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Mongol Influence Dbq

By myumew Feb 20, 2012 1118 Words
With incredible tactics, a group of nomadic people specifically referred to as the Mongols, conquered Eurasia during the 13th and 14th centuries and left impacts that apply even to the present. Out of the hundreds of changes they may have caused, there are three that seem the most significant. As they dominated most parts of Eurasia, they brought religious biases, impacts that had negative effect on Eurasia's economy, and influenced the spread of ideas, technology, and diseases.

To a certain extent, religious biases were introduced as the Mongols dominated Eurasia. Although it's not completely certain, the emperor of the Mongols seemed to favor Catholicism as stated in the letter written by Friar John. Genghis Khan did reject the invitation to adopt the Catholic faith with a resonable excuse but praised the Christians. Written for fellow believers, he requests for help in order to change the emperor's mind. Of course, this document is biased because Friar John is from Rome and therefore unexperienced of the effects of Mongol invasions. An extract from the Novogord Chronicles shows the triumph of the common people against the Tartars which is written in favor of the Christians, a religious bias. The believers resisted the pressure from the Mongols and maintained their faith, causing the accursed Tartars to evidently leave the land.

As drastic changes occurred with the arrival of the Mongols, Eurasia's economy slowly began to deteriorate. Minutes before their campaign into China, Genghis Khan lectured his men of his cruel intentions and motivated them to not only steal the enemies' materials but also to put them in misery. Confiscating possessions from an entire nation would surely worsen its economy. His speech is biased in terms of trying to destroy China's economy for his own benefits. Another proof is revealed through a complaint from Rashid Fadl Abi-l'Hair, a Muslim historian, as he spoke of the misdeeds of the Mongols and frowns upon the invention of paper money because it risked their trade being destroyed. The historian's point of view is extremely negative towards the invasions due to the damage they've left behind and causing the economy to dip. Marco Polo's upper class bias is revealed in Document 6 when he praises Khubilai Khan and limits his words to speak only good of the invention of paper money. He describes the invention as a benefit to all nations, improving them economically. Having spent over a decade and a half at the court of the court of Khubilai Khan, it's safe to assume that he has a positive outlook on paper money which directly clashes with the Muslim Historian's perspective. A similar opinion comes into picture when another Muslim historian describes the cruelty of the Mongols as they invaded. Ibn-al-Atir explains how heartlessly the Tatars slayed countless individuals causing what resembles a mass murder. Without inhabitants, the economy gradually worsens, which is what the Mongols have caused. Murdering a massive amount of people affected the economy negatively. Ibn-al-Atir's point of view comes close to the Muslim historian's bias stated above.

The Mongols have impacted not only Eurasia, but the rest of the world with their invasions as they influenced the spread of ideas and diseases. Their influences can first be heard from a Chinese chronicler dissing the Yuan dynasty, which was at the time, the realm of the emperor of Mongols. He talks poorly of their hygiene and degrades them. His point of view shows that the impacts that the Mongols have made aren't favored by the Chinese and that even though the Mongols lived in the same land, the Chinese viewed them as foreign nomads. As stated in the previous paragraph, Rashid Fadl Abi-l'Hair spoke negatively of the invention of paper money brought into his land through Mongol invasions as it "attempted to destroy" their trade. His point of view most likely speaks for many other Muslims as they were also against the idea of paper money and loathed Mongols for their destructive acts. Another document speaks of the invention of paper, but somewhat glorifies the idea and praises the emperor. Marco Polo, the author, limits his words to only speak of the benefits of paper money and as mentioned before, his point of view is affected by the amount of time he has spent in Yuan Dynasty as an upper class citizen. To my surprise, a foreigner praises Chinese inventions as they have been introduced to Europe during the early 15th century. Francis Bacon, an English philosopher describes the broad impact that occurred with the spread of Chinese inventions through Mongol invasions. Coming directly from the text, Bacon claims that the inventions "have changed the whole face and stage of things throughout the world," and caused "innumerable changes". His point of view is reliable because a foreigner admits how greatly those inventions have impacted the world. Another proof of the Mongols' influences on the spread of ideas is clearly shown in a map illustrating The Paper Trail. Originated in China, printing technology gradually moves across the globe from East to West. During the process, the Mongols have invaded Eurasia which hastened the spread of printing technology and as shown in the map, by the 16th century, more than 1,000 printers were active in Europe. There is no bias associated with this document because it is all based on historic facts. Unfortunately, Mongolian movements have also contributed to the spread of diaseases, specifically the bubonic plague. The map illustrates how greatly the Mongol invasions have spread the Black Death to not only Eurasia. As they were traveling across, they carried the deadly disease with them to Europe, thus contributing to the spread of diseases which impacted the world horribly, leading to the deaths of over 75 million people. Just like the previous map, this document shows no point of view.

With their invasions, the Mongols have brought religious biases, and contributed to the spread of ideas, technology, and unfortunately, diseases. While many discredited the Mongols, such as a Chinese chronicler complaining of how they reeked of urine, others felt differently and praised them for their efforts in diffusing useful ideas and inventions. Inevitably, with the expansion of the Mongol empire came the spread of diseases, ultimately resulting in the deaths of millions of individuals. An additional document that would be useful for further understanding of the impacts caused in Eurasia would be one that describes the point of view of a Muslim commoner. Although the historians' opinions sound reliable, it does not completely explain how the lower class might have viewed the situations.

Documents 2,3,4,6,7,8,and 10

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