Mongol Eurasia and Its Aftermath, 1200–1500



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Chapter 12

Mongol Eurasia and Its Aftermath, 1200–1500

Use the following to answer questions 1-22:

Key Terms

1. Genghis Khan

2. Mongols

3. nomadism

4. Yuan Empire

5. bubonic plague

6. Il-khan

7. Golden Horde

8. Timur

9. Rashid al-Din

10. Nasir al-Din Tusi

11. Alexander Nevskii

12. tsar

13. Ottoman Empire

14. Khubilai Khan

15. lama


16. Beijing

17. Ming Empire

18. Yongle

19. Zheng He

20. Yi

21. kamikaze



22. Ashikaga Shogunate

23. On his deathbed, Genghis Khan reportedly announced, “If you want to retain your possessions and conquer your enemies, you must make your subjects submit willingly and unite your diverse energies to a single end.” Explain how this principle was applied in the expansion of the Mongol Empire.



Ans:  Genghis Khan and the Mongols devoted significant energies to the expansion of their empire. They combined technological advances in their bows with outstanding horseback ability and innovative military tactics. Peaceful periods following the Mongol wars of conquest allowed for the movement of people, knowledge, and skills across the empire, from Korea to Poland and from Siberia to Burma. The Mongols retained their possessions through their tolerance of many religions and their attempts to gain the support of all religious leaders. Rather than fall to extreme Mongol ruthlessness, many rulers submitted peacefully and became incorporated into the empire.

24. Some historians argue that Mongol empire building stimulated local economies and facilitated cultural exchange through the promotion of trade. Other historians, echoing the widespread hostility to Mongol rule that existed at the time, argue that Mongol domination retarded political and economic development in many areas. Which position do you think is true? Provide examples from Russia and China as talking points.



Ans:  There is no one definitive answer. The Mongols had a beneficial effect on some societies, and the opening of the Silk Road and the growth of trade did have a positive effect on societies along the Silk Road. Russia, for example, was in a period of decline under the Kievan princes, and trade was limited to a north-south route from the Vikings to Constantinople; thus the trade opportunities provided by the Golden Horde proved an advantage. At the same time, the opening of overland trade also permitted the transfer of diseases such as plague, typhoid, and smallpox. In Russia, privileges granted to the Orthodox Church helped it to remain a guiding institution that many historians argue preserved the Russian state from assimilation by Western Catholicism. Some other historians argue that the Mongol presence “retarded” Russia's economic, political, and intellectual development for two hundred years. Mongol hegemony permanently unified China into one political entity instead of three states, provided secure routes of transportation and communication, fostered an exchange of culture and knowledge between the east and west, and established a highly organized administrative system of government. It negatively affected China through harsh taxation, suppression of traditional Chinese systems such as Confucianism, and some argue through urbanization and exposure to the West. Additionally, unification within China exposed lowland areas previously isolated from the plague. Following the overthrow of the Yuan dynasty and the reestablishment by the Ming of Chinese traditions, some historians feel that China was stalled on its trajectory. Others argue that the mass communication made possible by the unification of China outweighed the problems, as did participation in the commercial developments of the Yuan dynasty.

25. Discuss the fragmentation of Mongol tribes after the death of Genghis Khan. How did religion influence local adherence to Mongol branches?



Ans:  Before his death, Genghis Khan had already started to rely on family members and highly placed generals to rule a great deal of territory. Following his death, Mongolia continued to rule over the Golden Horde, the Central Asian Jagadai domains, and the Il-khans of Iran. The unity of the Mongol Empire began to disintegrate when several branches refused to accept Khubilai as the Grand Khan, and he subsequently established the Yuan reign in China. Central Asia's adherence to the Jagadai traditions and Turkic culture led to hatred of the Yuan Empire, which subsequently asserted itself over China and Vietnam (Annam). The Golden Horde remained predominant in Russia and tolerated the Orthodox Church. In some historians' opinion, Alexander Nevskii's alliance with the Golden Horde in return for religious toleration preserved the "Russian-ness" of the church; thus Russia repelled the Teutonic Knights. There was rivalry between the Golden Horde's Muslim leaders and the Il-khans, which had overthrown the Abbasid Caliphate in 1258, but it was mostly political rather than religious rivalry, and the Il-khan leader Ghazan became a Muslim in 1295. In general, there was little connection between religion and feuding branches of Mongol descendants, and rivalries were based on politics rather than religion.

