Mongolia during the Middle Ages controlled vast territories and had the most powerful army in the world. Now the country is small, there is also nothing special to talk about civilization in it, and of course it does not play the main role. How, then, did the Mongols manage to create in those days one of the largest empires in all the times of man's existence on Earth?
1. Times of empires
To be honest, the Mongol Empire was not the only huge nomadic power that appeared in the steppes of Eurasia. This region consists practically of only steppes. It does not differ in the richness of mountains and forests. In these steppes, various nomadic peoples lived side by side. Nomads came to settle down only in the last century. Whole cities began to be erected in the steppes.
The powerful powers that occupied the overwhelming territory of Russia, Mongolia, Central Asia and northern China were the Uyghur and Turkic kaganates, the empire of Attila, the Scythian kingdom and not only. For many centuries, nomads have dominated the territory of Eurasia.
2. The presence of horses
The steppes were a real boon for horse breeding. There were a lot of them, and in order to feed the animals, people had to regularly move from one place to another. In addition to the fact that horses were a source of food, since it was their meat that was consumed by people for food, they also provided the tribes with good mobility. Plus, the mounted warriors received a significant advantage over the infantrymen.
3. Absence of any boundaries
A nomadic and a sedentary state are far from the same thing. There were cardinal differences between them. First of all, there was an alliance of the so-called kindred tribes. Often their status was equal. Empires of this type did not have a strict centralization of power, as well as a bureaucratic apparatus. The economy was there, but at a primitive level.
The tribe, on which other peoples depended, never completely controlled them. The khan had power, but it was based on the collection of tribute, as well as a promise received from the vassals regarding the provision of their army as soon as it was needed. There were no strict boundaries between different nomadic powers. They reunited without problems in the empire and in the same way dispersed in different directions, if something did not suit them. In general, they existed from fifty to one hundred and fifty years, no more.
4. The whole nation was an army
The armies of the nomadic peoples were not the prerogative of men. Pechenegs, Polovtsians, Mongols, it doesn't matter. Their army is absolutely the entire tribe, including the elderly, women and even children.
Each military campaign was nothing more than the movement of the people as a whole from one place to another in order to find pasture for their horses. Of course, it was not without robbery. Often, smaller tribes and entire cities that came across on the way were completely plundered, and tribute was imposed on people. If the army went to war, all their relatives often went with the soldiers with their property and livestock.
5. Formation of Mongolia
What we used to call Mongolia now is only the descendants of the Khalkha, one of the tribes. China, which is located in the neighborhood, is currently home to 6,000,000 Mongols, which is twice as many as in Mongolia. There are 1,000,000 of them living in Russia. Many Mongols were assimilated in their time.
But during the years of the empire there was no such thing as an ethnos. Nomad tribes lived everywhere, from Crimea to China itself. They had similar traditions and beliefs. Genghis Khan, and after that his descendants, gradually uniting the tribes among themselves, were able to create a powerful integral state with a large army and uniform laws.
Batu, before going to Russia, fought a war with the Bulgars and Bashkirs for more than ten years. As a result, the nobility was destroyed by the Mongols, and the peoples became part of the empire. After Bulgaria fell, Batu already owned an empire consisting of several nomadic peoples.
The conquest of China also paid off. Over the centuries, the Mongols borrowed from their neighbors, where the civilization was very well developed, many achievements. In any case, the Mongols had a written language. After China was conquered, almost all technical and scientific achievements fell into the hands of Genghis Khan. He was able to further lead the siege of cities, as well as provide his soldiers with food. The fact that the Mongols, like a tornado, swept across Eurasia, is due directly to the conquest of the Celestial Empire.
6. Modern Mongolia: what happened to it
Each empire goes through a certain cycle: it is created, develops, reaches its peak and disappears. Over the centuries, a fundamental country falls into decay if all its power is wasted on the conquest of other states. This is the law. The same befell Iraq, Iran, Armenia, Macedonia.
Continuing the topic read, what the warriors of Genghis Khan ate, if they allegedly had nothing on the campaign except horses.