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The Fall of the Mongolian Empire

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The largest land empire in the world belongs to the Mongolian empire. A small nation that was able to pull together under one ruler and stretch its borders from the Pacific Ocean to the western borders of Europe. Such speed and success of their conquests have largely gone unappreciated considering how they conquered more land in twenty five years than the Romans did in four-hundred. The Mongolians can be accredited with founding such countries as Russia and Korea, and creating international law. With all this power though, Mongolia was quick to fall. Creating a country so big that they couldn’t keep it together longer than two hundred years. The fall lies in their Hostile neighbours, and their need to take over countries that want nothing to do with the Mongolian empire. The Black Plague that swept across their nation. And most importantly the fall lies in their political ineptitude and inability to distribute power properly throughout their nation. The Mongolians took on a whole new approach to conquering their enemies and how they treated them. They had vicious tendencies backed with an open mind and willingness to learn from and help those who they captured. The Mongolian Empire was an Empire unlike any before, and any after. Their downfall came much too quickly for an empire that should have lasted four times that of the Roman Empire. Before the Mongolians had conquered Asia they were simple farmer communities spread thin over Mongolia, whose main activities were horseback riding and practising their archery. Genghis Khan however changed this all when he saw that his purpose in life was to conquer world. By age twenty Genghis Khan had his wife stolen from him by a rival tribe of Mongolians. Through political manipulation he was able to unite all the tribes in Mongolia to defeat the rival tribe and win back his wife. Now with one unified Mongolia Genghis Khan had an entire army of loyal soldiers under his control. Being a wise man, Genghis understood that the mighty China would not stand to have such a powerful nation as their neighbour. He knew that once word spread of them, China would attack. So he took his entire army before China could even move and invaded them, working his way to the capital of Beijing. Once he reached their walls Genghis had no way to attack. So he performed a blockade taking all the food that was meant to go to the city. Being in no rush Genghis waited outside the walls eating supplies and taking on scientists from Beijing with open arms, learning all about how to make siege weapons. After a month, starvation was taking its toll on the people and Genghis Khan had no problem taking over the city. From there, Genghis Khan went on easily taking over the rest of Asia using fear and brute strength. Even after his death expansion continued, engulfing land westward until they hit Europe, Eastward to Korea, and South all the way to Vietnam. Genghis Khan was a great leader that inspired all who followed him. Under him all were obedient and willing to join in the Mongolian commune that was so prosperous. After his death however none were able to strike up the same amount of passion, or able to make Mongolia one sound nation. Political ineptitude plagued Mongolia leading to its downfall. Kublai Khan had worked hard to rid his nation of corrupt government, but soon after his death it came back strong and weakened the entire nations trust in their leaders. Corruption on a local level added hardships to millions of ordinary Chinese people with crushing taxes that weren’t being used to help out the Empire. The Yuan dynasty was never fully accepted, and the corrupt government fueled the anger for the rebellious Ming Dynasty that came from the ashes of the weak and beaten Chines workers. Kublai’s seizure of power and his humiliation of his brother divided the family Genghis Khan, and shattered the unity of the Mongol Empire. Kublai Khan the grandson of Genghis Khan took over power of the title of great Khan and ruler of the Yuan dynasty. He did so by over powering his brother Ariqboke, rallying up his supporters and pushing Ariqboke out of the country. Following this the leaders of the four major regions in the Mongolian empire felt that they could no longer take orders from one leader. Even though they were still considered one nation, the regions never functioned again under one ruler. Political ineptitude was the fuel that broke up the Mongolian Empire and cause for no one true leader after the 13th century. Natural disasters tore away at the foundation of the Mongolian Empire, weakening its infrastructure and opening it up to revolution. Genghis Khan opened up the Silk Road, making it extremely safe and bringing in trade from the west. Unfortunately with this came the Black Death. In 1331 the Mongol empire could be blamed with starting the plague by opening up vectors for disease to travel. With their dirty streets filled with rats, and hub of trading ships travelling all across the known world. It is estimated that this plague killed at least half of the population of the Empire. Killing young and old put the plague gripped the entire nation with fear and putting everyone on edge. In the 1440s due to low up keep of the dams. The Yellow River flooded three times. Each time these floods washed away valuable farmlands and brought famine in its wake. And after each time the flood occurred the Yuan Dynasty would force the local farmers to abandon salvaging their land and help repair the dams. This forced labour was the original spark that caused such rebellious groups like the red turbans to rise up and over throw the Mongolian rule of China. At the time Genghis Khans death, he felt that he had not succeeded in his quest to rule the world. He wanted more and told his inheritances so. So till the end of the Mongolian empire, their rulers have been obsessed with having more. This greed for land and power crippled them when their invasions were on hostile neighbours who would fight them till the end. In 1274, the great Kublai Khan decided to invade Japan and make it a Mongolian vassal. Kublai didn’t trust the Japanese and wanted their resources and power under his control. Unfortunately these invasions dealt heavy blows to the Mongolian army that they were never able to recover from. After conquering Korea the Mongols had a whole new resource, ships. With these ships they became a naval power that could cross the sea. On the first voyage to Japan a huge storm came and destroyed all Mongol ships, and about 13 000 men’s lives. After this devastating loss Kublai was determined to win China over. This time using 140 000 men on 600 ships, but unfortunately history repeated itself, and a typhoon came wiping out nearly their entire army. Losing this many men was a devastating blow to Mongolia’s army that they were never able to recover from. In 1335 Persia (Ilkhanate) with the death of Abu Said Bahatur, the region fell into political chaos that allowed hostile neighbours from Georgia to push out Mongolian rule. After the death of the successor to Abu a year later, the region was torn and held together under Mongolian rule only by a thread. Under the rule of Eretna the Georgians had a sweeping vectoring, easily pushing out all Mongol rule. With the loss of such a huge region The Mongolian Empire lost much needed trade with the Middle East, weakening their power and wealth, opening them up to further invasions and power struggles. The most devastating blow to the Mongolian empire was the uprising of the Ming Dynasty and the overthrow of the Yuan. The Mongols took over their hostile neighbour who never truly accepted them as leader, and severely weakened their power. Up to 1351 the Mongolians had ruled China with the Yuan dynasty, but this dynasty was filled with discrimination against the Han people that stirred resentment and rebellion. The Mongols were taxing them heavily and the flooding of the yellow river was the final straw that started an uprising pushing out Mongol rule. A number of Han Chinese groups revolted, including the Red Turbans in 1351. This group was able to take over China and push out all Mongolians back to Mongolia, and start their own Yuan Dynasty. With the Mongols being kicked out of China they lost many of their resources and the subsequently lost control of their Golden Horde (Western Asia). Hostile Neighbours were the final blow that destroyed Mongolia as an empire, never again returning to their former glory. The Mongolian Empire lasted for only one-hundred and sixty years. A world power that came from next to nothing. Using only brilliant strategies and brutal tactics to overpower their enemies. An Empire that ended before their time. That with its original foundations should have withstood the tests of time. The Mongolians had let their kingdom be divided by political ineptitude, and had the misfortune of floods and the Black Death eat away at their society. With a final blow from their hostile neighbours and conquered enemies who wanted no part in being part of their empire. The Mongolian empire fell, and all those from Mongolia were forced to return to their home country. Even though the Mongolian Empire fell, relationships and countries were formed by them that last to this day.

