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The Mongols of China Essay

While the Mongols’ political influence in China was more dramatic in the short term, the Mongols actually influenced Russia more than it did China, which labored under a longer Mongol influence for centuries. Economically, however, the Mongols had a long sustained impact on Russia and China. The political impact of Mongol rule was much more significant on the Chinese than it was on the Russians. Fundamentally, the Mongols were nomadic and the Chinese and Russians sedentary. Led by Genghis Khan and motivated by very real economic means, the Mongols established the largest land empire ever known. China lies just south of Mongolia, and was ruled directly by the Mongols. By great contrast, Russia was a cold, more resource-poor area that was ruled by a number of independent princes. The Mongols did not rule them directly but rather, upon defeating them, let them be so long as they remained under Mongol control and paid taxes to the Mongols. The Mongols allowed them to continue to practice Christianity and let the princes maintain rulership in most respects. In China the Mongols defeated the imperial armies and established themselves as direct rulers. Civil service exam became less important and Mongol rulers taxed the people heavily. It boils down to the fact that the Mongols exerted much more influence over Chinese sovereignty, culture, and policy than they did over the Russians.

Economically, the effects were similar. In both regions, the Mongols taxed the populace. The tax was comparable in amount and served the Mongols similarly. Mongol rule, however, did bring some economic boon to the whole region. The Mongol empire established a network that allowed for easier long-distance trade, with respect to goods, technology, and ideas. As early as 1200, the Mongols were experimenting with gunpowder in China and its export via the Mongol empire was good for the Chinese markets. With buyers as far away as the Middle East, trade was facilitated…

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