Around 1200, a Mongol clan leader named Temujin sought to unify the Mongols under his leadership.
In 1206, Temujin accepted the title Genghis Khan, or “universal ruler” of the Mongol clans.
Genghis Khan invaded the Northern Jin Empire in 1211, however, his attention turned to the Islamic region west of Mongolia. Angered by the murder of Mongol traders and an ambas- sador at the hands of the Muslims, Genghis launched a campaign of terror across Central Asia. The Mongols destroyed one city after another Including Utrar, Samarkand, Bukhara, and slaughtered many inhabitants.
By 1225, Central Asia was under Mongol control.
Genghis Khan died in 1227. He did not die from violence, but from illness. His successors continued to expand his empire. In less than 50 years, the Mongols conquered territory from China to Poland. They created the largest unified land empire in history.
By 1260, the Mongols had divided their huge empire into four regions, or khanates. Kublai Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan, assumed the title Great Khan in 1260.
The most famous European to visit China named Marco Polo. He traveled by caravan on the Silk Roads with his father and uncle, arriving at Kublai Khan’s court around 1275. Marco Polo had learned several Asian languages in his travels, and Kublai Khan sent him to various Chinese cities on government missions. He served the Great Khan well for 17 years
In 1281, the Great Khan sent huge fleets against Japan. The Mongols forced Koreans to build, sail, and provide provisions for the boats, a costly task that almost ruined Korea. Both times the Japanese turned back the Mongol fleets.
Kublai Khan died in 1294. After his death, the Yuan Dynasty began to fade. Family members argued over who would rule. In one eight-year period, four different khans took the throne.
At the same time, northern India had to absorb a flood of new people fleeing political instability in other parts of Asia. For 500 years, beginning about 185 B.C., wave after wave of Greeks,
Persians, and Central Asians poured into northern India. These invaders disrupted Indian society.
Noble as his policies of toleration and nonviolence were, they failed to hold the empire together after Asoka died in 232 B.C.
In 301 B.C., Chandragupta’s son assumed the throne.
By 303 B.C., the Mauryan Empire stretched more than 2,000 miles, uniting Roth India politically for the first time.
Chandra Gupta I took the title “Great King of Kings” in A.D. 320.
Chandra Gupta II strengthened his empire through peaceful means by negotiating diplomatic and marriage alliances. He ruled from A.D. 375 to 415.
Over the next 100 years, the Gupta Empire broke into small king- doms. Many were overrun by the Hunas or other Central Asian nomads. The Empire ended about 535.
In 1526, Babur led 12,000 troops to
Babur’s grandson was called Akbar, which means “Great.” Akbar certainly lived up to his name, ruling India with wisdom and tolerance from 1556 to 1605.
In 1434, Cosimo de Medici won control of Florence’s government.
Cosimo de Medici died in 1464, but his family continued to control Florence.w