The Yuan Dynasty Global History and Geography I name

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The Yuan Dynasty

Global History and Geography I Name: _____________________________

E. Napp Date: _____________________________
Excerpt adapted from Global History: Geopolitical Patterns & Cultural Diffusion

The Mongol conquest marked the first time foreigners had ruled over all of China. Genghis Khan’s grandson, Kublai Khan, set up the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368). At his capital at Beijing, high officials were Mongols. Yet, he retained the Confucian Chinese bureaucracy. He did not make great changes in Chinese governmental structure. However, he opened China to contacts with the world at large. Frequent Middle Eastern and European visitors included Christian missionaries and traders.”


  1. What did the Mongol conquest of China mark? _____________________________________________________________________

  2. Who was Kublai Khan? _____________________________________________________________________

  3. Where was Kublai Khan’s capital located? _____________________________________________________________________

  4. Who served as high officials? _____________________________________________________________________

  5. What did Kublai Khan retain or keep? _____________________________________________________________________

  6. When Kublai Khan opened China to the world at large, who frequently visited China? _____________________________________________________________________

Economic problems and resentment of the foreign dominance of Kublai Khan’s successors led to a rebellion in 1368. The Chinese overthrew the Yuan Dynasty and set up the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).”


  1. What led to a rebellion against Kublai Khan’s successors? ___________________________________________________________________

  2. Who overthrew the Yuan Dynasty? ___________________________________________________________________

  3. What dynasty followed the Yuan Dynasty? ___________________________________________________________________

The Mongols’ discipline and control over a vast area strengthened trade between Asia and the Middle East and Europe. It reestablished the Silk Route, and brought more travel and wealth. Two famous traveler-explorers in the region were the Italian Marco Polo (1254-1324) and the Arab Ibn Battuta (1304-1368).”


  1. What was strengthened during the Mongol rule? ________________________________________________________________________

  2. What did the Mongols reestablish? ________________________________________________________________________

  3. Which famous traveler-explorers lived during the reign of the Mongols? ________________________________________________________________________

Marco Polo of Venice wrote of his adventures as a merchant in Asia with his father and uncle. In 1271, they crossed the Mongol khanates of Central Asia along the old Silk Route. For 17 years, they served at Kublai Khan’s court. Marco Polo’s tales aroused Western interest in trade with Asia.”


  1. Who was Marco Polo? ____________________________________________________________________

  2. What did Marco Polo travel? ____________________________________________________________________

  3. Where did Marco Polo serve? ____________________________________________________________________

  4. What did Marco Polo’s tales arouse Western interest in? ____________________________________________________________________

The security of Mongol rule also allowed Ibn Battuta to travel through Central and South Asia. Between 1325 and 1354, he is said to have traveled a remarkable 75,000 miles. He also journeyed to North and East Africa, India, and the Middle East. His tales expanded knowledge of the world beyond Europe and the Middle East.”


  1. What did the security of Mongol rule allow Ibn Battuta to do? __________________________________________________________________

  2. How many miles did Ibn Battuta travel between 1325 and 1354? __________________________________________________________________

  3. Where did Ibn Battuta travel? __________________________________________________________________

  4. What was an effect of Ibn Battuta’s travels? __________________________________________________________________

Reflection Questions:

  • What is a primary source?


  • How did primary sources concerning Marco Polo’s travels affect world history? ________________________________________________________________________

  • How did primary sources concerning Ibn Battuta’s travels affect world history? ________________________________________________________________________

  • Why do historians value primary sources? ________________________________________________________________________

  • Are primary sources always accurate? ________________________________________________________________________

  • How can historians determine the accuracy of primary sources? ________________________________________________________________________

  • Even if a primary source is not accurate, it could still influence world history. Why? ________________________________________________________________________

  • Provide examples of other primary sources. ________________________________________________________________________

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