History of Mongolia : Chronology and details



"A people that can build a wall like this certainly have a great past to be proud of " - Richard Nixon while admiring the Great Wall of China.


"The people that forced the building of a wall like this certainly have at least as great a past to be proud of" - B.Baabar Mongolian historian 


Chronology    &    Detailed history


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The history of Mongolia is dominated by the mythical stature of Genghis Khan (Chinggis Khan for the mongols) who has the head of these hordes of wandering tribes reunified under its banner, conquered At the 13th century the vastest empire which the ground ever knew, cutting through has path of blood and fury of the Pacific Ocean to the heart of Europe.

Temudjin, its true name before being proclaimed Chinggis Khan, is quasi has divinity for Mongolian: it brought to them glory, the conquests and has code of conduct and organization. Its image is more than ever present in Mongolia of today although it was presented like has sanguinary barbarian by the official history during Communism. The savage wandering warriors of the steppes durably and painfully marked all the people which knew them closely gold by far, and to to to to their conquering forwardings are reported since the 5th century before JC in the first Chinese writings.

This vast crucible hardware ground of high plateaus was the many tribes and civilizations, whose majority are little known. The last genetic studies thus confirmed that the amérindiens and the tribes of Siberia and the North of Mongolia cuts common origins.

The Mongolian steppes are also the cradle of terrible Huns and to their head Attila the plague of God who sowed panic grass in Christendom, to the fall of the Romain Worsens.

The Mongolian Worsens invincible ace for him will last only two centuries time that the warriors are not assimilated by conquered civilizations. The last three centuries history, less known is that of has Chinese supervision until the independence of 1920, then of has Russian supervision, before the democratization and the opening of the country in 1990.


Mongolian history chronology : Prehistory, Hunnu, Apogee & Fall of Mongolian Empire, Independence...




500 000 BC Human presence in Mongolia

4000 BC to 2000 BC Bronze age 

2000 av. JC Developpement of herding in Mongolia

700 à 500 av. JC Transition to the beginning of the iron age

400 av. JC Construction of the Great Wall of China, who was used as a frontier between China and Hunnu


Hunnu and next states


209 BC Modun Shanyui built first state, which named Hunnu

200 BC Xionghu (Hunnu) Mongolian Empire reaches  the Yellow river

AD 1-100 Xionghu expelled from China

156 AD Xianbei (Sumbe) defeat Hunnu state and became most powerful in Central Asia

300 AD Toba

317 Xianbei conquer northern China

386 to 533 Period of Northern Wei Dynasty, established by the Toba in northern China mid-8th century

Possible early Mongol links with Tibetan Buddhism

840 Kyrghiz defeat ruling Uighurs

916 to 1125  Beginning of Kitan period , established over eastern Mongolia, Manchuria, and northern China

