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"A people who can build a wall like this certainly have a glorious past to be proud of" - Richard Nixon President of the United States in front of the Great Wall of China.


"The people who forced the construction of such a wall certainly have a past at least as glorious of which they can be proud" - B.Baabar Mongolian Historian


The history of Mongolia is dominated by the mythical stature of Genghis Khan (Chinggis Khan for the Mongols) who, at the head of these hordes of nomadic tribes reunited under his banner, conquered in the 13th century the largest empire the earth has. never known, cutting its way in blood and fury from the Pacific Ocean to the heart of Europe. 


Temudjin, his real name before being proclaimed Chinggis Khan, is a quasi-deity for the Mongols: he brought them glory, conquests and a code of conduct and organization. His image  is more present than ever in today's Mongolia despite the fact that he was presented as a bloodthirsty barbarian by official history during communism.


The fierce nomadic warriors of the steppes left a lasting and painful mark on all the peoples who knew them from near or far, and their conquering expeditions have been recounted since the 5th century BC by the first Chinese writings._cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b- 136bad5cf58d_


This vast, harsh land of high plateaus has been the crucible of many peoples and civilizations, most of which are little known.

The latest genetic studies have thus confirmed that Amerindians and the tribes of Siberia and northern Mongolia have common origins. 


The Mongolian steppes are also the cradle of the terrible Huns and their leader Attila the scourge of God who sowed panic in Christianity at the fall of the Roman Empire.


The Mongol Empire meanwhile will last only two centuries until the invincible warriors are assimilated by the conquered civilizations. 


The history of the last three centuries, less known, is that of Chinese supervision until independence in 1920, then of Russian supervision, before the democratization and opening up of the country in 1990.


Mongolian History Chronology



500,000 BC. JC Presenceuhmaine in mongolia

4000 BC. JC to 2000 BC. AD Bronze Age

2000 BC. JC Livestock development in Mongolia

700 to 500 BC. JC Transition to the beginning of the Iron Age

400 BC JC Construction of the Great Wall of China, which served as the border between China and the Xiongnu


The Xiongnu and other steppe empires 


209 BC JC Modun Shanyui builds the first Empire, named Hiong-Nu

200 BC JC The Mongol Empire Xionghu (Hiong-Nu) extends to the Yellow River

1 to 100 ap. JC The Xionghu Empire is expelled from China

156 The Xianbei (Sumbe) empire defeats the Hiong-Nu empire and becomes more powerful in Central Asia

317 The Xianbei conquer northern China

360 End of Xianbei rule

386-533 Northern Wei dynasty period, established by the Toba in Northern China 

Possible early connections between the Mongols and Tibetan Buddhism.

745 to 840 Reign of the Uighurs

840 The Kyrgyz cause the defeat of the ruling Uighurs

916 Beginning of the reign of the Kitan, established beyond eastern Mongolia, Manchuria and northern China.

1122 The Kitan who were in power are defeated by the Chinese


The Great Mongol Empire


1162 Birth of Temudjin, later to become Chinggis Khan

1189 Temudjin takes the title of Chinggis Khan (Universal King)

1189 to 1205 Chinggis Khan united all the Mongol tribes

1206 Chinggis Khan proclaims himself ruler of the Mongol Empire

1211 Chinggis Khan launches his attacks on China

1215 Beijing falls and becomes Mongol

1227 Death of Chinggis Khan

1229 Ogedei Khan, his third son and his favorite is proclaimed second Khan

1231 Invasion of Korea

1232 Postal service by horse relay (örtöö) is put into service in Mongolia

1235 Karakorum becomes the capital of the Mongol Empire

Arrival of Marco Polo in Karakorum

1237 Beginning of the campaigns towards Russia and Europe (battle of the Kalka river) which will stop in Vienna with the death of Ogedei

1236 to 1240 Campaigns against Russia by Bat Khan, grandson of Chinggis Khan, with his Golden Horde

