In the late 1100s, a powerful khan (a chief) named Temujin rose to power using military skills and the ability to lead. He took the title "Genghis Khan" which means "Universal Ruler"
Jan 1, 1200
The nomadic Mongols emerged in the 1200s as one of history's most brutal and effecient forces. When on the move, the Mongols resembled a small, mobile city.
Jan 1, 1207
Genghis Khan's Rampage
Once the clans were united, Genghis Khan began to build an empire. The empire was created through acquisition of battle, defeating and overthrowing. Relying on brutality and terror they killed any who resisted and burned villages leading to many surrendering their land without even a fight. This began in 1207 leading up to his death in 1227.
Jan 1, 1227
A Sad Ending
Genghis Khan dies, and on his deathbed his whispers to his sons and grandsons, "With Heaven's aid I have conquered for you a huge empire. But my life was too short to achieve the conquest of the world. That task is left to you." His sons and grandsons took up the challenge.
Jan 1, 1235
The Conquest of China
In 1235, Kublai Khan began his conquest of China, to catch up and continue the conquest with what Genghis Khan had left.
Jan 1, 1236
A Legacy Continued
Genghis Khan's grandson, Batu, leads the Golden Horde to conquer Russia. He was successful and some say he will carry on the legacy of his grandfather. Golden Horde was a Mongol and later Turkic khanate that was established in the 13th century and formed the north-western sector of the Mongol Empire.
Jan 1, 1260
Another Great Khan
A man named Kublai Khan became the Great Khan of the Mongol empire. In reality, he only held power over the Khanate of the Great Khan.
Jan 1, 1271
Marco Polo Travels Across Europe and Asia
Marco Polo traveled from Venice, through Ilkhanate (Persia), India, China. Mongolia, Khanate of Chagtai, The Byzantine Empire, and eventually returning home to Venice with his father in 1295.
Jan 1, 1279
In the End of Conquest
The last Song ruler was defeated. Kublai Khan created the new Yuan Dynasty and declared himself emperor. For the first time ever in history, foreigners ruled all of China.
Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960 and 1279.
Jan 1, 1280
Conquering Unknown Lands
In the late 1200s, the Mogols conquered western Asia and northern Middle East with the help of Kublai Khan.
Jan 1, 1294
The End of the Yuan Dynasty
Kublai Khan died in 1294. Several power struggles erupted over who would hold the throne. These struggles weakened Yuan rule, and Kublai Khan's sucessors lacked his talent for leadership.
Siege Warfare is when one force arrives at a fortress of another force that refuses to surrender, so the attacking force attacks the fortress.
Jan 1, 1294
The Decline of the Yuan Dynasty
Weak rulers combined with natural disasters such as floods as well as overtaxation seriously weakened the Yuan kingdom. This gave birth to many Chinese rebels forces seeking to overturn the Yuan Dynasty. The Yuan dynasty declined from 1294 to 1368 when Zhu Yuanzhang and his rebel army took over. The Yuan Dynasty declined even further when the storms of Kamikazes kept them from conquering the islands of Japan. Kamikaze: Suicide bombers. In Japanese, the word Kamikaze means "divine wind".
Jan 1, 1295
In 1295 Marco Polo and his father returned home to Venice after traveling around China. Not long after, polo was captured during a battle and imprisoned. While in prison, he related the tales of his advenures in China to a fellow prisoner. The prisoner wrote them down and had them published as a book.
Jan 1, 1300
The Black Plague, commonly referred to as the Black Death, also spread to Asia and the Middle East during this time. Safe travel was ensured on the Silk Road for trading and sick patients.
Jan 1, 1368
In 1368, a rebel army defeated the Mongols. The Mongols fled to Manchuria, ending foreign rule in China.
Jan 1, 1368
A New Beginning
In 1368 a peasant named Zhu Yuanzhang and hs rebel army overthrew the last Mongol emperor. Zhu took the name Hongwu, meaning "vastly martial" and founded the Ming Dynasty. Ming means brilliant.
Jan 1, 1398
Hongwu died in 1398. following a power struggle, his son Yonglo became emperor, ruling from 1402 until 1424. Yomglo moved the Ming captial to Beijing, a city in the northeast part of China.
Dec 12, 1405
Yonglo Trading System
Yonglo financed seven overseas exploration by Zheng He. He explored with up to 300 ships as large as 400 feet long. These fleets of ships were called "Junks". The collection of ships included treasure and trading ships. The ships sailed around the Indian ocean as fas as Africa giving gifts from China and receiving gifts to bring back for the emperor. 1405-1433. Junks: Large fleets of ships sent by Zheng He.
Jan 1, 1420
The Forbidden City
The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum
Dec 12, 1420
To extend China's influence, Yonglo sponsored overseas voyages. Between 1405 and 1433 Zheng He, a Chinese Muslim admiral, led seven voyages around the Indian Ocean as far as Africa.
Jan 1, 1500
Ming Dynasty Economy Grows
Farming and irrigation combined with European crops such as corn and sweet potatoes created prosperity. Abundant food led to population growth as well as an increase in manufacturing and industry. As a result, Chinese silk was in great demand in Europe.
Dec 12, 1500
A New Fortress of Protection
China gained new threats from Northern Mongols and the Great Wall of China was repaired and rebuilt. Most of the wall was built during the Ming Dynasty. The Great Wall of China: A fortified wall in northern China, extending some 1,500 miles (2,400 km) from Kansu province to the Yellow Sea north of Beijing.
Dec 12, 1500
Ming Dynasty's Self Quarantine
European missionaries and traders came to China. In an effort to maintain China’s culture, the Ming dynasty began to close China off from the rest of the world. The Ming dynasty strictly limited all trade and ended foreign exploration. Trade continued to be prevalent along the coast as restrictions were difficult to carryout.
Dec 12, 1580
Ming Dynasty Decline
Ming Dynasty diminished due to weak rule, high taxes going to defense measures, and crop failure leading to starvation and rebellion.
An Italian Priest named Matteo Ricci became highly respected by the Ming court because he taught them European Math and science.
China's Last Rule
The Qing dynasty ruled China as the last imperial rule. At this time China flourished and grew to the largest it had ever been. The Manchu gained Chinese acceptance by respecting Chinese culture and customs and equally sharing government positions as well as keeping much of the government structure. The qing dynasty began in 1644 and ended in 1911.
Longer Than Any Other
The Ming Dynasty lasted nearly 300 years until 1644. During this period, China's rulers gained control of Korea, Mongolia, and parts of Central and Southeast Asia.
As Ming China weakened, the Manchu--a people to the northwest in Manchuria-- saw their chance. In 1644, the Manchu swept into Beijing and took the capital. The last Ming emperor killed himself to avoid capture. The Manchu then formed their own dynasty and gave it a Chinese name-- Qing.
Emperor Kangxi ruled Qing Dynasty. He reduced taxes for the poor, and took parts of central Asia. He encouraged science and art and accepted educated European Jesuit priests He lived from 1681-1772
Qianlong, Kangxi’s grandson, ruled Qing. During his rule, China conquered Taiwan, Mongolia and Tibet. The Economy and population flourished with foreign trade, transportation systems, and improved agriculture.1736-1796
Lord George Macartney
Lord George Macartney, visited China to discuss trade. The Chinese thought that the European goods were not as good as the Chinese product and they embarrassed and banished him. Not only that, but they forced Macartney to show respect to Emperor Qianlong by kowtowing. Kowtowing: kneeling in front of the emperor and touching his forehead to the ground nine times.