1122 The ruling Kitan defeated by Chineese



Great Mongolian Empire

1162 The child Temujin, later to become Chinggis Khan, is born

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

1189 to 1205 Chinggis Khan unites Mongols

1206 Chinggis Khan proclaims himself ruler Of the Mongol Empire

1211 Chinggis Khan launches attacks to China

1215 Khanbalik (Beijing) falls to the Mongols

1227 Chinggis Khan dies

1129 Ogedei Khan, Chinggis’s third and favourite son, proclaimed the second khan

1231 Korea invaded

1235 Karakorum built by Ogedei Khan

Marco Polo arrives in Karakorum

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

1237 Start of campaigns to Russia and Europe (battke of the river Kalka) that was halted at Vienna with death of Ogedei

1240 to 1480 Suzerainty over Russia established by Golden Horde

Conquest of Song China

1241 Dead of Ogedei

1241 to 1242 Poland and Hungarn invaded

1246 Guyuk, son of Ogedei, becomes Khan, he dies that year

1251 Mongke (Monkh) from another wing of the family becomes Khan

1251 Iran invaded

1259 Dead of Mongke, his brother Kublai becomes Khan

1260 Mongols defeated by Egyptian Mamluks

1261 Khubilai becomes great khan

1264 Capital moved from Karakorum to  Khanbalik (Beijing)

1274 and 1281 Unsuccessful attempts at invasion of Japan

1275 Marco Polo arrives in China

1276 Hangzhou, capital of Song China falls to the Mongols

1279 Kublai Khan, Chinggis Khan’s grandson, completes the conquest of China

1294 Kublai Khan dies

1299 Mongol invasion of Syria

1368 Mongols driven out of China ,Yuan Dynasty destroyed



Fall Mongolian Empire and subjugation by Manchu

1400-1454 Civil war in Mongolia

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

1586 Erdene Zuu, Mongolia’s first monastry, is started

1641 Zanabazar proclaimed leader of Buddhists in Mongolia

1911 Independence from China

1915 Russia, China and Mongolia sign agreement to grant independence to Mongolia

1919 Chineese invade Mongolia again  



Independence, socialism years and democracy

1921 Chineese defeated, Mongolia’s independence proclaimed by Sukhbaatar

1924 Bogd Khan (Holy King) dies, the Mongolian People’s Republic declared by the communists

1939 Russian and Mongolian troops fight Japan in eastern Mongolia

1990 Pro-democracy protests held, communists win multi-party election

1992 New constitution announced, communists win another election

1996 Democratic Coalition unexpevtedly thrashes communists in an election

2000 Communists unexpectedly thrash the Democrats in the election  



History of Mongolia : The Huns, Xianbi, Turkic Empire, Kidans and the Mongolian Empire...



The Huns


Mongolia before Mongolians proper was inhabited by various nations since the ancient times. The earliest known governmental entity in what is nowadays Mongolia is the Xiongnu, or Hun state. Historians still argue whether the Huns were a proto-Mongolian tribe, or a proto-Turkic ethnic group. Nevertheless, the Huns formed a highly elaborate state in Central Asia led by a monarch called “shanyu”.


In 209 B. C. new shanyu Modun started to subjugate neighbouring nations and created a vast kingdom covering most of Mongolia and some Central Asia. The Hun state rivaled with Chinese Han dynasty that resulted in a major conflict for the supremacy in the region. Although shanyu Modun’s army was largely outnumbered by the Chinese, he managed to defeat the latter and make a peace treaty. The Chinese emperor recognized Modun and the Hun state. The Hun leader also successfully engaged in the westerly battles against the Sogdians an Iranian-speaking people.


At the time of Modun’s death in 174 B. C., the Huns had an efficient administrative system and a superb military. Huns practiced shamanism and worshipped variuos spirits and demons. The only challenger of the Huns was China. Eventually, the ruling house of Modun began to stagnate and princes plunged into intrigues that weakened the state affairs. In 90 B. C. Chinese emperor U-di launched a massive onslaught on Huns. Shanyu moved Huns and other subjects of the kingdom to meet them. The battle of Yangjan marked the last great victory of the Hun state.


After that battle, Hun princes renewed conspiracies and fights over power in the ever weakening kingdom. Triggered by Chinese emissaries, the non-Hun subjugates began to secede and the centralizing will of the shanyu waned day after day. The relations with the Han dynasty combined wars and peace treaties alike.


In 48 A. D., the Hun state broke into northern and southern parts. The southern Huns recognized the suzerainty of the Chinese emperor. The northerners faced a great many problems. First of all, the neighbouring Xianbi (Syanbi) made a military offensive against the Northern Huns. Crippled by Chinese enmity and Xianbi aggression, the Northern Huns migrated westwards in circa 150 A. D. Thus, the northern branch of Huns tore into four groups. Xianbis absorbed some Huns. Others moved to China and Central Asia. The very last remnants of Huns went far west and became known to Europeans. Their infamous leader Attila initiated the turmoil of European nations and created an ephemeral state in Central Europe, which collapsed after his death.



Xianbi and Joujan


History generally considers Xianbis to be of Mongolian origin. Their first leader Tanshihuai gathered loose clans and invaded Huns and the Chinese. He rose to power at a very young age and accomplished important political objectives for the Xianbi nation. He got rid of Huns and in 158 A. D. secured the southern borders by attacking China. The latter answered with a 30-thousand army and was utterly defeated. Tanshihuai became an acknowledged leader in Central Asia, but died early. The single Xianbi state fell into feuds and never again unified.


The years 250-550 A. D. were quite tumultuous in both Central Asia and China. Xianbis and Huns assailed China and produced many short-living governments. Every one waged wars with each other. Jiao state of Huns and Muyun and Toba states of Xianbis were the most prominent of that time’s chaos of wars and revolts. Xianbi leaders called themselves “khans”. This term applied later to all steppe governments.

