Mongol Empire | Historical Empire, Asia

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The Mongol Empire was one of the largest empires in world history, stretching from the Middle East to southeast Asia. At its height, it controlled an area larger than modern-day France and Germany combined. In this article, we’ll take a look at what made the Mongols so successful, and see if their model can be applied in today’s world.

Mongol Empire History

Mongol Empire
Expansion of the Mongol Empire 1206–1294 superimposed on a modern political map of Eurasia

The Mongol Empire was a vast and powerful empire that spanned over three centuries. Formed in 1206 by Genghis Khan and his Mongol warriors, the empire reached its greatest extent under Kublai Khan (1260-1294). At its height, the Mongol Empire controlled most of Eurasia and parts of North Africa.

The empire collapsed in 1368 after a prolonged power struggle between Kublai Khan’s descendants. However, the legacy of the Mongol Empire continues to be felt today through its significant cultural impact, notably in China and Iran.

Pre-empire context

The Mongol Empire was one of the largest empires in world history. Spanning more than 3 million square kilometers, it reached its height under Kublai Khan and his grandson Genghis Khan. The empire was founded in 1206 by Genghis Khan. Though it began as a nomadic society, the Mongols quickly became one of the most powerful empires in the world. Their military prowess was unmatched, and they conquered most of Eurasia.

Rise of Genghis Khan

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Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan, National Palace Museum in Taipei, Taiwan

The Mongol Empire was founded in the late 12th century by Genghis Khan, a nomadic warrior who united the warring tribes of Central Asia into a single powerful empire. Under Genghis Khan’s leadership, the Mongols dramatically expanded their territory, conquering most of Eurasia and forming the largest contiguous empire in history.

The empire reached its apogee under Kublai Khan, who expanded the empire to include China and parts of Europe. However, by the time of Genghis Khan’s death in 1227, the Mongols had been reduced to a minor regional power.

Post-Ögedei power struggles (1241–1251)

Ogedei Khan
Post-Ögedei power struggles (1241–1251)

Güyük’s election was not well received throughout the empire. Güyük was incensed by the Hashshashins, former Mongol allies whose Grand Master Hasan Jalalud-Din had offered his submission to Genghis Khan in 1221. Instead, in Persia, he assassinated the Mongol generals.

Güyük chose his best friend’s father Eljigidei as the main commander of the armies in Persia, tasked with both decreasing Nizari Ismaili strongholds and conquering the Abbasids in Iran Iraq, the heart of the Islamic world.

When Temüge, Genghis Khan’s younger brother, sought to usurp the throne, Güyük traveled to the Karakorum to secure his position. Töregene held a kurultai in 1246, and Batu consented to send his brothers and generals.

Güyük was sick and alcoholic at this point, but his campaigns in Manchuria and Europe had given him the status of a great khan. He was duly elected at a ceremony attended by Mongols and foreign dignitaries from both within and outside the empire, including vassal chiefs, representatives from Rome, and other entities that came to pay their respects and conduct diplomacy at the kurultai.

Güyük took attempts to eradicate corruption, declaring that he would follow his father’s gender’s policies rather than Töregene’s. Except for governor Arghun the Elder, he punished Töregene’s allies. To emphasize his newly given powers, he supplanted young Qara Hülgü, the khan of the Chagatai Khanate, with his beloved relative Yesü Möngke.

Flag of Mongol Empire
Flag of Mongol Empire

He reinstalled his father’s officials and surrounded himself with Uyghur, Naiman, and Central Asian officials, preferring Han Chinese commanders who had assisted his father in conquering Northern China. He kept military operations in Korea going, moved into Song China in the south and Iraq in the west, and ordered a census of the entire empire. Güyük also divided the Sultanate of Rum between Izz-ad-Din Kaykawus and Rukn ad-Din Kilij Arslan, though Kaykawus disagreed with this decision.

Güyük’s election was not well received throughout the empire. Güyük was incensed by the Hashshashins, former Mongol allies whose Grand Master Hasan Jalalud-Din had offered his submission to Genghis Khan in 1221. Instead, in Persia, he assassinated the Mongol generals. Güyük chose his best friend’s father Eljigidei as the main commander of the armies in Persia, tasked with both decreasing Nizari Ismaili strongholds and conquering the Abbasids in Iran and Iraq, the heart of the Islamic world.

Death of Güyük (1248)

Güyük was also a capable military leader. In 1236, he led a successful campaign against the Jin Dynasty. This campaign helped to restore Mongol control over northern China.

Ultimately, Güyük’s violent tendencies led to his downfall. He was assassinated by a group of trusted ministers in 1241.

Rule of Möngke Khan (1251–1259)

The rule of Möngke Khan (–1241) was one of the most successful periods in the history of the Mongol Empire. During his rule, Möngke Khan conquered most of northern China and large parts of eastern Europe. He also expanded the Mongol Empire into Central Asia and southern Siberia.

