An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

The Mongols (Menggu 蒙古)

Aug 30, 2017 © Ulrich Theobald

The historical Mongols were a federation of heterogenous groups of different nomad peoples of "Tartar" and also Türkish origin. The word "Mongol" is derived from the name of a tribe called Mongɣol or Manqol. Even if the cultural levels of these ethnic groups were different, they had a common language and a common culture which made their unification under the hand of a strong leader easier. In 1206, Temüjin (1155 or 1167-1227) of the Borǰigid line adopted the title of Great Khan. He is known as Činggis Qaɣan (Genghis Khan). Under his leadership the Mongols destroyed the Western Xia 西夏 (1038-1227) and Jin 金 (1115-1234) empires and conquered central Asia. The successors of Činggis Qaɣan created the largest empire that ever existed in premodern history. Yet this empire soon split into several states (ulus), one of which was China, ruled by the Yuan dynasty 元 (1279-1368) that was founded by Qubilai Qaɣan (Emperor Shizu 元世祖, r. 1260-1294), a grandson of Činggis.

In 1368, the Mongols withdrew to the northern steppe, but then and when, a great leader unifed them - Esen Qaɣan (1407-1455), Dayan Qaɣan (1464-1543), and Altan Qaɣan (1507-1582) -, and the Mongols (also known as Dada 韃靼 in Chinese) were fierce enemies of the Chinese Ming empire 明 (1368-1644).

The Manchus, founders of the Qing dynasty 清 (1644-1911), integrated the Eastern Mongols into their empire and colonized the territory of the Western Mongols, the Oyirad under Galdan Qaɣan (1632/1644-1697), by force. The Mongol tribes were organized in the leagues and banners of Inner and Outer Mongolia, a distinction which still exists today.



Rise and Power of Činggis Qaɣan

The most important source for the history of Činggis Qaɣan is the "Secret History of the Mongols" (Mongɣol-un niɣuča tobčiyan, Menggu mishi 蒙古秘史), written in Mongolian language, but noted down phonetically with Chinese characters. According to this chronicle, the ancestors of the Mongol people were Börte Činoa "Blue-Gray Wolf" and his spouse Qo'ai Maral "Fallow Doe". Their descendant Yisügei Baɣatur was the head of the Borǰigid family, married to Ögelen from the Olqonoɣud family. Temüjin was born in 1155, 1162 or 1167 somewhere in the grazing grounds of the Mongɣol between the rivers Onon and Kerülen (northeast of today's Mongolia). At that time, the Mongɣol were part of a federation with the Kereyid (Kelie 克烈, living in what is today southern Mongolia) and the Tatar which had been created by Qabul Qan in the early 12th century.

Temüjin was engaged with Börte from the tribe of the Qonggirad (Hongjila 弘吉剌). Around that time, Yisügei Baɣatur was killed by the Tatar, and the federation disintegrated, making way to bloody fights between the tribes. Temüjin experienced bitter humilation by his capture by the foes of his late father, the treason by his own fellows, and during his escape and the period as a destitute "outlaw". Yet in the course of time Temüjin won a reputation as an intelligent and brave daredevil, and achieved the cooperation of some tribesleaders, like Toɣril Wang of the Kereyid, or J̌amuqa (d. 1204) of the Qamaɣ Mongɣol. He helped Temüjin to liberate Börte, which had been abducted by the Merkid (Mierqi 蔑兒乞), who lived south of Lake Baikal. Around 1197, the three companions and their supporters defeated the Merkid.

Yet J̌amuqa competed with Temüjin for leadership, and sought for support by the Nayiman (Naiman 乃蠻), which roamed the southwestern parts of today's Mongolia, and adopted the title of Gur Qaɣan. In 1202, Temüjin defeated the Tatar, but a year later, Toɣril Wang decided to support J̌amuqa. Temüjin attacked and first vanquished the traitor Toɣril Wang and the Kereyid, and launched in 1204 a campaign against J̌amuqa and the Nayiman. A year later, he subjected also the Merkid.

