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Mongol Empire/Global Connections Test Essay

834 words - 3 pages

Mongol Empire/Global Connections Test

1. (1) Ethnocentrism is looking at one’s own culture and placing it above other cultures, constantly comparing it to the other cultures “below”. In America today, many people look at conflicted areas in the globe such as the Middle East and wonder why their system cannot keep a stable democracy. This idea of constantly comparing other cultures to one’s own and expecting them to be alike or follow the example is a problem in reading historical documents and understanding history as a whole. Nomadic invaders such as the Mongols were described as horrible savage people in the written accounts of the sedentary peoples. This must not be taken quite as literally because accounts tend to be biased more often than not. In examining ethnocentrism, one must always remember that few, if not none, cultures behave extremely irrationally as they may seem. For example, referring back to the views of Middle East today, one must remember that the system of Islamic law and customs has held for centuries, and would not have survived that long if they truly are as irrational as they might seem. Referring back to the example of the Mongols, the attacked people were obviously biased and the Mongols would not have had ruled for so long if they were cruel, savage, irrational monsters. Ethnocentrism is extremely difficult to avoid and is apparent in many documents, such as Columbus’s description of the American Natives (in comparison to the “civilized” Europeans), and should be dealt with carefully. In order to understand all sides of an account, one must look at what is written with deference and understanding.
2. (6) During the Yuan dynasty, the years of Confucian rule was overturned by the Mongolian rulers. For many, many dynasties, the Confucian burecrats had dominated courts, being able to pass the examination system. With the establishment of the Mongolian Yuan, the Confucians were cut out of the powerful elite. The Mongolian elite and the other nomadic allies that the Mongols valued kept the Mongol courts. Examination systems were not used, further angering the Confucians (and keeping them out of power). The Mongols elevated themselves to the top of the social ladder, keeping themselves as the elite race and not mingling with the ethnic Chinese. Their culture was considered high and still kept to aspects like hunting in their new sedentary lifestyle. Intermarriage was banned, and the Chinese were not allowed to learn the Mongol language used for government affairs. Only below them were the Turkic Muslim nomads, whose presence in court helped the...

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