The Mongols

Danielle Kratzer

Genghis Khan and His Sons

Temujin was elected as Genghis Khan, which means strong leader. He was devoted to conquest and his goal was to create the largest land empire in history. When he died in 1227, his sons inherited the land and divided the once united empire. They called the different territories khanates, and each son ruled their own territories. The sons then attacked Persia in 1231, defeated the Abbasids at Baghdad in 1258, and then attacked the Song dynasty in China in the 1260's. In the Chinese attack, the Mongols learned about gunpowder, which they then introduced to Europe in the fourteenth century.

Religion and Government

Buddhism and Daoism attracted the people after the collapse of the Han dynasty. However, both contained beliefs that went against those of Confucianism, which was the basis of Chinese government during the Han dynasty.

During the Tang period, the government destroyed innumerable Buddhist temples and forced more than 260,000 nuns and monks to leave the temples and live a secular life.

From the Song dynasty to the end of the dynastic system, a new wave of Confucianism, called Neo-Confucianism, taught that the world is real and not an illusion. It became the center of the state government.

A day in genghis khan's army

A Mongol tumen was a group of 10,000 soldiers. Genghis Khan had ten of these units moving at a time, separately, but close enough to be able to join together to form a 100,000 man army if needed. Tumens moved very slowly, and contained men that were expert horsemen, archers, and fighters. The women tended to animals and killed wounded enemy soldiers during battle. The children were taught how to fight or cook, depending on their gender.

Golden Age

Art flourished during the golden age, yet poetry became the most expressive talent. These poems celebrated the beauty of nature, changes of the seasons, and the joys of friendship. Two of the most popular poets of the time were Li Bo and Du Fu.

Landscape painting also reached an all time high during this period, as it was influenced by Daoism. Artists would go into mountains to find the Dao (Way) in nature.

Tang artisans created porcelain, which is a ceramic made of clay baked at a high temperature. The techniques used did not reach Europe until the eighteenth century.


The decline of the mongol dynasty

With the amount of conquests the Mongol dynasty undertook, they eventually spent too much money on them. They also had corruption in their courts and had other instabilities within the people. In 1368, Zhu Yuanzhang put an army together and took down the Mongol dynasty, and set up the Ming dynasty.