Sean Turner and Jerry Ferguson
Mongols: From Nomads to a Feared Empire.
The Mongols are arguably the best conquerors the world has ever seen. Through brutal military tactics and intimidating physiological warfare, they were capable of building the greatest land empire that the world has ever seen. The empire not only was fierce and cruel but they also brought about the rival of Silk Road trading which helped lead to their people to great economic prosperity. The Conrad-Demarest Model of an empire is a basic guideline that all of the empires are said to have to follow. In the Mongols, case they followed this model in the reasons for its fall and in the fact that it had militaristic and political preconditions in its rise, but it did not follow the Conrad-Demarest model in its necessary agricultural preconditions. Like every empire before and after the Mongols, it eventually came to its ultimate demise; but it could have been saved if the Mongols stayed together as a unified force and if they treated their conquered peoples more equally and not so much as second class citizens. The Mongols had all the necessary preconditions in the militaristic and political areas; according to the Conrad-Demarest Model. Initially, in the Mongols place of origin, Mongolia, there were many rival tribes known as the Naimans, Merkits, Tatars, Mongols, and Keraits. These tribes often raided and attacked each other in an effort to receive more power in the region, but the Mongols and Tatars often stayed equal in power. It was not until the rise of Genghis Khan that the Mongols began to rise in power and dominate the Eurasian Steppe. (The Mongol Empire, 2007). Also before their rise to power, the Mongols were one clan of many on the Eurasian Steppe. In this clan the ruler was the clan leader who administrated everything that went on within the clan. This was the Mongols state-level government until the rise of Genghis Khan. (The Mongol Empire, 2007) Finally, the Mongols were very experienced horsemen due to the fact that horses were native to the Eurasian Steppe. This gave them great advantages over other areas in land based warfare. In addition to their skilled Calvary, they also had an abundant amount of bows and arrows and they were very skilled with their bows while riding their horses. Finally, the Mongols were a very brutal people. Through this great brutality they were able to install fear in their enemies giving them a great physiological advantage on the battlefields. Their skilled cavalry techniques combined with their brutality helped lead to their militaristic success. (The Mongol Empire, 2007) These are the ways in which the Mongols fit the Conrad-Demarest model in terms of their politics and military before their rise. The Mongols did not fit the Conrad-Demarest model in terms of their environment and agriculture. Mongolia, the land where the Mongols originated from, is not exactly a desirable place to settle. It has very cold temperatures that average around -20 degrees Celsius and winters that last from November until June. Throughout the year in Mongolia the average is about 200 mm of rain. Due to these below freezing temperatures and lack of rainfall the Mongol empire never had a chance to have an environmental mosaic or agricultural prosperity. (Discover Mongolia, 2012) Also, the Mongols were very nomadic peoples. They only stayed in areas for limited amounts of time until they picked up their camps and moved on to their next location. This allowed the Mongols the ability to domesticate animals but it limited their abilities to have agricultural prosperity. They could not have agricultural prosperity because they were constantly leaving before they had a chance to attempt to harvest or cultivate crops in their almost unsustainable environment for farming. (The Mongol Empire, 2007) Finally, the region has a severe climate, with long cold winters, low rainfall, and frequent droughts. This made it...
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