Friday, January 15, 2010

Mongol Eurasia and Its Aftermath: Webquest

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The Mongols had the second largest empire in the history of the world. Only the British Empire can compare with the expansiveness of the Mongol Empire. The tremendous extent of the Mongol Empire promoted the movement of people and ideas from one end of Eurasia to the other. Specialized skills that developed in one location was quickly transmitted to all parts of the Empire.

During the Mongols period of domination, lasting from 1218 to about 1350 in western Eurasia and to 1368 in China, the Mongols focused on specific economic and strategic interests and usually permitted local cultures to survive and continue to develop.

Societies in regions as widely separated as Russia, Iran, China, Korea, and Japan benefited from the Mongol stimulation of economic and cultural exchange and also found in their opposition to the Mongols new bases for political consolidation and affirmation of cultural difference.

The Task

If you're like most American high school students, you don't know much about the Mongol Empire. The Mongols are very removed from the United States in both time and space. This is simply a travesty that must be fixed as soon as possible. This webquest will encourage you to create a presentation for Mrs. Smith's 6th grade World History class. To excel at this project you must be knowledgeable in the history of the Mongols as well as have a sense of the congnative abilities sixth grade students.

Through this webquest you will accomplish the following:
  • Research websites on six different areas of the Mongol Empire
  • Synthesize the information into a PowerPoint presentation for a class of 6th grade students.
  • Present another students PowerPoint to the class.
  • Create a 15 question multiple choice quiz for the 6th graders

You will become a context area expert. You will be assigned to one of the six areas. You will read, look at, listen to, and consider all the websites in your area of expertise. You will determine the most important and interesting ideas in your area, and then you will take notes on those ideas. Each student needs to gather enough information for a 3 to 5-minute presentation (20 to 30 minutes). TIP: Keep this window open and open another window to do research.

Topics to Include:

I. The Rise of the Mongols, 1200–1260
A. Nomadism in Central and Inner Asia
1. Nomadic groups depended on scarce water and pasture resources;
2. Mongol groups were a strongly hierarchical organization
3. The various Mongol groups formed complex federations
4. The seasonal movements of the Mongol tribes brought them into contact with Manicheanism, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam
5. Nomads strove for economic self-sufficiency, but they always relied on trade
B. The Mongol Conquests, 1215–1283
1. Between 1206 and 1234, under the leadership of Genghis Khan and his successors
2. Khubilai declared himself Great Khan in 1265 the other Mongol khans refused to accept him
3. Khubilai founded the Yuan Empire with its capital at Beijing in 1271; in 1279 he conquered the Southern Song
4. Factors that may have contributed to the Mongols’ ability to conquer such vast territories.
C. Overland Trade and the Plague
1. The Mongol conquests opened overland trade routes and brought about an unprecedented commercial integration of Eurasia
2. Diseases including the bubonic plague

II. Mongols and Islam, 1260–1500
A. Mongol Rivalry
1. Il-khan Mongol Empire and their Muslim subjects
2. Golden Horde, led by Genghis Khan’s grandson Batu, who had converted to Islam
3. During this conflict European leaders attempted to make an alliance with the Il-khans to drive the Muslims out of Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine
B. Islam and the State
1. collect as much tax revenue as possible, which it did through a tax farming system
2. In the short term, the tax farming system was able to deliver large amounts of grain, cash and silk. In the long term, over-taxation led to increases in the price of grain, a shrinking tax base, and, by 1295, a severe economic crisis.
3. Attempts to end the economic crisis through tax reduction programs c
4. As the Il-khan Empire and the Golden Horde declined in the fourteenth century, Timur, the last Central Asian conqueror
C. Culture and Science in Islamic Eurasia
1. In literature, the historian Juvaini
2. Muslims under Mongol rulership also made great strides in astronomy, calendar-making, and the prediction of eclipses
3. In mathematics, Muslim scholars adapted the Indian numerical system
III. Regional Responses in Western Eurasia
A. Russia and Rule from Afar
1. After they defeated the Kievan Rus, the Mongols of the Golden Horde made their capital at the mouth of the Volga
2. Because Prince Alexander of Novgorod and Moscow emerging as the new center of the Russian civilization.
3. Ivan III, the prince of Moscow
B. New States in Eastern Europe and Anatolia
1. Europe was divided between the political forces of the papacy and those of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II
2. The Mongol armies that attacked Europe were actually an international force
3. After the Mongol withdrawal, Europeans initiated a variety of diplomatic and trade overtures toward the Mongols
4. The Ottomans,
IV. Mongol Domination in China, 1271–1368
A. The Yuan Empire, 1279–1368
1. Khubilai Khan
2. When the Mongols came to China
3. The Mongols also made some innovations in government.
4. Under Mongol rule China’s cities and ports prospered, trade recovered, and merchants flourished. Merchants organized corporations in order to pool money and share risks.
5. In the rural areas, cotton growing, spinning, and weaving were introduced to mainland China from Hainan Island, and the Mongols encouraged the construction of irrigation systems. In general, however, farmers in the Yuan were overtaxed and brutalized while dams and dikes were neglected.
6. During the Yuan period China’s population declined by perhaps as much as 40 percent
B. Cultural and Scientific Exchange
1. Exchange of scientific, technological, and mathematical knowledge was especially common between Iran and China
2. During this period Iranian astronomical knowledge, algebra, and trigonometry, and Islamic and Persian medical texts, seeds, and formulas were brought to China.
C. The Fall of the Yuan Empire
1. In 1368 the Chinese leader Zhu Yuanzhang brought an end to years of chaos and rebellion when he overthrew the Mongols and established the Ming Empire