In 1206, Temüjin invited the tribesleaders to convene to the military council (quriltai, Chinese huliletai 忽里勒台) at the source of River Onon and adopted the title of Great Khan (qaɣan). What exactly the word Činggis means, is still debated. His "capital" was Qara Qorum on River Orkhon (in present-day Övörkhangai Province in the centre of Mongolia)

The most important step of Činggis Qaɣan to prevent future rebellions was the destruction of the traditional social system which was based on genealogical grounds. He replaced it by a military organization of the tribes, with divisions (tümen) headed by his most trusted supporters, like Boɣurči, J̌elme, J̌ürčidei, J̌ebe (d. 1225) or Sübegedei. Some of these units served as the bodyguard (qišig) of Činggis Qaɣan. It had also the function of elite troops (see Yuan military).

Činggis Qaɣan immediately decided to expand the territory of his "empire", with the aim to attack the empires in north China. For this enterprise, he ordered his generals to secure the western flank and forced the Oyirad (Elute 厄魯特) and the Türkic Kirghiz (Xiajiasi 黠戛斯) into submission. The Uyghurs (Huihu 回鶻) in the city states of the Tarim Basin thereupon declared their submission to Mongol suzerainty. The Great Khan himself prepared his assault of the Tangutan state of Western Xia. In 1209, Emperor Xiangzong 西夏襄宗 (r. 1206-1210) decided to cooperate with the Mongols. In the same year, Činggis Qaɣan decided to stop paying tributes to the Jin empire, and two years later began the assault of some northern garrisons of the Jin.

In 1213, the Mongols advanced in three columns, one commanded by the Great Khan himself. His contingent besieged the "Central Capital" Zhongdu 中都 (today's Beijing), which was also at that time the imperial seat of the Jin. The Jurchen concluded a peace treaty with the invaders, paid a bounty ransom to the Mongols, and presented Činggis Qaɣan Princess Qiguo 歧國公主 as a peace tribute (see heqin policy 和親).

The Jin court thereupon decided to shift the central government to the "Southern Capital" Nanjing 南京 (Kaifeng 開封, today in Henan), yet this decision provoked a new invasion by the Mongols. Zhongdu was conquered in 1214, and Činggis Qaɣan entrusted in 1217 the supreme command to Muquli (Muhuali 木華黎). Muquli was able to attract the support of collaborators of Chinese and Kitan origin, among them many specialists in modern military technology, particularly in poliorcetis (the art of siege). Yet the war against the Jin empire proved to be more difficult than expected, all the more as the Western Xia resigned from further support.

In the meantime, Činggis Qaɣan himself was occupied with a western campaign that was initiated as a revenge after the ruler of Khwārezmia, ʿAla ad-Dīn Muhammad (r. 1200-1220), had a Monglian diplomatic mission murdered. In 1218, Činggis Qaɣan destroyed the empire of Kara Qitai (Western Liao 西遼, 1124-1211/1218); in 1219, the city of Otrar (today devastated) was conquered, and in early 1220, the Mongols massacred the populations of the wealthy cities of Bukhara and Samarkand. In 1221, Činggis Qaɣan conquered Balkh. His youngest son Tolui (Tuolei 拖雷, c. 1191-1232) conquered the province of Khorasan (in the borderlands of today's Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) and the cities of Herat, Merv, and Nishapur. Far in the west, J̌ebe and Sübedei (Subutai 速不台, 1175–1248) crossed the Caucasus Range and advanced far into the Kipchak Steppe (in Russia known as Polovtsian Steppe), which was inhabited by the Türkish Cumans and the Kipchaks (Qinchai 欽察) and extended from north of the Black Sea to Lake Balkhash. In the battle of River Kalka (in Russian Kal'chik) in 1223, the Mongols defeated a united army of Cumans and some Rus' principalities.

