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The ethnic group that resides in the modern Mongolia is a group of a long history. There were a lot of clans on the Mongolian Grasslands, not all of which were equally developed. Cheng Jisihan united the Grasslands and Mongolia was then formed.
During the time from the 10th century to the 12th century, Mongolia was under the control of the Liao and Jin. There were ceaseless wars between clans at the end of the 12th century. The governors of Jin sent armies to the Grasslands and incited wars which resulted in the Mongolian people leading a very miserable life.
Tie Muzhen (or Genghis Khan), the leader of Mongolia, a distinguished militarist as well as a politician in the history of China, defeated all the other clans, put an end to the chaotic situation, and united the Mongolian Grasslands through a ten-years-war that had big and small battles. In the year 1206, Tie Muzhen held a meeting at the source of the Wo Nan River. He was nominated Da Han by the noblemen of Mongolia and some other military leaders, and was called Cheng Jisihan in respect. Mongolia-Han Nation was then founded. In order to enhance regimen, Cheng Jisihan established a series of regulations of politics, military, and law.
Picture: Tie Muzhen (Cheng Jisihan)( courtesy of www.Greatchinese.com)Yuan's conquest of other nations
After the founding of the Mongolia-Han Nation, Cheng Jisihan started a long-period invasion to the surrounding areas. The Mongolian army expanded the territory to Middle Asia, Russia to the west and India to the South. Before long, the Four-Big-Han Nation was founded, and Cheng Jisihan assaulted Western Xia (a state along the northwestern border of China) and Jin to the South. In the year 1227, the Mongolian army conquered Western Xia. But Cheng Jisihan was seriously ill at the time.
After Cheng Jisihan passed away, his successors continued to invade the surrounding countries and expanding the territory to set up a Great-Mongolia-Han Nation. The frontiers once reached what is now Poland and Hungary. These conquest and expeditions brought great disasters to the people involved, and at the same time encouraged the exchanged in economy and culture between the East and the West.
End of Jin
In the East, Mongolian armies made expeditions to the south, they conquered Jin in the year 1234 and soon after Tu Fan and Dali. In the year 1260, Hu Bilie, the grandson of Cheng Jisihan, was crowned at Kai Pin, and was called Yuan Shangdu. In the year 1271, Hu Bilie converted the name of the nation to Da Yuan (or Big Yuan). That was the 8th year of ZhiYuan. In the following year, the capital was set in Yian Jin, which was afterwards called Dadu. The center of power of the Yuan Dynasty was diverted to Zhong Yuan.
End of Southern Song
After conquest of the Jin, the Yuan army attacked Southern Song. In the year 1276, Lin An was conquered and that put an end to the Southern Song dynasty. In the year 1279, the Yuan army chased You Emperor of the Southern Song, Lu Xiufu jumped to into the sea from Ya Hill in Guangdong with You Emperor on his back and both of them died.
By Yuan's conquests, Yuan expanded China to territories beyond previous scope. The territory of the Yuan Dynasty settled the basic form of the territory of modern China.
But towards the end of the Yuan Dynasty, conflicts between classes were extremely sharp due to corruptions in the high rank post. There were heavy burdens on the civilians, plunderage by the governing class, sharp racial discrimination and racial oppress, all of which resulted in peasant rebellion. Yuan was close to its end.