Mongol Empire : From Tribes to Empire : The Success of the Khans
Mongol Empire : At the beginning of the 12th century, Mongolia was composed of many nomadic tribes that were entangled in constant conflict. In just a few decades, these tribes had not only united into an empire, but had expanded beyond their borders to become the largest land empire in history.
Much of this was owed to Genghis Khan, who despite having a rough upbringing, went on to become a powerful military commander and defeated opposing tribes to become the Great Khan.
Gengis Khan would establish a common language, write a universal law code, and set up a system of communication posts known as yam that would provide the foundation for the aggressive expansion of his empire.
The centuries of nomadic lifestyle for the Mongolian people provided them with the tools to conduct massively successful wars against their enemies.
They were especially skilled with the bow and arrow in addition to horseback riding, which they often combined together for mounted bowmen that tore apart unprepared opposition. Their mobility and range were unrivaled and when utilized by brilliant generals such as Subotai and Jebe, no army they faced could stand up to them.
Under Genghis and his descendants, the Mongols spread throughout Asia and the Middle East, eventually controlling land in modern-day Russia, down to China’s southern border, and all the way east to Ukraine and Egypt.
In order to maintain such vast territory, the Khans established regional governors that were tasked with conducting a census and imposing tax systems. They also expanded their yam system so that information could be quickly delivered across the empire.
The Mongols’ were brutal in their subjugation, levelling entire cities and killing millions in their path to dominance. There were many instances in which cities willingly allowed Mongols in, hoping they would have mercy.
However, this would breed resentment among their subjects and what would eventually lead to the downfall of the Mongol empire.
The sheer size was simply too difficult to maintain and following the death of Kublai Khan, the empire would be split between the Yuan dynasty in China and the Golden Horde, the Chagatai Khanate and the Ilkhanate.
While known for their conquests, the Mongols’ massive empire has had lasting impacts, as their rule allowed for the exchange of trade, technologies, commodities and ideologies across the continent that pushed innovation and development far ahead than it would have otherwise.
Mongol Empire Written by Andrew Fu