26. The Mongols presided over a vast cultural exchange across geographic and religious borders. What were the important intellectual developments that Europe owed to Mongol influence?



Ans:  Southern European cities enriched themselves by participating in trade with the Mongol territories. By means of trade, as well as communications through Constantinople, Europe learned of Asian advances in gunpowder and guns, astronomy, mathematics, pharmacology, history, and geography. The threatened Mongol invasion of Europe provoked a period of religious questioning and created new avenues of transmission, including the Black Death.

27. Discuss the effects of Mongol domination on Russia with emphasis on how it shaped Russia’s economic and political development.



Ans:  Students should recognize the different historical opinions regarding Mongol influence in Russia. Some historians claim that the Mongols isolated Russia from western European development. These historians refer to the “Mongol yoke” and postulate a sluggish economy and dormant culture under the Mongols. Others state that the Kievan economy was already in decline before the Mongols and that the influence of Byzantium was what insulated Russia from western Europe. Kievan princes had already stopped printing money. That Russian taxes were paid in silver suggests an economy with regular surpluses. Additionally, the tax burden was increased by the Russian princes acting as tax collectors for the Mongols.

28. Describe in detail the knowledge and skills that the Mongol Empire spread across Eurasia. How did the Mongols integrate different cultural and intellectual traditions?



Ans:  The Mongols shared information from one end of Eurasia to another. Scientific and technological knowledge in astronomy, mathematics, and metallurgy, and especially knowledge of gunpowder, were only a few of the advances disseminated under Mongol control. They funded projects in engineering, astronomy, and mathematics, hiring Middle Eastern Muslims to oversee projects such as the construction of an observatory and institute for astronomical studies. They encouraged the integration and publication of Chinese and Middle Eastern mathematics. The sharing of medical knowledge and medical texts between the Muslim Middle East and China is also significant. The technology of warfare, such as metal casting for cannon and explosives, was also spread, as well as technologies for shipping and navigation.

29. Describe the changes in technology during the Ming Empire, focusing on agriculture, warfare, and transportation.



Ans:  Ming technological innovation slowed after 1400, though the economy continued to grow. The slowing of technological development was widespread, occurring first in mining and metallurgy. Japan eclipsed China in steel and weapons production. Shipbuilding, printing, and agricultural technology all stagnated. The causes of the slowdown were complex, but the growth in population, the resulting decline in the cost of labor, the scarcity of metals for the building of new machines, and the relative lack of technological challenge from military enemies were all contributing factors.

30. In what ways did the Mongols affect Korea? Did Korea adapt and shape the Eurasian knowledge imported by the Mongols? Be sure to include the role of Korean printing.



Ans:  The Mongols shared information and facilitated the spread of technologies and knowledge to Korea. They brought the philosophical ideas of Yuan China to Korea, as well as knowledge of astronomical observation, mathematics, and the calendar. The Mongols' role as intellectual facilitators also led to the rise of the educated class in Korea. The Yi kingdom rejected Mongol domination while adopting many of its practices. Different literary demands led away from block printing to movable type, bringing about a very high rate of literacy in Yi Korea. Cash crops were common, particularly cotton, which led to the use of watermills and a textile export industry. After the fall of the Mongols and the subsequent establishment of the Yi ruling family in Korea, scholars and military leaders in Korea outwitted Ming attempts to safeguard the secrets of gunpowder and cannon. Korean innovations in military technology made possible a formidable navy with armored ships and mounted cannon.

31. What effects did the Mongols have on traditional Chinese society; and what effects did the fall of the Yuan dynasty have?



