The Mongols

By-Sarah Kline

Genghis Khan and Sons

Genghis Khan rose to power in 1206 as the ruler of the Mongols. The name means "strong ruler." He was a military leader and was a little too effective with his methods for the army. After Genghis's death, his heirs took over the empire and split it up. In 1258, they defeated the Abbasids. Kublai Khan which is Genghis's grandson finally overtook the Song Dynasty in warfare and settled in what is today Beijing, China. Kublai was very talented and expanded the empire through war, but only overtook Vietnam.

Decline of the Mongols

The Mongols were overtaken by a peasant's army and the next dynasty was called the Ming. The Mongols fell because of overspending on foreign conquests, "internal instability," and corruption of the court system.

Religion and Government

Buddhism- After the Hans, a lot of people accepted Buddhism as their religion clear up to the Tangs. The Tang Dynasty even supported the growing religion by lending money to Buddhist monasteries. Later, they were known as a foreign religion because of coming corrupt and the Tangs destroyed many temples of Buddhism. Some Buddhists before even were imperial court advisers!

Daoism- At the same time as Buddhism, Daoism was also a growing religion that a lot of people accepted as their own. This growth ended near the same time Buddhism did and then there was Neo-Confucianism.

Neo-Confucianism- As Confucianists responded to Buddhism and Daoism, they created a new form of Confucianism ,which started changing in the time of the Song Dynasty. Their beliefs were that there are two parts of the world: material and spiritual. This related more to humans and participating in life to make it to the Ultimate Supreme.

The Golden Age

The Golden Age took place between the Tang and Ming dynasties.

Poetry- During the Golden Age, literature was a big thing and about 48,000 poems were written by about 2,200 authors. A lot of poems were about nature and friendship and the four seasons. One of the other feelings was sadness about life being short. Two popular poets were Li Bo and Du Fu and Li Bo has a poem that children have memorized! Du Fu was more serious and Li Bo was more of a eccentric thinker.

Ceramics and Paintings- A lot of paintings during the time of the Songs and the Mongols, were of mountains that were in nature. They were more of a "landscape" painting which means there was a balance between water and the earth. They didn't paint certain mountains just the idea of them and left empty spaces. To Daoists, that was very important and it was part of their belief structure. They could not know the whole picture. Artists during the Tang dynasty started making porcelain and perfected it, even though it didn't start moving around until Europe in the 1700s.

A day in the Mongol Army

Women- took care of the animals and collected arrows and killed the wounded soldiers.

Girl Children- cooked for the army.

Boy Children- fought in the army.

Younger children- cleaned up after the animals.

Men- they were archers, and fighters, and horsemen experts. Men served int he cavalry and were armed with a variety of weapons. They were very disciplined and skilled.