During this time, Temujin, a clan leader, wanted to bring together the Mongols under his power.
Temujin was awarded the title of “Genghis Khan”, or universal leader. He was crowned the leader of the Mongol clan.
After receiving his title, Genghis and his army of Mongols conquered many territories. In 1211, they conquered the northern Jin Empire, lunching the rest of Asia into terror of Genghis and the Mongols.
With all of Asia in peril, Genghis continues to destroy and conquer parts of China, including Utrar, Samarkand, and Bukhara. Eventually, all of Central Asia was under his control.
Genghis Khan died in 1227—not from violence, but from illness. His successors continued to expand his empire. In less than 50 years, the Mongols conquered ter- ritory from China to Poland. In so doing, they created the largest unified land empire in history.
By 1260, the Mongols had divided their huge empire into four regions, or khanates.
The most famous European to visit China in these years was a young Venetian trader, Marco Polo. He traveled by caravan on the Silk Roads with his father and uncle, arriving at Kublai Khan’s court around 1275.
1281, the Great Khan sent huge fleets of ships to the Japanese archipelago.
Kublai Khan died in 1294. After his death, the Yuan Dynasty began to fade. Family members continually argued over who would rule. In one eight-year period, four different khans took the throne.