It was Genghis was established the Mongol Empire. The rise of Genghis and his conquests is one the great historic epics of world history. The Mongols at the time of Genghis Khan did not have a written language. Thus there are no written Mongol accounts describing his tactics and policies.Genghis Khan in the West is seen as terrifying marauder who plundered and killed as he swept through the China, and then followed the Silk Road west to the Near East, Russia, and Eastern Europe during the 13th century. The destruction and killing of the the Mongols is lengendary. Mongolians see him in a different light. To them he is the first leader to unify the warring tribes. He then led them to create the largest empire in human history. They also note that he codified the essential principles of democracy a decade before the Magna Carta in England. Genhis believed in slaughtering those who dared resist him. Estimates vary, but 15 million people are believed to have been slaughtered in Genghis' conquest of central Asia. [Weatherford] Some modern historians believe that Genghis never intended to create a great world empire and that his conquests were based on trade and trade issues. Genghis Kahn or Temujin united the warring tribes and the Mongols becoime historically important for the first time. Under his command Mongol armies conquered northern China, Azerebaijan, Georgia, northern Persia, and other Asiatic countries. While Genghis was still allive, his grandson Batu conquered Russia and Poland. Genghis' death causes the Mongol armies to retrat back to Asia rather than pressing on into Western Europe.
The Mongols were a nomadic people from Central Asia whose wealth for centuries was based in livestock, sheep, horses, cattle, camel, and goats. They lived in eastern Asia in and ariund modern Mongolia from ancient times. I am not sure at this time as to their relationship to the Huns, another Central Asian people that emerged earlier out of the Central Asian Steppe. The Mongols were Asiatic people of the Ural-Ultaic branch. After coming in contact with the Chinese, trade became increasingly important.
The origins and early history of the Mongols are largely unknown. They were a pre-literate people and thus leftbno written record. The first written records come from the Chinese. In fact all early written records come from the people the Mongols attacked. Chinese histories first mention the Mongols (10th century). At the time, the they inhabited a large swath of northeastern Asian steppe (eastern Central Asia and much of northern Manchuria). Mongol legends claim that Grey Wolf and Beautiful Deer were the fathers if the Mongol people. The first non-legendary Mongol leader known to history is Bodonchar (about 970). It is his decendents that became the khan or titular leader of the Mongols. The khan, however, had little actual power. Real power rested in the individual clans and tribes, each of which had their own leaders. And their was constant warfare between these tribal and clan lords. The Mongols despite their internal disputes were emerging as a major regional power. China at the time was ruled by the Jurchen Tszing dynasty which overthrew the Liao. The Jurchens to control the Mongols would carry out punitive expeditions against the border tribes. A there was no real centralized Mongol nation, the Mongols were not able to effectively resist the Jurchen attaks. It is into this enviroment that a boy named Temüjin was born to Yesugey, a relative of the Mongol khan (1162).
Temüjin was born to Yesugey, a relative of the Mongol khan (1162).
An enemy tribe of Tatars poisoned Yesugey. Temüjin at the time was only 10 years old. A family without a man was seen as a drag on the group, so Yesugey's two wives and their children, including Temujin, were abandoned by the clan. Yesugey's widows and their six children were forced to live alone unprotected on the steppe. Temüjin still a boy was the oldest. He was forced to grow up very fast.
Despite the difficult start, or perhaos in part because of it, Temujin became a leader. By the time he was 20, he had gathered a small band of loyal followers. The grand assembly of Mongol noblemen proclaimed Temüjin as the khan of the Mongols (1185). They gave him the name Genghis / Chingis. Despite this ruling. There was opposition to him among the Mongoltribes. Genghis suffered a series of military defeats and at one point he was reduced to only a small band of followers. It looked like he would be forced into exile. Then he began to win battles. Genghis emerged as the most powerful force amomg the Mongols (1193). He successfully defeated both foes and rivals. He proceeded to unite the many different tribes into a single Mongol nation.
The grand assembly of all Mongol leaders again met (1206). This time they unanimously elected Ghengis as the khan of All Mongolia. And unlike the previous gathering, there was no opposition. Genghis Kahn had succeeded for the first time in unitung the warring tribes. Thus 1206 is often seen as the birth of Mongol statehood. Modern Mongolians see it as the beguinning of their nation. With unification, the Mongols became historically important for the first time. Genghis instituted a series of reforms. He codified law fir the first time. Previously Mongol law had been essentially general nomadic habits that were generally accepted, but not precisely set down. He institutes a tax system necessary to support an administrative system needed for a centralized state. He also introduced the first Mongol alphabet which was basically derived from Uighur writing. Most impoerantly, he reorganized the army,
Genghis organized an army of nomadic warriors that proved virtually invinceable. Genghis fashioned the Mongol warrior into thev perfect fighting machine. [Weatherford] This army proved capable of operating with extraordinary speed with an unhead of level of control and command.
