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The Yuan Dynasty

Comparative Civilizations 12 China Project
by

Ashley Munoz

on 14 June 2013

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Transcript of The Yuan Dynasty

Ashley Munoz, Fatuma Ismail, Stacey Ready & Bianca Randazzo The Yuan Dynasty political organization 1279 - 1368 CE important developments & contributions formation The Yuan dynasty was founded by the Mongols. nomadic people disunity + internal quarrels prevented them from threatening nearby civilizations for centuries 1206 CE - Temujin united the various tribes. the Merkid the Kereyid the Tartars the Neiman He proclaimed himself Genghis Khan, meaning "universal ruler." He nearly succeeded in his quest to conquer the known world. Disorder in Eurasia made Mongol conquest easier. social organization beliefs decline The Mongol armies were INVINCIBLE! Each soldier had... • heavy leather armor + steel lamellar • 2 bows • 3 horses bred for speed + endurance difficult to pierce through allowed soldiers to switch horses when one got tired could kill a person from 180 m away Soldiers were also capable of... • surviving off of horse blood + mare's milk • controlling horses @ full gallop using only their legs; this left their hands free for fighting • sleeping on horseback • covering great distances w/ great speed The Mongols were "utterly ruthless" in battle. • used prisoners as human shields • razed cities • poisoned wells • killed those who surrendered In 1227 CE, Genghis Khan died. He controlled... • most of Central Asia • Northern China • all of Tibet The Mongol Empire: 1227 CE His successors extended Mongol rule to... • Korea (1231 CE) •Kiev, Moscow, and parts of Poland + Hungary (1240 CE) • Baghdad + rest of Middle East (1251 CE) • Southern China (1279 CE) When the Mongols conquered Southern China in 1279 CE,
they established the largest continuous land empire in history. The Mongol Empire: 1279 CE "Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368)." Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) in China History. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2013. Gini-Newman, Garfield, and Geer Christine. De. Odyssey through the Ages. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1992. Print. bibliography "Decline and Fall of China Yuan Dynasty." TravelChinaGuide. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2013. Brook, Timothy. Troubled Empire: China in the Yuan and Ming Dynasties. [S.l.]: Belknap Harvard, 2013. Print. "Melissa's Yuan Dynasty Blog." : Religions and Belief Systems in the Yuan Dynasty. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2013. "China Yuan Dynasty Culture, Religion, Shamanism, Totemism." TravelChinaGuide. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2013. "Yuan Dynasty." ThinkQuest. Oracle Foundation, n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2013. "PUAM - Asian Art Collection." PUAM - Asian Art Collection. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2013. "Monuments of China." Monuments of China. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2013. Population? Mongols - < 250 000 Chinese - > 100 million "ordinary peasant" = probably not aware of Mongol presence "educated elite of society" = very aware of Mongol presence The "Four-Class System" was established by Kublai Khan. The four classes were composed of... 1. Mongolian people (highest class) 2. Semu people 3. Han people (from northern areas of China) 4. Southern people (from former Song dynasty) [lowest class] Mongols + foreigners were placed in highest posts of government. e.g., Marco Polo served Kublai Khan from 1275 - 1292 CE There were several factors that contributed to the decline + fall of the Yuan dynasty. They included... 1. hierarchal system (Four-Class System) 3. power struggle (i.e., the fight for the throne) 2. extravagant lifestyle of the upper class 6. peasant uprisings 5. natural disasters Originally, the land was divided into four parts with the capital, Karakorum, in Mongolia. Kublai Khan, Genghis Khan's grandson, moved the capital to Dadu. 4. government corruption The Mongols encouraged religious syncretism. Buddhism, Lamaism, and Taoism were encouraged; some Mongols even embraced Christianity or Islam. This satisfied the various ethnic groups within the large empire. • unification of entire territory • central government founded; stabilized nation The Mongols refused to assimilate themselves into Chinese culture. They continued to wear leather + fur, drink milk + eat cheese, forbade intermarriage, allow their women more freedom than Chinese thought necessary. • Chinese innovations made their way to West Asia • caravans traveled regularly between Baghdad & Beijing • ships sailed back and forth from Persian Gulf to Canton • trade had little impact on Europe; Russia, Persia, and Mesopotamia introduced to Chinese gunpowder, printing, paper money, textiles, porcelains, as well as iodide, inoculation techniques, and playing cards • assimilated mathematics, astronomy, and map making from Arab-Turkish culture; showed little interest in outside world Government • Zhongshu Sheng – administrated national affairs


• Shumi Yuan – governed national military affairs


• Yushi Tai – supervision department


• Xingsheng – administrative unit • Kublai Khan became the first emperor of the Yuan dynasty. He became Emperor Shizu.

• Emperor Shizu adopted the Han’s political system.

• He also focused on agriculture and promoted border control. • After Emperor Shizu’s reign, the Yuan dynasty began to decline.

• Mongols + foreigners were placed in highest posts of government.

• The Mongols also abolished the examination system; this angered the educated Chinese.

• Chinese scholars were forced to turn to other pursuits, like art! This led to two new art forms: drama + novel.
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