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Yuan Dynasty (China)

Yuan Dynasty (China)

C O N T E N T S:

KEY TOPICS
  • Despite the traditional historiography as well as the official views (including the government of the Ming dynasty which overthrew the Yuan dynasty), there also exist Chinese people who did not consider the Yuan dynasty as a legitimate dynasty of China, but rather as a period of foreign domination.(More...)
  • Revolts in the mid-14th century led to the final overthrow of the Yuan in 1368, making it the shortest-lived major dynasty of China.(More...)
  • A total of ten Mongol khans ruled China in the Yuan period, and they created a unique culture that was an amalgam of Mongolian and Chinese customs and statecraft.(More...)
  • Founding of Yuan Dynasty  Kublai Khan (1260-1294)  Known as the Great Khan.  True founder and emperor of the Yuan Dynasty.  First Mongol (non-Chinese) emperor of China.  Genghis Khan's grandson.  Defeated his younger brother Ariq Böke in a succession war.  Invasions of Japan, in 1274 and 1281, were failures.  Invasion of Java in 1293 was also a failure.  Transferred the Mongol capital from Karakorum to Peking.(More...)
  • Toghun fled north to Shangdu from Khanbaliq (present-day Beijing) in 1368 after the approach of the forces of the M'ng dynasty (1368-1644), founded by Zhu Yuanzhang in the south, thereby ending the Yuan.(More...)
  • The Yuan dynasty arose as a result of the Mongol invasion from the north of China; Kublai Khan (1215- 1294), the grandson of Genghis Khan, was the founder of the dynasty.(More...)
  • The exhibition is the second in a series of two; the first, Style in Chinese Landscape Painting: The Song Dynasty, was on view through October 26, 2014.(More...)
  • Even before the extinction of the Song dynasty, Kublai Khan had established the first alien dynasty to rule all China--the Yuan (1279-1368).(More...)
  • He conquered China, founding and becoming the first emperor of the country's Yuan Dynasty.(More...)

POSSIBLY USEFUL
  • The emergence of the Mongol dynasty dates to 1206, when Genghis Khan was able to unify under his leadership all Mongols in the vast steppe lands north of China.(More...)
  • In order to find a way to access the necessary knowledge of the literati, while keeping a watchful eye on them and without giving them too much influence, the Mongols started to bring people with proven administrative ability (even though usually unable to speak or write Chinese) from other parts of their empire to China and placed them in administrative positions with decision-making power alongside Chinese literati with clerical functions.(More...)
  • The Mongols, of course, were at the top; then came the non-Han, mostly Islamic population that was brought to China by the Mongols to help them rule; third were the northern Chinese; and at the very bottom of the rung were the southern Chinese.(More...)



RANKED SELECTED SOURCES

KEY TOPICS
Despite the traditional historiography as well as the official views (including the government of the Ming dynasty which overthrew the Yuan dynasty), there also exist Chinese people who did not consider the Yuan dynasty as a legitimate dynasty of China, but rather as a period of foreign domination. [1] The Yuan dynasty was the first time that non-native Chinese people ruled all of China. [1]

Discrimination was used by the Mongols during the Yuan dynasty, who employed only "Mongols and Tartars" and discarded northern and southern Chinese and this was precisely the cause that brought disaster upon them". [1] Note, however, Yuan dynasty is traditionally often extended to cover the Mongol Empire before Kublai Khan's formal establishment of the Yuan in 1271, partly because Kublai had his grandfather Genghis Khan placed on the official record as the founder of the dynasty or Taizu ( Chinese : 太祖 ). [1] In official Chinese histories, the Yuan dynasty bore the Mandate of Heaven. [1] In 1271, Kublai Khan imposed the name Great Yuan ( Chinese : 大元 ; pinyin : Dà Yuán ; Wade-Giles : Ta-Yüan ), establishing the Yuan dynasty. [1] Seals with Chinese characters were created by the Ilkhanids themselves besides the seals they received from the Yuan dynasty which contain references to a Chinese government organization. [1]

In the Proclamation of the Dynastic Name, Kublai announced the name of the new dynasty as Great Yuan and claimed the succession of former Chinese dynasties from the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors to the Tang dynasty. [1] In 1271, Kublai formally claimed the Mandate of Heaven and declared that 1272 was the first year of the Great Yuan (Chinese: 大元 ) in the style of a traditional Chinese dynasty. [1]

The Chinese medical tradition of the Yuan had "Four Great Schools" that the Yuan inherited from the Jin dynasty. [1] The Yuan exercised a profound influence on the Chinese Ming dynasty. [1]

Yuan dynasty, Wade-Giles romanization Yüan, also called Mongol dynasty, dynasty established by Mongol nomads that ruled portions and eventually all of China from the early 13th century to 1368. [2] The Yuan dynasty is also known by westerners as the "Mongol dynasty" or "Mongol Dynasty of China", similar to the names "Manchu dynasty" or "Manchu Dynasty of China" which were used by westerners for the Qing dynasty. [1] It was the first foreign dynasty to rule all of China and lasted until 1368, after which the rebuked Genghisid rulers retreated to their Mongolian homeland and continued to rule the Northern Yuan dynasty. [1] During the Yuan dynasty, one of Confucius ' descendants, who was one of the Duke Yansheng Kong Huan's ( 孔浣 ) sons, named Kong Shao ( 孔紹 ), moved from China to Goryeo dynasty Korea and established a branch of the family there after wedding a Korean woman (Jo Jin-gyeong's 曹晉慶 daughter) during Toghon Temür's rule. [1] In traditional historiography of China, on the other hand, the Yuan dynasty is usually considered to be the legitimate dynasty between the Song dynasty and the Ming dynasty. [1] Another important consideration regarding Yuan dynasty arts and culture is that so much of it has survived in China, relatively to works from the Tang dynasty and Song dynasty, which have often been better preserved in places such as the Shōsōin, in Japan. [1] The establishment of the Yuan dynasty had dramatically increased the number of Muslims in China. [1] During the Ming conquest of Yunnan, Muslim generals Mu Ying and Lan Yu led Muslim troops loyal to the Ming dynasty against Mongol and Muslim troops loyal to the Yuan dynasty. [1] Han officials and colonists were sent by the Mongol Yuan dynasty to areas of Lingbei province ( 和宁路 益蘭州 謙州 ). [1] The Mongols had employed foreigners long before the reign of Kublai Khan, the founder of the Yuan dynasty. [1] Annam, Burma, and Champa recognized Mongol hegemony and established tributary relations with the Yuan dynasty. [1]