1240-1480 Sovereignty over Russia is established by the Golden Horde

1241 Death of Ogedei

1241 to 1242 The Mongols invade Poland and Hungary

1246 Guyuk, son of Ogedei, becomes Khan and submits the  Tibet. He died in the same year

1247 The first population census is organized in Mongolia

1251 Mongke (Monkh), nephew of Ogedei, becomes Khan

1251 Iran falls to the Mongols

1254 Arrival in Karakorum of the Franciscan monk Guillaume de Ruysbroeck sent by the King of France, 

Louis IX

1256 Mongols seize Baghdad

1259 Death of Mongke 

1260 The Mongols fail against the Mameluk of Egypt

1261 Kublai Khan, grandson of Chingis Khan becomes Grand Khan

1264 Capital moved from Karakorum to Beijing

1271 Kublai Khan renames his empire the Yuan Empire

1274 and 1281 Unsuccessful attacks for the invasion of Japan

1275 Arrival of Marco Polo in China

1276 Hangzhou, capital of Song China falls into the hands of the Mongols

1279 Kublai Khan Khan, grandson of Chinggis Khan, completes the conquest of China: the Southern Song dynasty falls and he unifies China under his empire (creation of the Yuan dynasty)

1294 Death of Kublai

1299 Invasion of Syria by the Mongols

1333 Togoontömör accedes to the throne of the Yuan Empire

1368 The Mongols are driven out of China and the Yuan dynasty is destroyed and the Ming dynasty is created


Fall of the Mongol Empire and domination by the Manchus 


1388 Destruction of Karakorum by the Chinese

1391 Timur defeats the Golden Horde

1400 to 1454 Civil war in Mongolia

1409 to 1449 New Mongol attacks on China

1466 Dayan Khan brings together most of the Mongol tribes.

1480 to 1502 Muscovites end Mongol control of Russia; the last members of the Golden Horde are defeated

1571 The Mongols end 300 years of war with the Chinese

1578 Altan Khan converts the Mongols to Buddhism and gives the title of Dalai Lama to Sonam Gyatso

1586 Buddhism becomes the official religion

1589 Start of construction of Erdene Zuu, the first monastery in Mongolia

1641 Zanabazar is proclaimed leader of Buddhism in Mongolia

1641 to 1652 The Russians defeat the Buryats and regain control of the Lake Baikal region

1672 Mongol incursion into Siberia and Russia

1691 Most Khalkha Mongols accept Manchu sovereignty and are included in the Chinese Empire (Qing dynasty 1644-1911)

1728 The Sino-Russian Treaty of Khyakhta redefines the traditional borders of Mongolia

1732 The Dzungar Mongols are defeated. end of Mongolian independence

1750 China divides Mongolia in two between the North, Outer Mongolia, and the South, Inner Mongolia 

1783 The last of the reigning descendants of Chinggis Khan is defeated by the Russians.


Independence, socialism and democracy


December 1, 1911 Independence of Outer Mongolia from China

December 28, 1911 Mongolia establishes an autonomous theocratic government

November 5, 1912 Sino-Russian agreement recognizes China's sovereignty over Mongolia 

May 25, 1915   Russia, China and Mongolia sign the Treaty of Kyakhta to guarantee independence to Mongolia

September 1918 Chinese troops occupy Outer Mongolia 

March to June 1920 The Mongolian People's Party is formed and establishes links with the international communist movement and with the Soviets

October 1920 White Russians invade Mongolia 

March 1-3, 1921 The first national  congress of the People's Party of Mongolia is held in Kyakhta, Soviet Union

March 13, 1921 Creation of the Provisional People's Government of Mongolia

July 1921 The Russian and Mongol army drives the White Russians out of Mongolia

July 11, 1921 Proclamation of the People's Government of Mongolia, a restricted monarchy

September 14, 1921 Proclamation of the independence of Mongolia by Sukhbaatar

November 5, 1921 The Soviets recognize the People's Government of Mongolia

February 22, 1923 Death of revolutionary hero Sukhbaatar

1924 Death of the 9th Bogdo Khan (Sacred King) who no longer had any power

May 31, 1924 Sino-Russian agreement recognizes China's sovereignty over Mongolia 

August 1924 The Mongolian People's Party becomes the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party 

November 6, 1924 The first major congress of the Urals

November 25, 1924 The People's Republic of Mongolia is proclaimed by the Communists; the capital is renamed Ulaanbaatar (the red hero)

March 1925 Soviet troops ostensibly withdraw

December 1928 Horloyn Choybalsan becomes political leader

1929 to 1932 Feudal property is confiscated and religious communities are suppressed