In the steppes of Mongolia, some Xianbis brought into being the Joujan kingdom. A huge domain covered entire Mongolia and balanced the power with Toba empire and Tibetans. With a complex governmental system, Joujan effectively brought under its control western tribes of Tele. Joujan introduced a military subordination. Like Huns, Joujan people believed in natural spirits and exercised divination and sorcery. Nevertheless, historical documents suggest that Buddhist missionaries were present in Joujan and had many converts. Especially, monk Dharmapriya converted over 300 Joujan families.


In the 6th century A. D. Joujans ended a mutually exhausting war with Toba. Toba, a Xianbi kingdom in China, soon fell to the natives, who regained control of their land. Joujan suffered mutiny in subjugated tribes, especially Turkics. In 545, Turkic leader Bumin rejected Joujan dominance and drove them to China where they either perished, or assimilated.



The Turkic empire


The name “Turkic” is intentional here to avoid confusion with modern Turks. Although modern Turks share a common root with Turkics, they both are separate nations chronologically and geographically.


Bumin and his partner Istemi created a truly Eurasian empire from the Yellow Sea to the Urals. In a short period of 555-590 A. D., Turkic army reached the Caspian Sea and made a contact with Byzantine and Iran. The Turkic empire had the Silk Road winding through its land which was an important geopolitical benefit. The Turkics managed to win over China and demand silk as reparations. Also, Turkics successfully conducted diplomatic relations with the Byzantine empire and received ambassadors from Constantinople.


Such a vast monarchy gradually slided into feuds and separated into Eastern and Western kingdoms. The cause of division was strife among princes and insurrection of conquered nations. In the early 7th century, Eastern Turkic khan Kat-Il khan surrendered to the Chinese Tang dynasty. Western Turkics formed a confederation to appease local tribes, but eventually disintegrated. The Tang dynasty established its hegemony of Central Asia by the year 630 A. D.


The Turkic empire is marked by an upsurge of written documents preserved mainly in stone monuments. These stone inscriptions written by an ancient Turkic alphabet tell much of their lifestyle and religion. Turkics were heathens and practiced shamanism.


Turkic people under the Tang dynasty fought in Chinese armies against Koreans, Tibetans etc. But in 689 A. D., as the Turkic stone says, they revolted and established the Second Turkic empire. Turkic people of the Second kingdom are called “Blue Turks”, for they revered sky.


Blue Turks returned to the steppes and found themselves surrounded by enemies. The Chinese were in the south. Karluks and Kyrgyz nation were to the west. Blue Turks led by a brilliant general Kul-tegin crushed each of them and became a challenging force in the Central Asia. Under khan Bilge, general Kul-tegin and councellor Tonyukuk, Blue Turks revived the olden traditions. The following generations enjoyed a relative peace. Next khan Yollig-tegin was the author of several stone writings.


In 745 A. D., the Second Turkic empire suffered a civil war with Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking, yet separate nation. Uighurs won this conflict and on the ruins of Blue Turks set up their own kingdom. 



Uighurs and Kidans 

  • The Uighurs 

Uighurs were a Turkic-speaking nomadic nation that lived in Central Asia. They are not to be confused with modern Uighurs who are primarily settled people. The Second Kingdom of Blue Turks fell victim to bloody court intrigues. The subjects began to rebel. Uighurs were successful in the mutiny and managed to overthrow the Turkic rule. Uighur khan Peilo asserted his independence and initiated diplomatic relations with Tang China. His heir Moyanchur sat on the throne in 747 A. D., when he suddenly faced riots of Uighur nobility. This event shows the falsehood of the European myth about the absolute authority of Oriental rulers. On the contrary, Central Asian monarchs had a limited set of political powers. Aristocrats had such freedom, which allowed them to have a sort of “checks and balances” system. This political structure was highly efficient in the various steppe monarchies.


Having defeated the rebels, Moyanchur khan led Uighurs to wars that secured the state. In the west, he utterly crushed Turgesh and Kyrgyz nations. Later, the Uighur kingdom waged brilliant campaigns to fend off external enemies and became a Central Asian hegemon. Uighurs were involved in several Chinese rebellions and internal feuds. For example, Uighurs interfered in Chinese war against An Lushan warlord. Moreover, they had relationships with Tibet and these three kingdoms, namely Uighur, China and Tibet, battled with each other, forming alliances and coalitions.


