History of the Yuan dynasty - Wikipedia
The Mongol conquest of the Song empire had, for the first time since the end of the Tang, reunified all of China. Song China had traded with its neighbours, the. China has a love-hate relationship with what is foreign. . Galloping as they did from one end of Eurasia to the other, the Mongols had picked up But, the Yuan dynasty is credited with bringing to China the toggle-and-loop. The Yuan dynasty was the ruling dynasty of China and Mongolia established by Kublai Khan and a khanate of the Mongol Empire. Contents. 1 History. Rise of Kublai Khan; Founding of the dynasty; Rule of Kublai Khan; Early rulers after Kublai; Later years of the dynasty; End of Yuan rule Interethnic marriage between Han and Jurchen became common at this time.
After the Song empire had been conquered, the population of China was divided into four classes. The first class was the Mongols themselves, a tiny but privileged minority. The third group was called the hanren a term that generally means Chinese but that was used to designate the inhabitants of only northern China ; this class included the Chinese and other ethnic groups living in the former Jin state, as well as Xi XiaJuchen, Khitan, Koreans, Bohaiand Tangutwho could be employed in some functions and who also formed military units under Mongol leadership.
The lowest stratum in Yuan China was occupied by the slaves, whose numbers were quite considerable. Slave status was hereditary, and only under certain conditions could a slave be freed.
More than four-fifths of the taxpayers came from the nanren group, which was generally barred from holding higher office only rarely would one of them rise to some prominence. The Mongols and the semuren were tax-exempt and enjoyed the protection of the law to a higher degree than did the hanren and nanren.
The formal distinction between various ethnic groups and the corresponding graded status was not a Mongol invention but a social differentiation inherited from the Jin state.
The Yuan Dynasty — First Foreign-Ruled Era in China
In the same way, many institutions were taken over from the Jin. Law in Yuan China was based partly on the legislation of the Jin and partly on traditional Chinese law; Mongol legal practices and institutions also played a great role, particularly in penal law. The Yuan legal code has been preserved in the dynastic historyYuanshi, as well as other sources. In addition, many rules, ordinances, and decisions of individual cases are collected in compilations such as Yuandianzhang, which throw much light not only on the legal system but also on social conditions in general.
Mongol and Chinese dualism is also reflected in the problem of administrative documents and languages. Few of the ruling Mongols, even in the later years of the Yuan, knew Chinese, and the number who mastered the Chinese script was still smaller. On the other hand, only a few Chinese bothered to learn the language of their conquerors.
Administration and jurisdiction therefore had to rely largely on interpreters and translators. Mongol was the primary language; most decisions, ordinances, and decrees were originally drafted in Mongol, and a Chinese interlinear version was added.
This Chinese version was in the colloquial language instead of the formal documentary style, and it followed the Mongol word order so that it must have seemed barbaric to the native literati. Many of these Chinese versions have survived in collections such as Yuandianzhang.
Kublai Khan - HISTORY
Economy The Mongol conquest of the Song empire had, for the first time since the end of the Tangreunified all of China. Song China had traded with its neighbours, the Liao and the Jin, but trade had been strictly controlled and limited to authorized border markets.
The Mongol administration, in its desire to utilize the resources of the former Song territory, the most prosperous part of China, tried to promote internal trade and aimed at a fuller integration of north and south.All China's dynasties explained in 7 minutes (5,000 years of Chinese history)
The region around the capital was dependent on grain transports from the south, and large quantities of food and textiles were needed to keep the Mongol garrisons. This was preceded, however, by another measure in the field of economic communications that was unorthodox in Chinese eyes: These private shipowners transported in their fleets grain from the lower Yangtze region to northern Chinese harbours and from there to the capital.
Early in the 14th century, however, these private fleet owners, who had made huge fortunes, were accused of treason and piracy, and the whole action was abolished. The Mongol government never replaced them with government fleets.
Another factor that contributed to the flourishing internal trade in China was standardized currency. The Song and Jin had issued paper money but only in addition to bronze coins, which had remained the basic legal tender.
The Yuan government was the first to make paper money the only legal currency throughout the empire This facilitated financial transactions in the private sector as well as in the state treasuries.
As long as the economy as such remained productive, the reliance on paper money as the basic currency had no detrimental effects. Only when the economy began to disintegrate under the last Mongol ruler did the paper money become gradually valueless and inflation set in.