April-May 1932 Soviet troops help quell rebellions; party denies extremism 

November 27, 1934 The "gentlemen's agreement" between Mongolia and Russia allows the entry of Soviet troops into Mongolia

March 12, 1936 A mutual defense treaty and protocol is signed with the government of the Soviet Union

1937-39 The high government organizes purges among the religious

1938 Buddhist monasteries are closed

1939 Choybalsan emerges as an undisputed leader 

1939 Russian and Mongol troops defeat the Japanese east of Mongolia (Khalkhyn Gol)

March-April 1940 Yumjaagiyn Tsedenbal becomes general secretary of the party

August 10, 945 Mongolia declares war on Japan

January 5, 1946 China recognizes the independence of Mongolia

February 27, 1946 The Treaty of Friendship and Mutual Aid and Agreement on Economic and Cultural Cooperation is signed with the Soviet Union

February 1949 The ninth major national Ural congress, the first since 1940, takes place

January 26, 1952 Death of Choybalsan

May 1952 Tsedenbal becomes Prime Minister

December 1952 An economic and cultural cooperation agreement is signed with China

April 1956 The "personality cult" towards Choybalsan is condemned

October 1956 Beginning of new collective efforts

July 6, 1960 A new constitution is adopted

October 27, 1961 Mongolia admitted to the United Nations

January 1962 The "personality cult" towards Choybalsan is again condemned

June 7, 1962 Mongolia joins the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon)

1966 Serious differences between Mongolia and China emerge

June 1974 Jambyn Batmonh becomes President of the Council of Ministers and continues as first secretary of the party

Tsedenbal becomes Chairman of the Presidium of the People's Council of the Greater Urals

August 23, 1984 Tsedenbal withdraws

Batmanh becomes general secretary of the party

December 12, 1984 Batmonh is elected Chairman of the Presidium of the People's Council of the Greater Urals

Dumaagiyn Sodnom becomes Prime Minister

April 1986 A long-term trade agreement is signed with China

January 15, 1987 The Soviet Union announces its intention to withdraw one of five Soviet divisions stationed in Mongolia

January 27, 1987 Diplomatic relations are established with the United States

November 28, 1988 A treaty on a border control system is signed with China

March 7, 1989 Soviets announce that planned withdrawal of all troops has been completed

1992 New constitution announced, communists win another election 

1996 The Democratic Coalition unexpectedly defeats the Communists in the legislative elections.

2000 New alternation, the Communists beat the Democrats in the next election.

The History of Mongolia

Histoire de la Mongolie

The Huns


  Mongolia before it was populated by its current inhabitants, was inhabited by different nations since the dawn of time. The first governmental entity, in what is now Mongolia, were the Xiongnu, or Huns. Historians still wonder if the Huns were pre-Mongols or Turks. Nevertheless the Huns formed an extremely elaborate nation in Central Asia, led by a monarch (called "shanyu").


In 209 BC, the new shanyu, Modun, began to impress neighboring nations by creating a vast kingdom covering most of present-day Mongolia and central Asia. The Hun nation was in conflict with the Chinese Han dynasty which led to a major conflict for control of the region. Although Shanyu Mondun's army was outnumbered by the Chinese army, it succeeded in defeating it and getting China to sign a peace treaty that recognized Modun and  the nation Hun. Mondun also successfully engaged in battles in the West against the Sogdians (an Iranian-speaking people).


When Mondun died in 174 BC, the Huns benefited from an efficient administrative system and army. The Huns practiced shamanism and worshiped spirits and demons. The Huns' only rival was the Chinese. Eventually Mondun's ruling body began to stagnate and the princes became embroiled in intrigues that weakened the state. In 90 BC, Chinese Emperor U-Di launched a major offensive against the Huns. Shanyu  submitted  the Huns and some subjects of his  Kingdom to confront them. The Battle of Yangjan marked the last major victory for the Hun nation.


After this battle, the Hun princes conspired and rebelled against the still weakened kingdom. Triggered by Chinese emissaries, the enslaved Non-Huns seceded and the power of the shanyu declined day by day. Relations with the Han dynasty were then marked by war and peace.


In 48 BC, the Hun nation split into two parts, north and south. The Southern Huns recognizing the power of the Chinese Emperor. The Huns of the north facing many  problems. At first, their neighbors, the Xianbi (or Syanbi) launched an offensive against the Huns from the north. Powerless against Chinese enmity and Xianbi attacks, the Northern Huns migrated west around 150. In this way the Northern Huns split into four groups.

