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Genghis Khan and the Rise of the Mongol Empire

The largest land empire was none other than the Mongol Empire. The empire stretched from Hungary to Korea and had more than 100,000,000 people living within the empire. They lived as nomadic tribes in a region that is now known as modern day Mongolia.

During the early 13th century, Temujin, a warlord, united the Mongol tribes. The Mongols warriors were fierce and had great skills for riding horses and archery. Temujin was given the name Genghis Khan for his great leadership.

In 1209, Genghis Khan attacked Xixia in northern China. In 1211, He got involved in the Jin Dynasty And turned on them. In 1223, the Mongol Empire expanded westward, conquering the Turkish Muslim Shaddom of Khwarizm in Persia. The Mongol were able to overcome the Turkic people, which were then recruited to the Mongol armies. Genghis Khan died in 1227 after a campaign in China and was succeeded by his son Ogodei. Under Ogodei, the empire continued to grow and expand. On the east, the Mongols conquered the Jin in 1234. Following this, they went to conquer the Southern Song, Caucasus, and Anatolia. In 1237 the Mongols even invaded Russia.

The Mongol Empire became incredibly large, even extending power to multiple leaders. The Last overall ruler was Mongke, who was the grandson of Genghis. After Mongke’s rule, the empire spread into independent khanates. Kublai Khan, Mongke’s brother, ruled Mongolia and China and established the Yuan dynasty. Under this dynasty, the region flourished in a golden age of art and theater. In central Asia and the Middle East, an independent khanate was created by descendents of Chagatai, Genghis’s third son. His rule extended from modern day Kazakhstan to Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Another independent was formed by Hulegu, a brother of Mongke. He controlled the region that is now modern day Persia.

During the 14th century, a Turko Mongolian army commander from Transoxiana named Timur attempted to rebuild the Mongol Empire. He was able to unite Central Asia, Persia and Mesopotamia but was unsuccessful in conquering China and died in 1405. Timur failed to establish administration and make provisions for his succession, thus the empire fell apart shortly after his death.

The Mongol’s overall ability to create a large and long lasting empire was mainly through the power of Genghis Khan. Under Genghis’ rule, the Mongols established a written language, systems of law, and a strong push for conquering more territory. They wanted to conquer the world, a belief that may explain the intense brutality that came with the conquests performed by Mongols during their expansion.

[Source: A Short History Of The World]

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