The Pre-Modern Imperialism - The Mongols tutorial Web site is an introductory resource for the examination of the Mongols and their Empire. The tutorial chronicles key components in the development and expansion of the largest continuous land empire in the history of the world.
Empires have a very long pre-modern history. Most of the world's empires are pre-modern; the Persian Empire from the sixth to the fourth century B.C.E., Alexander's Empire, the Roman, the Byzantine, the Mughal Empire in India, the Ottoman, and a series of Chinese empires, among others. In sheer size the Mongol Empire rivaled them all. By the end of the thirteenth century the great steppe empire stretched from the Pacific Ocean to the plains of eastern Europe and included most of Asia. Although the term Pax Mongolica is an oversimplification, the cosmopolitan nature of the Mongol Empire contributed to the stability of overland connections and trade routes. The Mongol phenomenon, that a nomadic people of the inner Asian steppes became masters of an enormous empire, continues to fascinate scholars and students. The Web site is intended to bring users into contact with recent scholarship, primary material, scholarly essays, and online and print resources, among other things. The Web site developer endeavors to provide this material in an accessible and understandable fashion.
The site is structured into five parts. For each part there is a brief introduction, which provides links to the section topics.
- Introduction, includes a geographic overview of the Mongol Empire, a chronology, and a genealogy.
- Essays in The Mongol Empire section examine the foundation and expansion of the empire, the Mongol military, Mongol society, and the impact of the empire on trade networks.
- Successor States focuses on the expansion of the empire after the death of Genghis Khan.
- Scholar Voices introduces users to current scholarship.
- Finally, the Activities and Resources section provides links to online materials--including map resources--lists significant print resources, and offers a variety of activities for students to pursue.
The tutorial is based on a project for the "Explorations in Empire" Summer Research Seminar at the Library of Congress in 2001. The seminar was made possible by an American Historical Association (AHA), Community College Humanities Association (CCHA), Library of Congress (LC) Grant, funded by the Ford Foundation.
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