Kublai eventually conquered much of China and established his own Chinese dynasty called the Yuan Dynasty. [3] The Yuan dynasty was founded by Kublai Khan, leader of a major Mongolian clan who invaded China but adopted many Chinese customs and practices. [4] Yuan dynasty is in China, vast majority of its subjects are whom we identify as Chinese today. [5] The Yuan Dynasty (1279–1368) was China's first foreign-led dynasty, in between the Chinese Song and Ming dynasties. [6] The Yuan Dynasty was the shortest lived of all the major Chinese Dynasties. [3] In official Chinese histories, the Yuan dynasty bore the Mandate of Heaven, following the Song dynasty and preceding the Ming dynasty. [4] Parts of the Chinese culture continued to flourish during the Yuan Dynasty. [3] The Yuan dynasty is considered both a successor to the Mongol Empire and an imperial Chinese dynasty. [4] Therefore, both the Han Chinese and Mongol rulers considered Yuan Dynasty as part of Chines history. [5] In 1272, Kublai Khan founded the Yuan dynasty in the style of a traditional Chinese dynasty. [4]

Both terms can also refer to the khanate within the Mongol Empire directly ruled by Great Khans before the actual establishment of the Yuan dynasty by Kublai Khan in 1271. [1] The Yuan dynasty was the khanate ruled by the successors of Möngke Khan after the division of the Mongol Empire. [1] The Yuan dynasty created a "Han Army" ( 漢軍 ) out of defected Jin troops and an army of defected Song troops called the "Newly Submitted Army" ( 新附軍 ). [1] The Yuan remnants retreated to Mongolia after the fall of Yingchang to the Ming in 1370, where the name Great Yuan (大元) was formally carried on, and is known as the Northern Yuan dynasty. [1] Later the Yongle Emperor of the Ming dynasty also mentioned the discrimination that existed during the Yuan dynasty. [1] The Muslims of the Yuan dynasty introduced Middle Eastern cartography, astronomy, medicine, clothing, and diet in East Asia. [1] From that time up until the Yuan dynasty, there were two Duke Yanshengs, one in the north in Qufu and the other in the south at Quzhou. [1]

Ping vase Octagonal Ping vase, blue-and-white porcelain, from Baoding, Yuan (Mongol) dynasty, China. [2]

According to Chinese political orthodoxy, there could be only one legitimate dynasty whose rulers were blessed by Heaven to rule as emperors of China, and so the Ming and the Northern Yuan denied each other's legitimacy as emperors of China, although the Ming did consider the previous Yuan it had succeeded to have been a legitimate dynasty. [4] He declared himself emperor of China and head of a new Chinese dynasty called Yuan. [5] In the proclamation of the dynastic name (《 建國號詔 》), Kublai announced the name of the new dynasty as Yuan and claimed the succession of former Chinese dynasties from the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors to Tang dynasty. [5] The official title of the dynasty, Da Yuan (Chinese: 大元, "Great Yuan"), originates from a Chinese classic text called the Commentaries on the Classic of Changes (I Ching) section regarding Qián (乾) reads "大哉乾元", literally translating to Great is Qián, the Primal, with "Qián" being the symbol of the Heaven, and the Emperor. [5] It is customary to refer to the Yuan as a Chinese dynasty in the historical sense. [5] In 1271, Kublai formally claimed the Mandate of Heaven and declared that 1272 was the first year of the Great Yuan in the style of a traditional Chinese dynasty. [4]

Later successors did not even attempt to stake claim over the khakhan title and saw themselves as emperor of China, as the Yuan dynasty grew from being an imperial Mongol administration under Kublai Khan to becoming a basically Chinese institution under his successors. [7] It is generally used to describe China under Mongol rule, but equating the Yuan dynasty with China is both factually inaccurate and highly misleading because Mongolian (or, more broadly, steppe) traditions of rulership and governance differed importantly from those of earlier and later Chinese dynasties. [8]

The Mongol-led Yuan dynasty entered its downward spiral with the death of Kublai Khan in 1294 AD. The successive weak Mongol emperors lost the initiative more and more to the resurging Chinese literati class. [9] The new capital of the Mongol Yuan dynasty (yuan long lasting or far reaching) was built at the site that is now Beijing and the Chinese called it Dadu (great capital). [9] The Yuan dynasty was also among the shortest in Chinese history, lasting less than a century, roughly from 1279-1368. [10]

Let’s start with Twenty-Four Histories, the Chinese official historical books covering a period from 3000 BC to the Ming dynasty in the 17th century and History of Yuan is part of the collection. [5] In literature, the Yuan drama, along with the Tang poem and 'ci' poem of the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279), was considered another heritage of Chinese literature. [11]