Continuous wars enfeebled the Uighur kingdom. In the 9th century, Uighurs faced separatist tendencies among the conquered peoples. Most notably, Kyrgyz lord Ajo declared his independence in 818 A. D. and threatened Uighurs to overrun them. Thus it happened in 840. The Kyrgyz army took the Uighur capital and treasury and ousted all natives. The Uighur remnants led by Pan Tore fled to Zungaria. Some of them escaped to the Far East in Manchuria.


Uighurs at first worshipped natural spirits and demons. Then in the second half of the 8th century, Uighurs had converted into Manichaean faith, introduced to them from Iran. That was a mystic blend of Christian and Gnostic beliefs. The new religion brought a new alphabet derived from the Sogdian writing form.

  • The Kidans

The Kidans were of Mongolian stock. That was proven by prominent scholars of later period. Although they are not direct ancestors of modern Mongolians, Kidans spoke a language akin to the latter and inhabited Western Manchuria. Kidans had an elective monarchy. Representatives of eight Kidan clans elected a single ruler for three years. In such a way, Kidans lived for most of the 9th century, heeding not the wars of neighbours.


But in 907, a triumphant ruler Elui Ambagan refused to give up the position after three years and announced his claim on the title of emperor. During the next years, Elui Ambagan conquered neighbouring nations, thus strengthening his place in Central Asia. When he died in 927 A. D., his son Deguan received a stable kingdom that would challenge the previous empires. In 936 A. D., Deguan annexed 16 Chinese districts including Beijing. That prompted the Chinese to acknowledge the emperor’s title of Deguan.


In 946 A. D., Deguan launched his army to into China and captured the capital city. According to the ceremonial tradition of that time, he proclaimed the establishment of the Liao dynasty. The new empire had to achieve several tasks, such as dealing with Southern China and pacifying North-Eastern indigenous nations. From 966 to 973 A. D., there was a major war between Liao and Tatars, a nomadic tribe. Then Kidans of Liao turned south and averted the Southern Chinese army. Kidans spent the next twenty years keeping these Tatars, Tszubu peoples in their control. The war with Korea was unproductive.


Jurchens were a Manchu-speaking nation that paid tribute to the Liao dynasty. Seeing that the latter crumbles under the enormous weight of war expenditures and royal feuds, Jurchens rebelled and attacked Kidans. The Liao Empire fell in 1125 A. D.


Brave Kidan prince Elui Dashi conducted a series of counter-attacks on Jurchens, but failed to save the kingdom. He gathered what little was left of his people and escaped westwards. There he met Seljuks. In 1141, Seljuk sultan Sanjar moved his army against Kidans fleeing from China. Elui Dashi courageously battled with the sultan and defeated him. Then Elui Dashi settled in Central Asian and formed a small state.  Later, these Kidans were known as Kara-kidans, or Black Kidans.


It is interesting that Kidans assumed Chinese hieroglyphics for their language, whilst previous nomadic lords had syllabic Iranian, or runic alphabets. The Liao Empire was governed by the Chinese administrative model. The culture of Kidans was very high. The Han-Lin Academy provided courses of Chinese and Kidan philology for princes. 



Mongolia: 970-1206


Mongolians are an ancient nation. Chinese historians confirm the existence of Mongolian tribes even in the 10th century. At that time, Mongolians inhabited eastern Central Asia and most parts of northern Manchuria. Legends said that Grey Wolf and Beautiful Deer were the progenitors of the Mongolian folk, but the first real known Mongolian is Bodonchar, who led his people out of oblivion. The approximate year of this event is 970 A. D.


His descendants became rulers of Mongolians, but the title was rather nominal. Various clans and tribes had their own lords. Emerging as a separate national entity, Mongolians plunged into the politics of the region. The major power in Central Asia was the Jurchen dynasty of Tszing. Jurchens handled the nomadic nations off their borders, attacking them from time to time.