The deadlock situation in north China forced Činggis Qaɣan to return to the east, where he began a revenge campaign against the Western Xia empire, which he extinghuished in 1227.

In the same year, Činggis Qaɣan died by a hunting accident. His tomb is unknown, but he is venerated in a mauseoleum in Xinjie 新街, Ejin Horo Banner (Yijin Huoluo Qi 伊金霍洛旗) in Inner Mongolia.

Table 1. Brief genealogy of Činggis Qaɣan and his descendants
Temüjin (Činggis Qaɣan, r. 1206-1227)
J̌oči Čaɣatai Ögödei (r. 1229-1241) Tolui
Orda, Batu and Berke Mutukan Gügük (r. 1246-1248) Möngke (r. 1251-1259) Qubilai (Sečen Qaɣan, r. 1260-1294) Hülegü Ariɣ Buqa (Anti-Khan 1260-1264)
Golden Horde Moghulistan ... Yuan Dynasty Il-Khanate ...

The Ögödei ulus and the unified Mongol empire

Among Činggis Qaɣan's four legitimate sons, J̌oči (Zhuchi 朮赤, 1183-1227), Čaɣatai (Chahetai 察合台, 1183-1242), Ögödei (Wokuotai 窩闊台, 1185-1241), and Tolui (c. 1191-1232), it was Ögödei who had been promised the title of Great Khan as early as 1218. Between Činggis Qaɣan's death and the quriltai of 1228 (or 1229?), Tolui as the youngest formally administered, according to a traditional rule, the Great Khanate. It might be that Ögödei was the first person who was in fact bearing the title of Great Khan, while its use for Činggis is only a posthumous conferral. The other sons of Činggis Qaɣan were given the commands over parts of the empire, with the oldest sons receiving the most distant territories. J̌oči therefore received the far west, and Čaɣatai Central Asia (Transoxania from the Western perspective, i.e. modern Uzbekistan, Turmenistan and Kazakhstan). Ögödei himself received Eastern Turkestan (approx. modern Xinjiang). The borders between the "hordes" (ulus) of Ögodei and Čaɣatai were not clearly defined. This circumstance would later lead to constant quarrels about territorial matters.

Ögödei immediately continued with the expansive politics of his father. He sent J̌oči's son Batu (Badu 拔都, 1205-1255) to the west, suppored by his own son Güyük (1206-1248) and his nephew Möngke (1209–1259), a son of Tolui. They fought against Persia, the Cumans, the principalities of the Rus', and the Volga Bulgars. In 1230, the war against the Jin empire was resumed and finalized in 1234 with the conquest of Kaifeng. In 1232 and 1234, respectively, the Mongols conquered Georgia and Armenia.

On the quriltai in 1235, the Mongol nobles decided to launch a new large-scale campaign against the west. The Mongolian war machine defeated in 1237 the Volga Bulgars, conquered the cities of Ryazan, Kolomna, Moscow, Vladimir, Rostov, and Tver. In 1240, Möngke brought down Kiev. Orda (c. 1204-1251), the oldest son of J̌oči, advanced to Kamianets (in Podolia), Kraków and Wrocław, and annihilated on 9 April, 1241, the army of the Teutonic Order. Two days later, Batu and Qadan, another son of Ögödei, annihilated the Hungarian army of King Bela IV (r. 1235-1270) at the banks of River Sajó.

In the meantime, a punitive expedition against Korea was carried out in 1231-1232, but the war against the Southern Song empire 南宋 (1127-1279) was not continued, even if Sübedei and Tolui took care for preparations. In 1237, some Chinese cities were conquered by Qöčö, a son of Ögödei, and Qutuɣtu, a son of Tolui.

Ögödei's internal policy differed remarkably from that of his father. From the beginning he made use of advisors that had already worked for the Jin empire, like Yelü Chucai 耶律楚材 (1190-1244), who suggested to create a Central Secretariat. The supreme judge Šigi Qutuqu (Shiqi Hutuhu 失吉忽禿忽, d. 1250) initiated the first household register in the north China domains in order to have a base for tax registers. In 1234, Ögödei promulgated a series of civilian and military laws, and in 1236 decreed the issuing of paper money. The large empire was administered with the help of a large network of courier stations (ǰamči, Chinese yizhan 驛站).

