Genghis Khan: Founder of Mughal Empire
The most feared conqueror in history, Genghis Khan united several Mughal tribes, founded them into an army, and led them on a campaign of terror and conquest to create the largest empire the world had yet seen.
Born with the name Temujin near the Onon River in present day Mongolia, he was the son of Yesugei, who was the chief of Borjigin tribe of Mongols. When Temujin was nine, his father died, and Temujin grew up on his own in a fierce environment of competing Mongol tribes.
At a warrior, Temujin set his self apart by combining skillful leadership in diplomacy and battle. Around 1206, the great assembly of Mongals named him “Genghis Khan” or supreme leader. Khan then proceeded to unite.
The Mongols swift rise to power came from Khan’s dynamic leadership. While the Mongol tribes had long renowned as worries, Khan molded them into a much greater fighting force-disciplined organized, ruthless. He picked his generals from among his sons or trusted allies; he was also an adaptable ruler, and had the ability to learn from other.
Khan mounted his first campaign against the Chin Empire in northern China. Even the Chinese defenses behind the Great Wall were no match for Khan’s forces; they captured the great city of Peking (present day Beijing) in 1215. From there, Khan turned his attention to the Kharismian Empire (present day Afghanistan and Iran), capturing and sacking Samarkand, the center of the Empire. Khan sent part of his army north where they entered southern Russia and defeated a large army led by the princes of Kiev. This defeat meant that Russia would be under the “Mongol yoke” for the next three centuries.
By the early 1220s, Khan’s Mongol Hordes-as his heavily armed horsemen came to know to be known-had swept across northern china, over Azerbaijan, Georgia, and northern Persia. Khan’s forces then conducted a campaign in northern India, distorting Muslim cities there before returning to Mongolia in 1224.
Then they set out again to invade and conquer China, this time attacking the His Empire, located in north-central China. As this campaign was beginning Khan fell from a house, suffered internal injuries, and died a short time later. He was buried on a sacred hill in the Kentii Mountains in present day Mongolia.
At the time of his death, Ghengis Khan had built the largest contagious empire in the known world. His successor, his son Ögedei Khan (1185-1241), continued on a path of conquest, and the Mongol Empire would continue to grow until the end of the 13th century and the reign of Kublai Khan.
Mongol leader Genghis Khan never allowed anyone to paint his portrait, sculpt his image or engrave his likeness on a coin. The first images of him appeared after his death.
Empire of Genghis Khan
In the 13th Century, people in China had only vaguest idea that people in Europe even existed, and vice versa. Yet all would come to be terrified on one man. He and his “Hordes” seemed to come out of nowhere, instilling fear in people from one end of the Earth to the other.
Genghis Khan (1167-1227), a Mongol warlord who had little use for the finer things of the Chinese or European civilization, slept in a yurt and rode a fast, sturdy Mongolian stallion, evolved as a perhaps the most successful military leader in his story, he became the leader of a Mongol band which saw no limit to the potential size of a Mongol Empire.
The Mongols were a nomadic people who lived on the vast plains of Central Asia. For many years they eked out a living on the steppes, fighting among themselves and raiding villages on the fringes of the Chinese Empire. Few people beyond the periphery of their homeland had even heard of them. The Great Wall of China, begun around 200 BC, generally kept them at bay, and most of Europe as several thousand miles from the cold, high deserts the Mongols inhabited. Eventually, neither wall nor distance would matter.
Genghis first turned his attention to the Tartars. Having defeated them, he plunged south into China, where the Kin Dynasty was on brink of ruin and hence an easy target for the marauding Mongols. Genghis captured Beijing in 1214 soon occupied most of China. In 1219, he looked west toward lands that had not yet heard of his conquests.
The “Mongol Hordes,” as the vast oceans of heavily-armed horseman came to be known, swept across Russia, digested the Persian Empire, swallowed Poland and Hungary and threatened all of Europe. Over the next eight years.
Genghis amassed the largest contiguous empire the world had yet seen. Only the British Empire, when it included both Canada and Australia, would be larger. Unlike Alexander the great, the Caesars or the Persian emperors, Genghis Khan’s idea of conquest was not to occupy and rule another people, but rather to rape, pillage and destroy everything in his path. His total disregard for human life led to hi being utterly dreaded throughout virtually the entire Eurasian land mass.
However the success of the Hordes was completely depend on Genghis Khan’s leadership abilities and his unification of the Mongols. When Ogadai Khan (1185-1241) succeeded him after his death and continued on a path of conquest, the Mongol juggernaut eventually ran out of steam and Hordes returned to Central Asia.
In the long run, the most important impact that the Mongol Empire had on history was that it made people at opposite ends of the globe-China and Europe-aware of one another. The Crusades had reopened the ancient dialogue between Europe and the Middle East, but before the Mongols, Europeans were largely unaware that the Far East existed.