Under Möngke Khan, the Mongol Empire became a powerful force in international politics. His successors continued to expand the empire until it eventually fell to the armies of Kublai Khan in 1259.

Death of Möngke Khan (1259)

Möngke Khan

The death of Möngke Khan in 1259 marked the end of the Mongol Empire.

Möngke Khan was the fifth and last Great Khan of the Mongol Empire. He ruled from 1241 to 1259, and during his reign, the empire reached its greatest extent.

Möngke Khan was a capable leader who was able to unite the various Mongol tribes under one banner. He also strengthened Mongolia’s military might by expanding the army and by improving the infrastructure of the capital city, Karakorum.

However, Möngke Khan’s greatest achievement was his efforts to solidify Mongol rule over all of Central Asia. He conquered vast territories, including modern-day Iran, Afghanistan, and parts of Russia and China.

In 1259, Möngke Khan died at the age of 65 after a long and successful reign. He was buried in a mausoleum near the Karakorum, where his remains still sit today.

Dispute over succession

The empire reached its height under Kublai Khan and his sons, who ruled from 1260 to 1368 AD. However, the empire began to decline after the death of Kublai Khan in 1294 AD, and it eventually fell to the Ming Dynasty in 1368 AD. There was a dispute over succession after Kublai Khan’s death, and this ultimately led to the downfall of the Mongol Empire.

Mongolian Civil War

In Mongolia, the military is a key part of society. The Mongolian army is one of the largest in the world and has a proud history. However, over the past few years, there has been a civil war going on.

Mongolian Civil War

The war started when the current government wanted to change the way things were done. They wanted to make the army less important and more focused on civilian affairs. The older members of the military didn’t like this idea and they fought back.

Now, there is violence everywhere you look in Mongolia. People are being killed, kidnapped, and displaced in huge numbers. The UN estimates that over 2 million people have been affected by the conflict and it’s only going to get worse.

If you want to help those affected by the war, there are several ways you can do so. You can donate money to organizations that are helping with relief efforts, or you can volunteer your time to help with humanitarian work. Whatever you do, please keep the victims of this war in your thoughts and prayers.

Campaigns of Kublai Khan (1264–1294)

Kublai Khan was the founder of the Mongol Empire and one of the most powerful leaders in history.

Kublai Khan was born in 1215 in what is now Mongolia. He began his career as a military commander and soon became one of the most powerful leaders in China. In 1260, Kublai Khan led an army into battle against the Song Dynasty and emerged victorious.

Kublai Khan then began to expand his empire by conquering new territories. By 1279, he had established the Mongol Empire, which stretched from China to Europe and from Siberia to North Africa.

Kublai Khan was a remarkably successful leader. He built an empire that spanned more than 4,000 miles and ruled over a population of over 20 million people. His campaigns were marked by violence and bloodshed, but he managed to create one of the largest empires in history.

Military organization

One of the most important aspects of the Mongol military organization was the use of cavalry. The Mongols were experts at using cavalry to devastating effect, and their cavalry troops were some of the best in the world. Cavalry troops were extremely mobile, which made them very difficult to defeat in pitched battles. In addition, the Mongols were also very skilled in using siege engines, which allowed them to take cities by force without having to fight pitched battles.

Overall, the Mongol military organization was incredibly effective and successfully defended their empire against many challenges. Thanks in part to their military prowess, the Mongol Empire remained one of the most powerful empires in history for centuries.

Society

The Mongol Empire spanned over four centuries, from 1206 to 1455, and at its height, it controlled a territory that extended from China to Europe and from Hungary to the Middle East. The Mongols were nomadic people who originated in central Asia and were originally known as the Borjigin clan. In 1206, Genghis Khan led a group of warriors into central Asia, defeated the Tang dynasty, and began his conquest of Asia.

By 1260, he had unified all of Mongolia and established the Mongol Empire. The Mongol Empire was incredibly efficient in terms of military expansion; within 40 years, they had conquered most of Eurasia. In addition to their military prowess, the Mongols also had a highly developed society. They had a well-developed legal system that allowed for civil liberties and free speech, as well as an effective government that managed the empire efficiently.

The Mongols were also very tolerant of other cultures; they allowed religious freedom and invited many different groups into their empire. Overall, the Mongol Empire was an impressive society that was responsible for many significant achievements in history.

Fall of the Mongol Empire

Fall of Mongol Empire

The Mongol Empire was a vast and powerful empire that stretched from China to Central Europe. It was ruled by the Mongolian people, a nomadic people who spoke a Turkic language. The empire was founded in 1206 by Genghis Khan, and at its height, it covered an area of more than 25 million square kilometers. However, the empire began to decline in the late 13th century, and by the 14th century, it had collapsed completely.


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