In December 1241, Ögödei died, and the Mongol armies in the west immediately withdrew. The regency was taken over by the Great Khan's widow Töregene Qatun (regent 1242-1246) because the oldest son of Činggis Qaɣan, Batu, relinquished his right of succession. During the regency of Töregene, the prince of Novgorod, Alexandr Nevskij (1221-1263), visited the Mongolian court in Sarai on the Volga, and delivered tributes. In 1244, military campaigns against the Song empire were resumed. Rivalries at the court, the growing independence of Batu in Sarai, and missing success in the war against Song China urged the Qatun (female form of qaɣan) to convoke the quriltai in 1246, during which her son Güyük was invested as the new Great Khan.

Ögödei's courier stations were an important instrument for the cultural and diplomatic traffic that flourished during the 13th century on the Eurasian continent. Pope Innocent IV (papacy 1243-1254) hoped to use diplomatic ties with the Mongols not just to fight against the Eastern Church in Russia, but also to liberate Jerusalem from Muslim occupation. In 1245, he dispatched a diplomatic mission led by the Franciscan Friar Giovanni dal Piano del Carpine (c. 1182-1252) which arrived at the Mongol court and attended the inthronisation of Güyük. He was the first Western European who reported directly from the centre of the Mongolian empire. Yet the new Great Khan refused cooperation with the Pope - not of religious, but of political reasons.

The first interal quarrel among the Mongols occurred in 1247. Güyük was upset that his uncle Batu, residing far away in Sarai, acted like a deputy of the Great Khan instead of sending tributary missions from the Rus' principalities further on to Qara Qorum. Yet Güyük died on the long way to the west, and so no military clashes occurred. Batu therefore continued to act on his own behalf and established intensive diplomatic relations with the European states. He also proposed to have the next quriltai convene at Lake Alaköl in Central Asia (at the border between Kazakhstan and Xinjiang) rather than in "Mongolia". Regency was laid into the hands of Güyük's widow Oγul Qaimiš Qatun (regent 1248-1251). She travelled to Central Asia, not without Güyük's two sons Naqu and Qoja, two possible candidates against the favourite of Batu and his brother Berke (Bie'erge 別兒哥, 1205?–1267), namely Möngke, a son of the youngest brother Tolui. With the help of Möngke's mother, Sorɣoɣtani Beqi (c. 1190-1252), Möngke was elected Great Khan in 1251 during a quriltai at River Kerülen and invested shortly after either in Qara Qorum or at the banks of River Onon. The Ögödei line had not been able to present a worthy candidate who would be supported by a majority.

The new Great Khan had Oγul Qaimiš executed and took precautions against the supporters of the Ögödei line. He also destroyed those members of the house of Borǰigid who had not attended the quriltai. He also rearranged the administration of he empire. His younger brother Qubilai was appointed ruler of north China, and Hülegü (Xuliehu 旭烈兀, 1218-1265) was entrusted with the conquest of Western Asia. Möngke furthermore tried to restrict the power of the many Mongol princes, punished delinquents harshly, and cut down the sizes of princely appanages.

In terms of military affairs, Möngke made a fresh attempt at conquering Korea, and envisaged a conquest of the Southern Song empire. In 1252, he ordered some Chinese cities to surrender, and two years later, an army of 40,000 recruits thrusted deep into Chinese territory. In 1254, the Mongols began with a blockade of important waterways. After a military council, Möngke ordered in 1257 the beginning of a large-scale assault. The Mongols conquered Sichuan, then Yunnan, and even invaded northern Vietnam. In autumn 1259, Möngke died during the siege of the fortress of Diaoyucheng 釣魚城 (close to Hechuan 合川, Chongqing) which he personally commanded.

Batu was during that time considerably loyal to the Great Khan, and sent information about and diplomatic notes with his "subjects" on to the capital Qara Qorum, for instance, the investiture of Alexandr Nevskij as Grand Prince of Vladimir, or a request of King Hethum I (r. 1226-1270) of Armenia. In Western Europe, it was believed that Batu's son Sartaq (d. 1256) had converted to the Christian creed, and the French king therefore sent the Franciscan friar William of Rubruck (c. 1220–c. 1293) to the court of Sarai with the request to be allowed to preach the Gospel. Rubruck was sent forth to the Great Khan, at whose court the missionary dwelled in early 1254. Quite interestingly, Möngke did not require any more tributes from the Western rulers, as had Ögödei before.

Hülegü, entrusted with further conquests, had been promised that the conquered territories would fall to his line, and not to the Mongol empire as a whole, and therefore did not hesitate to push forward. From 1255 on he quickly received the submissions of the Seljuk Sultans of Rūm (today's Anatolia), the princes of Fars, Herat (today's Afghanistan), Iraq, Azerbaijan, Arran, and Shirvan (Caucasus). The greatest resistance was offered by the Assassins, a Muslim secret society based in the fortress of Alamut (northern Persia). In 1257 Hülegü conquered Tabris, a year later Baghdad, and so ended the Abbasid Caliphate. In 1260 the Mongols conquered Aleppo and Damascus.

After Batu's death, the dignity of the Khan of the Golden Horde, as the western ulus was called, fell to Saraq (r. 1256), then Ulaɣči (r. 1256-1257), and then to Berke, Batu's brother. Berke was very critical towards the privileges of Hülegü, not just that he would own all territories conquered, but also that troops from the Golden Horde had to participate in his campaigns, without Berke being rewarded. In order to tame Berke's hatred, Möngke changed the territorial jurisdiction and added the Caucasus - hitherto part of Batu's territory, to the realm of Hülegü. The Great Khan's death in 1259 rendered any further reconciliation between the house of Hülegü (Činggisid line of Tolui) and that of Berke (line of J̌oči) impossible.

Before his death Möngke had rendered the seal of the Great Khan to his youngest brother Ariɣ Buqa (1219?–1266), yet as soon as Qubilai learned of his brother's death, he left the front, hastened to Zhongdu (today's Beijing), and convened a quriltai in the "Supreme Capital" Shangdu 上都 (Kaiping 開平, today in Zhenglan Banner 正藍旗, Xilingol League 錫林郭勒盟, Inner Mongolia) on its own behalf, where he was proclaimed Great Khan, without the consent of the other Činggisid lines. Qubilai was happy enough that Ariɣ Buqa was involved in a struggle with the Čaɣatai line, and forced in 1264 Ariɣ Buqa into submission.

The future development of the Mongolian empire showed that some of the ulus remained loyal to the new Great Khan, while others went their own ways. The latter were the Golden Horde, and the Čaqadai Khanate.

Historical sources for the history of the Mongol empires are Jāmiʿ at-Tawārīkh (in Chinese called Shiji 史集) by Rašīd ad-Dīn (1247-1318), Masālik al-abṣār fī mamālik al-amṣār by Shihāb al-'Umarī (1300-1349), and Tarikh-i-Rashidi by Mirza Muhammad Haidar (c. 1500–1551).

Table 2. Rulers of the Ögödei ulus (1229-1309)
Ögödei Qaɣan (Wokuotai 窩闊台)
Third son of Činggis Qaɣan.
Töregene Qatun (Tuoliegena 脫列哥那)
Widow of Ögödei Qaɣan.
regent 1241-1246
Güyük Qaɣan (Guiyou 貴由)
Son of Ögödei Qaɣan.
Oγul Qaimiš Qatun (Wowuli Haimishi 斡兀立海迷失)
Widow of Güyük Qaɣan.
regent 1248-1251
Möngke Qaɣan (Mengge 蒙哥)
Oldest son of Tolui (Tuolei 拖雷), the younger brother of Ögödei Qaɣan.
Qubilai Qaɣan (Hubilie 忽必烈)
Younger brother of Möngke Qaɣan. Founder of the Yuan Dynasty 元 (1279-1368)
Qaidu Qaɣan (Haidu 海都)
Son Qašin (Heshi 合失), the fifth son of Ögödei Qaɣan.
Čapar (Chabar 察八兒) 1301-1309

