Central Asia, Korea, Manchuria from 1200-present

Mongol Empire: 1206 - 1368

Key Features:

  • Founded by military leader Genghis Khan

    • Forged alliances with clan leaders

    • Had a capital at Karakorum

  • Known for fierce military tactics

    • Expert equestrian skills

    • Army organized in structure of 10 so each person manages 10 people below them

    • High level of discipline in army: if one person flees battle, entire group of 10 soldiers dies

  • Conquered entire realm from Europe to China

  • Led fierce conquest against Persia​

    • Destroyed qanat irrigation system

    • Led Siege of Baghdad in 1258

  • Facilitated spread of Buddhism

  • Tolerated local religions and traditions

  • Left little cultural footprint but facilitated spread of many cultures and religions

  • Spread bubonic plague from China to Europe

  • Created Yuan Dynasty in China

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Four Khanates of Mongol Empire

Key Features:

  • Khubilai Khan founded Khanate of the Great Khan in China (Yuan Dynasty)

  • Khanate of Chagatai ruled Central Asia

    • Its capital was Samarkand

  • Khanate of the Golden Horde ruled Northwestern Asia

    • Extracted tribute from Russia

  • Ilkhanate of Persia ruled in Persia & Syria​

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Timurid Empire: 1370 - 1506

Key Features:

  • Founded by Timur-i Lang ("Timur the Lame" → Tamerlane)

  • Had Genghis Khan as his model, led military conquests throughout Khanate of Chagatai

  • Established Samarkand as his capital in 1370

  • Conquered Persia, Afghanistan, Caucasus, North India

  • Later conquered Southwest Asia & Anatolia

  • Died in 1405 while preparing to attack China

  • Maintained loose authority of his realm, allied with local tribal leaders → His death caused empire to collapse

    • His sons fought over the empire & split it up into 4

  • His empire paved the way for Mughal, Safavid, and Ottoman Empires

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Manchurian Conquest of China (1644)

  • In 1644, Manchus (inhabitants of Manchuria) conquered Ming China

    • They aided Ming authorities in suppressing a peasant rebellion

    • Once the peasant rebellion was crushed, the Manchus just took over the Chinese government instead of giving power to the Ming Dynasty

    • The Manchus established the Qing Dynasty

  • Manchus integrated Manchuria into Qing Dynasty

Russian Conquest of Central Asia

  • During 1800s, while Europeans were conquering Africa & Asia, Russia conquered Central Asia

    • Russia gained present-day Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan

Japanese Conquest of Korea & Manchuria (1894-1905)

  • Japanese wanted to assert their dominance after Meiji Restoration (1868)

  • Japanese conquered Korea in 1894

    • Qing in China wanted to defend Koreans from Chinese invasion, sparking Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895)​

    • Japan won the war, giving Korea to Japan

  • Japan conquered Manchuria in 1904

    • Tsar Nicholas II of Russia was also expanding there, sparking the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905)

    • Japan won the war, giving Manchuria to Japan

  • Japan held on to these until after WW2

Japanese Conquest of Manchuria & Mukden Incident (1931)

  • After a Fascist Government took over Japan, Japan wanted to assert its dominance again

    • Japan attacked Manchuria​ & bombed the Manchurian railway near the city of Mukden

    • Japanese blamed China for the incident as pretext for war with China

    • After China petitioned the League of Nations to make Japan stop, Japan left League of Nations

  • Manchuria remained in Japanese hands until the end of WW2

Korean War (1950-1953)

After WW2, US & USSR divided Korea into Communist North Korea (DPRK) & Democratic South Korea (ROK). US & USSR armed their Korean counterparts

DPRK pushed southward, attacked ROK & captured capital of Seoul (1950)

US & other NATO states helped ROK push back DPRK & capture Pyongyang

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ROK & DPRK agreed to ceasefire in 1953

China & USSR helped DPRK push back ROK to original border

Collapse of USSR (1991)

  • In 1991, internal rebellion forced USSR to disintegrate

    • 5 Central Asian nations gained independence from Russia: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan