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The Mongol Empire stretched across the Near East and Eastern Europe from the thirteenth century to fifteenth century. During this period, their empire experienced many changes, particularly after the death of their leader, Genghis Khan, in 1223. Your research paper on the Mongol Empire will compare and contrast the Mongol empires in Russia and China after the death of Genghis Khan. It will explore the following aspects of the Mongol Empire:
- The organizational and cultural differences throughout the Empire
- The impact of cultural practices on the quality of life for inhabitants of these countries.
- This examination will demonstrate that despite many similarities, such as religious tolerance of the Mongol rulers in both regions, the experience of the Mongols in China and Russia were very different for the people of these lands.
- The Chinese enjoyed a relatively good quality of life under the Mongols
- The Russians suffered very difficult times
After the death of Genghis Khan 1227, who had guided the Mongol's conquests and ruled the empire, the lands were divided among his sons . Ogotai overcame the Chin and Sun dynasties of China in 1234, and another son, Batu, occupied Russia, parts of Hungary, and Georgia and Armenia, establishing the Kipchak Empire, part of which was known as the Golden Horde. Genghis' grandson Kublai Khan conquered China and used both subjects and foreigners, such as Marco Polo, to administer the empire. The Mongols lost China in 1367 and Russia in 1380, and the empire was broken into individually governed chiefdoms. During its almost 150-year rule over China and Russia, the Mongols made a significant impact on the lives of inhabitants of both countries.
The Mongol's early reign in China was similar to their rule elsewhere in their Empire. That is, they ruled as military conquerors who intended to enrich their empire, and although the methods that they used to accomplish may have changed over time, superiority and self-enrichment remained the primary concerns of the Mongol rulers in China. Historians have noted problems associated with the appraisal of the impact of Mongol rule on Chinese civilization. Specific contributions of the Mongols to China are well-documented, including the establishment of a rapid postal relay system throughout the country, and the creation of branch secretariats that evolved into the Ming and Ch'ing provinces. However, it is difficult to identify causal links between cultural innovations and Mongol rule. Nevertheless, the Mongol leadership in China eventually created circumstances that allowed for a variety of cultural expression and a relatively high quality of life for the area's inhabitants.