The Qibčaq ulus (Golden Horde)

The ulus of Batu and his descendants (the J̌očid line of the Činggids) was called the "Golden Horde" (a term of Russian origin), or Qibčaq Ulus (Qincha hanguo 欽察汗國), because the territory was inhabited by the Türkic tribe of the Qibčaq. The seat of Batu was Batu-Sarai (north of today's Astrakhan) on the Volga River. The khan shifted it in 1320 to Berke-Sarai (near Volgograd). The name is derived from the Persian word for "palace, court" (sarāi) which is also used for Ottoman palaces (e.g. Topkapı Sarayı). J̌oči's Golden Horde was divided into two wings, the eastern White Horde under Orda Qan (Wo'erda 斡兒答, Woluduo 斡魯朵), and the western Blue Horde under Batu Qan.

Berke, a younger brother of Batu, was the first Mongol ruler who converted to the Islamic creed. This might be one reason why he criticized Hülegü's campaings in the Near East. Berke's enmity towards the Great Khan and Hülegü was fanned by the latter's exclusive rights not just over newly conquered territory, but also over the Caucasian states. After Möngke Qaɣan's death, Berke decided to opt against Qubilai and to side with Ariɣ Buqa, but Qubilai prevailed in the struggle for the throne. In addition to political quarrels, the geographical distance to Qara Qorum, the Great Khan's seat, was the main reason for the growing independence of the Golden Horde. Not much is known about the fate of the White Horde, and even less of the small khanate (the Grey Horde) of another J̌očid brother, Šiban (Xiban 昔班, d. 1266), in the early phase. His descendents were the Šibanids, a dynasty ruling in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. Far in the north was the Khanate of Sibir, controlled by the Taibugids, descendents of the Šibanid scion Taibuga.

With military and diplomatic means, Berke tried to gain territory under the control of Hülegü and his son Abaqa (r. 1265-1282), for instance, by opening contacts to Byzantine, the Seljuks, and the Mamluks in Egypt. The cultures of these states influenced the Mongols of the Golden Horde, and they adopted Islamic administrative structures and invited teachers to come to Sarai. Türkish became the lingua franca of the Qibčaq Ulus. The cultural and political superiority and the religious difference to the principalities of the Rus' preserved the autonomy of the Golden Horde for centuries, in contrast to Persia, where the ruling class of the Mongols soon merged with the local population. Berke's only military achievement against Hülegü was the victory in the battle of ʿAin Ǧālūt (today's Ein Harod, Israel) in 1260, during which a unified army of the Mamluks and Golden Horde Türks defeated the Il-Khan army. The popes tried several times to establish contacts with the Golden Horde, but to no avail.

The Golden Horde suppressed the Russian principalities by governors (daruɣači, daluhuachi 達魯花赤) which collected taxes and recruited labourers and soldiers. Then and when the oppressed Eastern European peoples rebelled against the domination of the Mongols ("Tartars"), but the latter actively fostered the prolitical fragmentation of the principalities. Yet the Russian princes also used "Tartar" support to fight against each other. In 1340, Moscow obtained the title of Grand Principality and was given the right to collect tributes for the Golden Horde.

