Valeria Silva1st periodMongols DBQStarted during the 13th Century

Topics: Genghis Khan

Valeria Silva

1st period

Mongols DBQ

Started during the 13th Century, the Mongol Empire – being led by Genghis Khan and his sons and grandsons – one of the greatest, most barbaric, empire in history known to man. Having conquered most of Asia and eastern Europe, their power came from their mighty military strategies, weaponry, and understanding of psychology to induce fear upon those who crossed their same path.

The Mongols’ courageous attitude in battle and confidence in controlling weaponry began since childhood, like it is described by Marco Polo, in Document 3, where he explains that children employed spears in their sports.

Their intrepid disposition grows on them, getting to their army. Their army was arranged in such a way that it ‘abolished the registry of inspection and dismissed the officials and clerks’, according to Document 4. Part of their battle tactics are shown in Document 1, where it’s said they implemented “surprise attacks” where they would pretend to retreat, as when dealing with the Cathayan army.

Document 1 also supports the idea of them having a strong army and leadership, since both Jebe’s forces and Chingis Khan’s attacked Chu-yung Kuan “in waves”, causing his army to retreat.

When the Mongols arrived ‘into the land of the Ryazan’ demanding ‘one tenth of men, Knyazes, and horses’, the Empire’s more barbaric side is recounted by anonymous monks in Document 2: “[…] and violated nuns, priests’ wives, good women and girls in the presence of their mothers and sisters […] And we, indeed, having seen it, were terrified and wept with sighing day and night over our sins…,” after their demand was rejected, leaving the Empire no other option but to expand death throughout the land.

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Dealing with possible land acquisitions meant they had to use violent and vulgar acts to meet their goal, however, violence was not only used when conquering land, but also when the Empire – or their ‘leader’ – felt the need to show dominance over others. Such case is described by Juvaini, in Document 4, where Juvaini states that ‘the Khan’ will punish his own men if they commit some fault. The punishment depended on what had been demanded, it could have involved beheadings and depriving one of gold. In Document 6, a similar case is shown, but this time it is against a tribe, the Tangqut tribe, who had rebelled against Chinggis Khan.

Although the Mongol Empire had committed many atrocities, they had also tried excusing themselves by using religion. If one were to disobey the Khan’s heavenly commands and his own, they were enemies; sex nor age mattered; Christians and non-Christians both had the same end if they did not subject to the Great Khan. (Documents 7 and 8, letters between Pope Innocent IV and the Great Khan). Others, such as Ogedei (the son of Chinggis Khan), wanted peace and prosperity and yearned for the eradication of injustice and enmity. (Document 5).

These atrocities were not often seen between Mongols, for there had appeared to be equality inside the army – “no difference is made between them” and “no attention [is] being paid to wealth or power” – and they were unified by a sole religion. They were also loyal enough to the Khan to kill for him, even if it meant killing one of their own… (Documents 4 and 8).

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Valeria Silva1st periodMongols DBQStarted during the 13th Century. (2019, Dec 05). Retrieved from

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