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The Mongols – Unit 3
Terms and People:
1. Pastoralists – nomadic peoples who herded domesticated animals
2. Clans – how the Mongols were organized, kinship (family) groups with a common ancestor
3. Steppe – dry, windy and grassy plains in Central Asia where the Mongols lived
4. Pax Mongolica – over 100 year period of peace, prosperity during Mongol rule, safe passage on roads
5. Genghis (Chinggis) Khan – “universal ruler” and founder of the Mongol Empire, conqueror, warrior
6. Kublai Khan – grandson of Genghis Khan who founded and ruled the Yuan Dynasty in China
7. Marco Polo – merchant, trader from Venice, Italy who traveled to China on Silk Roads and served
Kublai Khan
8. Yaun Dynasty – Mongol Dynasty in China founded by Kublai Khan
Critical Thinking Questions:
1. How did the steppe nomads live? They were nomadic, seasonally moving to search for pasture to feed
their herds. The people were experts on horseback and depended on their animals.
2. How did Genghis Khan organize his warriors? He followed the model of the Chinese Army grouping the
warriors by armies of 10,000, 1000 man brigades, 100 man companies, and 10 man squads.
3. What methods did the Mongol’s use to conquer others? They used brutality and terror to subdue the
people they conquered. They were known for psychological warfare.
4. What regions of Asia and Europe did the Mongol’s conquer? The conquered central Asia (Mongolia),
China, Persia, Russia, most of the Middle East, and some of Eastern Europe.
5. What achievements did Kublai Khan bring to China? He brought foreign contact, trade, built new
capital, and roads.
6. Why did Kublai Khan fail in Japan? Japanese Samurai turned back the Mongols and a typhoon
destroyed the fleet.
7. Why did the Mongol empire decline? Weakness appeared in the rule, armies were defeated, luxuries
and public works overtaxed the people, and there were succession issues. Most of the Mongol khanates
will be overthrown.