AP World History Notes

Chp.11 Strayer

  1. What has been the role in world history of pastoral peoples in general and the Mongols in particular?
    • Produced agriculture where no one had thought possible.
    •  Played roles as traders and bandits on long distance trade routes.
    • Played roles in the collapses of the 2nd wave civilizations and their rebuilds.
    •  Supported Buddhism in China
    •  Nomadic Bedouin Arabs aided in expansion of Islam.
    • Turks carried Islam to new lands.
    • Mongols made largest empire of the time; Facilitated closer connections across Eurasia.
    •  Increased the rate of technology & crop exchange, mixing of peoples, spread of epidemic disease.
    •  Mongol tolerance of other religions facilitated spread of religion.
  2. In what ways did pastoral societies differ from their agricultural counterparts?
    • Pastoral societies supported far smaller populations.
    • Pastoral societies generally lived in small and widely scattered encampments of related kinfolk.
    • Pastoral societies were far more mobile.
  3. How did the status of women differ in pastoral societies from the settles people?
    • Pastoral societies generally offered women a higher status, fewer restrictions, and a greater role in public life.
  4. In what ways did pastoral societies interact with their agricultural neighbors?
    • Economically, nomads sought access to the foods, manufactured goods, and luxury items available only from their agricultural neighbors.
    • Politically and militarily, pastoral peoples at times came together to extract wealth from agricultural societies through trading, raiding, or extortion.
    • Culturally, members of some pastoral societies adopted the religions of their agricultural neighbors, including Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Manichaeism.


  1. Why was it difficult to create a large state among nomadic people
    • Lacked surplus wealth needed to pay for professional armies that would sustain the state.
    • Fierce independence made it nearly impossible to establish a stable political unity.
  2. Why did nomadic societies have military advantages over the other larger populations?
    • They could draw on horseback riding and hunting skill of basically the entire male population.
    • Skills could be easily transferred to the role of a warrior which were practiced starting as a child.
  3. What forms of technology developed among nomadic peoples?
    • horse harnesses
    • saddles with iron stirrups
    • compound bow
    • armor
    • swords
  4. Describe the pastoral nomads who came before the Mongols
    1. The Xiongnu lived in the Mongolian steppes. They had a large military confederacy. Transformed into a more centralized and hierarchical political system
    2. The Arabs widely spread Islam. They developed a reliable camel saddle which enabled Bedouins. They came to control the major trade routes of Arabia using their camels as a military advancement.
    3. The Turks had a supreme ruler known as kaghan who was protected by a band of soldiers called “wolves” because the wolf was the mythical ancestor of the Turkish people. During their time, they commonly raided the larger civilizations to the south and allied with them to defeat common enemies. Invaded India and planted Islam there as well.
    4. The Berbers lived in North Africa long before the arrival of the Arabs, and their culture probably dates back more than 4,000 years. The Arabs used the Berbers and enlisted them to conquer Spain and this was primarily the reason on Islamic expansion to North Africa.

9. Why did the Mongols have minimal cultural impact on the peoples they conquered?

Since the Mongols themselves easily assimilated different cultures into their own, they introduced no new language, culture, or religion to the lands they conquered.

10. Identify the major steps in the rise of the Mongol Empire.

Temujin, later dubbed Chinggis Khan, succeeded in bringing the Mongols together, unifying them in the Great Mongol Nation by 1206.

In order to hold his alliance together, Chinggis Khan launched a series of military campaigns against the settled agricultural societies of Eurasia over the half century after 1209.

Through this Mongol world war, Chinggis Khan and his successors constructed an empire that included China, Korea, Central Asia, Russia, much of the Islamic Middle East, and parts of Eastern Europe.

11. Why were the Mongols so successful in their conquests?

Temujin’s rise in power after a military victory over a rival tribe allowed him to create order from the chaos that was in the Mongol tribe. Other than that, what made the Mongols so successful was that they never lived with any specific blueprint or plan. They attacked, conquered and used the excess resources to prepare for another attack, they were ruthless. They also had great timing because at that time China divided and lost control over the nomadic civilizations. They had a tough discipline in their armies but it was rarely needed due to the soldiers’ loyalty to the leaders. They would also use the conquered people as human shields at times before mutilating those who fought against them which would strike fear in all other tribes.

12. How did the Mongol rule change China?

            The Mongols united a divided China. The Mongols took a Chinese dynastic title, the Yuan, and moved their capital to a new capital city known as Khanbalik, the "city of the khan" (present-day Beijing).

