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Political and Economic Effects of The Mongols on China and Russia

A compare and contrast essay on the political and economic effects of the Mongols on China and Russia during the Postclassical era.

            The Mongols are a large nomadic group of people, in which throughout the course of world history have invaded, conquered, and dominated multiple civilizations. Two of these dominated civilizations include China, conquered in the early 13th century and Russia, conquered around the same time as China. These two dominations of different regions brought about numerous political and economic changes, however the styles of influence differed greatly from each other. On the contrary, there were similar political and economic influences caused by the Mongols on each Postclassical civilization.

            In China, political impact from the Mongols came off much more strict and centralized than what politically occurred in Russia, and will have a more significant effect. When Kublai Khan established the Yuan dynasty, he practically conquered China, however he applied a “split effect” in which he would separate the Mongols from the Chinese. Kublai put this into place because he was afraid of intermarriage, and as a result, banned it. He also ruled the fact that Chinese scholars were not permitted to learn Mongolian script, and that the Chinese military will remain separated from the Mongolian military. The power for rule came mostly from Kublai’s dynasty. The same nomadic group also conquered Russia, a region where political impact is greatly diverse. Most of the rule in Russia came from the Khan of the Golden Horde. The status of people in Russia was demoted in a way, from a higher position to a lower one. The Russian princes had become vassals and the peasants had become serfs to the princes for their own protections. Because of the peasantry converting to serfs, serfdom is later introduced as well as the princes to begin collecting taxes and tribute.

            Economically, the impacts of the Mongols on Russia and China are clearly expressed in different styles but will contribute to the development of future civilization. The Mongolian-Chinese economy consisted of a couple of key factors that the Mongolian-Russian economy lacked. Firstly, during the Yuan dynasty was the high point of respect for merchants. This implies that the merchants in China in this period were highly regarded as necessary people for a prospering civilization. Secondly, the Chinese, during the rule of the Yuan dynasty, had also implemented the use of paper money and was rapidly expanding. Lastly, the call for foreign people for various occupations may have led to a temporary boom in the economy, but will not last forever. The Mongols of China had supplied numerous jobs, such as, Muslim engineers, scholars, and doctors, and Persian astronomers. In Russia, the economic impacts were not as heavy of those of China. However, there was some sort of benefit brought upon Russia. Moscow was a city that benefitted immensely from an economic standpoint, due to the city being a tribute collector for the khans, in which Moscow will soon become the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.

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