Ans:  One of the major effects of the establishment of the Yuan khanate was a switch from the Confucianist system to a more commercial model that emphasized the rise of a merchant class and rewarded producers and traders of goods along the Silk Road, a feature that had helped unify the Mongol Empire. After the overthrow of the Yuan dynasty, China under the Ming reverted to a system of classical education, closed borders, and reduced communication with Central Asia and the Middle East but retained provincial structures and administration. Yongle returned the capital to Beijing, but since trade routes were difficult along the caravan trails after the Mongol defeat, his emphasis shifted to a maritime development and incorporated the Annam territory as well as other Southeast Asian territories under the leadership of Zheng He. The brief resumption of commercialism faded after Yongle's death, and the Ming dynasty resumed its introspective position, with technology no longer advancing and agriculture returning to staple rather than commercial crops.

32. In 1300, Kiev was controlled by the Khanate of the



Ans:  Golden Horde.

33. The Mongol way of life was

A) hunting and gathering.

B) agricultural.

C) based on procurement.

D) pastoral.

E) urbanized.

Ans:  D Page:  324

34. The Mongol leader, the khan,

A) had absolute power in decision making.

B) had his decisions ratified by a council.

C) was a figurehead only.

D) had no power to make decisions but retained a veto.

E) deferred to the Mongol Parliament.

Ans:  B Page:  324

35. The religion of the Central Asian nomads was

A) worship of the divine khan.

B) limited to shamanism.

C) a diverse mixture of various religions.

D) atheistic.

E) strict monotheism.

Ans:  C Page:  328

36. As a means of continuing to spread the Mongol Empire, Genghis Khan used all except which of the following means to expand and control his territories?

A) Incorporation of non-Mongol armies

B) Use of subordinate generals

C) Horses and iron weaponry

D) Collection of tribute

E) Diplomatic negotiation

Ans:  E Page:  328-329

37. The first Mongol conquests under Genghis Khan were in

A) Central Asia, the Middle East, and Russia.

B) Japan and Korea.

C) China.

D) Egypt.

E) Annam.

Ans:  C Page:  328

38. To maintain control of vast areas, the Mongols formed different khanates. The Golden Horde ruled over

A) Russia.

B) Japan.

C) China.

D) India.

E) Korea.

Ans:  A Page:  329

39. In 1265, major divisions emerged between the Mongol khans because

A) many branches refused to accept Khubilai as Great Khan.

B) Jagadai did not accept Shamanism.

C) Batu and Khubilai teamed up against Jagadai.

D) some refused to accept an alliance with the Mamluks.

E) Yuan defied tribual consensus to attack central Europe.

Ans:  A Page:  329

40. Narratives such as Marco Polo's created a European

A) isolationist mentality.

B) image of Mongol poverty.

C) ambition to find easier routes to Asia.

D) fear of Mongol contact.

E) aversion to all things from Asia.

Ans:  C Page:  330

41. Which of the following was not used by the Mongols in warfare?

A) Horses

B) Flaming projectiles

C) Maces, lances, and swords

D) Poison arrows

E) Catapults

Ans:  D Page:  330

42. The conflict between the Il-khans and the Golden Horde originated in

A) economic differences.

B) religious differences.

C) cultural differences.

D) philosophical differences.

E) political differences.

Ans:  B Page:  331

43. In 1295, the Il-khan ruler Ghazan converted to which religion?

A) Islam

B) Judaism

C) Christianity

D) Buddhism

E) Shinto

Ans:  A Page:  331

44. Tax farming is

A) the payment of taxes solely by farmers.

B) the sale of tax-collecting contracts to small corporations.

C) the exemption granted to farmers from taxation.

D) the growth of a new cash crop.

E) the raising of crops on government land to pay for government expenses.