V. The Early Ming Empire, 1368–1500
A. Ming China on a Mongol Foundation
1. Former monk, soldier, and bandit Zhu Yuanzhang established the Ming Empire in 1368.
2. At a deeper level, the Ming actually continued many institutions and practices that had been introduced during the Yuan
3. Between 1405 and 1433 the Ming dispatched a series of expeditions to Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean under the Muslim eunuch admiral Zheng He
4. Why the voyages ceased
B. Technology and Population
1. The Ming saw less technological innovation than the Song. Reasons for the slowdown?
C. The Ming Achievement
1. The Ming was a period of great wealth, consumerism, and cultural brilliance.
2. One aspect of Ming popular culture was the development of vernacular novels like Water Margin and Romance of the Three Kingdoms
VI. Centralization and Militarism in East Asia, 1200–1500
A. Korea from the Mongols to the Yi, 1231–1500
1. Korea’s leaders initially resisted the Mongol invasions but gave up in 1258 when the king of Koryo surrendered and joined his family to the Mongols by marriage.
2. Koryo collapsed shortly after the fall of the Yuan and was replaced by the Yi dynasty
3. Technological innovations of the Yi period
B. Political Transformation in Japan, 1274–1500
1. The first (unsuccessful) Mongol invasion of Japan in 1274
2. The second Mongol invasion (1281)
3. The Kamakura shogunate
4. After the Onin war of 1477


Rise of the Mongols Context Expert:
- World History Timeline: The Mongols
- Great Steppe Empires of Asia
- Expansion of the Mongol Empire
- The Mongol Conquests
- Genghis Khan
- Ogodei Khan
- Khubilai Khan
- Overland Trade
- Black Death in Asia
- Black Death

Interaction of the Mongols and Islam Context Expert:
- The Islamic World to 1600
- Islamic History in Arabia and Middle East
- Religious Tolerance
- Mongols and Gutenberg
- The Mongols into Iran

Regional Responses in Western Eurasia Context Expert:
- Khanate of the Golden Horde
- The Golden Horde
- Alexander Nevsky: Prince of Novgorod
- The Pax Mongolica
- Frederick II and the Papal Conflict
- Mongols Invade Europe
- Interaction between Europe and Mongol lands
- Rise of the Turks and the Ottomans

Mongol Domination in China Context Expert:
- Ancient China: The Yuan Empire
- Yuan Dynasty
- The Mongols in World History
- Mongol Support of Art

Early Ming Empire Context Expert:
- Ming Dynasty
- Ming
- Ming the Commercial Revolution
- Chinese Mariner Zheng He
- Russia, Central Eurasia, China, Japan, 1500-1700

- Decline of the Ming

Centralization and Militarism in East Asia Context Expert:
- Korean History
- Korea's Joseon Dynasty
- Mongol invasions of Japan
- Japanese Invasion
- Kamakura
- Warring States Japan

Evaluation (10 points each)

Including all topics
Written at proper level
Knowledge of Presenters
Visual Images
Primary Source
Multiple Choice Quiz
Proper Use of Sources


Victoria Dixon said...

Thanks for the list of references! I've got a yahoo group of authors of novels with Asian settings and I plan on putting up a link to your page. You've got an amazing amount of information in here and I wish I'd found you years ago.

One suggestion, though. I found it a little difficult scrolling through and reading some of your text as they're not easily visible.

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