13. In what ways were the Mongols changed by China?

            In order to effectively control China the Mongols had to accommodate the citizens by adapting parts of their culture and ways of governing. The Mongols took a Chinese dynastic title, the Yuan. The Mongols made use of Chinese administrative practices and techniques of taxation and their postal system. Mongol khans made use of traditional Confucian rituals, which returned the favor with strong political support for the invaders.

14. Describe the rules forbidding Mongol interaction with the Chinese.

            There were many laws made to preserve the distinction between Mongol and Chinese. He forbade Chinese scholars to learn the Mongol script, which was used for records and correspondence at the upper levels of the imperial government. Mongols were forbidden to marry ethnic Chinese, and only women from nomadic families were selected for the imperial harem. Even friendships between the two peoples were discouraged. Mongol religious ceremonies and customs were retained.

15. How did Mongol rule in Persia differ from that in China?

             Heavy taxation pushed Persian peasants off their land. The Mongol rulers in Persia were transformed far more than their counterparts in China were, as the Mongols made extensive use of the sophisticated Persian bureaucracy. Unlike what occurred in China, the Mongols who conquered Persia converted in large numbers to the local Muslim faith. A number of Mongols turned to farming and married local people, so when their rule in Persia collapsed, they were not driven out as they were from China.

16. How did Mongol rule destroy Persian and Iraqi agriculture?

The in-migration of nomadic Mongols, together with their immense herds of sheep and goats, turned much agricultural land into pasture and sometimes into desert.

17. How did Ghazan change Mongol rule in Persia?

          Ghazan made some efforts to repair the damage caused by earlier ruthless exploitation by rebuilding damaged cities and repairing neglected irrigation works. A number of Mongols also turned to farming, abandoning their nomadic ways.

18. Why did Mongol rule in Persia end?

          The Mongols were never driven out of Persia, it was just that their Turkic allies disappeared and assimilated into Persian society.

19. How did Mongol rule affect Russia?

They isolated Russians cutting them off from ideas and inventions from the rest of Europe. They also allowed Russians to follow their customs as long as they never rebelled and tolerated all religion. Russians had to owe Mongols slavish obedience and massive amounts of tribute.


20. What kinds of cross cultural interactions did the Mongol Empire generate?

          Because of the economic and political relationships the Mongols had with the rest of the world, it caused cross culture transfer. Mongol policy transferred many craftsmen and educated people to distant parts of the empire, and religious tolerance and merchants also attracted traders. Karakorum was a diverse city with different religions. Persians and Arabs were sent to China and Chinese engineers were in ‘demand’ in the Islamic World.

21. Why were Western Europeans interested in contact with the Mongols?

          They were interested in increased contact with the Mongols because they were less technologically developed, by trading with the Mongols they would get the benefits of new technology, crops, and knowledge. Also, trading with the Mongols would save them from a bloody attack by the Mongols.

22. How did Chinese and other East Asian medical techniques and inventions spread westward to Europe?

           The movement of people throughout Asia facilitated “the exchange of ideas and techniques” westward towards Europe. Khan Ghazan sent envoys to various parts of the world and since Europe had been largely cut off from trade network, the Mongol conquests reopened the path way for them.

23. Why did the Black Death spread?

          It originated most probably in China and spread because of the vast trade routes of the Mongol Empire. It was carried by rodents and fleas and transmitted to humans. Also, Chinese voyages to East Africa spread the disease even further.

24. How did the Black Death affect Europe, China, and the Middle East?

China, Europe, and the Middle East were densely populated so the areas were more vulnerable. The plague killed enormous numbers of humans and death rates increased to 90%. Half of Europe’s population was eradicated. Middle East lost one third of its population.

25. What were the long term effects of the plague?

          Labor shortages “provoked” a conflict between workers and the wealthy that employed them. Series of peasant revolts also broke out. It undermined the “practice of serfdom.” Labor shortages caused technological innovation and created more opportunities for women.

26. How has the image of pastoral peoples changed among historians?

          At first historians were far more critical of these nomads, presenting them as barbarians who merely plundered other lands. However, historians now present a more “balance” picture of the nomads and their role in creating and destroying the world. Historians now highlight their ability to adapt and their role in cross cultural exchange.                                                                                                                                                             

27. How has the image of the Mongols changed in recent times?

          Because of the recent wars and genocides occurring in the world, Mongols are not as harshly viewed as they were. The rise of nukes and the U.S provoking and actually being the only country to use them has made Mongol massacres look easy.



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Aboukhadijeh, Feross. "Chp.11 Strayer" StudyNotes.org. Study Notes, LLC., 05 Jun. 2015. Web. 21 Jun. 2024. <https://www.apstudynotes.org/world-history/outlines/chp-11-strayer/>.