Revolts in the mid-14th century led to the final overthrow of the Yuan in 1368, making it the shortest-lived major dynasty of China. [2] The Mongol dynasty, which had been renamed the Yuan in 1271, proceeded to set up a Chinese-style administration that featured a centralized bureaucracy, political subdivisions, and a rationalized taxation system. [2] Yuan was the first dynasty to make Beijing (called Dadu by the Yuan) its capital, moving it there from Karakorum (now in Mongolia ) in 1267. [2]

Kublai proclaimed Khanbaliq the "Great Capital" or Daidu (Dadu, Chinese: 大都 in Chinese) of the dynasty. [1] Since its invention in 1269, the 'Phags-pa script, a unified script for spelling Mongolian, Tibetan, and Chinese languages, was preserved in the court until the end of the dynasty. [1]

Some of the Mongolian Emperors of the Yuan mastered the Chinese language, while others only used their native language (i.e. Mongolian) and the 'Phags-pa script. [1] The administrative centrality of the Yuan was continued by the succeeding Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911/12) dynasties, giving those later Chinese governments a more authoritarian structure than that of previous Chinese dynasties. [2] While the official terminology of the institutions may indicate the government structure was almost purely that of native Chinese dynasties, the Yuan bureaucracy actually consisted of a mix of elements from different cultures. [1] Another example was the insignificance of the Ministry of War compared with native Chinese dynasties, as the real military authority in Yuan times resided in the Privy Council. [1] Another important aspect of Yuan times is the increasing incorporation of the then current, vernacular Chinese into both the qu form of poetry and the zaju variety show. [1] One of the important cultural developments during the Yuan era was the consolidation of poetry, painting, and calligraphy into a unified piece of the type that tends to come to mind when people think of classical Chinese art. [1] He was the first Yuan emperor to actively support and adopt mainstream Chinese culture after the reign of Kublai, to the discontent of some Mongol elite. [1] Although the traditional Chinese elite were not given their share of power, the Mongols and the Semuren (various allied groups from Central Asia and the western end of the empire) largely remained strangers to the mainstream Chinese culture, and this dichotomy gave the Yuan regime a somewhat strong " colonial " coloration. [1]

Although the Mongols had ruled territories including modern-day North China for decades, it was not until 1271 that Kublai Khan officially proclaimed the dynasty in the traditional Chinese style, and the conquest was not complete until 1279. [1] Shi Tianze (Shih T'ien-tse), Zhang Rou (Chang Jou, 張柔 ), and Yan Shi (Yen Shih, 嚴實 ) and other high ranking Chinese who served in the Jin dynasty and defected to the Mongols helped build the structure for the administration of the new state. [1] Möngke Khan commenced a military campaign against the Chinese Song dynasty in southern China. [1]

Under Yuan rule the regional music drama that had gone two separate ways during the Song dynasty was intermixed as yuanqu, or "Yuan drama." [2]

Northern Yuan : The Mongol regime based in the Mongolian homeland after the fall of the Yuan dynasty in China in 1368. [4] It was the first foreign dynasty to rule all of China and lasted until 1368, after which its Genghisid rulers returned to their Mongolian homeland and continued to rule the Northern Yuan dynasty. [4] Kublai Khan, who established the Yuan dynasty in China as an extension of the already dominant Mongolian Empire, promoted progressive policies that allowed trade and prosperity to flourish. [4] The Yuan dynasty was the ruling dynasty of China established by Kublai Khan, leader of the Mongolian Borjigin clan. [4]

Established by Kublai Kha, the Yuan dynasty was the ruling dynasty of China and Mongolia and a khanate of the Mongol Empire. [4] The Yuan Dynasty was a period of time when China was under the rule of the Mongol Empire. [3] The Yuan Dynasty, ruled by Kublai from 1279, was the first foreign-led dynasty in ancient China. [6] The final years of the Yuan dynasty were marked by struggle, famine, and bitterness among the populace, with Kublai Khan's successors losing all influence on other Mongol lands across Asia. [4] Historians generally regard Ming dynasty rulers as the legitimate emperors of China after the Yuan dynasty. [4] The Yuan Dynasty was the ethnic-Mongolian dynasty that ruled China from 1279 to 1368 found in 1271 by Kublai Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan. [12] He had no choice but to rely on local warlords' military power, and gradually lost his interest in politics and ceased to intervene in political struggles, all of which led to the official end of the Yuan dynasty in China. [4] The Yuan dynasty is traditionally given credit for reuniting China after several hundred years of fragmentation following the fall of the Tang dynasty. [4] The famous Italian traveler, Marco Polo, visited China during the Yuan Dynasty and introduced China to Europeans. [6] Pax Mongolica is a historiographical term, modeled after the original phrase Pax Romana, that describes the stabilizing effects of the conquests of the Mongol Empire on the social, cultural, and economic life of the inhabitants of the vast Eurasian territory that the Mongols conquered in the 13th and 14th centuries, including the Yuan dynasty in China. [4] In 1271, he formally established the Yuan Dynasty with Yuandadu (currently Beijing) as the capital. (The new dynasty was not territorially the former Mongolian Empire as three parts had broken away before the new dynasty was founded.) [11] Beijing tours : Beijing (then called Dadu —'Big Capital') was the capital of the Yuan Dynasty and has continued to be China's capital for most of the following800 years. [6] Within less than 100 years, the Yuan Dynasty tottered and fell from power under the weight of crushing droughts, floods and widespread famine. [12] In 1271, Kublai Khan founded the Yuan Dynasty, which coexisted with the Southern Song Dynasty. [6] Note: Kublai Khan declared the Yuan Dynasty in 1271, but the Song weren't fully defeated until 1279. [3] During Yuan Dynasty, First Minister Toqtoa and Prime Minister Alutu were commissioned to compile the history of former dynasty History of Song, which was also considered as a move to claim the succession. [5] During the Yuan dynasty, China--for the first time in its long history--was completely subjugated by foreign conquerors and became part of a larger political entity, the vast Mongol empire. [13] The Yuan remnants retreated to Mongolia after Yingchang fell to the Ming in 1370, and there formally carried on the name Great Yuan in what is known as the Northern Yuan dynasty. [4] The Yuan Dynasty was preceded by the Song Dynasty from 960 to 1279 and followed by the Ming which lasted from 1368 to 1644. [12] Kublai Khan: A portrait of the founder of Yuan dynasty, the Mongolian Kublai Khan. [4] Genghis Khan and his sons set the foundation for the Yuan Dynasty by defeating the Western Xia and conquering Central Asia, Mongolia, and the Hexi Corridor. [6] After years of internal struggle, famine, and diminishing territorial control, the Yuan dynasty was defeated by the rising Ming dynasty in 1368. [4]