Mongolian rulers fruitlessly defended their land, due to the large disintegration of the many clans. In 1162 A. D., Temüjin, future Chinghis, was born to Yesugey, a kinsman of the Mongolian khan. When he was about 10 years, the enemy tribe of Tatars poisoned his father. The family of Temüjin was later abandoned by the relatives. Thus, Yesugey’s two widows dwelt all alone with six small children. The eldest child Temüjin rose to prominence pretty fast. When he turned 20, he successfully gathered a band of followers, who eagerly joined him.


In 1185 A. D., the grand assembly of Mongolian noblemen proclaimed Temüjin as the khan of Mongolia and entitled him with the name Chingis. Although influential lords recognized Chingis, there was a considerable opposition to him that began military operations. Chingis suffered initial defeats and a presumed exile, after which he had only a handful of supporters. In circa 1193 A. D., Chingis regained the leading role in the Central Asia. He routed his foes and rivals. Chingis began to unite the numerous tribes into a single Mongolian nation.


Therefore, in 1206 A. D., the grand assembly of all Mongolian leaders unanimously elected Chingis as the khan of All Mongolia. This time, there wasn’t anybody opposing. The year 1206 is marked as the establishment of Mongolian statehood.


Chingis instituted a codified law instead of nomadic habits and reorganized the army, taxes and administration of the state. He also introduced the Mongolian alphabet derived from the Uighur writing.


The Mongolian Empire: 1206-1368


Chingis waged a decisive war with the Jurchen dynasty in Northern China. His son Juchi conquered nearby nations of Siberia thus securing northern borders. In 1215 A. D., the war success shifted to Mongolians. Apart from that, Chingis launched a massive military campaign on the western flank. Defeating the Kara-Kidans, the Mongolian ruler approached Khwarezm in what is now modern Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. The war with Khwarezm began in 1218 A. D. The Mongolian army sweeped across Transoxania, taking over major Khwarezmian cities. Urgench, Samarkand, Gherat, Merv, Bukhara and many other towns fell under Chingis.


In 1221 A. D., the talented Mongolian generals Jebe and Subedey moved further west, passing around the Caspian Sea. As they marched, Jebe and Subedey approached Georgia and Armenia. These two Caucasian kingdoms were also conquered by Mongolians, who later crossed the Caucasus Mountains and entered the lands of Russian princes. In 1223 A. D., Jebe and Subedey met with Russians on the river Kalka and overwhelmed them. Then the two generals turned back and went home going through Volga Bulgaria and Urals.


Chingis died in 1227 A. D. He left a large empire stretching from Caucasus to the Korean peninsula, from China to Siberia. His son Ögedey sat on the throne in 1229 A. D. He continued the war with Jurchens who castle after castle suffered losses. In 1235 A. D. Mongolia took the last Jurchen forts.


The Mongolian empire had a strict hierarchical structure. The main power was in the hands of the great khan. The consultative organ was the grand assembly, Huralday, of generals and aristocracy. Chingis’ stepbrother Shihihutug was responsible for the judiciary duties. Tsagaaday, second son of Chingis, ensured the effectiveness of the great law, the Yasa.


In 1235 A. D., the Huralday approved the western campaign to be led by Batu, the grandson of Chingis assisted by general Subedey. That army marched dashed thousands of kilometers and took Russia. In a short period of 1237-1240, the Mongolian military captured important Russian cities, including Kiev, Vladimir, and Ryazan etc.


Then Batu entered Europe attacking Hungarians and Poles. In 1241, the Mongolians defeated Europeans at Liegnitz. In 1242 A. D., when Batu stood upon the shores of the Adriatic leaving Hungary, Moravia and Bohemia in ruins, a messenger came with the news that Ögedey khan died and that princes of the Chingis dynasty should turn back to Mongolia. Batu departed from Europe and settled in the Volga region, establishing the Golden Horde.


The results of the western operation brought the Mongolian empire onto the international arena. European emissaries went to the Mongolian capital Karakorum to develop diplomatic relations with the khan.


The next Mongolian khan Guyeg reigned only two years. The throne was given to Mönh, a shrewd politician who kept liaisons with the Roman Catholic pope and European kings. Mönh started the Middle Eastern campaign. The army moved from Mongolia to Iran and Syria. In 1258 A. D., Mongolians captured Baghdad and set up another 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, Hubilay’s intention to conquer Japan was unsuccessful. Two fleets ended with a complete loss. In 1279 A. D., Hubilay moved the capital from Karakorum to Beijing and formed the Yuan dynasty.


