Mongolia is a country of extremes also in its history.
A small number of inhabitants, a great territory, and great conquerors whose names still shake several centuries after their disappearance!
In the early days of men – from the Stone Age to the Iron Age
The earliest traces of human life in Mongolia date back to the Paleolithic era. The sands of the Gobi delivered bones more than 500,000 years old, discovered at the foot of Mount Yarkh.
These vestiges of the Stone Age testify to their time, in this era of revolutions still unmatched to this day in all the History of Humanity which is born in Asia: appearance of agriculture, breeding, domestication of the beasts , the foundation of the first cities and the first major empires, at the origin of the establishment of societies and a hierarchization of men.
An era that will be much later: the oldest human presence of French territory, Terra Amata, is only a few 380,000 years old. In Mongolia, wheat cultivation coexisted with nomadic breeding, where horses, yaks and camels were domesticated. He buried his dead, used the wheel, bowed and practiced a solar cult reminiscent of Stonehenge or the alignments of Carnac.
The Empires of the Steppes – from the 3rd century BC JC in the 13th century AD
Empires which have never ceased to make the world tremble.
The first of these was the Hiong-Nu empire, known in Europe as the Huns. Its power extended over the territory of the present Mongolian peoples (Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, Buryatia) from the 4th century BC. JC in the 1st century of our era. Its emperors, the Shanuis, were such a threat to China that the latter undertook from that time the construction of its Great Wall.
Two other empires succeeded each other on the same territory: the Hsien-Pei (from 100 to 400 AD), then the Juan Juan (AD 4th-6th century AD). Then came two khanats, or empire in Turkish, then taking over the Mongol tribes as to the control of the territory and the harassment of its close neighbors; the first will be pushed back to the foot of the Great Wall. A second will rise from these ashes, but will split into two distinct parts, like the Roman Empire: on the one hand the West, turned towards Persia and Iran; on the other, the East, more important and centered on the valley of the Orkhon, at the origin of this place, the cradle of successive dynasties.
Buddhism will make a short appearance but soon will be condemned by the Turkish emperors or kagan, opposing the warrior mores very prized of that time. The Ouigours (from 740 to 840 AD) left their writing as an inheritance, whereas the Kitans (from 920 to 1125 AD) bequeathed the traditions of a people both nomadic and urban. In short, you have no doubt understood that the complex mosaic of the peoples of this region was only awaiting the arrival of a personality to rally to form a single people and a single nation.
Genghis Khan was the founding father of the Mongol nation and his greatest glory. He reigned at the head of the most extensive empire in history, at its peak twice as extensive as the Roman Empire, which he created by the sheer force of an iron will and some valiant Mongol warriors. And although he is only a man in the eyes of his people, he is none the less exceptional. Descending in a straight line from the mythical union of a Blue Wolf and a White Biche, he was born holding in his hands two clots of blood, a celestial sign predestining him to play a role of scale in this world and to be one of the greatest conquerors of history.
It is said to be one of the terrestrial emanations of Avalokitesvara (Medjig Janraisig in Mongol), boddhisattva of Compassion, tutelary deity of the Lamaist Buddhism of Mongolia. Who knows ?
Born in the year of grace 1162, Temudjin lived a difficult childhood. His father, chief of the Kiyat Borjigin tribe, was poisoned by the Tatars when he was 9 years old; he was then captured by the Taichi, an enemy tribe wishing to take over the control of his clan. He became leader only by the force of his fist. In 1198, he defeated the Merkit tribe, the latter having taken from him Borte, his wife, and subjugated his other enemies, rallying to him the mosaic yet complex of the many Mongolian tribes. In 1206, he reigns supreme over the whole territory and its subjects, and becomes Genghis Khan, universal monarch; here are the roots of a Mongolia and the origin of a people.
In 1216 he invaded China, then attacked Central Asia in 1221, extending his strikes to the west as far as the Caucasus and north to the Crimea . He will not be present at the end of his conquests, dying of a fall of a horse in 1227. Genghis Khan remains one of the greatest men that history has known. He was an outstanding military and tactical genius on his own model. He bequeathed to each of his sons his own way, thus securing to the Empire its cohesion and expansion to come.