-The Xianbis absorbed some Huns

-Others emigrated to China

-Others emigrated to Central Asia

-The last went farther east and became Europeans

The famous Emperor Attila initiated this movement towards European countries and created an ephemeral state in Central Europe, which will disappear after his death.


Xianbi and Joujan


History generally considers that the Xianbis have Mongol origins. Their first leader, Tanshihuai, gathered scattered clans and invaded the Huns and the Chinese. He rose to power at a very young age and achieved many of the political goals of the Xianbi nation. He got rid of the Huns and in 158 he secured the southern borders by attacking the Chinese. The latter replied with an army of 30,000 soldiers who were victorious. Tanshihuai became a recognized leader of Central Asia, he died early. The Xianbi country experienced clashes and was never unified again.


The period from 250 to 550 was tumultuous for Central Asia and China. The Xianbis and the Huns attacked China and set up several governments which had a short life. Each was at war with the other. The Jiao state of the Huns and the Muyun and Toba states of the Xianbis were dominant during this chaotic period of wars and revolts. Xianbi leaders called themselves "khans". This term later applied to all nomadic governments.


Some Xianbis declared the Mongol steppes the Joujan kingdom. It was a large domain totally overlapping and balancing power with the Toba and Tibetan empires.  Through a complex governmental system the Joujan effectively took control of the Tele peoples to the west. The Joujans introduced military obedience. Like the Huns, the Joujan people believed in nature spirits and practiced divination and sorcery. Nevertheless, historical documents suggest that Buddhist missionaries were present in the Joujan kingdom and that they practiced many conversions. In particular the monk Dharmapriya who converts more than 300 Joujan families.


In the 6th century, the painful war between the Joujans and the Toba Empire ended. Toba, a Xianbi province in China, fell into the hands of the people who regained control of their land. The Joujans suffered from mutinies on the part of the dominated peoples, in particular the Turks. In 545, the Turkish leader Bumin rebelled against Joujan domination and led his people to China where they perished or were assimilated.


The Turkish Empire


The Turkish name here should not be confused with the modern Turkish term. Although today's Turks share common roots with the Turks, they are two different nations, chronologically and geographically.


Bumin and his ally Istemi created a real Eurasian empire stretching from the Yellow Sea to the Urals. In the years 555-590, the Turkish army reached the Caspian Sea and linked up with the Byzantines and Iranians. The Turkish empire benefited from the passage of the Silk Road which brought in a lot of income. The Turks succeeded in defeating the Chinese and demanded silk in reparation. Moreover, the Turks maintained good relations with the Byzantines and received ambassadors from Constantinople.


Such a large monarchy escalated into conflict and split into an eastern kingdom and a western kingdom. The cause of this division were quarrels between the princes and the insurrection of the conquered nations. In the early 7th century, the Khan Kat-Il of the Eastern Kingdom had Tang Dynasty China encircled. The western Turks formed a confederation to appease the peoples of the region, which eventually dissolved. The Tang dynasty established its hegemony of Central Asia in the year 630.


The Turkish Empire produced many written documents which were on stone monuments. These stone inscriptions were written in the ancient Turkish alphabet, and tell a lot about their religion and way of life. The Turks were pagans and practiced shamanism.


The Turks, under the Tang dynasty, fought in the Chinese army against the Koreans, the Tibetans… But, according to the Turkish stone, they revolted and established the second Turkish empire. The Turks of the Second Kingdom are called the "Blue Turks" because they revered their blue skies.


The Blue Turks returned to the steppe and found themselves surrounded by enemies, the Chinese to the south, the Karluks and the Kyrgyz to the west. The Blue Turks, led by the brilliant General Kultegin defeated them one by one and became a dominant force in Central Asia. Under Khan Bilge, General Kul-tegin and Chancellor Tonyukuk, the Blue Turks returned to their old traditions. Subsequent generations enjoyed relative peace. The next khan, Yollig-tegin, was the author of many writings on  stone.


In 745, the second Turkish empire suffered a civil war with the Uighurs, a Turkish-speaking and now separated nation. Uighurs won this conflict and built their kingdom on the ruins of the Turkish Empire.     