Bibliography -Bergreen, John Andrew. The History of the World Conqueror. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1958 -Halperin, Charles J. Russia and the Golden Horde: The Mongol Impact on Medieval Russian History, Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1987 -Kaplonski, C. Truth, History and Politics in Mongolia: The Memory of Heroes. London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2004. Print.
-Morgan, David. The Mongols. Oxford, U.K.: Blackwell, 1986. Print.
-Szczepanski, Kallie. "The Mongol Invasions of Japan in 1274 And 1281." About.com Asian History. Web. 26 Feb. 2012. <http://asianhistory.about.com/od/japan/a/Mongolinvasion.htm>.
-Saunders, J. J. The History of the Mongol Conquests. London: Routledge & K. Paul, 1971. Print.

Bibliography: -Bergreen, John Andrew. The History of the World Conqueror. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1958 -Halperin, Charles J. Russia and the Golden Horde: The Mongol Impact on Medieval Russian History, Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1987 -Kaplonski, C. Truth, History and Politics in Mongolia: The Memory of Heroes. London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2004. Print. -Morgan, David. The Mongols. Oxford, U.K.: Blackwell, 1986. Print. -Szczepanski, Kallie. "The Mongol Invasions of Japan in 1274 And 1281." About.com Asian History. Web. 26 Feb. 2012. &lt;http://asianhistory.about.com/od/japan/a/Mongolinvasion.htm&gt;. -Saunders, J. J. The History of the Mongol Conquests. London: Routledge &amp; K. Paul, 1971. Print.

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