As part of the greater Mongol Empire, China's borders stretched farther than they ever had before under the Mongol-controlled Yuan dynasty. [10] The first foreign dynasty of China, the Yuan, or Mongol dynasty, expanded Chinese territory farther than any dynasty prior. [14] The Chinese never accepted the Yuan as a legitimate dynasty but regarded them rather as bandits or an occupying army. [15]


A total of ten Mongol khans ruled China in the Yuan period, and they created a unique culture that was an amalgam of Mongolian and Chinese customs and statecraft. [12] The Mongol court continued many of its own traditions: the emperor moved from capital to capital with the seasons in a rather nomadic fashion, hunting was a major pastime for all of the nobility, and women in the Yuan court had much more authority within the family and in matters of state than their Chinese female subjects could have even imagined having. [12] Many Europeans, most famously Marco Polo, travelled to Yuan China and observed Chinese cultural and technological innovations. [4]

Cite this page: Carr, K.E. Yuan Dynasty Chinese art - Mongols in China. [16] The Mongols also used tax policy to promote growing cotton for clothing, and under the Yuan Dynasty most Chinese people switched from wearing hemp clothing to wearing cotton, which was cheaper and cooler in the summer. [17] Historically, the Yuan Dynasty is a special period - the Mongolian interlude in Chinese history. [18]


Founding of Yuan Dynasty  Kublai Khan (1260-1294)  Known as the Great Khan.  True founder and emperor of the Yuan Dynasty.  First Mongol (non-Chinese) emperor of China.  Genghis Khan's grandson.  Defeated his younger brother Ariq Böke in a succession war.  Invasions of Japan, in 1274 and 1281, were failures.  Invasion of Java in 1293 was also a failure.  Transferred the Mongol capital from Karakorum to Peking. [19] The Yuan dynasty (1279-1368) was a period when China was ruled by Mongol emperors. [10] Mongol Conquest of China  Tiemuzhen/Genghis Khan (1162-1227)  Founder and emperor of the Mongol Empire.  Placed in the imperial records as the official founder of Yuan Dynasty by his grandson, Kublai Khan.  Assigned. gedei Khan as his successor.  Split his empire into khanates.  Conquered many lands across Asia and Europe: North China in the East. [19]

Unfortunately, the exchange with the world beyond China that took place during the Yuan dynasty's seven hundred years did not continue and when the Great Powers started to intervene in China, the country's later rulers were inexperienced at dealing with Europeans, at China's cost. [7] The rulers of the Yuan dynasty were Mongol conquerors whose family, the Chinggisids (descendants of Chinggis khan), subjugated much of Eurasia. [8] The Yuan dynasty ( Pinyin : Yuáncháo; Mongolian: Dai. n Yeke Mongghul Ulus), lasting officially from 1279 to 1368, followed the Song dynasty and preceded the Ming dynasty in the historiography of China. [7] The fall of the Yuan dynasty was facilitated by the arrival of the great plague, that devastated Central China (and particularly the Yangtze River Valley) in the late 1340's. [9] By the time he died, China was in severe debt and the populace were discontent with the Yuan dynasty. [7] Although Mongols had conquered much of northern China in the mid-13th century, the Yuan dynasty was not established until 1271. [8] The Mongols retreated to Mongolia, where the Yuan dynasty remained. [7] He began his drive against the Southern Song, establishing, in 1271--eight years prior to Southern conquest--the first non- Han dynasty to rule all of the Middle Kingdom: the Yuan dynasty. [7] Temüjin, later to be more prominently known as Genghis Khan, was officially the first in the line of Yuan dynasty emperors. [7] The Yuan Dynasty (that of Genghis Khan and his successors) lasted about one hundred years. [20] The eastern part of the Mongol empire (including the Korean peninsula) became the Yuan dynasty - shown in green in the above map - under the leadership of Kublai Khan (1215 AD - 1294 AD), one of Genghis Khan's grandsons. [9] After the Mongol Empire started breaking apart following the death of Kublai, the other Mongol leaders distanced themselves from the Yuan dynasty. [10] Remember, the Yuan dynasty was inaugurated as part of the greater Mongol Empire. [10] Hong Taiji established the Qing dynasty as the successor of the Yuan dynasty in 1636 (however, some sources such as Encyclopaedia Britannica give the year as 1637). [7]


