III. The Postclassical Period, 500–1500 > E. East Asia, to 1527 > 2. China, 960–1521 > c. The Mongol Period
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  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
 
 
c. The Mongol Period
 
THE MONGOL EMPIRE (MAP)
THE SUCCESSORS OF CHINGGIS KHAN (1227-1336)
 
1190s
 
THE MONGOLS in central Asia formed a new empire under Temujin (1167–1227), who rapidly expanded the empire by use of strategy and his military machine, employing discipline, extraordinary mobility (especially on horseback), espionage, terror, and superior siege material.  1
 
1194
 
The Yellow River shifted direction and flowed south of the Shandong Peninsula until 1853.  2
 
1206
 
Temujin was proclaimed CHINGGIS KHAN “ruler of the world”) at the Mongolian capital of Karakorum.  3
 
1210
 
The Mongols under Chinggis Khan first attacked the northern border of the Jin, seizing Beijing in 1215 and the Xixia state two years later. The Jin were driven south to the Yellow River (1211–22).  4
 
1215
 
Yelü Chucai (1189–1243), Sinified descendant of the royal Khitan house, became an adviser to Chinggis. He allegedly convinced his lord that it might not be a wise idea to depopulate northern China and make it into a grazing land for the migrating herds; instead he taught the Mongols how to collect agricultural taxes by time-tested Chinese methods.  5
 
1219–21
 
Mongol armies conquered the Turkish empire of Khwarazm (See 1220–23).  6
 
1227
 
The Xixia was finally destroyed with a massacre at Ningxia. At the end of his life, Chinggis divided his massive empire into four khanates and bequeathed them to his immediate descendants: the Kipchak khanate (Golden Horde) to Batu (1207–55); the Chaghadai khanate (the former Kara-Khitai empire) to Chaghadai (d. 1242); the Great Khan to Ögödei (1186–1241); and the Persian khanate (the Ilkhanids) to Tului (1192–1232).  7
 
1232
 
Using the same policy ill-advisedly used with the Jurchens against the Liao, the Song allied with the Mongols to defeat the Jin. Kaifeng was taken. Within two years, the Jin were overwhelmed, but in 1235 the Mongols began to attack the Song, taking Sichuan in 1236–38.  8
 
1241
 
After stunning Mongol military successes in Russia in the late 1230s, two Mongol armies entered central Europe and the Balkans and were poised to attack Western Christendom. Mongol horsemen were outside the walls of Vienna when news arrived that the Great Khan had died. As per Mongol custom, the armies withdrew to Karakorum so that the generals could participate in the election of a new Great Khan, Chinggis's son Ögödei.  9
 
1251–59
 
After discord and several short-reigning Great Khans, Möngke (1208–59) was elected by the Mongolian diet. His brother Khubilai (1214–94) led armies on attacks to the south and west, defeating Nanzhao (1252–53). Khubilai's forces laid siege to the city of Wuhan (1259), but again news of the death of the Great Khan forced the Mongols to withdraw to Karakorum.  10
 
1254
 
Möngke, the son of a Nestorian woman and Tului, told William of Rubruck (c. 1220–c. 1293), envoy of Louis IX of France, that religions were like the fingers of one hand.  11
 
 
 
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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