some 24,000,000 km² . It included the present territories of Mongolia, China, Korea, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and parts of Turkey and Russia. It stretched from the Danube River in Europe to the Korean peninsula in Asia.
The key to its rapid expansion were its sturdy horses and skilled and disciplined riders , who could ride while drawing bows and shooting arrows from 500 meters away.
The Mongol Empire disintegrated in 1368, due to difficulties in holding together such a vast territory, and internal conflicts and succession crises. Who defeated the Mongols?
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Political and social organization of the Mongol Empire
The form of government of the Mongol Empire was the elective monarchy . The great khan was elected by all the khans in an assembly called the kurultai. The first great Khan was Temujin who, after his election, adopted the name Genghis Khan .
The officials of the empire were elected by the great khan based on criteria such as loyalty, courage and skill. Their positions were neither life-long nor hereditary since the emperor could fire them and even order their death when he deemed it necessary.
These officials were in charge of collecting taxes and tributes, recruiting soldiers, keeping posts supplied for imperial messengers, keeping a record of official activities, and establishing relations with neighboring governments.
In the early 13th century, the Mongols were nomadic horsemen who were grouped into clans. Each of them was led by a khan or chief. Who defeated the Mongols?
Within each clan there were two types of people, the free and the servants. Among the free, there were social differences between ordinary men and women and those of aristocratic origin.
The Mongols based their coexistence on a code of laws called Yassa, which was written on scrolls. The code prohibited the kidnapping and sale of women and exempted doctors, religious leaders and gravediggers from paying taxes. Crimes such as cattle theft, deception and treason were punishable by death.
Economy of the Mongol Empire
At the beginning of the 13th century, the economy of the Mongol Empire was based on raising horses , herding goats and sheep, and hunting wild animals such as wild boars, deer, and rabbits.
Later, they began to produce cereals, silk and tea. They also began to use coins and paper money , which they used to buy carpets, spices, and precious stones from Arab, Indian, and Persian merchants, among others.
The kans required foreign merchants to provide them with information about the cultures of neighboring peoples. In return, they were given credentials that protected them as they traveled their domains. This protection intensified land trade and relations between East and West , especially along the Silk Road, through which European missionaries and merchants, such as the Venetian Marco Polo, traveled.
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Mongol Empire religion
Originally, Mongols were animists, as they worshiped earth, sky, water, stones, and fire, and performed magical rituals. They also worshiped their ancestors, to whom they offered some of the prey they hunted in sacrifice.
From 1246 they adopted Tibetan Buddhism , which soon became their main religion. However, they tolerated other religions such as Christianity , Islam, and Hinduism. A Mongolian saying said that: “All religions are like the fingers of the same hand.”
Who defeated the Mongols?
Khilji greatly expanded the empire that he inherited from his uncle, Sultan Jalaluddin Khilji, after killing him. Many of his conquests were of kingdoms ruled by Hindu kings, including Chittor, Devgiri, Warangal (from where he acquired the famous Kohinoor diamond), Gujarat, Ranthambore, and the Hoysala and Pandya kingdoms. He was able to do all this not because these other kingdoms were weak, but because he was a great soldier and general with a well-trained and disciplined army, using superior Turkic cavalry and infantry tactics, and had built a solid economic base which provided him with the resources to finance these campaigns.
During Khilji’s rule, the Mongols of the Chaghatai Khanate under Duwa Khan repeatedly tried to invade the Indian subcontinent. The attacks that occurred during the reign of Alauddin Khilji were not the first time that the Mongols had invaded India. But, as Lal puts it, “All these were minor invasions as compared with those that occurred in the time of Alauddin; and it was the good fortune of India that the most tremendous assaults were delivered to this country when a strong monarch like Alauddin was the ruler.” Who defeated the Mongols?
Khilji, by his military brilliance, managed to defeat the Mongols not once, but five times, and avoided defeat a sixth time even when taken by surprise, as the Mongols attacked with massive forces.
The first invasion attempt was carried out in 1298 CE, and involved 100,000 horsemen. Alauddin sent an army commanded by his brother Ulugh Khan and the general Zafar Khan, and this army comprehensively defeated the Mongols, with the capture of 20,000 prisoners, who were put to death.
In 1299 CE, the Mongols invaded again, this time in Sindh, and occupied the fort of Sivastan. Alauddin despatched Zafar Khan to defeat them and recapture the fort, which he did, even without the need for siege machines.
Dissolution of the Mongol Empire
In 1294, the Mongol Empire was divided into 4 states : the Yuan, which dominated China, Korea, and Mongolia; the Golden Horde , which controlled southern Russia and Western Asia; the Ilkhanate , with its epicenter in Persia; and the Khanate of Chagatai , in Central Asia.
Of these states, the most extensive and powerful was the Yuan, of which the other 3 khanates were nominally tributaries. The founder of the Yuan Empire was Kublai Khan, who in 1271 established his capital at Janbalic (present-day Beijing).
In 1368, the capture of this city by the Chinese forces of the Ming dynasty marked the end of the dominance of the Mongols and their expulsion from China. Who defeated the Mongols?
The main reasons why the Mongol Empire disintegrated are as follows:
- The internal conflicts between members of different clans fighting each other for power. These rivalries were accentuated every time a great khan died and another had to be chosen, causing succession crises.
- The change of lifestyle , from nomads to sedentary, and the acquired taste for the luxuries and comforts of urban life. This caused the Mongols to assimilate to the sedentary peoples they conquered, as did Kublai Khan and his successors, who were said to look more Chinese than Mongolian.
- The use of gunpowder in firearms made the Mongolian combat mode, based on the mass attack of cavalry and the use of archers, obsolete.
- The spread of the Black Death , which originated in Mongol-dominated territories around 1340. Deaths caused by the plague decreased the number of warriors available to the armies of the Great Khan. Who defeated the Mongols?
The Mongol Empire was ruled by 6 emperors , who had the title of Great Khan:
|Toghan Temur Khan||1333-1368.|