How Did the Mongol Invasions Affect Global History?



Taizu aka Genghis Khan

The Mongol invasions of the 13th century affected much of Eurasia, where at one point the Mongols had conquered lands stretching from China to Eastern Europe. While these invasions have been depicted as very destructive and disruptive to trade and urban life in many regions, there were a number of new developments that fundamentally changed the course of history for Europe and Asia. Many of these impacts are not obvious but the influence of the Mongols, in effect, can still be felt today.

The Mongol conquests initiated by Genghis Khan, who united the often warring Mongol and Turkic tribes, in 1206 and continuing through his successors until the end of 13th century launched a period of unprecedented destruction and transformation for Eurasia. At surface value, the destruction during the 13th century when these conquests took place was immense. Some have estimated that the Mongol invasions killed more people than any other war if one adjusted for global population levels, where up to 5% of the planet may have been killed during the invasions. Additionally, the invasions have been suggested as helping to begin the spread of the Black Death plague, as tactics and movements of population may have helped the bacteria to more easily spread. Many of the great cities in East Asia, Central Asia, and West Asia were either destroyed or lost much of their cultural property. Cities as diverse as Kiev, Nishapur, Samarkand, and Baghdad were heavily damaged or destroyed. In some countries, it is estimated that nearly half or more of the population died in the invasions and aftermath, where in some regions the populations did not fully recover until the 20th century.

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Categories: Asian History

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