Toghun fled north to Shangdu from Khanbaliq (present-day Beijing) in 1368 after the approach of the forces of the M'ng dynasty (1368-1644), founded by Zhu Yuanzhang in the south, thereby ending the Yuan. [4] In 1271 Kublai Khan named his dynasty Yuan which means "origin of the universe." [21]

And, southern Vietnamese may not like Thuc dynasty to be "Vietnamese" either, because, well, for almost half of the history of "Vietnam", they were not part of it! And lastly, dear pure Vietnamese, the northern ones, are descents of assimilated southern Chinese, northern Chinese who fled the wars in the north, over at least more than a couple thousand years. [5] This is the tricky part that I am confused with, the further you trace back, it becomes impossible to identify what exactly should be "Vietnamese" or "Chinese" in Vietnamese history, because, well, is Thuc dynasty Chinese? Himself would probably object, he was said to be from Sichuan, and Thuc dynasty was result of a neighboring state in present day southern China annexing what is present day northern Vietnam. [5] At that time Sichuan wasn’t part of a "Chinese" dynasty, heck for the "Chinese" of that time he was considered a barbarian (you are not good enough to be "Chinese"), neither was southern "China". [5]

In their place, the ethnic-Han Chinese leader of the rebellion, Zhu Yuanzhang, founded a new dynasty called the Ming. [12] Although the Mongols had ruled territories including today's North China for decades, it was not until 1271 that Kublai Khan officially proclaimed the dynasty in the traditional Chinese style. [4]

The Yuan Chinese Emperors were also the Great Khans of the Mongol Empire, controlling the Mongol homeland and had authority over the khans of the Golden Horde, the Ilkhanate and the Chagatai Khanate. [12] Some of the Mongolian emperors of the Yuan mastered the Chinese language, while others used only their native language, Mongolian. [4]

Kublai rejected plans to revive the Confucian imperial examinations and divided Yuan society into three, later four, classes, with the Han Chinese occupying the lowest rank. [4]

Paper currency had been issued and used during the Song Dynasty era but the Yuan empire was the first dynasty in the world to use paper currency as the predominant circulating medium. [6] Möngke Khan commenced a military campaign against the Chinese Song dynasty in southern China, during which time Kublai Khan rose to power and took on the title of Great Khan. [4] Founded by the famed Kublai Khan, the Yuan straddled the line between being Mongol and being Chinese, with their noncommittal approach to ruling being their ultimate downfall. [14] That left the problem of administering the new Chinese Yuan empire with a population of around 100 million people in the hands of perhaps 1 million widely dispersed Mongols. [9] Using Chinese, Persian, and European sources, Kim reexamines the now-common notion of four independent khanates and argues that contemporaries understood Great Yuan to mean the entire Mongol Empire, not just China and its environs. [8] Four years later he relocated his capital from Mongolia to Beijing in northern China, and in 1271 he adopted a Chinese dynastic name, the Yuan. [15] Smith and Von Glahn 2003 considers the continuities of the Yuan period with the rest of Chinese history, with particular attention paid to the preceding Song period. [8] One approach to the Yuan period has been to view it in the longer span of Chinese history. [8]

Plays and popular dramas, that were performed in theatres during this period, also allegorically referred to the Mongol occupation by using historical themes (for example the conflict with the Xiongnu people during the Han dynasty), that often dealt with the resistance of the Chinese against alien authoritarian or cultural influences. [9] When the Mongols reinstated the imperial examination system (the last imperial examination had taken place around the year 1270 AD before the fall of the Southern Song dynasty) in 1313 AD, it was a quasi admission by the conquerors to the Chinese literati that China couldn't be ruled without them. [9] They moved the capital to modern-day Beijing, being the first Chinese dynasty to do so, and continued the system of foreign trade that the Song and Tang had used before them. [14]

The uprising grew to a national level, and while the emperor at the time, Toghun Temür, was able to crush them, the Yuan was significantly weakened and ultimately defeated by the next dynasty, the Ming. [14] Much recent Japanese scholarship thus uses the term "Great Yuan ulus " (Mongolian for nation) rather than dynasty to highlight such differences. [8]

According to Chinese political orthodoxy, there could be only one legitimate empire, and so the Ming and the Yuan each denied the legitimacy of the other. [7] The single most striking aspect of the Yuan is not only the survival of Chinese culture under a vastly foreign rule, but its singular vitality and growth. [15] The Yuan period was one of high cultural achievement, including developmets in the Chinese novel and plays with increased use of the written vernacular. [7]

A major goal of Genghis was the conquest of the Jin dynasty, allowing the Mongols to avenge earlier defeats, gain the riches of northern China and mostly to establish the Mongols as a major power among the Chinese world order. [7]

The Jin was a constant source of competition for China's dominant Song, the fourth major dynasty in China. [14]


