The Mongols were a tribe of nomads from Central/North Asia that used horses as their mode of transportation. They constituted a conglomerate of different tribes and were always at war with their neighbours, using terror as a war weapon. The Mongol empire was quickly expanding as the Mongols conquered other territories. Genghis Khan led the Mongol conquest, which was a threat to the Muslim world. In fact, it is one of the most demoralizing moments of the Islamic history. In fact, the Muslims were unable to resist the conquest due to their weak military and political structures. The paper will revolve around the long term repercussions of the Mongol conquest, involving both positive and negative effects.
Positive Impacts of Mongols Conquests
The significant consequence of Mongol conquests was the Sunni revival which involved the transformation of the Islamic art. It signalled major cultural changes in the Islamic world. There was the establishment of proportional calligraphy and other features that define medieval Islamic culture. The other major impact is the establishment of infrastructure which can be denoted by the re-establishment of the Silk Road. The road made it easier for traders to move their products. The Mongols also re-opened other trade routes such as the sea route from China to the Persian Gulf as well as the Siberian direction. For this reason, the Mongols unified a large area partly due to their ability to establish trade networks especially in Europe and Asia.
The Mongol conquest also led to the adoption of a new Persian lifestyle and strengthened the Persian identity. However, the Persian sense of identity was based on some Persian cultural elements that were a function of the Islam and Islamic world-view in general. The other aspect is that the Mongols learnt to accept prevailing religions, such as Islam, Buddhism, and Christianity, without discrimination. Religious leaders were accorded tax exempts and were not allowed to take part in public service. Besides, there were specific structures that were organized to ensure complete religious freedom, which created unity among all religions. Similarly, different houses of worship were built for every religion. The conquest also created significant linguistics and socio-linguistics impact. Such influence related to the exchange of words, phrases as well as other major socio-linguistic aspects. In fact, the linguistic skills partly contributed to the provision of a path to advancement within the government. In addition, the Mongol conquest also introduced a writing system that is still applied in Mongolia today. The writing system was based on the Uyghur script which is still applicable in Mongolia. The Mongol empire also deserves credit for the role it played in re-uniting China and expanding its frontiers.
The other positive impact is that Mongols were an epitome of the predilection for scientific language. The scientific fields included astronomy, medicine, and geography, which led to the establishment of institutes such as the Office of Western Medicine. Similarly, they funded advances in medicine and astronomy thus increasing the amount of paper money in circulation. The Mongols were also concerned with the textile industry, which explains why they created workshops in different areas. In fact, the workshops specialized in cloth production. The textile industry was doing notably well because of an increase in the production of silk and cotton. Apart from this, there was also the sea trade that had horses and pearls as the key exports. Besides, international commercial activities enhanced as Mongols took part in partnerships known as ortoq.
The relationship between the Mongol government and international merchants was a major positive impact because it entailed significant privileges among them being the provision of an additional income. Other areas that flourished as a result of the conquest were metal works and ceramics which were at the centre of Persian art. The Mongol military also set a good example that could be emulated by other militaries. This is because the army was organized, well trained, and exhibited high discipline levels. For instance, their military campaigns were preceded by careful planning and gathering all the necessary private information about the enemy. Besides, the success of the military could be attributed to the army’s success and mobility. The army also had the stamina to traverse large distances amidst varying adversities such as cold winters and frozen rivers among others. All abovementioned aspects are some of the positive attributes of the military that were borrowed from the Mongol conquests.
Negative Impacts of Mongols Conquests
The Mongols destroyed the rich cultural, scientific, and technological legacy that Muslims had cultivated over the years. The reason is that the Mongols killed and deported a significant number of scholars as well as scientists and destroyed their outstanding works. In fact, the Mongols were looting and pillaging any territory that was not surrendering to their authority. They caused much destruction in the process as they burnt down crops with an objective of starving people. The conquest brought a severe blow to agriculture, trade as well as handicrafts. However, in regard to agriculture, it is imperative to acknowledge that the Mongols conquest was taking place during a period when agriculture was already in decline. For this reason, their conquest only had an impact of precipitating the crisis.
In fact, the Mongols conquests are portrayed as a savage assault that led to the destruction of great cities. This can be attributed to the fact that the Mongols were fierce fighters and executed terrible acts. An example is retribution. Similarly, the Mongols embraced a successful tactic of eliminating urban populations that were not surrendering to their invasions. Such approach led to the destruction of major cities. For instance, the city of citadel was greatly affected by fire destructions because the population continued to resist the Mongol conquest. The surviving soldiers were massacred. Other cities that were seriously destroyed are Khwarazm and Khurasan. However, in cities such as Samarqand, the habitants surrendered within four days, which negated the severity of destructions.
However, the Mongols were lenient to those who followed their orders while those who did not were treated as enemies. In addition, enemy formations were disrupted using rockets and siege engines. Overall, the Mongols exhibited high levels of corruption which negatively affected the population. The reason is that they were collecting numerous taxes with an aim of supporting several specific services which would be beneficial to the people. However, out of the taxes collected, only a small portion reached the government. The Mongol collectors also received bribes from local governors and fulfilled their selfish gains at the expense of the population.
The Mongol empire was among the largest contiguous empires and was setting the standard of imperial powers as a benchmark for other dynasties. The Mongol conquest was disastrous both politically and economically and brought about positive and negative effects in their quest to centralize administration. It also denotes the classical age of Arab Muslim culture. Some of the positive effects of the conquest are the Sunni revival, adoption of a new Persian lifestyle, and bringing a linguistics and socio-linguistics impact. The Mongols also preserved trade, religion as well as the works of conquered civilizations. The negative effects include the eradication of the rich Muslim culture and destruction of major cities.