Uighurs and Kidans


  • the Uighurs

  The Uighurs were a nomadic, Tuc-speaking people who lived in Central Asia. They should not be confused with today's Uighurs who are sedentary. The second kingdom of the Blue Turks fell victim to bloody intrigues. The subjects began to rebel. The Uighurs excelled in mutiny and succeeded in overthrowing the Turks. Khan Peilo claimed independence and established diplomatic relations with Tang China. His heir, Moyanchur, ascended the throne in 747, when he faced rioting from the Uighur nobility. These events prove the fallacy of the European myth about the inflexible authority of Eastern rulers. On the contrary, the Central Asian monarchies had little political power. The aristocrats had such freedom that they were able to set up a sort of checks and balances system. This political structure was very effective in nomadic monarchies.


Having defeated the rebels, Khan Moyanchur led the Uighurs in wars to secure the country. He overwhelmed the Turgesh and Kyrgyz nations. Later, the Uighur kingdom went on a campaign to protect itself from enemies and establish its hegemony. The Uighurs were involved in many Chinese fights and rebellions. For example, they had relations with Tibet, and these three kingdoms, ie Uighurs, Chinese, and Tibetan, fought among themselves, forming alliances and coalitions.


These continuous fights weakened the Uighur kingdom. In the 9th century, the Uighurs had to face separatist currents among the subjugated peoples. Most notably, the Kyrgyz lord Ajo who declared his nation's independence in 818 and threatened the Uighurs with invasion; which happened in 840. The Kyrgyz army took the capital and the treasury and expelled all the inhabitants. All the remaining Uighurs, led by Pan, fled to Zungaria. Some escaped to the far east in Manchuria.


The Uighurs worshiped nature spirits and demons. Then in the second half of the 8th  century, the Uighurs converted to the Manichaean faith, introduced by Iran. It was a mystical mixture of Christianity and agnosticism. This new religion introduces a new alphabet, derived from the Sogdian script.


  • the Kidans

Kidans were a Mongol minority, scholars later proved this. Although not the direct ancestors of present-day Mongols, the Kidans spoke a language similar to the future and uninhabited Manchuria of the west. The kidans had an elected monarchy. The representatives of the eight Kidan clans elected a single leader for three years. In this way, the kidans lived most of the 9th century without paying attention to the incessant wars of their neighbors.


But in 907, a brilliant ruler, Elui Ambagan, refused to give up his position after three years and announced that he was declaring himself emperor. During the following year, Elui Ambagan conquered neighboring nations, thus strengthening his place in Central Asia. When he died, his son Deguan received a stable kingdom that would rival the previous kingdom. In 936, Deguan annexed 16 Chinese provinces including Beijing. This allowed Deguan to have his title of emperor recognized by the Chinese.


In 946, Deguan launched his army into China and captured the capital.  According to the traditional ceremony of that time, he proclaimed the birth of the Liao dynasty. The new empire performed many tasks such as trading with southern China and pacifying the indigenous peoples of the northeast. From 966 to 973 there was a major war between the Liao Empire and the Tartars, a nomadic people. The Liao kidans moved south and diverted the Chinese army from the south. The kindans spent the next twenty years keeping the Tartar and Tszubu peoples under their control. The war with Korea was unproductive.


The Jurchens were a Manchu-speaking people who paid tribute to the Liao dynasty. Seeing that it was crumbling under the enormous weight of war expenditure and royal clashes, the jurchens rebelled and attacked the kidans. The Liao Empire collapsed in 1125.


The brave prince Elui Dashi led a series of counterattacks against the jurchens but failed to save the kingdom. He gathered what little he had left of his people and fled west. There he met the Seljuks. In 1141, the Seljuk sultan, Sanjar, launched his army against the Kidans fleeing China. Elui Dashi bravely fought against the sultan and defeated him. So Elui Dashi moved to Central Asia and formed a small state. Later, these kidans were known as kara-kidans or black kidans.


It is interesting to note that the kidans used Chinese characters in their language, while the nomadic lords used the Iranian syllabic alphabet or runes. The government of the Liao Empire was modeled on the Chinese administrative model. The kidans were very cultured. The Han-Lin Academy gave Chinese and Kidan lessons to princes.  