Ans:  B Page:  338

45. Apparently envisioning himself as a new Genghis Khan, this ruler attacked the Muslim sultanate of Delhi in 1398:

A) Jagadai

B) Ghazan

C) Timur

D) Juvaini

E) Hülegü

Ans:  C Page:  333

46. Why was there a cultural flowering in Iran, Afghanistan, and Central Asia under the Timurids?

A) The European style of the Renaissance reached Central Asia.

B) The Dutch tulip was a cultural catalyst between the two societies.

C) The Timurids were schooled in art in Italy.

D) Egyptian artisans migrated throughout Central Asia and the Middle East.

E) Iran and China shared artistic trends and political ideas.

Ans:  E Page:  333

47. Who attempted to write the first world history?

A) The Abbasid caliph

B) Marco Polo

C) Ibn Battuta

D) Ivan III

E) Rashid al-Din

Ans:  E Page:  333

48. The significant scientific discoveries of Islamic scholars were translated by

A) Arabic scholars.

B) Byzantine monks into Greek.

C) Christian scholars in Spain.

D) Indian scholars in Delhi.

E) all of these.

Ans:  E Page:  333

49. The Timurids supported advances in astronomical observation, particularly

A) the likelihood of a sun-centered universe.

B) the possibility of life on Mars.

C) the rings of Saturn.

D) the moons of Jupiter.

E) methods for predicting eclipses.

Ans:  E Page:  334

50. How did the Mongols affect Russia’s Orthodox church?

A) They destroyed it.

B) They granted it special privileges.

C) They converted to its practices.

D) They ignored it.

E) They modified their practices to include the Roman Catholic eucharist.

Ans:  B Page:  335

51. The battle in which the Russians fought against the Teutonic Knights to prevent being assimilated by Catholic Crusaders was led by the Russian hero

A) Alexander Nevskii.

B) Dmitri Donskoi.

C) Ivan III.

D) Vladimir the Viking.

E) Grigorii Preobrazhenskii.

Ans:  A Page:  336

52. Which Russian ruler was the first to use the term “tsar”?

A) Alexander Nevskii.

B) Peter the Great.

C) Ivan III.

D) Ivan IV.

E) Catherine the Great.

Ans:  C Page:  337

53. Stephen Dushan took advantage of weakening Byzantine influence and proclaimed himself tsar of

A) the Serbs, Greeks, Bulgarians, and Slavs.

B) the Greeks, Byzantines, Bulgarians, and Sicilians.

C) the Serbs, Greeks, Bulgarians, and Macedonians.

D) the Macedonians, Albanians, Slavs, and Serbs.

E) the Serbs, Greeks, Bulgarians, and Albanians.

Ans:  E Page:  337

54. Mongol armies often consisted of

A) a multinational force with Mongol leaders.

B) ethnic Mongols only.

C) both male and female soldiers.

D) Chinese mercenaries.

E) Uighurs only.

Ans:  A Page:  337

55. Which of the following did the Europeans not learn about from the Mongols?

A) Porcelain

B) Movable type and bronze cannon

C) Gunpowder and high-temperature metallurgy

D) Coal mining and higher mathematics

E) Diplomatic passports

Ans:  A Page:  337

56. In 1453, the Ottomans conquered which important Christian city?

A) Kiev

B) Vienna



C) Paris

D) Budapest

E) Constantinople

Ans:  E Page:  338

57. Mongol rulers in China were increasingly influenced by religious leaders from

A) Tibet.

B) Korea.

C) Vietnam.

D) India.

E) Japan.

Ans:  A Page:  338

58. What was the most lasting impact of the Mongols on China?

A) The Mongols introduced Buddhism to China.

B) The Mongols permanently reunited China after a prolonged period of political fragmentation.

C) The Chinese government system was invented by the Mongols.

D) The Mongols brought silk and porcelain production to China.

E) The Mongols built the Great Wall.

Ans:  B Page:  338

59. The Yuan tax administration relied on

A) Persian, Arab, and Uighur administrators.

B) Mongol administrators.

C) Chinese administrators.

D) Korean administrators.

E) Muslim administrators.

