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Hi I’m John Green; this is crash course world history and today we’re gonna discuss…
wait for it…
THE MONGOLS.
So you probably have a picture of the Mongols in your head.
Yes, that’s the picture:
brutal bloodthirsty, swarthy, humorously mustachioed warriors riding the plains, wearing fur, eating
meat directly off the bone,
saying bar bar bar.
In short,
we imagine the Mongol empire as stereotypically barbarian.
And that’s not entirely wrong.
But if you’ve been reading recent world history textbooks like we here at Crash Course
have,
you might have a different view of the Mongols,
one that emphasizes the amazing speed and success of their conquests—
how they conquered more land in 25 years than the Romans did in 400.
How they controlled more than 11 million contiguous square miles.
And you may have even read
that the Mongols basically created nations
like Russia and even Korea.
One historian has even claimed that the Mongols
“smashed the feudal system”
and created international law.
Renowned for their religious tolerance ,
the Mongols, in this view,
created the first great free trade zone, like a
crazy medieval Eurasian NAFTA.
And that’s not entirely wrong either.
Stupid truth, always resisting simplicity.
[intro music]
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So remember herders?
We talked about them way back in episode one as an alternative to hunting and gathering
or agriculture.
Here are the key things to remember:
1. Nomads aren’t Jack Kerouac:
They don’t just go on like random road trips.
They migrate according to climate conditions so they can feed their flocks.
2. Nomads don’t generally produce
manufactured goods
which means they need to trade,
so they almost always live near settled people.
And 3. Because they live in generally live close
to nature and in harsh conditions,
pastoralists tend to be tougher than diamond-plated differential calculus.
Like, think of the Huns,
or the Xiongnu.
Or the Mongols. [sweet, familiar horns of the Mongol-tage
blare]
Okay, Stan. That’s enough.
Back to me. Stan.
I AM THE STAR OF THIS SHOW
NOT THE MONGOLS!!!
Hi. Sorry about that.
Right, so one last thing:
Pastoral people also tend to be more egalitarian,
especially where women are concerned.
Paradoxically,
when there’s less to go around, humans tend to share more,
and when both men and women must work for the social order to survive,
there tends to be less patriarchal domination of women.
Although Mongol women rarely went to war.
I can’t tell your gender.
I mean you’ve got the pants,
but then you also have the floopity flop,
so...
That’s the technical term, by the way.
I’m a historian. [suspiciously lacking a mustache]
If you had to choose a pastoral nomadic group to come out of central Asia and dominate the
world,
you probably wouldn’t have chosen the Mongols.
Because for most of the history we’ve been discussing, they just hung out in the foothills
bordering the Siberian forest,
mixing herding and hunting,
quietly getting really good at archery and riding horses.
Also the Mongols were much smaller than other pastoral groups
like the Tatars or the Uighurs.
And not to get like all
Great Man History on you or anything,
but the reason the Mongols came to dominate the world really started with one guy,
Genghis Khan.
Let’s go to the Thought Bubble.
The story goes that Genghis or Chingus [?] Khan
was born around 1162 with the name Temujin
to a lowly clan.
His father was poisoned to death,
leaving Temujin under the control of his older brothers,
one of whom he soon killed during an argument.
By 19 he was married to his first and most important wife,
Borte, who was later kidnapped.
This was pretty common among the Mongols, Temujin’s mom had also been kidnapped.
In rescuing his wife,
Temujin proved his military mettle and he soon became a leader of his tribe,
but uniting the Mongol confederations
required a civil war, which he won,
largely thanks to two innovations:
He promoted people based on merit rather than family position,
and second he brought lower classes of conquered people into his own tribe while dispossessing
the leaders of conquered clans.
Thus he made the peasants love him.
The rich hated him—
but they didn’t matter anymore, because they were no longer rich.
With these two building block policies,
Temujin was able to win the loyalty of more and more people and in 1206 he was declared
Great Khan,
the leader of all the Mongols.
How?
Well, the Mongols chose their rulers in a really cool way.
A prospective ruler would call a general council
called a khuriltai,
and anyone who supported his candidacy for leadership would show up on their horses,
literally voting with their feet.
Mr. Green, Mr. Green! Horses don’t have feet they have hooves.
I hate you, Me From the Past.
Also,
NO INTERRUPTING THE THOUGHT BUBBLE!!