The Yuan dynasty arose as a result of the Mongol invasion from the north of China; Kublai Khan (1215- 1294), the grandson of Genghis Khan, was the founder of the dynasty. [22] Cite this page: Carr, K.E. Kublai Khan and the Yuan Dynasty - Mongols in China. [17] During a period of approximately 90 years, the Mongols controlled China, thus, the Yuan Dynasty is also known as the Mongol Dynasty. [22] As the Yuan Dynasty possessed extensive territory including the present day Xinjiang, Tibet, Yunnan, most of the area of the present northeast China, Taiwan, the isles in the South China Sea, the Mongols managed to rule a complex group of peoples who inhabited the vast land. [18] The life span of the most famous Yuan Dynasty physician, Zhu Danxi (also known as Zhu Zhenheng -1280-1358) overlapped almost completely with the rule of the Mongols in China. [22] As in other periods of alien dynastic rule of China, a rich cultural diversity developed during the Yuan dynasty. [23] As the Mongol Empire stretched far beyond China, the Yuan Dynasty era was a period of more-extensive foreign trade and foreign intercourse than at any other time previously in China. [24] The Yuan Dynasty emperors did promote a lot of trade over the Silk Road, and China became richer as a result. [17] During the Yuan Dynasty both the Mongols and some indigenous people began to convert to Islam. [25] In 1271, a grandson of Genghis Khan - Kublai Khan (also called 'Emperor Shizu') changed the dynasty title into Yuan, thus Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368) began with its capital at Dadu (present Beijing). [18] It was Kublai Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan, who is regarded as the greatest ruler of the Yuan Dynasty. [25] The foundation for the establishment of the Yuan Dynasty was set by Genghis Khan (1162-1227) after he defeated the western Xia Empire and conquered central Asia, Mongolia and the Hexi Corridor. [25] Genghis Khan died in 1227 after naming his son Ogedei to succeed him as emperor, thereby beginning the Yuan Dynasty. [25]

The Silk Road traversing Eurasia was flourishing; Dadu (present Beijing) became the terminal of the Grand Canal, which was entirely renovated during the Yuan Dynasty Meanwhile foreign trade was more prosperous than under the former dynasties and the government established trade relations with Japan and Korea. [18] Confucianism flourished during the Yuan Dynasty because the government took advantage of this region with the intention of maintaining domination over the Han society. [18] The non-dramatic songs (San Qu) soon became popular songs in the northern area of the Yuan Dynasty. [18] Even though they lost control of the empire, the Yuan Dynasty continued, and the Yuan continued to attack the Ming Dynasty. [25] The rulers of the Yuan Dynasty were able to integrate South Asia, East Asia and the West. [25]

In Chinese history, Yuan Dynasty was followed the Song Dynasty and It preceded the Ming Dynasty. [26] Yuan dynasty to early Ming dynasty was the important period of Islamic widely spread and comprehensive development in the Chinese mainland. [27] Since the beginning of Yuan Dynasty, Kublai Khan, had adopted many customs from the earlier Chinese dynasties, like, Era Names & Bureaucracy. [26]


The exhibition is the second in a series of two; the first, Style in Chinese Landscape Painting: The Song Dynasty, was on view through October 26, 2014. [28] The Chinese people were becoming more and more weary of their Yuan emperor, but there was one issue with him that stood out above the rest: He wasn't Chinese. [10]

Although the Chinese resented being passed over by foreigners for administrative posts, the Yuan Empire was nevertheless able to hold together well until Kulug Khan, the third emperor took over. [25] One major scholar of Chinese history even wrote: "The Mongols brought violence and destruction to all aspects of China's civilization. insensitive to Chinese cultural values, distrustful of Chinese influences, and inept heads of Chinese government." [29]


Even before the extinction of the Song dynasty, Kublai Khan had established the first alien dynasty to rule all China--the Yuan (1279-1368). [23] Although paper money had been issued and used during the Song Dynasty era, the Yuan Empire was the very first dynasty in the world to use paper currency as the predominant circulating medium of exchange. [25]


He conquered China, founding and becoming the first emperor of the country's Yuan Dynasty. [30] Like the Arabic and Persians descendant who lived in China during the Tang and Song dynasties, they were all Muslim; they became the important component of Semu people in Yuan Dynasty. [27] From the late Yuan Dynasty and early Ming Dynasty, Muslim had spreaded all over China; their religious beliefs, customs and habits were widely noticed. [27] In one of the most important events in all of Asian history, either the Ming dynasty or the Yuan dynasty seized control of mainland China during the eighth, 12th, or maybe even the third century. [31] A rich cultural diversity evolved in China during the Yuan Dynasty, as it had in other periods of foreign dynastic rule. [32] Neither China nor Mongolia emerged from the Yuan Dynasty unchanged by their century-long interaction. [33] During Yuan dynasty to early Ming Dynasty, due to political, economic reasons and intermarry, quite a number of Han, Mongolia, Uygur people changed to believe in Islam and became Muslim. [27] In celebration of his newly expanded empire, Kublai Khan declared a new Yuan Dynasty, of which he was the first and most successful ruler. [30] Kublai Khan was acclaimed with the title of THE GREAT KHAN. Also, the Yuan Dynasty is referred as the Empire of Great Khan. [26] The Yuan dynasty lasted for a less than a century, spanning the years from 1279 to 1368, and it is widely believed that the capital of the empire was Beijing. [34] Institute deputy director Wang Guangyao said the foundation unearthed in the central-west part of the palace was in the same style as one uncovered in Zhangjiakou, Hebei province, in the ruins of Zhongdu, one of the four capitals of the Yuan dynasty. [34] The Mongolian Yuan dynasty, 1272-1368, is a short but interesting chapter in the long history of Sino-Mongolian relations. [33]

According to historical records, the Yuan palace in Beijing was abandoned by its last emperor, Toghon Temür, who was overthrown by rebel troops that established the Ming dynasty in the 14th century. [34]

Adopting China's traditions, Kublai declared himself the Emperor Shih-tsu and his dynasty the Yüan. [35]