Before Geghis, the Mongols sought profit by rading cities in northern China or extracting tribute. The Chinese would launch punative raids to discourage these raids. As the Mongols grew in strength, tribute became more common. Genghis decided to wage war with the Jurchen dynasty to conquer China. He ordered his son Juchi to first strije north and conquer the tribes of what is now Siberia. This secured his norther border so he could concentrate on China. Ghenghis launched his attacks into China (1211). Khanbalik (Beijing) fell to Mongol armies commanded by Genghis (1215). With northern China conquered, Ghenghis turned west. He defeated the Kara-Kidans (Black Kidans), a Mongol people. Next Ghenghis attacked Khwarezm in what is now modern Uzbekistan and Afghanistan (1218) The Mongols swept across Transoxania taking many Khwarezmian cities (Urgench, Samarkand, Gherat, Merv, Bukhara and many other cities on the Silk Road). The Mongolian generals Jebe and Subedey moved further west (1221). They moved south around the Capian Sea and struck Persia (1221). Millions were killed in assault on Persia. Then they attacked into Christian nations (Georgia and Armenia) for the first time. Then the Mongols crossed the Caucasus Mountains and entered the lands of the Kievian Rus. Jebe and Subedey batteled the Rus on the river Kalka and decisively defeated them (1223). The two great Mongol generals then turned back and returned to tge Mongol hearland, crossing the Volga dominated at the time by the Bulgarians and than the Urals. Gengis Khan conducts the campaign against the Tangut in northern China (1226). Genghis died (1227). He left an emense land empire extending from Caucasus east to the Korean peninsula and from northern China to Siberia. Andchis descendents would expand the Mongol Empire even further.
It was Grenhis who set in motion the established the Mongol Empire. The rise of Genghis and his conquests is one the great historic epics of world history. After Northern China, Ghenhis oversaw the 5-year conquest of central Asia. In the process 15 million people may have been slaughtered. [Weatherford]
His sons and grandsons completed the conquests of the vastv territory which came to comprise the Mongol Empire. While Genghis was still allive, his grandson Batu conquered Russia and Poland. Genghis' death causes the Mongol armies to retrat back to Asia rather than pressing on into Western Europe.
Genghis Khan in the West is seen as terrifying marauder who plundered and killed as he swept through the China, and then followed the Silk Road west to the Near East, Russia, and Eastern Europe during the 13th century.
Genghis wielded the Mongol Army with chilling ruthlessness. The Mongols at the time of Genghis Khan did not have a written language. Thus there are no written Mongol accounts describing his tactics and policies. The destruction and killing of the the Mongols is lengendary. Mongolians see him in a different light. To them he is the first leader to unify the warring tribes. Genhis believed in slaughtering those who dared resist him. Estimates vary, but 15 million people are believed to have been slaughtered in Genghis' conquest of central Asia. [Weatherford]
He then led them to create the largest empire in human history. They also note that he codified the essential principles of democracy a decade before the Magna Carta in England. Some modern historians believe that Genghis never intended to create a great world empire and that his conquests were based on trade and trade issues.
Genghis died (1227). He left an emense land empire extending from Caucasus east to the Korean peninsula and from northern China to Siberia. His son Ögedey solidified control of the Mongol (1229).
The Y chromosome is what determines male gender. Just as the maternal line can be traced even through countless generations by the mitochondrial DNA, the male line can be traced through the Y chromosome. A son inherits his father's Y chromosome. Genetic mutations over time give the Y chromosome unique characters that can be used to trace ancestry. All this is well known. It becomes interesting in association with Genghis because men, unlike women, can have very large numbers of offspring. Genghis and his sons with virtually limitless power acquired large harems. He was notoriously promiscuous. Thus just in his life there were large numbers of offspring. Some of his sons and grandsons were in similar situations. One writer notes that today in Central Asia and othe areas conquered by Genghis there are about 16 million men with the same Y chromosome. There is no way to prove that their Y chromosome is that of Genghis, but the chronology suggests that it could well be. [Sykes]
Sykes, Bryan. Adam's Curse: A Future without Men (Norton, 2004), 311p.
Weatherford, Jack. Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World (Crown, 2004), 312p.
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