After uniting the Mongols,
Genghis Khan went on to conquer a lot of territory.
By the time he died in his sleep in 1227, his empire stretched from the Mongol homeland
in Mongolia
all the way to the Caspian Sea.
Thanks, Thought Bubble.
So that’s a pretty good looking empire,
and sure a lot of it was pasture or mountains or desert,
but the Mongols did conquer a lot of people, too.
And in some ways with Genghis’ death the empire was just getting started.
His son Ogedei Khan expanded the empire even more.
And Genghis’ grandson Mongke was the Great Khan in 1258
when Baghdad, the capitol of the Abbasid Empire,
fell to the Mongols.
And another of Genghis’ grandsons,
Kublai Khan,
conquered the Song Dynasty in China in 1279.
And if the Mamluks hadn’t stopped another of
Genghis’ grandsons at the battle of Ain Jalut,
they probably would have taken all of North Africa.
Genghis Khan sure had a lot of grandkids...
It must be time for the open letter.
[gladly glides gracefully to faux glow]
An Open Letter To Genghis Khan’s Descendants:
But first,
let’s check what’s in the secret compartment today.
Oh.
A noisemaker and champagne poppers?
Stan,
you know I suck at these.
Ohhh, it’s because it’s a
BIRTHDAY PARTY!! YAY.
Happy birthday to Genghis Khan’s descendants.
How do I know it’s your birthday,
Genghis Khan’s descendants?
Because every day is your birthday.
Because right now on the planet Earth,
there are 16 million direct descendants of Genghis Khan,
meaning that every day is
the birthday of 43,000 of them.
So, good news, Genghis Khan;
Your empire might be gone, but your progeny lives on.
And on, and on, and on.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
Best Wishes, John Green
Unfortunately for the Mongols,
those guys weren’t always working together, because
Genghis Khan failed to create a single political unit out of his conquests.
Instead after Genghis’ death,
the Mongols were left with four really important Empires called Khanates:
1. The Yuan Dynasty in China
2. The Il-Khanate in Persia
3. The Chagadai Khanate in Central Asia and
4. The Khanate of the Golden Horde in Russia.
If you remember all the way back to the Hellenistic period, this is similar to what happened to
another good general who wasn’t much for administration,
Alexander the Great.
Also,
neither of them ever conquered India.
The Mongols succeeded primarily
because of their military skill.
Genghis Khan’s army,
which never numbered more than 130,000
was built on speed and archery.
Just like this guy.
[No arrows on the pitch, please.]
Mongol mounted archers were like super fast tanks,
compared to the foot soldiers and knights
they were up against.
But wait,
all the military history nerds are saying:
once people knew that the Mongols were coming, why didn’t they just hole up in their castles
and forts?
It’s not like the Mongols had flying horses.
EXCEPT THEY DID.
They didn’t?
Stan, why are you always making history boring??
So the Mongols apparently didn’t have flying horses, but
they were uncommonly adaptable.
So even though they’d never seen a castle before they started raiding, they became experts
at siege warfare by interrogating prisoners.
And also adopted gunpowder,
probably introducing it to Europeans,
and they even built ships so they could attack Japan.
That might have worked, too
except there happened to be a typhoon.
Also,
people were terrified of the Mongols.
Often cities would surrender the moment the Mongols arrived,
just to escape slaughter.
But of course,
that only happened because there were occasions when
the Mongols, did, you know,
slaughter entire towns.
So with all that background,
let us return to the question of Mongol awesomeness.
First, Five arguments for awesome:
1.
The Mongols really did reinvigorate cross-Eurasian trade.
The Silk Road trading routes that had existed for about 1000 years by the time the Mongols
made the scene had fallen into disuse,
but the Mongols valued trade because they could tax it,
and they did a great job of
keeping their empire safe.
It was said that a man could walk from one end of the Mongol empire to the other with
a gold plate on his head
without fear of being robbed.
2.
The Mongols increased communication
throughout Eurasia
by developing this pony express-like system of weigh stations with horses and riders that
could quickly relay information.
It was called the yam system and also included these amazing bronze passports, which facilitated
travel.
3.
Another thing that travelled along the Mongol trade routes was cuisine.
For example, it was because of the Mongols that rice became a staple of the Persian diet.
