World History AP – Duez    


CHAPTER 12 - Pastoral Peoples on the Global Stage, The Mongol Moment, 1200–1500

Learning Targets

Big Picture Questions

  1. Prior to the rise of the Mongols, in what ways had pastoral peoples been significant in world history?
  2. What accounts for the often negative attitudes of settled societies toward the pastoral peoples living on their borders? Why have historians often neglected pastoral peoples’ role in world history?
  3. In what ways did the Mongol Empire resemble other empires, and in what ways did it differ from them? Why did it last a relatively short time?
  4. In what different ways did Mongol rule affect the Islamic world, Russia, China, and Europe?
  5. How would you define both the immediate and the long-term significance of the Mongols in world history?
  6. How would you assess the perspective of this chapter toward the Mongols? Does it strike you as negative and critical of the Mongols, as bending over backward to portray them in a positive light, or as a balanced presentation?

Margin Review Questions

  1. In what ways did pastoral societies differ from their agricultural counterparts?
  2. In what ways did pastoral societies interact with their agricultural neighbors?
  3. In what ways did the Xiongnu, Arabs, and Turks make an impact on world history?
  4. Did the history and society of the East African Masai people parallel that of Asian nomads?
  5. Identify the major steps in the rise of the Mongol Empire.
  6. What accounts for the political and military success of the Mongols?
  7. How did Mongol rule change China? In what ways were the Mongols changed by China?
  8. How was Mongol rule in Persia different from that in China?
  9. What was distinctive about the Russian experience of Mongol rule?
  10. In what ways did the Mongol Empire contribute to the globalization of the Eurasian world?
  11. Disease changes societies. How might this argument apply to the plague?

Key Terms

“age-set”: Among the Masai, a group of boys united by a common initiation ceremony, who then moved together through the various “age-grades,” or ranks, of Masai life.

Black Death: Name later given to the massive plague pandemic that swept through Eurasia beginning in 1331; it is usually regarded as an outbreak of bubonic plague.

Chinggis Khan: Title meaning “universal ruler” that was given to the Mongol leader Temujin in 1206 after he united the Mongols. (pron. CHENG-iz KAHN)

 “fictive kinship”: Common form of tribal bonding in nomadic societies in which allies are designated and treated as blood relatives.

Ghazan Khan: Il-khan (subordinate khan) of Persia who ruled from 1295 to 1304; he is noted for his efforts to repair the Mongol damage to Persia. (pron. HAZ-zan KAHN)

Hulegu Khan: Grandson of Chinggis Khan (ca. 1217–1265) who became the first il-khan (subordinate khan) of Persia. (pron. hoo-LAY-goo KAHN)

Karakorum: Capital of the Mongol Empire. (pron. kah-rah-KOR-um)

khagan: Supreme ruler of a Turkic nomadic confederation. (pron. KAH-gahn)

Khanbalik: The “city of the khan,” founded as a new capital city for the Mongols after their conquest of China; now the city of Beijing. (pron. kahn-BAL-ik)

Khubilai Khan: Grandson of Chinggis Khan who ruled China from 1271 to 1294. (pron. KOO-bihlie KAHN)

Kipchak Khanate: Name given to Russia by the Mongols after they conquered it and incorporated it into the Mongol Empire in the mid-thirteenth century; known to Russians as the “Khanate of the Golden Horde.” (pron. KIP-chak KAHN-ate)

Masai: Nomadic cattle-keeping people of what is now Kenya and Tanzania. (pron. mah-SIGH)

Modun: Great ruler of the Xiongnu Empire (r. 210–174 b.c.e.) who created a centralized and hierarchical political system. (pron. moe-DOON)

Mongol world war, the: Term used to describe half a century of military campaigns, massive killing, and empire building pursued by Chinggis Khan and his successors in Eurasia after 1209.

pastoralism: Way of life in which people depend on the herding of domesticated animals for their food.

Temujin: Birth name of the Mongol leader better known as Chinggis Khan (1162–1227). (pron. TEM-uh-jin)

Turks: Turkic speakers from Central Asia, originally nomads, who spread westward into the Near East and into India; they created a series of nomadic empires between 552 and 965 C.E. but had a more lasting impact on world history when they became dominant in the Islamic heartland and founded a series of states and empires there.

Xiongnu: People of the Mongolian steppe lands north of China who formed a large-scale nomadic empire in the third and second centuries B.C.E. (pron. SHE-OONG-noo)

Yuan dynasty: Mongol dynasty that ruled China from 1271 to 1368; its name means “great beginnings.” (pron. yu-wen)