Following him: Jochi, the eldest, whose son Batu founded the famous Golden Horde, a state whose power would stretch from Russia to the gates of Europe; Jagatai, founder of a state in his name on the borders of Central Asia; Ögödei, who succeeded him at the head of the Mongol Empire; Tolui, the younger son, whose sons followed in the footsteps of their illustrious grandfather: Mangu Khan took the head of the Mongol Empire at the death of Ögödei; Kubilai Khan founded the Yuan dynasty in China, which continued there until 1368; Hulagu founded the Il Khanid dynasty in Persia. The Golden Age of the Empire, the Pax Mongolica, will then follow a territory stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the shores of the Mediterranean and Siberia on the borders of China. The latter was realized through the brilliant activity of circles of intellectuals, an intercultural mix of incredible wealth, unmatched pomp, or a lively trade and multiple exchanges. In short, a Mongolian Renaissance two centuries before the Florence of the Medici, where science, humanism and the occult were in perfect harmony, and where the whole territory enjoyed peace and prosperity, nothing to envy the ancient Pax Romana. Moreover, the great Khans showed great tolerance, leaving everyone to live according to their own customs and beliefs, thus benefiting from the contribution of each people and culture. and where the whole territory benefited from peace and prosperity having nothing to envy the ancient Pax Romana. Moreover, the great Khans showed great tolerance, leaving everyone to live according to their own customs and beliefs, thus benefiting from the contribution of each people and culture. and where the whole territory benefited from peace and prosperity having nothing to envy the ancient Pax Romana. Moreover, the great Khans showed great tolerance, leaving everyone to live according to their own customs and beliefs, thus benefiting from the contribution of each people and culture.
In 1368, China resumed its rights; the last Mongol Yuan were driven out by the first emperor of the Ming dynasty. This event marks the fall of the Mongol Empire and the decline of its power: the tribes are divided, and the territory of Mongolia itself is divided between Eastern Mongols and Western Mongols, all claiming the legacy of Genghis Khan. over three centuries. At the beginning of the 17th century, the Manchu, a powerful ethnic group in north-eastern China, founded the Qing dynasty and gradually imposed their supremacy. Zanabazar, the first Bogdo Gegeen (or spiritual and political leader of Mongolia), found no alternative but to bring the wolf back into the fold: he asked the Qing, with whom he shared the same religion, to help him in order to defeat the Western Mongols. Grave mistake: the latter came, defeated both the Oirats and their own allies Khalkhas, and remained some 200 years. They then hastened to spread Buddhism, an excellent remedy for the warlike inclinations of this people, and little by little appropriated their wealth and wealth. It was not until the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1911 that the Mongolian people regained their independence under the leadership of Bogd Khan, the 8th Bogdo Gegeen. A freedom of very short duration; the Chinese retaliated in 1918, the same error was repeated: the young Sukhbaatar called for help from the young USSR, eager for new territories. They won the Revolution together in 1921, defeated the enemy outside the territory, and in 1924 Mongolia became the second communist country in the world. One master against another in the end. The Soviet regime of Tchoibalsan, the Mongol Stalin, began a veritable witch-hunt in the 1930s; first of all against a political opposition judged too nationalistic, like the intellectuals, then the lamas and all the 800 monasteries, dangerous counterpower both political and economic. 15 to 20,000 people were executed during these purges, and the missing persons are not yet counted.
In 1990, demonstrations led to the fall of the regime and the creation of new parties. The 1996 victory of the Coalition of Democratic Union in the legislative elections sounds the end of 75 years of communist rule.
Despite political will to reform and privatize goods, the transition to a market economy is most painful. Lack of capital, large enterprises, schools and hospitals are closing their doors; famine, poverty, unemployment and insecurity are becoming common. Many city dwellers are returning to a life of nomadic pastoralists forgotten for more than 3 generations, hoping thereby to ensure their subsistence. The exceptional severity of the last two winters will be the cause of more than six million head of cattle, leading the country to the climax of the crisis. Rural exodus is becoming more and more important. Since 2002, the economic situation has been slowly improving. The country has not ceased to heal its wounds still live, unemployment and alcoholism are not the least evils,