The Impact of Mongol Empire on Europe

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The Mongols and the Spread of Technology and Knowledge

The Mongols were composed of several ethnic groups that were led by Genghis Khan (Bentley 749). Although the era witnessed the blowout of bubonic plague in Asia and Europe, the decimation of inhabitants and ethnic and religious wars, there were various positive effects such as the spread of technology, cross-cultural interactions, and transference of scientific knowledge.

The Impact of the "Black Death" Pandemic

One of the adverse impacts of the expansion of the Mongol territory was the "Black Death" pandemic. In the 14th century, the bubonic plague killed approximately one-third of the European population (DiCosmo 90). DiCosmo argues that the bubonic plague started either in northern China, steppes of central Asia or south-western China and its spread speeded the end of Mongolinsm in China. From its source at the eastern end of the Silk Road, bubonic plague galloped trade paths stopping at Middle Eastern and central Asia infecting many people across Asia.

Cultural Exchanges and Wealth on the Silk Road

Although the Mongol incursion ignited disease and terror, it had numerous progressive impacts. The silk roads opened up routes between Europe and China hence increasing cultural exchanges and wealth (Guzman 569). Central Asia played an essential role for trade between China and other western nations. As the region became relatively steady under Mongolia rule, trade between various empires became easy and less dangerous. The Pax Mongolica allowed missionaries, monks, explorers and traders to travel along trade routes. One of the famous explorers was called Marco Polo to Xanadu China. During the process, cross-cultural interaction became more extensive and intensive (Guzman 568).

Sharing of Information and Cultures

Moreover, within Pax-Mongolia, sharing of information and cultures was highly encouraged. People could legitimately become members of Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, and other religions (Bentley 750). One of the critical events occurred during the Islamic golden age when scholars from the different cultural background gathered in Baghdad and translated all classical knowledge into Arabic dialects. The Islamic golden age began during the reign of Abbasid caliph. However, the period ended due to Mongol invasions of Abbasid and the siege of Baghdad (Buell 137).

The Spread of Technology

Also, the presence of the Silk Road facilitated the spread of technology. Some of the fundamental ideas such as gunpowder manufacturing, printing, and papermaking were transferred to other areas. The Mongols brought two lethal inventions to the west: gunpowder and guns. The weapons sparked a revolution of fighting tactics. It was a widespread arms race that was the foundation of modern standing armies. Europeans came to use their improved guns to impose colonial rule in many parts of the world (Guzman 569).

The Fall of Constantinople and its Consequences

The siege of Constantinople happened in 1204. The Mutinous crusaders captured, ransacked and damaged many areas of Constantinople, the capital city of Byzantine Kingdom. The empire was the core of western civilization and nurtured Christianity way after the fall of Rome and was deeply divided and weakened. Civil wars erupted as feuding states tried to consolidate power. The fall of Constantinople adversely affected the spread of Christianity, thus shifting the balance of power towards Islam. During the war, many intellectual fled to Europe bringing with them expertise in art, science, and philosophy. The rise of the Ottoman Empire started with the ottoman principality and ended with the conquest of Constantinople. The empire came about from Turkic and Mongol tribe in Mongolia and expanded from taking over other countries (Langer & Blake 468).

Conclusion

Silk roads during the Mongol empire era facilitated the increase in trade, transfer of knowledge, and cultural exchanges. However, the bubonic plague killed many people across Europe and quickly spread through the empire. The capture of Constantinople led to destruction, looting, and deaths. Hence, the era of Mongol came with many advantages as well as disadvantages.

Works Cited

Bentley, Jerry H. "Cross-Cultural Interaction and Periodization in World History." The American Historical Review 101.3

(1996): pp. 749–70.

Buell, Paul D. "Sino-Khitan Administration in Mongol Bukhara." Journal of Asian History, no. 13, vol. 2 (1979): pp. 137–38.

DiCosmo, Nicola. "Black Sea Emporia and the Mongol Empire: A Reassessment of the Pax Mongolica." Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 53.1 (2010): pp. 83–108.

Guzman, Gregory. "Were the barbarians a negative or positive factor in ancient and medieval history?" The Historian 50 (1998): pp. 568–70.

Langer, William & Robert Blacke. "The Rise of the Ottoman Turks and Its Historical Background." The American Historical Review Vol. 37, No. 3 (1932): pp. 468-505.

November 13, 2023
Category:

History

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3

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728

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