Jennifer Sun, Chapter 12 (MONGULZZ) DQ Question?

How do the effects of Mongol rule on China compare with the effects of Mongol rule on Russia? Both China and Russia experienced similar economic and cultural strain, but the political effects of Mongol rule for China differed from those for Russia. Effects on Russia Effects on China

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Mongols received incoming wealth and “starved the economy of precious metal.” Mongols tried to introduce paper money in response to a shortage of currency; this had little effect (or improvement) because the economic system was largely nonmonetary and depended on an exchange of goods.

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China suffered under an oppressive tax-farming system imposed by Great Khan. Beijing, the Yuan capital, became the center of economic and cultural life.

Economically

The Russian term for paper money (denga) comes from the influence of Mongols. Mongols had negative effects on the economy of Russia, as they were greedy and took all the precious metals for themselves.

Though treatises on farming were passed and each village had an occupation, the countryside did poorly under Mongol Rule. Farmers were either evicted or taxed outrageously. When conditions had gotten better, Farmers were in low supply. China’s economy, like that of Russia’s, experienced negative effects from an oppressive, heavily taxing system. Urban areas of the Yuan empire, such as China, benefitted.

Russia suffered the spreading of the Bubonic Plague. Ukraine suffered population loss when Mongol armies raided villages to collect taxes. Russian scholars shun Byzantine Greek in exchange for Russian.

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Culturally

Mongols brought about secure routes of transport and communication, exchange of experts between the East and West ends of Eurasia, and transmitted new information, ideas, and skills. Beijing, the Yuan capitol, was more Chinese in character than its predecessor. The countryside also suffered from bubonic plague. The population (may have) shrunk 40% over the course of 80 years of Mongol rule. Khubilai builds an observatory in China. Muslim doctors and Persian medical texts circulate in China. “Chinese medicine” gains popularity.

Russians become culturally isolated. The Mongol Rule discouraged contact with Western Europe. This effect is debatable amongst scholars. Due to the Mongol influence during their rule, Russian culture suffered population loss and isolation from Western Europe.

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Politically

Because Alexander Nevskii, prince of Novgorod assisted the Mongols politically, the Mongols favored Novgorod and Moscow. These overshadowed Kiev. Decentralization in the 1300s allowed Moscow to slowly dominate.

The Khans destroyed the three empires: Tanggut, Jin, and Southern Song, only to reunite them to restore and preserve the features of Chinese government and society. Thus, the Mongols permanently unite China.

The traditional structure of Local Government persisted throughout Mongol rule. The princely families did as well. The Mongols, in their favoritism, transformed the “capitol” from Kiev into Moscow, though not strongly affecting the political structure of Russia.

Confucians lower in position in Mongol times. Unlike the effects of Mongol rule on the Russians, which overall did not make the governmental structure budge, the effects of Mongol rule on China (sadly) practically constructed China’s government by tearing down three empires and rebuilding them as one.