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“Genghis Khan was the most cold and calculating leader in the history of the Modern World. His rule and the rule of his kin were a time of oppression, vengeance, and expansion without regard for those who lived in the lands of the Mongols.” When people hear the name Genghis Khan they think of Mongols, barbaric, cruel, harsh, hero, smart, and warrior. More often of the time he is put in the light as a barbaric leader who only cared for himself, his land, and causing mayhem to others, I disagree.
Genghis was a fierce ruler with a big drive to succeed and bring his empire to glory. It is right that he is barbaric and cruel to some extent but he wasn’t this persona that he is perceived to be all the time. Everything Genghis did was for his empire and for success. Many views about Genghis have been skewed because of his rivals. Europeans would often skew the facts about Genghis.
Anything written about him by the Europeans would of course have him listed as a cruel leader. Before the age of enlightenment Genghis was viewed by the Europeans as humble, noble, and an honorable king. When the age of enlightenment started they portrayed him as a cruel and monstrous ruler. Genghis’s advanced military was the cause of this. Genghis was a fierce war leader who was a genius when he came to war tactics.
Nowhere did Mongol ingenuity show more than in their ability to transform the greatest asset, their large population into a liability.
Before attacking a city, the Mongols cleared out all surrounding villages (92). Genghis was a militaristic genius no one was able to stand in his way when he was at his prime. Genghis’ military strategies consisted of spy networks, military coordination, rapid communication, the use of catapults, isolating cities, and rerouting dams. The spy networks were a system of scouts that would go around areas before war to scout them and see if they can find information such as defenses, paths on the roads, and escape routes, military coordination consisted of Mongolians initiating ambushes, hit and runs, and huge waves of rushes. Catapults, isolation, and the rerouting of dams were tactics used to kill the enemy without entering the city themselves. Genghis’ success mostly came from his military and his ability to be a great strategist and warrior. Europeans exaggerated the actions of the Mongolians with propaganda. Even during the soviet era they tried to hide Genghis from history. They would remove him from textbooks and keep students from learning about him until independence was won by soviet states. This form of military made the Europeans look at him as barbaric just for the reason that he could not be beaten or stopped.
Genghis spread cultural diversity throughout Asia and Europe. In twenty-five years, the Mongol army subjugated more lands and people than the Romans had conquered in for hundred years (xvii Intro). Genghis expanded his empire as far as 12 million square miles. Wherever he went he allowed those villages to keep their religion which allowed for interaction between different religions within the empire. This added a lot of cultural diversity within the Mongol empire itself. This opened up a lot of new ideas within empire such as new ideologies, warfare, and beliefs. Since the empire was spread over a vast amount of lands the cultural diversity went all around Europe. Before him conquering a lot of Asia the silk roads were used less. When he conquered Asia he brought it back to power. The roads were now safer due to the Mongols protecting it from any unwanted people. The Silk Road made the subjects of the Mongolian empire wealthier and inspired economic growth. They even made their own mail service that went around the roads. Genghis opened up a lot of cultural diversity within Europe and even brought back the Silk Road. Genghis’ expansion created a good form of diversity to Europe that would be beneficial for years.
Genghis Khan stopped a war amongst tribes. Before Genghis’ rule there were tribal wars between his people. Genghis formed allies with tribes and wins against the others. He eventually rose to top and was made the leader. He then unified Mongolia and made it even better than it was before his grandfather was in charge. When the Mongolian states were in turmoil Genghis rose to be on top and be named Khan. He even earned the nick name Genghis meaning universal ruler. When Genghis assumed power over the Mongols he brought them to the prime and even left behind his sons who he taught the ways of leading the Mongols. He left the Mongols in good shape after his leave. Making Genghis the leader of them all was the best idea by the Mongols it made their empire blossom and grow. Genghis formed one of the best empires in history. Genghis left an ever lasting impression on the Mongolians in a positive way. Genghis Khan was the cause of mass deaths. Even though there was a lot of propaganda spread in the Europeans media he still was responsible for over 30 million deaths. Genghis khan was responsible to for gruesome activities during war. After winning a war Genghis would line about every man above the age of 14 and shoot them so they couldn’t get revenge on the Mongols. The children of the villages he conquered would be rose into Mongol traditions and taken care of by the moguls. If you didn’t surrender to Genghis it normally ended up bad with him flooding your whole village with water by restructuring the dam or either killing everyone even innocents and chop their heads off, stacking them higher than the castle walls. These acts were cruel towards the villages that Genghis would conquer and it showed some of the cruelty and darkness in him.
Genghis Khan was a great ruler known for his achievements of expansion and warfare however, he also had some cruel sides to him such as the mass murder of innocents and the genocide of villages causing over 30-40 million deaths. People do have the right to think of Genghis as cruel and barbaric but they should not overlook his achievements and the good that he has done. Genghis shaped created a mold for Europe and spread different ideas around Europe and Asia. Genghis Khan was a respectful leader who achieved a lot in his reign of rule and deserves recognition for it.
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