Major Legacies of Mongol Rule in the Islamic World
The mention of Genghis Khan elicits memories of the Mongol Empire that existed in the 12th and 13th century (Weatherford 81). Mongol Empire was one of the largest kingdoms of the time. The efforts to unify the different nomadic tribes saw the expansion of the empire in the Mongolia native soil. Through invasions, Khan, and his descendants were able to build a strong empire that linked the east with the west. Historians argue that the Mongol Empire originated from the grasslands of Central Asia and later spread to Japan, Siberia, India, China, Iran, and Arabia to the west. However, the empire did not live to see its legacies; interfamily rivalry over succession led to its unavoidable split (Weatherford 87). Despite its splitting, the Mongol rule left some crucial legacies that cannot be forgotten. This paper analyzes the major legacies of the Mongol rule and underscores the main features of the Mongol empire. Additionally, it explains how Pax Mongolica shaped Islamic history.
The Mongol rule left significant impacts due to the frequent invasions that it launched on its neighbors and the successful unification of its territory. Though some of the impacts can be viewed to be negative, the positive ones cannot be ignored. For instance, the Mongol rule interconnected the whole continent of Asia. Therefore, the economy of the entire empire improved, and people could now exchange knowledge and culture globally. The Mongol rule also opened the Europe-Asia route, and the Silk Road, once again, became operational. Additionally, Europe knowledge-base improved since it received a lot of knowledge in the arts and sciences. The Mongol rule also greatly affected the political situation in the whole world. China became more united, and Russia was set aside from the rest of Europe (Weatherford 84).
Critics argue that war and invasions majorly characterized the Mongol rule, but though this was the main feature, the Mongol rule supported trade, and this led to an increase in the quantity of paper money in circulation (Weatherford 104). In this era, religious tolerance also improved. This was mainly so because the empire comprised of different religions that were now expected to interact (Weatherford 106). The empire also prioritized security. The Mongols ensured that the trade routes were secure, and the environment was conducive for trading activities. In effect, the economy of the empire improved (Gustafson n.pag).
The Pax Mongolica is very significant in the history of the Islam. This was a peace time after the Mongols brutal conquest of the neighboring territories. During the Pax Mongolica, peace and stability prevailed in the whole empire. Also, the region enjoyed high rates of economic growth. The unification of the region led to cultural fusion and cultural development within the communities in the empire. Cultures were able to not only expand but also mix leading to blending of different ideologies and philosophies. In the Islam history, this is the time when the Mongols were adapted to Islam (Weatherford 104). Though the Mongols had forcefully acquired the territories, they allowed the rulers of the conquered territories to continue ruling as long as they respected them: the Mongols. The Islam community, during the Pax Mongolica, blended with other cultures (Gustafson n.pag).
The impact of Mongol rule cannot be ignored. Through this rule, the written language developed, and roads were built. The world economy is also improved due to the improved trading activities and the reopening of the major trade routes. The Mongol rule also had cultural significance. Different cultures were brought together and ended up fusing. Moreover, the blending of the Islam community with other communities is attributable to the peace that followed the conquest of the Mongol Empire.
Gustafson James. Turkic Migration and the New Persian Renaissance. Indiana State University. Web. 9/25/2015 http://indstate.tegrity.com/#/recording/f4340aba-d9f7-4e68-8ba0-fdbbf9510e5c?playbackToken=2VU8Q5PBCLMZ
Gustafson James. Chingiz Khan and the Mongol Empire. Indiana State University. Web. 9/25/2015. http://indstate.tegrity.com/#/recording/a28c360f-7ba8-401a-892c-291d2f182ca3?playbackToken=27KEFUFF4RI5S
Weatherford, J. McIver. Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World. New York: Crown, 2004. Print.