One reason for the paper currency might have been that much bronze and copper was used for the Buddhist cult and its statues, another that metal ores in China proper were insufficient to supply enough coins for some 80 million people. Religious and intellectual life The Mongols did not try to impose their own religion a cult of heaven, the forces of nature, and shamanistic practices on their subjects. DaoismBuddhismand Confucianism.
Both Daoism and Buddhism retained their distinctive identities and organizations; although they often rivaled each other, they were not mutually exclusive. Daoism Under the Jin dynasty several popular Daoist sects had flourished in northern China, and Genghis Khan had apparently been impressed by the Daoist patriarch Changchun.
In Genghis Khan granted to Changchun and his followers full exemption from taxes and other duties demanded by the government; this was the first of a series of edicts granting special privileges to the clergy of the various religions in China. For some time it seemed as if Chinese Daoism would win favour with the Mongol rulers at the expense of Chinese Buddhism. The Buddhists, however, also profited from the open-minded attitude at the court; they tried to win influence within the imperial family, prompted by the fact that many Buddhist institutions had been occupied by the Daoists, who relied on Mongol favour.
Imperial orders also outlawed some apocryphal Daoist texts, in which Buddhism was presented as a branch of Daoism and the Buddha as a reincarnation of Laozithe founder of Daoism. But Daoism as such continued to exist under the Yuan, and the fiscal privileges originally granted to the Daoist followers of Changchun were extended on principle to all clergies.
Buddhism The spokesmen of Chinese Buddhism under the early Mongol rulers came from the Chan Zen sect a discipline focused on meditation. Their high intellectuality and refined aestheticism, however, did not appeal to the Mongols, who felt more attracted by the mixture of magic practices, rather nebulous metaphysicsand impressive symbolism in the visual arts of Tibetan Buddhism.
A special government agency was established in to deal with Buddhism and served as a sort of bureau for the imperial preceptor; it was in charge not only of Buddhist affairs in general but also of Tibetan affairs, although Tibet remained outside the administration of China proper, and no Mongol garrisons were ever established in Tibet. Tibetan politicians had thus succeeded in winning over the Mongol court and in retaining a more-than-nominal independence.
The southern office caused great resentment among Chinese Buddhists and the population at large by its brutal and avaricious procedures, property seizures, and extortions from the population. Throughout the Yuan dynasty, complaints continued against the arrogant behaviour of Tibetan lamas.
Although Buddhism had won a victory among the ruling minority of China, it was a foreign rather than a Chinese Buddhism. The national varieties of Buddhism, especially Chan Buddhism, continued to exist, and monasteries in southern China sometimes became islands of traditional civilization where monks and lay Buddhists alike cultivated poetry, painting, and all the intellectual pastimes of the Chinese literati class, but, on the whole, Chinese Buddhism suffered from the general conditions in the Yuan empire.
About the number of monks throughout China was estimated at , and it must have grown during the last decades of Mongol rule. Monks played a great role in the rebellions to which the Yuan empire eventually succumbed; also, the first Ming emperor had been a monk for some time.
Foreign religions Tibetan Buddhism always remained outside Chinese civilization, as did other imported religions. Many tombstones with a bilingual Turkic and Chinese inscription have been preserved, but none of these believers seems to have been Chinese by origin; a census taken about in Zhenjiang in the present-day province of Jiangsu lists the Nestorians together with foreign nationalities. The number of Nestorian Christians in China was so great that in a special agency for their supervision was established in Dadu.
Manichaeismwhich had spread to China under the Tang, became extinct as an organized religion under the Yuan, but some Manichaean communities were probably absorbed by messianic Buddhist sects, such as the White Lotus sect, a group that attracted many followers among the Chinese lower classes. Confucianism Confucianism was perceived by the Mongols as a Chinese religion, and it had mixed fortunes under their rule.
The teachings of the Neo-Confucian school of Zhu Xi from the Song period were introduced to the Mongol court at Zhongdu in the late s but were confined to limited circles there and in northern China. Confucian scholars enjoyed the benefits extended to the clergy of all religions, but they were dealt a strong blow when the literary examinations were discontinued following the Mongol conquest. Succession for the Yuan dynasty, however, was an intractable problem, later causing much strife and internal struggle.
This emerged as early as the end of Kublai's reign. Kublai originally named his eldest son, Zhenjin as the Crown Prince — but he died before Kublai in He also made peace with the western Mongol khanates as well as the neighboring countries such as Vietnam, which recognized his nominal suzerainty and paid tributes for a few decades.