In circa 1298 A. D., the Mongolian Empire covered most of the Eurasian continent. The empire was a union of four dominions: the great khan’s realm (Mongolia, China), the Golden Horde (Russia and Urals), the Chagatay realm (Central Asia) and the Ilkhan kingdom (Iran and Middle East).


The khans after Hubilay weren’t good rulers incapable to administer such a vast state. The ruling Mongolians were largely outnumbered in the conquered areas. One after another revolts broke off and provinces began to secede. In 1312 A. D., the Golden Horde severed ties with the metropoly. The natives of the Chagatay state took control in 1340’s. Mongolians in Iran gradually vanished in the native population.


The central imperial government also showed signs of decay. Thus, khan Togoon-Tömör and other Mongolians fled from China in 1368 A. D., when Chinese mutiny began to expand. This was the end of the Mongolian empire.


Mongolia: 1368-1691


The downfall of the Mongolian empire led to a serious crisis in the Mongolian society. This epoch is called “The Age of Lesser Monarchs” in the historiography. Indeed, rulers of Mongolia after 1368 reigned short time and constantly struggled with the nobility. The khan lost a great amount of his political power. Local lords began to show significant autonomy of their affairs. The once single Mongolian nation started to disintegrate. Oirads seceded and formed their own monarchical line. Then Mongolia broke into western and eastern parts. The eastern part itself fractured into Outer and Inner lands. The Oirads were quite active and occasionally raided into Central Asia.


The single Mongolian language separated into distinct dialects, which later evolved into languages. However, the 15-17th centuries were marked by outstanding scholars and poets. For example, prince Tsogt was not only a warrior, but also a poet and philosopher. Buddhism came into Mongolia in the 16th century. In 1572 A. D., khan Altan officially embraced the Buddhist teaching rejecting the old shamanic beliefs. Buddhism presented Mongolians the vast literature on philosophy, theology and natural sciences.


The khan’s supremacy was limited in the post-imperial Mongolia. 22 khans ruled Mongolia in 1370-1634. Oirad prince usurped the throne in 1450 A. D. breaking the tradition of Chingis descendants. Five years later, the dynasty was restored. In 1470 A. D., khan Batmönh united all Mongolia for 40 years. But his death resumed further partition of Mongolia.


The 15-17th centuries were prominent for many legal documents created by Mongolian lords. During the empire, the great law Yasa single-handedly governed the Mongolian society. So when each prince got fairly independent, they released various laws and other legally binding documents. For example, the legal code of khan Altan was effective in the Tumed region. “The Mongol-Oirad Law” and “The Religious Code” are among the most important.


In 1575 A. D., Manchu people came forward and assailed the Chinese Ming dynasty. Furthermore, Manchus advanced into China and their leader Nurhach declared his Ching kingdom in 1616 A. D. The Manchu army invaded Mongolia and pressed on deep into realms of Mongolian lords.


In 1636 A. D. the council of Inner Mongolian princes admitted their defeat and recognized the authority of the Manchu emperor. The last of the Chingis line, khan Ligden resisted Manchus till his death 1634 A. D. Thus ended the great dynasty. The situation worsened because some Mongolian sided with the Manchu military to settle scores with their rivals. In 1691 A. D., the princes of Outer Mongolia decided to accept the lordship of the Manchu empire, leaving Zungaria the only independent Mongolian state.


Mongolia: 1691-1911


The Manchus conquered Inner and Outer Mongolia incorporating them in their empire. The Manchu emperor became the sovereign of Mongolia. However, most Mongolian nobles retained their titles. The Ching government reorganized the Inner Mongolian administration to its own accord.


The 24 provinces of Inner Mongolia were divided into 6 regions. The Ching Empire appointed a governor to be in charge of Outer Mongolia. He resided in the city of Uliastai. Another governor presided in the city of Ih Huree and managed affairs in Central Mongolia. When Western Mongolia finally succumbed to the Manchus, the latter established the Howd governorship in 1762 A. D. administratively; Outer Mongolia included three provinces in 1691 A. D. These are Tusheet khan province, Zasagt khan province and Setsen khan province. Later in 1725 A. D., the Manchu government formed the fourth province, the Sain khan province, as a reward to lord Sain for his part in the war against the Oirads.