POSSIBLY USEFUL
The emergence of the Mongol dynasty dates to 1206, when Genghis Khan was able to unify under his leadership all Mongols in the vast steppe lands north of China. [2] The dragon clothing of Imperial China was used by the Ilkhanids, the Chinese Huangdi (Emperor) title was used by the Ilkhanids due to heavy clout upon the Mongols of the Chinese system of politics. [1] Kublai's government after 1262 was a compromise between preserving Mongol interests in China and satisfying the demands of his Chinese subjects. [1] After strengthening his government in northern China, Kublai pursued an expansionist policy in line with the tradition of Mongol and Chinese imperialism. [1] In time, Kublai Khan's successors lost all influence on other Mongol lands across Asia, while the Mongols beyond the Middle Kingdom saw them as too Chinese. [1] After the Mongol conquest of Central Asia by Genghis Khan, foreigners were chosen as administrators and co-management with Chinese and Qara-Khitays (Khitans) of gardens and fields in Samarqand was put upon the Muslims as a requirement since Muslims were not allowed to manage without them. [1] Some Muslim communities had the name in Chinese meaning "barracks" and also meaning "thanks"; many Hui Muslims claim it is because that they played an important role in overthrowing the Mongols and it was named in thanks by the Hans for assisting them. [1]

Under the Mongols, the practice of Chinese medicine spread to other parts of the empire. [1] Against that radical new direction of the native Chinese in pictorial art, there was a conservative revival of Buddhist art (painting and sculpture), which was sponsored by the Mongols as part of their effort to establish authority over the Chinese. [2]

He set up a civilian administration to rule, built a capital within China, supported Chinese religions and culture, and devised suitable economic and political institutions for the court. [1] The Mongol appointed Governor of Samarqand was a Qara-Khitay (Khitan), held the title Taishi, familiar with Chinese culture his name was Ahai. [1] Alans were recruited into the Mongol forces with one unit called "Right Alan Guard" which was combined with "recently surrendered" soldiers, Mongols, and Chinese soldiers stationed in the area of the former Kingdom of Qocho and in Besh Balikh the Mongols established a Chinese military colony led by Chinese general Qi Kongzhi (Ch'i Kung-chih). [1]

In the China of the Yuan, or Mongol era, various important developments in the arts occurred or continued in their development, including the areas of painting, mathematics, calligraphy, poetry, and theater, with many great artists and writers being famous today. [1] Mongols are widely known to worship the Eternal Heaven, and according to the traditional Mongolian ideology Yuan is considered to be "the beginning of an infinite number of beings, the foundation of peace and happiness, state power, the dream of many peoples, besides it there is nothing great or precious." [1] The Yuan (Mongol) empire ( c. 1300), showing the extent reached under Kublai Khan. [2] The authority of the Yuan legal system, the Ministry of Justice, did not extend to legal cases involving Mongols and Semuren, who had separate courts of justice. [1] Western medicine was also practiced in China by the Nestorian Christians of the Yuan court, where it was sometimes labeled as huihui or Muslim medicine. [1] By the time he died, China was in severe debt and the Yuan court faced popular discontent. [1] He welcomed foreign visitors to his court, such as the Venetian merchant Marco Polo, who wrote the most influential European account of Yuan China. [1] Buddhism had a great influence in the Yuan government, and the Tibetan-rite Tantric Buddhism had significantly influenced China during this period. [1] During the Yuan period, Beijing became the terminus of the Grand Canal of China, which was completely renovated. [1] The top-level department and government agency known as the Bureau of Buddhist and Tibetan Affairs (Xuanzheng Yuan) was set up in Khanbaliq (modern Beijing ) to supervise Buddhist monks throughout the empire. [1] While the existence of these central government departments and the Six Ministries (which had been introduced since the Sui and Tang dynasties) gave a Sinicized image in the Yuan administration, the actual functions of these ministries also reflected how Mongolian priorities and policies reshaped and redirected those institutions. [1] Local chieftains were appointed as Tusi, recognized as imperial officials by the Yuan, Ming, and Qing -era governments, principally in the province of Yunnan. [1] Physicians received official support from the Yuan government and were given special legal privileges. [1]

Kublai rejected plans to revive the Confucian imperial examinations and divided Yuan society into three, later four, classes with the Han occupying the lowest rank. [1] Among Kublai Khan's top engineers and scientists was the astronomer Guo Shoujing, who was tasked with many public works projects and helped the Yuan reform the lunisolar calendar to provide an accuracy of 365.2425 days of the year, which was only 26 seconds off the modern Gregorian calendar's measurement. [1]

The structure of the Yuan government took shape during the reign of Kublai Khan (1260-1294). [1] Confucian governmental practices and examinations based on the Classics, which had fallen into disuse in north China during the period of disunity, were reinstated by the Yuan court, probably in the hope of maintaining order over Han society. [1] The physicians of the Yuan court came from diverse cultures. [1]

Chinese advisers such as Liu Bingzhong and Yao Shu gave strong influence to Kublai's early court, and the central government administration was established within the first decade of Kublai's reign. [1] His most concrete effort to patronize Chinese learning was founding the Academy of the Pavilion of the Star of Literature ( Chinese : 奎章閣學士院 ), first established in the spring of 1329 and designed to undertake "a number of tasks relating to the transmission of Confucian high culture to the Mongolian imperial establishment". [1] Kublai wished to persuade the Chinese that he was becoming increasingly sinicized while maintaining his Mongolian credentials with his own people. [1] Kublai was unable to read Chinese but had several Han teachers attached to him since his early years by his mother Sorghaghtani. [1]

He feared that his dependence on Chinese officials left him vulnerable to future revolts and defections to the Song. [1] Kublai's Chinese advisers still wielded significant power in the government, but their official rank was nebulous. [1] In general there were very few North Chinese or Southerners reaching the highest-post in the government compared with the possibility that Persians did so in the Ilkhanate. [1]

