The old world had many great leaders. Alexander the Great, Hannibal and even Julius Caesar met with struggle on their rise to power. Perhaps Genghis Khan was the most significant of all these rulers. To prove that Genghis Khan was the greatest ruler, we must go back to the very beginning of his existence. We must examine such issues as; Genghis¹s struggle for power/how his life as a child would affect his rule, his personal and military achievements and his conquests.
Genghis Khan was originally born as Temujin in 1167. He showed early promise as a leader and a fighter. By 1206, an assembly of Mongolian chieftains proclaimed him Genghis Khan. Which meant Universal or invincible prince. This was a bold move for the assembly. They obviously saw some leadership qualities in Genghis that others didn¹t. When Genghis Khan was little, his chieftain father poisoned. With no leader left, the tribe abandoned Genghis and his mother. They were left alone for many years to care for themselves. Throughout these years, his family met many hardships such as shortage of food and shortage of money. Though unable to read, Genghis was a very wise man. His mother told him at a very early age the importance of trust and independence. "Remember, you have no companions but your shadow" Grolier Encyclopedia. (1995) CD ROM
This quote was to mean to Genghis, don¹t put to much trust in anyone, trust no one but yourself and if you must go your own way then do so. In 1206, Genghis Khan proclaimed the ruler of Mongolia. Genghis was a very respected leader. Like other leaders he knew what his people wanted. They want everything that is good and nothing that is bad. Genghis knew he could not promise this so instead he pledged to share both the sweet and the bitter of life. Genghis did not want to end up being poisoned like his father so instead he made alliances, and attacked anyone who posed a serious threat. Through this method of leadership, Genghis¹s army grew to the point where they were unbeatable.
Genghis contributed alot of items to the chinese and even western civilizations. Perhaps his greatest contribution was a code of laws that he declared. Since Genghis couldn¹t read or write, these law were documented by one of his followers. His laws were carried on by people though the many generations to the point of still being in use today. Either as a modification of Genghis¹s laws or as Genghis had declared them. Genghis Khan promoted the growth of trade between China and Europe. This allowed him to gain essential supplies such as food, weapons and other essential survival materials. Genghis also invented a system similar to the pony express. It was a system in which the horse and rider could silently communicate, a system that is still in use today. Perhaps the greatest gift ever given by Genghis Khan was the gift of language. Genghis was the first ruler to develop a Mongolian language. Genghis Khan was also a military and strategic genius. He structured his army in a unique and interesting fashion. He integrated soldiers from different tribes into one powerful fighting force. This was a brilliant idea. Not only could he have diversity and people who specialize in certain aspects of warfare, but it also inspired loyalty to the mongolian army as a whole rather than to a specific group of people. Genghis used harsh training and strict discipline to create a superior fighting force, he also insured that everyone of his soldiers was well equipped and could easily adopted new warfare tactics. His soldiers were always learning. Whether it be a new tactic Genghis had invented or a new weapon He decided the army would use, his soldiers were constantly learning. Genghis inspired loyalty by a unique way of promotion. Genghis felt that the best way to gain a loyal following was to promote people on the basis of achievement and not within the family. This did not only inspire a great deal of loyalty but it also made his army better and actually raised the morale of his soldiers. Every soldier gave their life to Genghis and one hundred percent of their effort because no one knew who would be the next Genghis would promote.
Finally, once Genghis's army was trained and ready for battle, Genghis felt it was time to flex the muscles of the Mongolian empire. Genghis took on the great task of conquering all of china and uniting it under a single ruler. Genghis began his assault on China by attacking a northwest kingdom called Xi Xia. He defeated Xi Xia with little effort and then in 1215 he moved northeast, attacking and conquering Bejing, the capital city of the Jin empire. In 1218, for reasons unknown, he decided to cease his assault on China and sweep into central Asia. He crushed the kingdom of Krorezm which was located in what is now present-day Uzebekistan and Turkmenistan. In 1220, he destroyed the cities of Bukhara and Samarkand, which are located in present-day Uzebekistan and Neyshabar in modern Iran. By 1223, Genghis Khan and his troops had conquered the Kipchaks, and they had defeated the Russians at the Kalka River. It had taken Genghis Khan 17 years to create an empire superior in strength and achievement to Alexander the great, Julius Caesar and even Hannibal. From 1225 until Genghis¹s death in 1227, His army was at war with Yi Yia kingdom.
Genghis Khan died on August 18, 1227, and was buried in a secret location in Mongolia. By rewarding skill and allegiance, and punishing those who opposed him, Genghis Khan established a vast empire and the most powerful empire to ever exist. Upon his death, Genghis¹s son Kublai Khan took over the empire, founding the chinese-style Yuan dynasty. Mongol rule brought relative peace to Asia, leaving China accessible to foreign visitors, such as Marco Polo.
- Grolier Encyclopedia. (1995). CD ROM
- The New World Book. (1995). CD ROM
- Empires Beyond the Great Wall: The Heritage of Genghis Khan.
- www.pinc.com/khan/empires.html Online. Internet. 1 May 1996
- Heroes (Genghis Khan 1167-1227).
- http://spruce.evansville.edu/~al22/genghis.html Online. Internet. 2 May 1996