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Thread: The Mongols overran the Khitan, Jurchen and Chinese empires in the 12th century

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    The Mongols overran the Khitan, Jurchen and Chinese empires in the 12th century

    How did the Mongol empire falter, and why was it that the Mongols were never able to recover their glory days in what is now China, after the Ming dynasty was established? In fact, how were the Chinese rebels able to defeat the Mongol dynasty, when during Kublai Khan's era, the Mongols won battle after battle with very few serious setbacks?

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    The Mongols fell into internal disarray during the Yuan Dynasty, then the Ming showwd up with massive well organized armies, Calvary formations trained and advised by mongol splinter factions, and large scale use of firearms.

    At least, that's what i gathered from the last 30 page thread on this subject.

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    The mongols lost because they were not civilization builders. They just plunder and move on. They do not have staying power. They do not build the necessary foundation blocks that make up a last longing empire.

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    Well, no. Various Khanates lasted much longer than the Yuan Dynasty and the Persianized Mongols, the Mughals went on to conquer India.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Well, no. Various Khanates lasted much longer than the Yuan Dynasty and the Persianized Mongols, the Mughals went on to conquer India.
    IF Genghis Khan were alive, he wouldn't see the Mughals as part of his clan or nation. The mughals were different from the Mongols.

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    So were the Yuan. Just as the Mughals turned Persian, the Yuan turned Chinese. There was nothing Mongol about living in Palaces and worrying about floods and finances.

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    What's vaguely interesting is that the Mongols destroyed two kingdoms (Jurchen and Khitan) that might have evolved along English lines - where the Saxons imposed their language on the native Picts/Britons, thereby creating Saxon-speaking kingdoms (Wessex, Mercia, Northumbria and East Anglia) that eventually became England. While the Jurchens became Manchurians, who founded the Qing dynasty, it's clear there was no prospect of the Qing ever imposing the Jurchen language over the entire Chinese population who vastly outnumbered them.

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    or, what if the Southern Song survived?
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Not much different. The Southern Song was destined to fall. It was fat and corrupt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Not much different. The Southern Song was destined to fall. It was fat and corrupt.
    Did the Song severely under-resource their military, perhaps in fear of the kinds of coups that marked the waning of the Tang dynasty? What I find incredible is that the fabulously wealthy Song fielded 8,000 troops vs 100,000 Mongols during the pivotal Battle of Xiangyang.

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    If memory serves, Song Dynasty executed one of their finest soldiers who was on the verge of destroying the rival Jin Dynasty up north.
    All those who are merciful with the cruel will come to be cruel to the merciful.
    -Talmud Kohelet Rabbah, 7:16.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple C View Post
    If memory serves, Song Dynasty executed one of their finest soldiers who was on the verge of destroying the rival Jin Dynasty up north.
    A lot of well-known historical figures had good PR that exaggerated their abilities. Yue Fei had his grandson. Liu Bei and his men had Luo Guanzhong and a thousand years of Homeric myth-making before that. Even if they had beaten the Jurchens, could they have beaten the Mongols later on?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple C View Post
    If memory serves, Song Dynasty executed one of their finest soldiers who was on the verge of destroying the rival Jin Dynasty up north.
    Yuefei was one if several important generals in Song campaigns vs the Jurchens. The Song could have defeated the Jurchens but there was a strategic pull back, partly because the emperor realized that a more complete victory would presage the return of his predecessor, who was a Jurchen captive.

    Later the Song allied with the Yuan to destroy the Jurchens. By that time the army was in such poor shape that its pitiful performance in the campaign gave the mongols the confidence to invade.

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    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    Later the Song allied with the Yuan to destroy the Jurchens. By that time the army was in such poor shape that its pitiful performance in the campaign gave the mongols the confidence to invade.
    Did the Song assume the Mongols were more of the same desert rabble they had beaten repeatedly in the past, or did the sting of repeated defeats at the hands of the Jurchens blind them to the Mongol threat? You'd think Song spies would have provided ample intelligence about the methods used by the Mongols to literally exterminate the Khitans.

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    Did the Song assume the Mongols were more of the same desert rabble they had beaten repeatedly in the past, or did the sting of repeated defeats at the hands of the Jurchens blind them to the Mongol threat? You'd think Song spies would have provided ample intelligence about the methods used by the Mongols to literally exterminate the Khitans.
    The Song had been on a losing streak up to that point anyways. They worked with the Jurchens in the hopes of finishing the Khitan and then lost the North so it seeing the Mongols as a savoir was just another case of making a bad wager.

    IF Genghis Khan were alive, he wouldn't see the Mughals as part of his clan or nation. The mughals were different from the Mongols.
    The Turkic elite who thundered into India were Uzbeks, Moghuls, and Timurids. Several of the Uzbek tribal elite who joined up could, and did, claim male line descent through Jochi. The feeble hostage the British sent into exile in 1857 might not live up to the Timurid glories but the early elites and even the soldiers of fortune who came in during the later 17th and early 18th century had plenty of Central Asian street cred.

    The Mongols fell into internal disarray during the Yuan Dynasty, then the Ming showwd up with massive well organized armies, Calvary formations trained and advised by mongol splinter factions, and large scale use of firearms.
    The Ming also suffered under one of the worst period of raiding from the steppes, had an emperor taken hostage by the Mongols and ended up replaced by a state which relied heavily on Mongol cavalry, along with their own cavalry, and played Mongol marriage politics.

    The mongols lost because they were not civilization builders. They just plunder and move on. They do not have staying power. They do not build the necessary foundation blocks that make up a last longing empire.
    Wrong. Their empire fostered more then enough successor states run by Turko-Mongols on the places they conquered to prove that false - Mughals, Jalayirids, Crimean Khanate, Khiva, etc. It's only a "truth" among people who stop "reading" after Kublai Khan, or listening to other people on TV who stopped reading after Kublai Khan.
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

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