Mongolia from 970 to 1206


The Mongols are an ancient people. Chinese historians confirm the existence of Mongol tribes even in the 10th century. At that time the Mongols lived in eastern central Asia and northern Manchuria. Legends say that the progenitors of the Mongol people are Gray Wolf and Jolie Biche, but the first recognized Mongol is Bodonchar, who brought his people out of oblivion, this event is dated to around 970.


These descendants became the rulers of the Mongols but the title was only nominal. Many clans and tribes had their own chief. Emerging as a divided national entity, the Mongols were immersed in the politics of the region. In Central Asia the power belonged to the Jurchen dynasty of Tszing. The jurchens attacked the nomadic peoples from time to time in order to drive them away from their borders.


The Mongol rulers unsuccessfully defended their territory, due to the separation of many clans. In 1162, Temüjin, the future Chinghis, was born to Yesugey, a relative of the Mongol khan. When he was 10 years old, the enemy people, the Tatars, poisoned his father. Temüjin's family was later abandoned by his relatives. So the two widows of Yesugey lived together with six small children. The eldest, Temüjin, rose to prominence fairly quickly. When he reached the age of 20, he managed to gather a group of followers who followed him ardently.


In 1185, the great assembly of Mongol nobles proclaimed Temüjin khan of Mongolia and gave him the name of Chinghis. Although the influential lords recognized Chinghis, there was significant opposition against him, military actions began. Chinghis suffered defeats and probably fled into exile, after which he had only a handful of supporters. Around 1193, Chinghis resumed the leading role in Central Asia. I confused his enemies and his rivals. Chinghis began to unify the many Mongol tribes into one Mongol nation.


Therefore, in 1206, the great assembly of Mongol leaders unanimously elected Chinghis as khan of Mongolia. This time there was no one to oppose it. The year 1206 marks the establishment of the Mongol state.


Chinghis instituted a codified law in place of nomadic habits and reorganized the army, taxes and state administration. He also introduced the Mongolian alphabet, a derivative of the Uighur script.  


The Mongol Empire


Chinghis went into a decisive war with the Jurchen dynasty in northern China. His son, Juchi, conquered most of the Siberian territories thus securing the northern borders. The success of this war marked a turning point for the Mongols. Further Chinghis set up a huge military campaign on the eastern flank. After defeating the Kara-kidans, the Mongols moved closer to Khwarezm, present-day Uzbkistan and Afghanistan. The war with Khwarezm began in 1218. The Mongol army crossed Transoxania, thus dominating the major Khwarezmian cities. Urgench, Samarkand, Gherat, Merv, Bukhara and several numerous cities fell under the control of Chinghis.


In 1221, Jebe and Subedey, two talented generals went further west and skirted the Caspian Sea. In their advance, they approached Georgia and Armenia. These two Caucasian kingdoms were conquered by the Mongols, who later crossed the Caucasian mountains and entered the lands of the Russian princes. In 1223, Jebe and Subedey met the Russians on the Kalka River and overcame them. The two generals then turned around and returned home via the Volga, Bulgaria and the Urals.  


Chinghis died in 1227. He left behind him a colossal empire stretching from the Caucasus to the Korean peninsula, from China to Siberia. His son Ögedey sat on the throne in 1229. He continued the war with the jurchens who palace after palace suffered losses. In 1235, Mongolia captured the last Jurchen fort.


The Mongol Empire had a strict hierarchical structure. The main power was in the hands of the khan. The advisory body was the Great Huralday Assembly, made up of generals and the aristocracy. Chinghis half brother, Shihihutug was in charge of judicial duties. Tsagaaday, the younger of Chinghis, ensured the good functioning of the Great Law, the Yasa.


In 1235 the Huralday approved that the western campaign should be led by Batu, the grandson of Chinghis, assisted by General Subedey. The army  marched hundreds of miles and took Russia. In the short period from 1237 to 1240, the Mongol military captured important Russian cities like kyiv, Vladimir and Ryazan…


Batu then entered Europe by attacking Hungary and Poland. In 1241, the Mongols defeated the Europeans at Leignitz. In 1242, when Batu reached the Adriatic, leaving Hungary, Moravia and Bohemia in ruins, a message arrived bringing the news that the khan Ögedey had died and that the princes of the Chinghi dynasty should return to Mongolia. Bat left Europe and settled in the Volga region and founded the Golden Horde.


