In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the Mongol Empire was founded in Asia; it later spread to Eastern Europe. In 1206, Genghis Khan proclaimed himself emperor of the Mughal country; by his death in 1227, he had control over Central Asia and northern China. And until the Mongol Empire expanded from Eastern Europe to Western Asia, including the Middle East and Central Asia, a portion of Eastern Persia had been conquered. Genghis Khan’s successors carried on the conquests started by Genghis Khan.

In 1260, Kublai Khan, also known as Quba Khan in the West, ascended to the imperial realm of China and held it for 34 years. During this period, he earned a reputation as a conqueror who appreciated culture. But he was also concerned with upholding the violent image of his family. His great-grandfather, Genghis Khan, was known for massacring his enemies rather than pursuing peace.

Genghis Khan’s empire had grown to be the biggest one the Eurasian region had ever seen by the beginning of the thirteenth century. But in contrast to his grandfather’s murderous notoriety, Kublai Khan developed a reputation as a deft and considerate leader. However, it did not occur abruptly. Rather than pursuing peace, he gathered more of his adversaries.

The successor of Genghis Khan

After the passing of Genghis Khan, his favorite wife gave birth to four sons. Among them, the third son, Ogedei, emerged as the new leader and was bestowed with the title of Khaqan. Ogedei Khan carried on his father’s legacy by maintaining the practice of receiving tribute from local leaders in the lands they had conquered. However, he also had ambitions to expand the empire’s wealth and dominion through further conquests.

Mongolian horseback warrior with bow and arrow.
Photo by Artur Tumasjan on Unsplash

Under the leadership of Ogedei Khan, the Mongol warriors embarked on expeditions to invade various regions. They set their sights on southern China and Europe, driven to capture more riches and expand their power. One of their significant conquests was the Sung Empire, where they achieved a resounding victory. Despite their military successes on the battlefield, they faced challenges in fully controlling the vast territories of the Sung Empire.

While the Mongols could exert their influence and extract tribute from many regions they conquered, complete territorial control proved to be a formidable task. The Sung Empire, for instance, presented difficulties in terms of solidifying Mongol rule over its entire expanse. Despite their military might, the Mongols faced resistance and found it challenging to govern the conquered territories effectively.

Nevertheless, the Mongol Empire under Ogedei Khan’s reign continued its expansionist endeavors, impacting the regions it encountered. Their conquests reshaped political landscapes, forged new trade routes, and facilitated cultural exchanges between civilizations. The Mongols’ quest for wealth and power, led by Ogedei Khan, played a significant role in shaping their empire’s trajectory and the Mongol conquests’ historical legacy.

Genghis Khan’s conquests in Asia

A people group known as the Manchus inhabited the region of northern China. Their kingdom was known as Kin, Japanese for “Golden Empire.” To get to Manchu territory, Genghis Khan’s armies had to traverse the Gobi Desert. But not even this wilderness could stop these nomads from traveling. By consuming their horses’ milk and blood, they successfully crossed it. Genghis Khan did succeed, though, in capturing China and Manchuria. About 20 years were needed. When he eventually gained control of China, he hired academics, craftspeople, traders, and engineers to create wall-breaking and stone-throwing machines for him. They also produced explosive explosives for Genghis Khan in addition to this.

Genghis Khan also came into ownership of the Silk Road. He intended to use it to conduct business with Western countries, particularly the Sultan Muhammad of Turkey. Today’s Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Iran are included in the vast area that Sultan Muhammad controlled.

The Mongol envoys landed at Sultan Muhammad’s kingdom’s border in 1218 AD. They only came to negotiate commercial deals. However, the local governor murdered them all. The Mongols killed that Muslim as a consequence. They invaded the nation. They overran Sultan Muhammad’s kingdom like a flood. They pillaged and destroyed lands and towns for three years. Rivers of blood were spilled among Sultan Muhammad’s people. Only a few survivors had any abilities the Mongols could use.