The rule of Möngke Temür (r. 1266-1282) was too passive to react on the requirements of foreign policy. One of his brethren, Prince Noqai (d. 1299), informally took over the regency of the Golden Khanate. He reconfirmed tied with Egypt, cared for the benevolence of Byzantium, and established contacts with merchant states like Genova, which possessed trade ports on the Crimea. Noqai also instrumentalized cities of the Rus' against the containment of Lithuania and Poland. Noqai even was the father-in-law of the Il-Khan Abaqa, and son-in-law of the Byzantine emperor, and Russian chronicles called him the "Tsar". In 1299, the "real" khan, Toqtoɣa, challenged Noqai and defeated him. His descendants founded the Nogai Horde that occupied the Pontic-Caspian steppe until the 17th century.

The most important khan of the Golden Horde was Öz Bek (r. 1313-1341), whose name was used for the country of Uzbekistan. After his death, the disintegration of the Golden Horde advanced. Some Tartar princes allied with Poland or Lithuania, and the succession to the throne was determined by bloody infights. In the south, the Ottoman Empire came into being and brought contacts to the Levant to an end. Mentally, the "Tartar yoke" began to dwindle with the battle of Kulikovo Polje in 1380, during whith Prince Dmitrij II (r. 1359-1389, dubbed "Donskoj") defeated the Tartar Emir Mamay (1335-1380).

By 1400, the Mongolian element in the territory of the Golden Horde was pushed back in favour to (original) Türkish elements. The language of the successor khanates is therefore called Turco-Tatar.

In the 15th century the empire disintegrated into the khanates of the Crimea (1443-1783), Kazan (1445-1552), Astrakhan (1460-1556), Sibir, Uzbek, and Kazakh. From 1480 on Moscow began to conquer territories formerly controlled by the Tatars. The Qibčaq Khanate itself was ended in 1502.

Table 3. Rulers of the Qibčaq ulus (1243-1502)
Son of J̌oči, the oldest son of Činggis Qaɣan.
Son of Batu.
Ulaɣči 1257
Brother of Batu.
Möngke Temür 1266-1282
Töde Möngke 1282-1287
Tola Buqa 1287-1291
Toqtoɣa 1291-1313
Muḥammad Öz Bek Qan 1313-1341
Tīnī Bēk 1341-1342
Ǧānī Bēk (I) 1342-1357
Berdī Bēk 1357-1359
Qulpa Ḫān 1359-1360
Nawrūz Bēk 1360-1361
Ḫiḍr Ḫān 1361
Tīmūr Ḫwāǧa 1361
Urdū Malik Shaiḫ 1361
Kildi Bēk 1361
Murād Ḫān 1362-1364
Amir Pulad Ḫan 1354-1365
Azīz Ḫān 1365-1367
ʿAbdullah Ḫān 1367-1368
Ḥassan Ḫān 1368-1369
ʿAbdullah Ḫān (again) 1369-1370
Ǧānī Bēk (II) 1369-1370
Muḥammad Būlāq 1370-1372
ʿUrūs Ḫān
Ruler of the White Horde.
Ḥāǧǧī Čirkas 1374-1375
Muḥammad Būlāq (again) 1375
Ġiyat ad-Dīn Ḫaqān Bēk 1375-1377
ʿArab Shāh Muẓaffar 1377-1380
Toḫtāmiš Ḫān
Re-unified the Golden Horde.
Tēmūr Qutluġ 1397-1399
Šādī Bēk 1399-1407
Polad Ḫān 1407-1410
Tēmūr Ḫān 1410-1412
Ǧalāl al-Dīn Ḫān 1411-1412
Karīm Bardī 1412-1414
Qabaq Ḫān 1414
Čukra Ḫān 1414-1417
Ǧabbār Bardī Ḫān 1417-1419
Darwīš Ḫān 1419
Qadīr Bardī Ḫān 1419
Ḥāǧǧī Muḥammad Ḫān 1419
Uluġ Muḥammad vs. Dawlat Bardī 1419-1421
Barāq Ḫān bin Kūyiričak 1421-1427
Uluġ Muḥammad (again)
Founder of the khanate of Kazan.
Sīd Aḥmad I 1433-1435
Kūčuk Muḥammad 1435-1459
Maḥmūd bin Kūčuk
Founder of the khanate of Astrakhan.
Aḥmed Ḫān 1465-1481
Sīd Aḥmad II vs. Shaiḫ Aḥmad 1481
Murtaḍā Ḫān 1481-1502

