The Mongol Terror

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Document-Based Question: The Mongol Terror, Mongol Peace
Mark Fellows
Mfellowes@revere.mec.edu

The following question is based on the accompanying documents (1-6). The documents have been edited for the purpose of this exercise.

What was the significance of Mongol expansion and rule in Eurasia during the 13th and 14th Centuries? How did the settled societies of Eurasia respond to the Mongols and what were the consequences of the interaction between sedentary peoples and the Mongols?

Be sure your essay accomplishes each of the following:

* provides a complete answer to all parts of the question
* has a relevant thesis that is supported by evidence from the documents * uses all or all but one of the documents
* analyzes the documents by grouping them in as many appropriate ways as possible * refers to the source of the document and the author's point of view where appropriate * refers to at least one other document that is not included which could help further understanding of the issue

You may refer to relevant historical information not mentioned in the documents.

Document #1

Document #2

Document #3

Document #4

Document #5

Document #6

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"In the whole world there are to be found no more obedient subjects than the Tartars [Mongols] …. They pay their lords more respect than any other people, and would hardly dare lie to them…. dispute hardly ever leads to blows…. and there are no large-scale thieves or robbers among the…. …. they regard each other almost as members of one family, and, although they do not have a lot of food, they like to share it with one another….No one holds his fellow in contempt, but each helps and supports the other to the limit of his abilities. They are extremely arrogant toward other people and look down on all others with disdain. In fact, they regard them, both noble and humble people alike, as little better than nothing…. they are the greatest liars in the world in dealing with other people…. They are messy in their eating and drinking and in their whole way of life….At the same time they are mean and greedy, and if they want something, they will not stop begging and asking for it, until they have got it. They cling fiercely to what they have, and in making gifts they are extremely miserly. They have no conscience about killing other people."

- Giovanni de Piano Carpini, Franciscan envoy to the "Great Khan" from Pope Innocent IV ca. 1246

"The people of Tabriz live by trade and industry; for cloth of gold and silk is woven here in great quantity and of great value. The city is so favorably situated that it is a market for merchandise from India and Baghdad, from Mosul and Hormuz, and from many other places; and many Latin merchants come here to buy merchandise imported from foreign lands…. It is a city where good profits are made by traveling merchants. The inhabitants are a mixed lot and good for very little….

Among the people of these kingdoms there are many who are brutal and bloodthirsty. They are for ever slaughtering one another; and, were it not for fear of the government, that is, Tartar lordship…they would do great mischief to travelling merchants. The government imposes severe penalties upon them…"

- Marco Polo, reporting on his travels through Persia, as recorded by Rusticiano, The Travels of Marco Polo, ca. 1300

"Having taken counsel for making peace with us, You Pope and all Christians have sent an envoy to us….The contents of...
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