Ans:  A Page:  339

60. Which group held the lowest social rank in Yuan China?

A) Southern Chinese

B) Northern Chinese

C) Middle Easterners

D) Central Asians

E) Mongols

Ans:  A Page:  338

61. To solve the problem of credit in Yuan China, the Mongols provided

A) no leadership to improve the situation.

B) laws protecting banks and moneylenders.

C) government bonds.

D) tax rebates to the rich.

E) paper money and copper coins.

Ans:  E Page:  339

62. One effect of the rise of cities in Yuan China was

A) the increasing influence of Mandarin.

B) the rise of a class of educated holy men.

C) the decline of the prestige of the warrior class.

D) improved nutrition of the urban population.

E) an interest in trade for the first time in China.

Ans:  A Page:  339

63. Which of the following events happened last?

A) Mongols conquer Korea

B) Ming Empire founded

C) Mongols sack Baghdad

D) Ottomans capture Constantinople

E) Death of Genghis Khan

Ans:  D Page:  325

64. Chinese medicine under the Yuan benefited from the arrival of medical texts from

A) Persia.

B) Russia.

C) Europe.

D) Egypt.

E) Japan.

Ans:  A Page:  339

65. In 1368, the Yuan Empire was overthrown and replaced by the

A) Manchu Empire.

B) Yi Kingdom.

C) Ming Empire.

D) Song Empire.

E) Tang Empire.

Ans:  C Page:  340

66. To demonstrate their rejection of the Mongols, the Ming emperors

A) severed relations with the Middle East and Central Asia and closed the borders to foreigners.

B) built the Great Wall of China and deported all Mongols.

C) changed the official language from Mongolian to Chinese.

D) marched all the Mongols to the Korean border.

E) formed close ties with the Manchu instead.

Ans:  A Page:  342

67. The emperor Yongle improved the imperial complex built by the Mongols called the

A) Imperial House.

B) Forbidden City.

C) Heavenly Gates.

D) Dragon's Court.

E) Red Square.

Ans:  B Page:  342

68. Because Mongols controlled access to the Silk Road after the overthrow of the Yuan, the emperor Yongle put an emphasis on

A) trade by ships.

B) overland trade through India and Arabia.

C) trade through Buddhist monasteries.

D) trans-Pacific exploration.

E) none of these; trade decreased because people could not afford to travel by Silk Road and pay Mongol tariffs.

Ans:  A Page:  342

69. Zheng He's primary accomplishment was

A) converting barbarians to Islam.

B) discovering new lands in the East.

C) bringing wealth to China.

D) acquiring Ming tributary states.

E) discovering the Philippines.

Ans:  D Page:  342

70. Why didn't Ming China develop seafaring for commercial and military gain?

A) The emperor feared outside contacts and influence.

B) The peasantry were a strong voting lobby and refused to support it.

C) The merchants were opposed to losing their domestic markets.

D) The Mongol threat from the north took priority over seafaring.

E) The Japanese merchants undercut the market and stole China's trading partners.

Ans:  D Page:  343

71. Which of the following was not a reason for economic decline in China after the death of Yongle?

A) Decreased production of metal

B) Lack of commercial development

C) Reemphasis of the classic examination system, rather than commercialism

D) A switch to growing staple crops instead of commercial crops

E) Resurgence of the bubonic plague

Ans:  E Page:  343

72. Water Margin and The Romance of the Three Kingdoms are examples of

A) Ming literature.

B) Ming racehorses.

C) Ming silk tapestry designs.

D) Ming wallpaper.

E) famous Ming sailing vessels.

Ans:  A Page:  345

73. The Ming produced one of the most prized commercial products of Eurasia:

A) green or ginseng ink.

B) teakwood clocks.

C) porcelain.

D) lightweight cannon.

E) wool.

Ans:  C Page:  345

74. Which of the following areas were not under Mongol domination?

A) Japan

B) Korea


C) China

D) Vietnam

E) Russia

Ans:  A Page:  345-346

75. The relationship between the leading family in Korea, the Koryo family, and the Mongols was that

A) they were mutually hostile.

