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Mongol Expansion

By brn1234 Dec 11, 2013 900 Words
DBQ: The Mongol Terror, Mongol Peace

In the post classical era, the big picture that is being projected is that

nomadic kingdoms were at its highest apex alike the Mongols. The Mongols

lived on the high steppe lands of eastern central Asia, they also conquered

most of all Eurasia, as seen on document 8, were it shows the expansion of this

vast empire, making trade safe for the first time all along the Eastern to Western

parts of Eurasia. The Mongol rule was most noticeable during the 13th and 14th

century since most of their considerable accomplishments were made during

this era. Since their achievements were made all along Eurasia, the reactions

of settled societies in response to Mongol expansion in Eurasia during the 13th

and 14th centuries, depended on the interactions they had with the Mongol

Empire, such as those from Europe and the Islamic world. There were settled

societies who interacted directly with the Mongols, which had mostly positive

reactions than those settled societies whose interactions were not as great as

those who did having negative points of view for the Mongols.

Mongols dominated according to their relationship. While in the document of

Marco Polo (Document 2) reporting on his travels through Persia, it shows the

admiration he had for the Mongols for pacifying trade. As he praised the

Mongols, it is to take into considerations that his point of view was biased since

he had worked for the Ilkhanate of Persia and served as a warlord therefore he

saw the Mongols with respect and praise. Document 4 also shows how William

of Rubrick from France, admires the not only the structural designs or how the

palace for the Khan is structured, but he mostly sees all the different people

that surround this area which is Karakorum were people form different places

come and assemble and trade many ideas and crops. His reaction was clearly

favorable to the Mongol expansion. Unlike this two documents, document 1

shows different reactions to the Mongol expansion. Document 1, which is from

a Franciscan envoy to the ¨Great Khan¨, trying to convert Mongols to

Christianity, the reaction that Giovanni de Piano Carpini had was a reaction

of surprise due to how they acted according to who they interacted with. He

respected how Mongols were so obedient to their lords and how among them

they dare not to steal. In the other hand, when it comes to treat other people,

they become arrogant and disrespectful, willing to steal from people that are not

from the area. He was judgemental to this attitudes. As a result from this envoy,

a year later Guyuk Khan, sent a letter to Pope Innocent IV (document 3)

threathening the Roman Catholic Church that if they would not surrender their

realms to them they shall declare war. This reactions were made because of

the envoy and letters that were sent to Guyuk Khan that they ought to be

baptized and become Christians. Guyuk Khan felt insulted and therefore he

threathened Pope Innocent IV.

In the Islamic world, the reactions as well differed according to their

interaction with the Mongols. As seen in the document by Ibn al-Atir (document

6), since he was a Muslim historian his point of view is considered as biased

and his tone is exagerated in describing the Mongol actions, he even compared

the Mongols as the Antichrist which it shows how he hated the Mongols.

In Europe, settled societies had a very different aspect of how the

Contradictory to this document, document 5 is from a merchant´s point of view,

Ibn Battuta, who is really affected positively since the Mongols protected trade

and merchants. Therefore, Battuta respects and value the Mongols. Although

this documents refer to the Mongols one as evil and the other one as admirable,

the letter sent to Hulagu Khan by three Shi´te dignitaries of Baghdad,

(document 7) they respect and surrend to the Mongols since they noticed by

now that it was not worthy fighting them since most likely they would end up

getting slaughtered. This fact can be supported by document 9 where Genghis

Khan describes all the horrible things he would do by defeating his enemies.

While these documents seem to focus on Europe, Islamic world and

mostly the high classes, it would be helpful to have documents from China and

the lower classes such as the peasants. Since these documents are focused

on Europe and the Islamic world we cannot conclude on how the lower classes

reacted such as the peasants in the Byzantine Empire where they saw Mongols

as liberators but their reactions cannot be determined without a primary source

document. In China the reactions might have been different to those reactions

in Europe and the Islamic world, due to the fact that the conquered people in

China saw the Mongols differently to all those in to the East of China.

The reactions of settled societies to the Mongol expansion, differed

significantly by how they interacted with the Mongols. The Mongols empire

went from East to West and South to North but the way they treated those who

interacted with them is remarkable different to those who did not interacted

with them directly. The Mongols for some was seen as a demolishing force that

destroyed all living thing that surrounded them as they went by and for others,

who did interact directly, their praise was not enough to say how much they

appreciated the Mongols.

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