From this period dates the conversion to Islam, by Muslims of Central Asia, of growing numbers of Chinese in the northwest and southwest. [1] The unequal treatment is possibly due to the fear of transferring power to the ethnic Chinese under their rule. [1] The Northern Chinese were ranked higher and Southern Chinese were ranked lower because southern China withstood and fought to the last before caving in. [1]

Under the reign of Genghis' third son,. gedei Khan, the Mongols destroyed the weakened Jin dynasty in 1234, conquering most of northern China. gedei offered his nephew Kublai a position in Xingzhou, Hebei. [1] The dynasty was established by Kublai Khan, yet he placed his grandfather Genghis Khan on the imperial records as the official founder of the dynasty as Taizu. [1] El Temür purged pro-Kusala officials and brought power to warlords, whose despotic rule clearly marked the decline of the dynasty. [1] Gaining support from princes and officers in Northern China and some other parts of the dynasty, Khanbaliq-based Tugh Temür eventually won the civil war against Ragibagh known as the War of the Two Capitals. [1] He fled north to Shangdu from Khanbaliq (present-day Beijing) in 1368 after the approach of the forces of the M'ng dynasty (1368-1644), founded by Zhu Yuanzhang in the south. [1] For the next six decades the Mongols continued to extend their control over the north and then turned their attention to southern China, which they completed conquering with the defeat of the Nan (Southern) Song dynasty in 1279. [2] During the Southern Song dynasty the descendant of Confucius at Qufu, the Duke Yansheng Kong Duanyou fled south with the Song Emperor to Quzhou, while the newly established Jin dynasty (1115-1234) in the north appointed Kong Duanyou's brother Kong Duancao who remained in Qufu as Duke Yansheng. [1]

Genghis began encroaching on the Jin dynasty in northern China in 1211 and finally took the Jin capital of Yanjing (or Daxing; present-day Beijing ) in 1215. [2]

Genghis Khan and the following Yuan emperors forbade Islamic practices like Halal butchering, forcing Mongol methods of butchering animals on Muslims, and other restrictive degrees continued. [1] Despite the high position given to Muslims, some policies of the Yuan Emperors severely discriminated against them, restricting Halal slaughter and other Islamic practices like circumcision, as well as Kosher butchering for Jews, forcing them to eat food the Mongol way. [1]

Mongol suzerainty eventually also stretched throughout most of Asia and eastern Europe, though the Yuan emperors were rarely able to exercise much control over their more distant possessions. [2]

While the claim of supremacy by the Yuan emperors was at times recognized by the western khans, their subservience was nominal and each continued its own separate development. [1] The Yuan is sometimes known as the "Empire of the Great Khan" or "Khanate of the Great Khan", which particularly appeared on some Yuan maps, since Yuan emperors held the nominal title of Great Khan. [1]

The adoption of a dynastic name legitimized Mongol rule by integrating the government into the narrative of traditional Chinese political succession. [1] Many Han Chinese and Khitan defected to the Mongols to fight against the Jin. [1]

Politically, the system of government created by Kublai Khan was the product of a compromise between Mongolian patrimonial feudalism and the traditional Chinese autocratic - bureaucratic system. [1] This government adopted the traditional Chinese tripartite division of authority among civil, military, and censorial offices, including the Central Secretariat (Zhongshu Sheng) to manage civil affairs, the Privy Council (Chinese: 樞密院 ) to manage military affairs, and the Censorate to conduct internal surveillance and inspection. [1] He bolstered his popularity among his subjects by modeling his government on the bureaucracy of traditional Chinese dynasties and adopting the Chinese era name of Zhongtong. [1]

The Mongols could not have ruled China without the help of some of the Chinese elite and yet they were reluctant to use the Chinese, particular the Southern Song, in their government. [21] Genghis Khan's grandson, Kublai Khan, defeated the Chinese Southern Song in 1279, and for the first time all of China was under foreign rule. [21] Under Kublai Khan, the Mongols first allied with the Southern Song Chinese to defeat the Jin Chinese of the north. [3] Kublai Khan made a census of the population, dividing the people intofour categories: Mongols; Miscellaneous aliens (which included West Asian Muslims who performed important services for the Mongols); North Chinese called Han people, those who had been under the Chin state and their descendants, including Chinese, Jurchen, Khitans and Loreans; and finally Southern Chinese, subjects of the Southern Sung, whom the Mongols considered the least trustworthy. [21]

The Chinese resented the Mongol proscription against them holding important positions as officials but the empire held together well until the third emperor, named Kulug Khan, came to power. [6] Ruling from their capital in Dadu (also known as Khanbalik; now Beijing), the Mongol Khans increasingly assumed the role of Chinese emperors. [13] Although Kublai Khan tried to rule as a sage emperor, the Mongols did not adjust to Chinese ways. [21]

Mongol invader Genghis Khan and his hordes conquered much of Asia, including China; his grandson Kublai Khan established this dynasty, during which the Mongols reopened and expanded overland trade routes linking China, Central Asia, and the Mediterranean. [36] Under the Yuan, the Grand Canal was extended to link Beijing directly with Hangzhou, cutting 700 kilometers from the length of that journey -- however, as Mongol rule began to fail in China, the canal once again deteriorated. [12] In spite of the gradual assimilation of Yuan monarchs, the Mongol conquest imposed a harsh new political reality upon China. [13]

Unlike other foreign dynasties in China, such as the ethnic-Jurchen Jin from 1115 to 1234 or the later ethnic- Manchu rulers of the Qing from 1644 to 1911, the Yuan did not become very Sinicized during their rule. [12]

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