The results of the western campaign brought Mongolia to the international stage. European emissaries came to the Mongolian capital, Karakorum, to develop diplomatic relations with the khan.


The next khan Gyueg reigned only two years. The throne was given to Mönh, a shrewd politician who maintained relations with the Roman Catholic Pope and European kings. Mönh launched the west-central campaign. The army went to Iran and Syria. In 1258 the Mongols captured Baghdad and established a new dominion.


The next khan Hubilay who inherited the empire in 1260 conquered southern China and annexed Korea. His reign was the longest. Vietnam and Burma recognized the lordship of Mongolia. Nevertheless, Hublot's desire to conquer Japan was a failure. Two fleets failed. In 1279, Hubilay moved the capital from Karakorum to Beijing and formed the Yuan dynasty.


By around 1298, the Mongol Empire covered most of the Eurasian continent. The empire was a union of four dominions: the Mongol domain (Mongolia, China), the Golden Horde (Russia and the Urals), the Chagatay domain (Central Asia) and the Ilkhan kingdom (Iran and mid-west).


The khans after Hubilay were not good leaders, they were unable to administer such a vast empire.  The Mongols were a small minority in the conquered spaces. One after another the revolts broke out and the provinces seceded. In 1312 the Golden Horde separated from the metropolis. The natives of the Chagatay domain took control in the 1340s. The Mongols in Iran gradually disappeared from the native population.


The central government of the empire also showed signs of decline. Thus the Togoon-Tömör khan and the other Mongols fled China in 1368 when the Chinese mutinies began to spread. It was the end of the Mongol Empire.


Mongolia from 1368 to 1691


The fall of the Mongol Empire caused a serious crisis in Mongol society. This period is called "the age of the under monarchs" in historiography. Indeed, the rulers of Mongolia after 1368 reigned for a short time and were in constant crisis with the nobility. The khan lost much of his powers. The local lords  began to take autonomy in their affairs. The only ancient Mongol nation fell apart. The Oirads seceded and formed their own monarchy. Mongolia separated into an eastern part and a western part. The eastern part separated itself into inner territory and outer territory. The oirads were quite active and sometimes made incursions into Central Asia.


The Mongolian language also fragmented into several distinct dialects, which later became languages. However, the 15-17th century period was marked by outstanding disciples and poets. For example, Prince Tsogt was not only a fighter but also a poet and philosopher. Buddhism arrived in Mongolia in the 16th century. In 1572, Khan Altan converted to Buddhism, thus rejecting the old shamanistic beliefs. Buddhism taught the Mongols literature, philosophy, theology and natural sciences.


Khan supremacy was limited in post-imperial Mongolia. 22 khans ruled Mongolia between 1370 and 1634. Prince Oirad seized the throne in 1450 thus breaking the tradition of the descendants of Chinghis. Five years later, the dynasty was restored. In 1470, Khan Batmönh unified Mongolia for 40 years. But his death led to greater separation.


The period of the 15-17th century marked the birth of many legal documents by the Mongol lords. During the empire, the great law Yasa ruled the society alone. So when each prince wanted to become independent they produced many laws and other binding documents. For example, the legal code of khan Altan was in force in the Tumed region. "The Mongolian-Oirad Law" and "The Religious Code" are among the most important.


In 1575, the Manchurians arrived and assaulted the Chinese Ming dynasty. Their leader Nurhach declared his Ching kingdom in 1616. The Manchu army invaded Mongolia and put pressure on the Mongol lords.


In 1636, the council of princes of Inner Mongolia admired their defeat and recognized the authority of the Manchurian emperor. The last of the line of Chinghis, Khan Ligden resisted the Manchus until his death in 1634. It was the end of a great dynasty. This situation worsened because some Mongols joined  the Manchurian army to share their victories. In 1691, the princes of Outer Mongolia decided to accept the domination of the Manchu Empire, resulting in the birth of Zungaria, the only independent province of Mongolia.


Mongolia from 1691 to 1911


The Manchus conquered Inner and Outer Mongolia, incorporating them into their empire. The Manchu emperor then became the ruler of Mongolia. Be that as it may, the majority of Mongol nobles kept their title. The Ching government reorganized the administration of Inner Mongolia with his consent.


