How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

The Mongol Empire and Yuan Dynasty

Summarize how Mongol armies built an empire.
Established their supremacy over most of Eurasia. Mongols were highly mobile on horseback and extremely intimidating. Mongols were a war machine.
What advantages would Mongol armies gain by fighting on horseback?
Mongol fighters lived in the saddle, could even step on horseback while horses marched -> were able to cover enormous distances at great speed. Mongol horses were very hardy (endure climate, found food by digging it out from under the snow)
What were 3 ways of Mongol Warfare?
DECEPTIVE TACTICS: (feigned flight of Mongol center...then swift turnaround & fresh attack, while concealed cavalry on the flanks closed in & cut off the enemy's retreat) Maneuvers were executed at high speed: required exact coordination. (Smoke signals, flares, colored flags, messengers) Kan improved systems of communications, control, and strict discipline. MONGOL CAVALRY: 3-4 horses each, covered in armor. MONGOL BOW: recurve bow, accuracy, force, and reach. Small and could be used on horseback (men would carry up to 60). MILITARY TECHNOLOGY: iron stirrup, catapults & explosive missiles.
What are some examples of the Mongols' destructive power when conquering their empire?
SSiege Warfare: used a trebuchet/ballistic weapon to launch dead animals & corpses (caused fear, but also spread disease)
How did the Mongols act once they had established control over an area?
Psychological warfare of an extreme...if a city surrendered the inhabitants would be spared, but if resistance was there, the city would be destroyed. (Destruction was to raze a city to the ground) Women & children were enslaved, men were killed or used as living shields. Tied tree branches behind horses to create dust storms (appear larger)
What was the effect of that rule?
Growth and division of the Mongol Empire. Genghis Khan fell of a horse and died, but armies had already been defeated enough to carve out an empire. Four great Khanates then ruled after.
Describe China under Mongol rule.
Once conquest was completed, the Mongols were not oppressive rulers. Allowed conquered people to live as they had before if they regularly paid tribute to Mongols. Conquered lands had tolerance and justice/respect for scholars, artists, artisans, religions. "Pax Mongolica" or "Mongol Peace"
How did the Mongol Empire change once conquest was over?
Political stability set the stage for economic growth -> cultural exchange, but "The Black Death". Thought to have started in China along the Silk Road, then transferred on merchant ships to Mediterranean and Europe. Mongols were better militarist than administrative ones.
How did Kublai Khan organize Mongol rule in China?
Moved his capital from Mongolia to N. China (modern Beijing) "Adopted China's administrative system, adapted to urban life, and spared China from devastation if they accepted his rule." Encouraged commerce, promoted paper money, expanded highways, and fostered merchant corporations. Extended Grand Canal from Yellow River north to his capital. (transport of grain and goods)
Why was he unable to completely eliminate Chinese influence on the government?
Chinese Confucians were offended by what they saw as Mongol barbarian habits: cuisine, refusal to bathe, tolerance of non-Chinese religions (such as Christianity & Islam), and high status they accorded to women. MOSTLY they resented their loss of status.
What influences from other cultures were present in his empire?
Chinese walled city, Arab architects for his palace, Mongol steppe dwellings. African Muslims were allowed in court and Italian merchant Marco Polo. Supported Islam and built mosques in China, financial administrators.
How did the Mongol conquests promote trade and cultural exchanges?
Multi-cultural government, religious tolerance. Support for other countries such as Islam. Foods, tools, inventions, and ideas spread along protected trade routes. From China, windmill,s gunpowder, porcelain, and playing cards moved to Europe.
Describe effect of the following on China: (a) the Mongol invasion
Beginning years were positive: cultural advancement, political stability, and economic growth, but Chinese deeply resented these. Last years were marked by struggle, famine, and bitterness among the populace. One of the short-lived dynasties.
Describe effect of the following on China: (b) the expulsion of the Mongols
China was torn by dissension and unrest; outlaws ravaged the country without interference from the weakening Yuan armies. 1340 ownwards people in countryside suffered frequent natural disasters such as droughts, floods, and the resulting famines, government lack of effective policy led to a loss of popular support.
Describe effect of the following on China: (c) the rise of the Ming dynasty.
Zhu Yuanzhang defeated Yuan forces and established Ming. Although Mongols were non-Han, they brought exchange of technologies, foods, and ideas that had dramatic effects for the cultures of both regions.
Sparse, dry grassland. Flocks of sheep & herds of horses, Mongols ranged over a wide area, specifically summer pastures on the steppes. Nomadic & self-supporting culture.
Genghis Khan
Son of the Mongolian tribal chieftain, he fled and wandered, but eventually came back and began his career as a world conquerer like his father. Had ability to attract & hold his followers by fear and favor. Responsible for the Mongol invasion, and all of the tactics and warfare that were included. Died falling off a horse. (4 Khans took over after)
Kublai Khan
First emperor of Yuan Dynasty. China, Korea, Mongolia, Tibet, and Vietnam. He was the overlord, other Khans were vassals.
Yuan dynasty
Kublai Khan had the Yuan Dynasty as the overlord in Mongol terms. Included Korea, Mongolia, Tibet, & Vietnam.
Marco Polo
Italian Merchant that visited China, spent 17 years in Khubilai's service.