The Čaɣatai ulus

The basic problem of the Čaɣatai ulus in Central Asia was that its borders were not clearly defined, mainly the eastern ones, towards the ulus of his younger brother Ögödei, who was made the second Great Khan. The khanate reached from Turfan (today's Xinjiang) to the Amu-Darya River in the west and from the Altai Mountains to the Hindukush Range.

Čaɣatai (d. 1241) was the second son of Činggis Qaɣan and was given, according to Mongol custom, a territory in some distance of the Great Khan's seat in Qara Qorum. Another problem was that there was never a political centre from which the ulus was administered. The only regular "capital" was the city of Kokand which was made the cultural centre of Transoxania (Soghdia) by Maḥmūd Yalawāch (d. 1255) and his son Mas'ūd Bēk (d. 1289).

In the question of electing a Great Khan in 1251, the Čaɣatai family sided with the line of Ögödei, and so challenged the suzerainty of Möngke, as well as in 1260 that of Qubilai. Möngke punished Čaɣataïd ruler Yesü Möngke (r. 1246-1251), a son of Čaɣatai, and deposed him, giving the administration of the ulus into the hands of Ergene Qatun (d. c. 1271), the widow of Qara Hülegü (r. 1242-1246), a grandson of Čaɣatai. In contrast to the khans, Mas'ūd Bēk declared his loyalty to Möngke and was rewarded by an aggrandizement of his territory. The position of this governor foreshadowed the disintegration of the Čaɣatai Khanate.

Mönkge designated his youngest brother Ariɣ Buqa as successor, yet when he died, Qubilai usurped the title of Great Khan and so challenged some lines of the house of Činggis Qaɣan. Ariɣ Buqa, residing in Qara Qorum in Mongolia, ordered Čaɣatai's grandson Alɣu (r. 1260–1266, a son of Baidar) to send military provisions to Mongolia because Qubilai had cut off the regular supplies from China. Instead, Alɣu occupied large parts of the Čaɣatai ulus and became the khan of this territory. Yet Alɣu, too, did not define any new boundaries between his domain and that of the Great Khan in Mongolia, even after he had defeated Ariɣ Buqa. Nonetheless, the Čaɣatai ulus became an independent state that was mainly oriented towards the west, and had close relationships with the Golden Horde.

The turmoils during the succession crisis also brought problems for the rule of the house of Čaɣatai. Ergene Qatun enthroned her son Mubārak Šāh (r. 1265), who was again dethroned by Boraq (r. 1266-1271), a son of Alɣu. Stability was only achieved with the enthronement of Duwa (r. 1282-1306). He was politically backed by Qaidu (1235-1301), a grandson of Ögödei. Qaidu was a strict supporter of Ariɣ Buqa and launched several campaigns against Qubilai Qaɣan. He also assented to the request of the Golden Horde to wage a two-front war against the Il-Khanate. Qaidu even received a letter of the Pope with the request to convert to Christianity. From time to time he dared to bear the title of Great Khan. Qaidu's regency over the Čaɣatai ulus secured it politically and fostered the recovery of economy and culture of the ancient Soghdian cities of Bukhara and Samarkand. After his death, his son Čapar remained the "second pillar" in the khanate, which was thus ruled by a Čaɣataïd khan and an Ögödeïd regent. Only in 1309, Duwa was able to get rid of his regent. With Čapar, the house of Ögödei came to an end. Duwa also decided to make peace with the successor of Qubilai Qan, and accepted that the latter's house bore the title of Great Khan.

The saddest consequence of many decades of war was that only the southern parts of the Čaɣatai ulus were cultural land, while the northern parts were only a habitat for nomad tribes. After the death of Könček (r. 1307-1308), the Čaