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12 - Mongol Eurasia and Its Aftermath, 1200 - 1500

12 - Mongol Eurasia and Its Aftermath, 1200 - 1500 -...

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CHAPTER 13 Mongol Eurasia and Its Aftermath, 1200–1500 I0. The Rise of the Mongols, 1200–1260 A0. Nomadism in Central and Inner Asia 10. Nomadic groups depended on scarce water and pasture resources; in times of scarcity, conflicts occurred, resulting in the extermination of smaller groups and in the formation of alliances and out-migration. Around the year 1000 the lands inhabited by the Mongols experienced unusually dry weather with its attendant effects on the availability of resources and pressures on the nomadic Mongol tribes. 20. Mongol groups were a strongly hierarchical organization headed by a single leader or khan, but the khans had to ask that their decisions be ratified by a council of the leaders of powerful families. Powerful Mongol groups demanded and received tribute in goods and in slaves from those less powerful. Some groups were able to live almost entirely on tribute. 30. The various Mongol groups formed complex federations that were often tied together by marriage alliances. Women from prestigious families often played an important role in negotiating these alliances. 40. The seasonal movements of the Mongol tribes brought them into contact with Manicheanism, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam. The Mongols accepted religious pluralism. Mongol khans were thought to represent the Sky God, who transcended all cultures and religions; khans were thus conceived of as universal rulers who both transcended and used the various religions of their subjects. 50. Nomads strove for economic self-sufficiency, but they always relied on trade with settled people for certain goods, including iron, wood, cotton, grain, and silk. When normal trade relations were interrupted, nomads tended to make war on settled agriculturalists. B0. The Mongol Conquests, 1215–1283 10. Between 1206 and 1234, under the leadership of Genghis Khan and his successors, the Mongols conquered all of North China and were threatening the Southern Song. During this period and onward to about 1265 the Mongol realms were united as the khans of the Golden Horde, the Jagadai domains of Central Asia, and the Il-khans all recognized the authority of the Great Khan in Mongolia. 20. When Khubilai declared himself Great Khan in 1265 the other Mongol khans refused to accept him; the Jagadai Khanate harbored a particular animosity toward Khubilai. 30. Khubilai founded the Yuan Empire with its capital at Beijing in 1271; in 1279 he conquered the Southern Song. After 1279, the Yuan attempted to extend its control to Southeast Asia. Annam and Champa were forced to pay tribute to the Yuan, but an expedition to Java ended in failure. 40. Historians have pointed to a number of factors that may have contributed to the Mongols’ ability to conquer such vast territories. These factors include superior horsemanship, better bows, and the technique of following a volley of arrows
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with a deadly cavalry charge. Other reasons for the Mongols’ success include their ability to learn new military techniques, adopt new military technology, and
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