Chingis Khan Essay, Research Paper
Chingis Khan Mike CookHonors World History-8th hourDr. StelmachDec. 2, 1997 Chingis Khan Chingis Khan was the son of Yesugei and conqueror of medieval Eurasia. Thisposition contributes to his being described as one of the most influential figures in worldhistory. Chingis Khan had many hard-won dogfight victories against his neighbors, thepowerful Muslims and Chinese. His fighters were known to be the most vicious and brutalof the times and were one of the reasons for many of his victories. He is highly recognizedfor his military genius and administrative skills. How did Chingis Khan change the way warfare was waged in the region? Was he truly as brutal as his legend suggests? How didhe affect the future of his homeland? Was he a Military Genius? An AdministrativeGenius? A good Ruler? One of the most significant reasons Chingis Khan is recognized arises out of theway he changed the military. Under him, both the role of the military in society changedas did the methods used by the military. Most of the great Khan’s troops were cavalrywhich was a major change from armies in the past who relied mainly on the strength of theinfantry. The reason for Chingis Khan’s success with the cavalry came because his menwere skilled horsemen, able to balance themselves and fire projectile weapons (i.e., bowand arrow) while riding. Another way Chingis Khan helped to change the military was bydevising methods of making the smaller numbers of Mongolians look superior. He did thiseither by having his troops light extra fires while they camped or by having prisonersmarch in front of the soldiers so as to appear to have a larger number of troops. Another of the changes instituted by Chingis Khan was the use trickery andguerrilla warfare. An example of trickery in battle occurred when he would appear to bedrawing his troops back but when the enemy followed they were either ambushed ordrawn into unfavorable conditions for warfare where they would they be ambushed andslaughtered. One of the most powerful tricks which Chingis Khan used involved theconduct after battle. He used scare tactics by doing so badtha they would be heard of bymany towns and would make them want to surrender if he ever came your way. Anexample of this arose when he would conquer a town, sometimes taking the prince anddecapitating him after which he would march around the town with the head on a stake. He would occasionally even do this to a town that surrendered. Another scare tactic heused that became usual practice to his troops was the massacre of people in large groups. Sometimes fields would be left filled with bodies. He also used this tactic against townswho rebelled against him . Another tactic that served as an important source of information were theintelligence agents he placed throughout Eurasia. These proved useful in his quarrel withMuhammad II. The fact that his soldiers almost always had fresh horses was a primaryreason why they could travel long distances in such a short amount of time. Possibly themost powerful thing Chingis Khan did occured when he led his troops into battle, alwaysat the front line even until his death in 1227. By doing this troops were always in a highmorale. Throughout history one question about Chingis Khan has always troubled people.
That question is why all of the brutality? Chingis Khan was possibly one of the cruelestconquerors in history. One of the main examples and probably the most notable wasbecause he would take over a town that had resisted his troops he would slaughtereverybody women and children included. Also they would take most of the young malesas prisoners. When they got to a town and laid siege to it they would then use theseyoung male prisoners as shields and cover hoping the enemy would think that theprisoners were soldiers. Even in towns that surrendered to them peacefully Chingis Khanwould sometimes order some of the people slaughtered unborn children. Then the rest ofthose whothe surrendered would be assimilated into the clan and some of the military menof the conquered town continued on as warriors. The future of Mongolia was greatly affected by Chingis Khan’s actions mainlythrough population control because of all of the large-scale massacres. Today thepopulation of Mongolia is around four to five million people. Throughout his reign, Chingis Khan was considered a good leader by Mongolsboth for his social life and his military accomplishments. He was unquestioned in hismilitary ability but in the early years of his reign, he sought advice from his shaman. Theshaman could take advantage of this trusted and valued position by giving Chingis Khanadvice that would result in personal gain for the shaman. This led to many problems inChingis Khan’s early years and resulted in his “removing” the shaman from the picture andtaking absolute rule for himself. For affairs of the State he was also an absolute ruler, except that he sought theadvice of his first wife, Bork, and others. The advice of these people led to the formationof the Yasa, which was the Mongolian Code of Law. This code was extremely strict andled the Mongols to be very disciplined people. There exists no written copy of the Yasatoday. Through Chingis Khan’s expertise his empire was able to persist for approximately200 years. Two of the many reasons for Chingis Khan’s success were his military andadministrative skills. His genius as a military commander shows through the variousstrategies he devised and the people he surrounded himself with. He allied and surroundedhimself with people he could trust and with people who proved themselves to be highlycapable in military struggles as well. His administrative skills became apparent as heenabled his people to remain strong even while he was away on campaign. Chingis Khan had an overwhelming effect on the future of the world. He changedthe course of the world in many ways, one of which occurred when he crushed theKhwarazm Army of Muhummad II, stopping and crushing the rapid spread of the Islamicreligion. Another way he charted the course of the world arose when he began takingcontrol of a large part of Eurasia. This act contributed to the lack of improvement in thegeneral health of the Mongolian people and those they conquered because the Mongolshad such terrible hygiene. Those who were conquered in Eurasia were assimilated into theclan and required to follow Mongolian laws and customs. One of these laws stated thatwater must not be dirtied because the Mongolian god Tengri forbid it, prohibiting bathing. Chingis Khan, through his actions is considered one of the most influential men inhistory, both because of his military campaigns and his ability to bring together the varioustribes of Mongolia into one government.