B) the Koryo family became attached and loyal to the Mongols.

C) the Koryo family revolted against the Mongols and expelled them from Korea.

D) the Mongols considered the Koryo family and all Koreans “barbarians.”

E) of parents and children, with the Koryo family as the parents.

Ans:  B Page:  346

76. Two main areas of mechanized production in Yi Korea were in

A) celadon pottery and cannon.

B) cotton and movable-type font.

C) glass and metal.

D) silk and pottery.

E) porcelain and gunpowder.

Ans:  B Page:  346

77. The rise of literacy in Korea resulted from the

A) combination of an improved printing system and the han'gul writing system.

B) institution of a university system.

C) spread of woodblock printing from China and the Mongol writing system.

D) imposition of Japanese rule, which forced the formation of public schools.

E) popularity of Islam, which required that all Muslims read the Quran.

Ans:  A Page:  346

78. Unlike in Ming China, the development of agriculture in the Yi kingdom was based on what cash crop?

A) Wheat

B) Rice


C) Sugar

D) Cotton

E) Tobacco

Ans:  D Page:  346

79. What military techniques or innovations made the Yi military a formidable defensive force?

A) cannon with gunpowder-driven arrow launchers.

B) compound bows and chain mail.

C) battering rams and Trojan horses.

D) phalanxes of soldiers deployed by rota.

E) the development of poison gas canisters.

Ans:  A Page:  346-347

80. What prevented the Mongols from invading Japan?

A) The Mongols feared the samurai military prowess.

B) The jungle heat prevented their horses from continuing.

C) A storm prevented them from establishing a base.

D) Mongol tactics were no match for the Japanese military technology.

E) The Japanese launched a surprise attack on the Mongol naval base.

Ans:  C Page:  347

81. How did the threat of Mongol invasion affect Japan?

A) Japanese clans took political control of their regions.

B) Japanese merchants lost huge sums of money in the Mongolian markets.

C) Japanese monks were held hostage.

D) The Japanese military government spent a lot of time building coastal defenses, hoping to consolidate the warrior class.

E) Japan reinstated direct imperial rule.

Ans:  D Page:  347

82. Kamikaze means

A) suicide.

B) triumphant death.

C) wind of the gods.

D) honorable death.

E) wisdom of the gods.

Ans:  C Page:  347

83. The ancestor of modern Vietnam was formed when Annam

A) annexed Champa.

B) defeated Mongol forces.

C) was defeated by China.

D) was annexed by Korea.

E) signed the Treaty of Amur with Russia.

Ans:  A Page:  349

Use the following to answer question 84:

Geography Questions

84. Using Map 12.1, describe the geographical extent of the Mongol Empire at its peak in the thirteenth century. Who were the various peoples and cultures in these conquered lands?



Page:  329

85. Using Map 12.2, discuss how Russia was a “buffer zone” between the Mongol Empire and western Europe.



Page:  332

86. Using Map 12.2, describe the ways in which the Mongol Empire was important in the unification of Eurasia and in the overland exchange of technology and culture.



Page:  332

87. Refer to Map 12.2 and discuss the power struggle between the Il-khans and the Golden Horde. What were some of the problems between these two groups?



Page:  332

88. Refer to Map 12.3 and discuss the nature and extent of Chinese seafaring in the early fifteenth century. What technological advantages made those Chinese travels possible?



Page:  341

89. Refer to Maps 12.3 and 12.4 and explain what geographic factors assisted Japan in resisting the Mongol attacks, as opposed to Korea's incorporation under the Yi.



Page:  341, 347

90. Refer to Maps 12.1 and 12.3, and explain how the exploration of Asia worked in both directions, tracing the routes of exploration followed by Marco Polo and Zheng He.



Page:  329, 341

91. Refer to Map 12.3 and examine Annam and Champa. What were their cultural and military influences? What was the result of their struggle in the region?



Page:  341

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