War, Trade, and Empire

Published: 2022-12-23
War, Trade, and Empire
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Education Finance Business Genghis Khan
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 873 words
8 min read

Genghis Khan is well known for his exploits throughout Mongolia and the neighboring regions. However, very few is known about his rise to those magnificent heights. However, before becoming the leader of all the Mongol tribes, he was known as Temujin. To reach the summit, Khan had to unify the Mongol clans. According to Lococo (16), Temujin used a combination of both military might and political manipulation to unite the nomadic, previously ever-rivaling Mongol tribes. For instance, realizing that he did not have any power or influence, he approached Toghril, Khan of the Kereit tribe who was also the most powerful Mongol prince. He presented Toghril with a sable skin, the only thing he had to offer.

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In return, Toghril reunited Temujin's scattered people and even an army. Contrastingly, when he had created a few alliances and had a sizeable army, he completely routed the Merkit tribe by use of bloody and ruthless conquest. He exterminated the nobility of the clan and took the common people of that tribe as his own servants and soldiers. Hence, when weak, he used diplomacy and negotiation tactics to unite the clans but when strong, he used military might to consolidate the Mongols.

Unified under the leadership of Temujin, the year 1206 was a turning point in the history of the Mongols (Lococo 22). The petty tribal raids and rivals ended. For the first time, united under now Genghis Khan, the Mongols moved beyond the Steppe and Mongolia itself took a new and recognizable shape. This unity and end to petty raids and rivalry were important because it created a greater ambition for the Mongols as a whole that lies beyond the steppe.

The unity propelled Genghis Khan to begin his adventure of conquering the world. The new Mongol nation was organized. In particular, the new nation was organized and geared towards war. For instance, with the end to the petty rivalry and raids, more men were made available to Khan. As a result, Genghis Khan had one of the largest armies the world had ever seen. So big was the army that his troops were divided up using the decimal system. These men were trained and equipped and supplied with weapons.

In addition, the unity gave Khan the ample time he needed to innovate in terms of military tactics to adapt to changing circumstances in warfare. For example, in the early stages of the campaign, the army was exclusively cavalry. However, Genghis Khan soon realized that while this tactic worked in defeating nomads, it was no use in taking cities using the siege system. He went on to invent burning oil, catapults, mangonels and ladders among other equipment for taking large cities (Hartog 45). These equipment were especially important in conquering the large cities in China including Beijing in 1215.

Politics, economy, and Prosperity

The Song Dynasty was an era that started in 960 and went on until 1279 (Ebrey 136). Trade and technology played a vital role in transforming society and the economy of this dynasty. For example, it was the very first government in the history of the world to issue banknotes as a medium of exchange. In addition, apart from having a permanent standing army and effectively using gun powder, it also saw the first discernment of true north through the use of a compass.

In general, trade and technology played a vital role in the sustained growth in population, per capita income and technological innovation. For example, technological innovation in the agriculture sector led to better food security in this society. To begin with, the massive use of irrigation expanded the size of land used for agriculture considerably. The crop production in China tripled from the dredging of the Yellow River and the artificial silting of land in Lake Tai valley (Ebrey 140). Moreover, the use of fertilizers and new improved seeds and tools brought better food security to society.

In addition, during this dynasty, the merchant class became more organized and sophisticated. Due to the resulting economic boom, more people became wealthy due to the plethora of entrepreneurs and small private business owners that emerged in the rural areas and the large suburbs. Some of these small businesses included wine-making shops, oil presses, pottery shops, and paper-making businesses. Moreover, trade and technology led to greater specialization in society (Mote 92). For example, the farmers of Suzhou started to specialize in the production of silk wares while those farmers in Sichuan and Fujian specialized in sugarcane growing. This specialization led to better crops and things in general.

Lastly, advancement in local technology and trade led to the growth of foreign trade. Local traders started to interact with other traders from the Islamic world, the Hindu world, and the East African world. The interaction resulted in the creation of large seaports in this period. Moreover, the birth of foreign trade during the Song Dynasty in return led to the emergence of an efficient transport network consisting of canals, lakes, and rivers.

Works Cited

Ebrey, Patricia B. The Cambridge Illustrated History of China. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Print.

Hartog, Leo. Genghis Khan: Conqueror of the World. London: Taurisparke Paperbacks, 2004. Print.

Lococo, Paul. Genghis Khan: History's Greatest Empire Builder. Washington, D.C: Potomac Books, 2008. Print.

Mote, Frederick W. Imperial China, 900-1800. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2009. Print.

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