Which I mention entirely because I happen to like Persian food.
4.
The Mongols forcibly relocated people who were useful to them,
like artists and musicians and, especially administrators.
As you can imagine,
the Mongols were not much for administrative tasks like keeping records so they found people
were good at that stuff and just moved them around the empire.
This created the kind of cross-cultural pollination that world historians these days get really
excited about.
And 5.
The Mongols were almost unprecedentedly tolerant of different religions.
They themselves were shamanists, believing in nature spirits,
but since their religion was tied to the land from which they came,
they didn’t expect new people to adopt it and they didn’t ask them to.
So you could find
Muslims and Buddhists and Christians
and people of any other religion you can think of prospering throughout the Mongol empire.
And it’s that kind of openness that has led some historians
to re-evaluate the Mongols-
Seeing them as kind of a precursor to modernity.
But
there’s another side to the story that we should not forget, so,
here are five reasons why the Mongols might not be so great:
1.
Here is Genghis Khan’s definition of happiness:
“The greatest happiness is to vanquish your enemies, to chase them before you, to rob
them of their wealth, to see those dear to them bathed in tears, to clasp to your bosom
their wives and daughters."
Off-topic, but if that quote rings a bell,
it might be because Oliver Stone blatantly plagiarized Genghis Khan in the movie
Conan the Barbarian.
2.
Is an extension of one.
The Mongols were seriously brutal conquerors.
I mean, not uniquely brutal, but still:
The Mongols destroyed entire cities,
and most historians estimate the numbers they killed to be in the millions.
3.
Their empire didn’t last.
Within 80 years they’d left China
and been replaced by a new dynasty,
the Ming.
And in Persia they blended in so completely that by the 15th century
they were totally unrecognizable.
I mean, they’d even taken up agriculture!
Agriculture, the last refuge for scroundrels who want to devote their lives to working
instead of skoodilypooping.
4.
They also weren’t particularly interested in artistic patronage or architecture.
I mean,
your palace may last forever,
but my yurt can go anywhere.
5.
The Mongols were probably responsible for
the Black Death.
By opening up trade
they also opened up vectors for disease to travel,
in the case of the Plague
via fleas infected with Yersinia pestis.
And at least according to one story,
the Mongols intentionally spread the plague by catapulting
their plague-ridden cadavers over the walls of Caffa in the Crimea.
[grody to the max]
While this primitive act of biological warfare might’ve happened,
it’s unlikely to be what actually spread the plague.
More likely it was
the fleas on the rats
in the holds of Black Sea ships
that were trading with Europe.
But that trade only existed because of the Mongols.
Alright Stan, one last time;
Cue the Mongol-tage
[oh, sweet thundering melody of carnage]
So the Mongols promoted
trade, diversity, and tolerance.
And they also promoted
slaughter and senseless destruction.
What you think about the Mongols
ends up saying a lot about you:
Do you value artistic output
over religious diversity?
Is imperialism that doesn’t last
better or worse
than imperialism that does?
And are certain kinds of warfare inherently wrong?
If you think those are easy questions to answer,
than I haven’t been doing my job.
[Darn you, FIFA '11!]
Regardless,
I look forward to reading your answers in comments.
Thanks for watching and
I’ll see you next week.
CrashCourse is
produced and directed by Stan Muller,
Our script supervisor is Danica Johnson,
The show is written by my high school history teacher
Raoul Meyer and myself
And our Graphics Team is
ThoughtBubble [More awesome than maple syrple]
Last week's Phrase Of The Week was
Hawaiian Pizza
If you want to suggest future phrases of the week
or guess at this week's, you can do so in comments
Where you can also ask questions about today's video
that can be answered by our team of historians.
By the way, if you want to wear your love for CrashCourse
there's a Mongols shirt, link in the video info.
[No exceptions!]
Thanks for watching CrashCourse.
Nobody can beat CrashCourse viewers.
Well,
except for the Mongols.
[when the Mongol-tage rolls, we all win]
[outro music]
[outro music]
[outro music]
[Scratch the last, Nyan-Mongol FTW!!!]
[outro]
[outro]
コツ:単語をクリックしてすぐ意味を調べられます!

読み込み中…

Wait For It...The Mongols!: Crash Course World History #17

10756 タグ追加 保存
Why Why 2013 年 4 月 14 日 に公開
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