Mongolian horseback warrior with bow and arrow.
Photo by Matthew Waring on Unsplash

An estimated 20,000 warriors made up the Mongol force, according to estimates. As they approached the lowlands north of Mount Qaf, they marched through Azerbaijan and Georgia. They routed every army they came across on the road. Eighty thousand soldiers from the Russian forces were among them. They ultimately took control of the entire region surrounding the Caspian Sea. They rode horses for 13,000 km (8,000 miles) of marching. Many historians believe a cavalry force won this most significant victory ever. Genghis Khan served as a model for succeeding Mongol emperors. He attacked Eastern Europe in imitation of the pattern.

Mongol invasions of Europe.

One and a half million Mongol soldiers started traveling to Europe in 1236. They began by making attacks in the Volga River area. Then they launched assaults on other Russian towns. For instance, Kyiv was destroyed by fire. The Mongols then proposed to refrain from destroying the Russian cities in exchange for a tenth of the riches. But the Russians decided to battle. Machines poured down kerosene, burning sand and stones on these towns. The Mongols bled a city’s populace so badly when its wall fell that almost no one lived.

When the Mongol army approached the border of what is now Germany, it wreaked havoc in Poland and Hungary. The inhabitants of Western Europe anticipated being attacked by the Mongols. But since Oktai Khan passed away in December 1241, nothing occurred. To choose a new leader, all of the military leaders traveled back to Karakoram, the capital of Mongolia, located 6,000 kilometers (4,000,000,000 miles) distant.

Kiuk, the son of Oktai Khan, was chosen to serve as Khaqan. At the moment of Kiuk Khan’s coronation, a prominent Italian figure was also present. The Pope asked the Mongols to guarantee they would not attack Europe again. Additionally, he wished to persuade them to embrace Christianity. Cuik, however, declined to make such a pledge. Instead, he instructed the Pope to send a delegation of monarchs to visit me and offer me homage.

An attack on China and the Middle East

Mungo Khan succeeded Khaqan in the year 1251. He invaded the Sung realm in southern China with the assistance of his brother Kublai Khan. Another Mongol force was also moving west at the same time. This force launched an assault on Baghdad. Damascus was decimated and vanquished. The Christians at the time were engaged in a war against the Muslims. They were overjoyed to learn that the Mongols had conquered the Muslims. In Baghdad, even. The Christian locals began murdering and pillaging their Muslim neighbors’ homes.

The Mongol force now appeared poised to annihilate the Muslim world. But at that time, they got the news of the death of Mungo Khan. The Mongol army left their country once more. They only had 10,000 soldiers. Set up to protect the border. After a short time, the Egyptian army wiped out the name of such a small army.

The Mongol force, however, defeated the Sung Empire in the Southern China War. This kingdom was ruled by Kublai Khan, who named it Yuan. He created a brand-new city, still referred to as Beijing. Kublai Khan also overthrew the Sung Empire’s remaining followers in the regions of China around 1279. After roughly 370 years, China has unified for the first time, thanks to this.

The Fall of the Mongol Empire

The cracks in the mighty Mongol Empire began to appear around the year 1300. The descendants of Genghis Khan started to test their strength and ambitions, leading to the rise of various Khans who established their rule in different provinces of the empire. With this fragmentation, the conquered regions began to adopt and assimilate the cultures they had once conquered under Mongol rule.

Meanwhile, the Kublai Khan dynasty, which had held significant influence over China, began to experience a decline in power. Rivalry for dominance within the empire weakened the authority of the Kublai Khan dynasty, leading to a period of instability. The Chinese people faced numerous challenges, including corrupt leaders, burdensome tributes, and ineffective governance.

Mongolian horseback warrior with bow and arrow.
Photo by Jakob Braun on Unsplash

The discontent among the Chinese population eventually reached a boiling point, leading to a major revolt. In 1368, the Chinese successfully overthrew the Yuan Empire, established by the Mongols, and toppled the Mongol throne. This marked the end of Mongol rule in China and the beginning of the Ming Dynasty.

Although the Mongol Empire’s invasion of Asia and Europe was a forceful storm that swept through the lands, its direct rule was relatively short-lived. However, the Mongols left a lasting impact on the maps of Asia and Europe as they expanded their dominion. Today, Genghis Khan is revered as the revered founding patriarch of Mongolia, embodying the spirit of the country’s rich history and legacy.


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