Unlike his predecessor, he did not continue Kublai's work, but largely rejected it. Most significantly he introduced a policy called "New Deals", and the central of this policy were monetary reforms. By the time he died, China was in severe debt and the Yuan court faced popular discontent. The fourth Yuan emperor, Ayurbarwada Buyantu Khan was a competent emperor.
He was the first among the Yuan emperors who actively supported and adopted the mainstream Chinese culture after the reign of Kublai, to the discontent of some Mongol elite. He had been mentored by Li Menga Confucian academic. Starting in the traditional imperial examinations were reintroduced for prospective officials, testing their knowledge on significant historical works.
Also, he codified much of the law, as well as publishing or translating a number of Chinese books and works. The next emperor, Gegeen KhanAyurbarwada's son and successor, continued his father's policies to reform the government based on the Confucian principles, with the help of his newly appointed grand chancellor Baiju. The last years of the Yuan dynasty were marked by struggle, famine, and bitterness among the populace. In time, Kublai Khan's successors lost all influence on other Mongol lands across Asia, while the Mongols beyond the Middle Kingdom saw them as too Chinese.
Gradually, they lost influence in China as well. The reigns of the later Yuan emperors were short and were marked by intrigues and rivalries. Uninterested in administration, they were separated from both the army and the populace. China was torn by dissension and unrest; outlaws ravaged the country without interference from the weakening Yuan armies.
Regardless of the merits of his reign, Gegeen Khan Emperor Yingzong ruled for only two years to ; his rule ended in a coup at the hands of five princes.
Yuan control, however, began to break down in those regions inhabited by ethnic minorities. The occurrence of these revolts and the subsequent suppression aggravated the financial difficulties of the Yuan government.
The government had to adopt some measure to increase revenue such as selling offices, as well as curtailing its spending on some items. He adopted many measures honoring Confucianism and promoting Chinese cultural values. In he allied himself with Bayan's nephew Toqto'awho was in discord with Bayan, and banished Bayan by coup.
With the dismissal of Bayan, Toghtogha seized the power of the court. His first administration clearly exhibited fresh new spirit. It was established by Kublai Khan, leader of the vast Mongol Empire, and fell into internal rebellion after it lost touch with its Mongol roots.
The Yuan Dynasty, ruled by Kublai fromwas the first foreign-led dynasty in ancient China. Kublai's empire was the first to use paper money as the main currency. The traditional Han ethnic people stayed at the bottom among the four-class system during the reign of the Mongols. This gave them a base of manpower, horses, technology, and experience to finish the conquest of the fierce Jin army and then to go on and conquer the Dali empire and the Song empire.
Trade on the Silk Road trade routes through the Hexi Corridor enriched the Mongol rulers and gave them power.
Their control of this land passage allowed their troops to quickly move east or west as conflicts arose.
Kublai Khan: China's favourite barbarian - BBC News
Ogedei Khan Ruled — Genghis Khan died in and had named his son, Ogedei, to be the next emperor. Ogedei was said to rulethe whole Mongol empire from tobut he concentrated his efforts in the eastern part of it.
Inhe invaded the Jin empire in alliance with the Song empire. Jin was defeated in FromOgedei started a campaign with the Song Dynasty.
He had a comparatively long rule and reformed the empire to increase his power and make the empire prosper. Inhe captured the Dali Kingdom in Yunnan Province.
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- Kublai Khan
InKublai campaigned against the Southern Song Dynasty. InKublai took the throne after his elder brother, Mongke, died. When he heard that his elder brother, who was the Great Khan Mongke, had died, he and another brother went to war. Both of them wanted to be the Khan. They fought a series of battles and Kublai won. This caused a division in the Mongol Empire. However, another brother of Kublai Khan who ruled the Ilkhanate far in the west paid homage to Kublai, but he was essentially independent of him.
Kublai lost his direct control of these big Mongol regions in the west. Hence, the eastern part of the empire became a base of power in the year To rule his empire, he utilized the government structure he found established in the Jin and Song empires but he replaced the officials with foreigners.
Mongolia InKublai made Dadu modern-day Beijing his capital, and this further alienated him from his Mongol kinsmen who claimed he didn't follow Mongol ways and wasn't loyal to the Mongols. Kublai sent large armies against the Song people in the s. However, two young brothers of the captured Song emperor escaped and went south. Inthe Song Dynasty court fled to Quanzhou. They were attacked there by a rich Muslim merchant.
They fled again to Hong Kong and the court attempted to make a stand there inbut they were soundly defeated by the Mongols. The last emperor died there at the age of 9 in