When Mongolians embraced Buddhism, they elected in 1639 A. D. the head of the Buddhist church. His title was Bogd. Bogd was responsible for religious affairs and when Manchus arrived, they kept him as the formal Buddhist leader. A special ministry controlled the doings of Bogd and looked after Buddhist activities. All in all, the Ching Empire created a highly elaborate administrative, tax and political arrangement for Inner and Outer Mongolia.


Mongolians resisted the Manchu rule with the means of rebellions and mutinies. In 1755 A. D., several Mongolian counts led an uprising that engulfed Western Mongolia. Among the rebels were Galdan boshigt, Amarsanaa and Chingunjav. The uprising was at first quite successful, but later Manchus crushed it and severely punished the mutineers. Amarsanaa fled Mongolia and found refuge in Russia where he died. Others were executed.


The laws in Mongolia of the Manchu period encompassed every aspect the Mongolian society. “Halh Juram” which was passed in 1709-1795 A. D., was the most advanced legal document of that time. There were also “Legal Writings of Outer Mongolia” passed in 1817 A. D. It consisted of 63 volumes of various legal clauses.


In the time of the Manchu rule, Mongolian literature experienced its revival. Poets and writers produced brilliant religious and secular works. Famous monk Danzanrawjaa lived in the 19th century and was a crafty playwright. Among his works is “Saran höhöö”.


The Manchu government oppressed any thoughts of autonomy in Mongolia. As a result, Mongolia spent the 19th century as a backward region of the Ching Empire.



Mongolia: 1911-present


In the beginning of the 20th century, the Manchu state rapidly declined and the revolutionary thought of that time penetrated into Mongolia as well. In 1911 A. D., the Republic of China replaced the Manchurian state.


Leading intellectuals and statesmen of Outer Mongolia also brought changes and proclaimed the independence of the country. The newly found state of Outer Mongolia was a theocracy. It meant that the Bogd who was the religious leader embraced the secular political power, too. In 1913 A. D., the delegation of Outer Mongolian officials led by T. Namnansüren visited the Russian empire and seeked help in securing the independence. They failed to gain international recognition for Outer Mongolia.

In 1915 A. D., the talks of Outer Mongolia, the Russian empire and the Republic of China began in the city of Kyakhta. Official Moscow and Beijing refused to recognize the Outer Mongolian independence and forcefully granted Mongolia only an autonomous status.


In 1919 A. D., the Chinese republican government abolished the autonomy and dispatched troops to Outer Mongolia. The purpose of this venture was to secure Chinese interests in Mongolia in case if Russian turmoil of 1917 would spread there. Mongolian pro-independence leaders organized resistance in various parts of the country.


In 1921 A. D., as a result of revolutionary changes, Mongolia restored its independence and formed a theocratic state. This time, the powers of the Bogd the 8th were largely limited by the government. Then in 1924, when the Bogd died, leaders of the revolution turned Mongolia into a republic and adopted the first Constitution. The heads of the state aided by Soviet counselors chose the Communist direction for Mongolia.


The republican form in Mongolia brought reforms to the society. First, the society was to be classless, so the nobility gave up all the privileges and titles. Western medicine, technologies and education entered Mongolia and mostly eliminated old feudal customs.


The 1930’s were cruel years in the Mongolian history. Like in all Communist states of that time, political purges severely injured the society. The regime was responsible for deaths of thousands of innocent people accused by false charges.


In 1939 A. D., Mongolia engaged in a major conflict with Japan along the Mongolian borders in the East. It is known as the Khakhingol incident. The small skirmishes between Japanese and Mongolians patrols since 1936 developed into a massive border confrontation. Soviet military came to Mongolia for aid. Soviet-Mongolian joint army defeated the Japanese forces and made safe Mongolia’s eastern borders.


In 1945 A. D., the Chinese government recognized the independence of Mongolia. Mongolia became a rightful member of the international community and was admitted to the United Nations in 1961 A. D.


Mongolia was a primarily Communist country closely aligned with the Soviet Union until the late 1980’s. The world was changing and so was Mongolia. In December 1989 A. D., the democratic opposition demanded political reforms and staged crowdy demonstrations. As a result, Mongolia in 1992 A. D.  adopted a new Constitution which granted open democracy and economic changes. 



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