The 24 provinces of Inner Mongolia were divided into 6 regions. The Ching Empire chose a governor for Outer Mongolia who resided  in the city of Uliastai. There was also another government in the city of Ih Huree which managed Inner Mongolia. When western Mongolia finally succumbed to the Manchus, the latter established the government  Howd in 1725. The Manchu government  formed the four provinces, the province of Khan Sain in tribute to his contribution in the war against the oirads.


When the Mongols converted to Buddhism in 1639, they elected a superior to head the Buddhist Church, under the title of Bogd. The Bogd was responsible for religious affairs and when the Manchus arrived they kept him as the official Buddhist ruler. A special ministry that controlled the acts of the Bogd and the Buddhist ceremonies. This is how the Ching Empire created an extremely elaborate administration, taxes and political arrangements for Inner and Outer Mongolia.  


The Mongols resisted Manchu imperialism through rebellions and mutinies. In 1755, a large number of Mongols led an attack that surrounded Mongolia from the west. Among the rebels were the boshigt Galdan, Amarsanaa and Chingunjav. The attack was initially successful but the Manchus later gained the upper hand and severely punished the mutineers. Amarsanaa fled Mongolia and found refuge in Russia where he died. The others were executed.


Manchu laws in Mongolia covered all aspects of Mongolian life. “Halh Juram” which passed between 1709 and 1795 was the legal document of that time. There was also "the legal writings of Inner Mongolia" which passed in 1817. It consisted of 63 volumes of various legal causes.


At the time of Manchu domination, Mongolian literature experienced a revival. Poets and writers produced remarkable religious and secular writings. The most famous was the monk Danzanrawjaa who lived in the 19th century and was a great playwright. The best known of his works was “Saran höhöö”.


The Manchu government suppressed any idea of autonomy in Mongolia. Therefore Mongolia spent the 19th century as a minor region of the Ching Empire.


Mongolia from 1911 to the present day.


At the beginning of the 20th century, the Manchu state declined rapidly and the revolutionary ideas of the time developed. In 1911, the Republic of China replaced the state of Manchuria.


The intellectual leaders and statesmen of Outer Mongolia also brought about changes and proclaimed the country's independence. The new state of Outer Mongolia was a theocracy. This means that the Bogd who was the religious leader integrated the secular political power. In 1913, the delegation of representatives from Outer Mongolia led by T. Namnansüren visited the Russian Empire in order to find support to secure independence. They failed in their mission to have Outer Mongolia recognized internationally.


In 1915, discussions between Outer Mongolia and the Republic of China began in the city of Kyakhta. Moscow and Beijing refused to recognize Outer Mongolia's independence and just gave Mongolia autonomous status. 


In 1919, the Republican government of China abolished autonomy and sent troops to Outer Mongolia. The purpose of this high-risk operation was to secure Chinese interests in Mongolia in case the confused Russians of 1917 wanted to expand there. Mongolian independence leaders resisted in several regions of the country.


In 1921, following revolutionary changes, Mongolia regained its independence and formed a theocratic state. This time the powers of the 8th Bogd were restricted by the government. When the Bogd died in 1924, revolutionary leaders transformed Mongolia into a republic and adopted the first constitution. State leaders aided by Soviet advisers chose a communist direction for Mongolia.


The republican form brought many reforms in society. Society was to be classless so the nobility gave up all title and privilege. Western medicine, technology and education entered Mongolia ending old practices.


  The 1930s were cruel. As in all communist states at that time, the political purges seriously affected society. The regime was responsible for the deaths of thousands of wrongly accused innocents.


In 1939, Mongolia engaged in a major conflict with the Japanese along the eastern border of Mongolia, the so-called Khakhingol incident. The small brawls between the Japanese and Mongolian patrols since 1936 degenerated into a major border confrontation . The Soviet army came to the aid of the Mongols. The Soviet/Mongol army defeated the Japanese forces and made the border secure.


In 1945, the Chinese government recognized the independence of Mongolia. Mongolia became a full member of the international community and joined the United Nations in 1961.


Mongolia was a communist state firmly aligned with the Soviet Union until the late 1980s. The world was changing, and so was Mongolia. In December 1989, the democratic opposition demanded political reforms and organized major demonstrations. Finally, in 1992, Mongolia adopted a new Constitution which guarantees open democracy and economic changes.

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