The Mongols were a fierce people who conquered many lands under the strong leadership of Genghis and Kublai Khan. From their origins in Asia to the growth of their empire that stretched from the Pacific Ocean to Eastern Europe, their inspiration of Europe lasted for centuries. Both good and bad things came from them, but overall, their reign was for the betterment of European culture. The advancements Europe made within the 1200’s could not have been accomplished without the successes of the Mongol Empire.
This all began with the Mongolian Empire rising up from the steppes of Central Asia. Starting out as a primarily nomadic people, several rival clans were all brought together by a man called Genghis Khan. With the new chieftain’s army, much of Asian lands were soon under his control. However, the Mongols failed to gain China in Genghis’ lifetime. His descendants, mainly Kublai Khan, were later able to expand into China’s land, and there they created a period of peace called Pax Mongolica. The previously ruined Silk Road was remade under Mongolian rule, which allowed the exchange of learning to be more accessible to both Western and Eastern Europe (Prentice Hall World History).
During the period of Mongol Peace, Europe was just starting to advance past the point of the Middle Ages. Soon it would be known to all of Europe that a new era of death and devastation would arise. As the Mongols made their way throughout Asia and Eastern Europe, a disease was carried along with them. That disease was known as the bubonic plague, or the Black Death. It was carried to Europe on the Silk Road by fleas on rats. With no cure available at that time, it wiped out one-third of Europe’s population (Szczepanski). It would take Europe decades to fully recover from this era of devastation.
Despite that devastation enforced by the Mongols, their conquering forces also helped spark the European Renaissance. Although the Silk Road caused much trouble for Europe, without it, Europe probably would not have seen new Chinese inventions, such as mechanical clocks. The guns and gunpowder made it easy to come up with new fighting tactics. Medieval knights were now replaced by new and improved modern standing armies (Szczepanski). Another benefit is how the exchanges from China that were carried on the Silk Road allowed for new religions to be introduced to the now enlightened Europe.
The Silk Road provided a way for Europe to witness new inventions and religious ideas by the Chinese. One invention, which was adopted by the Europeans, was the art of papermaking (Four Inventions of Ancient China). This technique was carried on for many more years to come, proving the Chinese to be excellent inventors. While other inventions came into Europe, such as the compass and printing techniques, there were also...