Arriving in this world with a blood clot in the palm of his hand , Genghis Khan was destined to be a hero. In 1167, Genghis Khan was born to Yisugei, Chieftain of the Kiyat-Borjigid, and his wife Ho’elun. He was named Temujin (which means blacksmith) after a Tatar Chieftain his father had just captured. As a young boy, Temujin experienced many hardships after his father was poisoned by a group of Tartars. This loss of their leader caused the Kiyat tribe to scatter, leaving Temujin and his family alone. Yet, with much will power and determination Temujin developed into an intelligent, brave warrior at an early age.
In 1189, when Temujin was 22, he was elected new leader of the Kiyat tribe. His rise to power came when a rival clan, the Merkit, captured his wife, Borte. The Khan of the Kereit tribe, Toghril, helped him by providing him with 20,000 soldiers. Also, Jamuka, a childhood friend provided an army. With their help Temujin destroyed the Merkit tribe. Soon after this victory his allies abandoned him and plundered his property, but he ‘tactfully’ captured them, taking their men and turning them into his soldiers and servants.
This victory laid the foundation for his rise to power. He started taking over other clans one by one. Eventually his alliance with Toghril dissipated and he also took over the powerful Keriet tribe. This event caused him to be in direct competition for ruling power with his former ally Jamuka. Many of Jamuka’s men deserted him for Temujin who they believed to be the true winner and wiser more powerful leader. This desertion resulted in Jamuka being outnumbered and the result was an easy victory. So, in 1206 Temujin was proclaimed Genghis Khan, “emperor of all emperors, universal ruler, oceanic king and precious warrior” Holding this title with pride, he embarked upon his quest to unite all of Mongolia. He began to build a vision of a powerful and expansive Empire.
His initial unifying act was to banish the old nomadic class system and develop the first Mongolian Code of Laws - the Yassa or “Grand Law”.
Genghis’ well structured and powerful army was the key to his success. He kept his men under firm control with harsh training and strict discipline. He kept his Kingdom on the cutting edge by teaching the army to use new weapons and strategies. Keeping whole armies completely loyal was a very difficult task, but Genghis used a system of promotion based on hard work and skill rather than birthright. With a strong army and government, his Kingdom was ready to expand.
In 1209, they started their attack on the Xi Xia in Northwest China. By 1215, he had them conquered and was continued...