The Yuan Dynasty was created by the Mongols who ruled parts, then eventually, the whole of China. They reigned from the 13th century until 1368, and their sovereignty expanded throughout most of Asia and Eastern Europe. However, the Yuan rulers rarely exercised much control over the distant lands they ruled over.
The Yuan Dynasty Under the Mongols
The Mongols battled with the Chinese for hundreds of years. When they united under Genghis Khan’s rule, they became a formidable clan.
The Mongols swept across China’s northern areas and destroyed a lot of cities along the way. With that, the Mongols and Chinese continued battling for years until Kublai Khan reigned over the Mongols.
Under Kublai Khan, they first associated themselves with the Chinese of the Southern Song. They did this to defeat the Jin Dynasty of the North. Once conquered, the Mongols attacked the Southern Song, which eventually led to Kublai Khan ruling over most of the country.
Eventually, Kublai Khan established his own empire, which he then called the Yuan Dynasty. Yet after his death, the empire started to weaken. The heir of Kublai Khan fought overpower while the government became corrupt, which led to its downfall.
Peasant uprisings continued throughout the 14th century until one led by the Red Turbans completely ended the Yuan Dynasty. The Yuan’s demise was what brought about a new empire, the Ming Dynasty.
Culture During the Yuan Dynasty
During the Yuan Dynasty, parts of the Chinese culture still flourished. Here, the rulers during the period encouraged the people to do art like painting, ceramics, drama, and more. With that, it can be said that the Mongols somehow became similar to the Chinese as time passed.
The Mongols were a small part of the entire Chinese population. However, a lot of them still tried to keep their own culture. They still lived in tents, married other Mongols, and drank fermented milk.