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Genghis Khan And The Making Of The Modern World

1547 words - 6 pages

When the word “Mongol” is said I automatically think negative thoughts about uncultured, barbaric people who are horribly cruel and violent. That is only because I have only heard the word used to describe such a person. I have never really registered any initial information I have been taught about the subject pass the point of needing and having to know it. I felt quite incompetent on the subject and once I was given an assignment on the book, Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern Age, I was very perplexed for two reasons. One I have to read an outside book for a class that already requires a substantial amount of time reading the text, and secondly I have to write a research paper in History. I got over it and read the book, which surprisingly enough interested me a great deal and allow me to see the Moguls for more than just a barbaric group of Neanderthals, but rather a group of purpose driven warriors with a common goal of unity and progression. Jack Weatherford’s work has given me insight on and swayed my opinion of the Mongols.
Jack Weatherford showed great enthusiasm and passion while depicting Genghis Khan as a great leader, who was responsible for the unity of people and various other accomplishments. He had a very positive attitude toward the subject, although he didn’t set out to write a book about him, but rather on about the history of world commerce. In the process of researching the Silk Road he traveled to Mongolia and gain vital first hand information into the vast accomplishments of Genghis Khan and the Mongols (xxx). He seems upset about previous ideas that many may have believed that highlight his beloved Mongols in anything but a positive and respectful light. He also expresses feelings about later Mongol leaders, such as Khubilai Khan, “who unlike his grandfather achieved the conquest and unification of all China” (195). Weatherford’s attitude about the Mongols is due to his belief that the world changed or began to change from the medieval to the modern world because e of the influence of the Mongols. He stated “The new technology, knowledge, and commercial wealth created the Renaissance in which Europe rediscovered some of its prior culture, but more importantly, absorbed the technology for printing, firearms, the compass, and the abacus from the East” (xxiv).
The magnitude of the Mongol empire from the beginning to its greatest heights is an amazing story. Weatherford states “he smashed the feudal system of aristocratic privilege and birth, he built a new unique system based on individual merit, loyalty, and achievement” (xix). All of these newly presented ideas assist Khan in his conquest of unity and progression. In the battle against the Bukhara, he had many of the local people either assist him in his mission or be punished brutally. This old, but newly used concept of divide and conquer worked in Khan’s favor. It not only caused the surrender of the Bukhara, but when word spread it assisted in the...

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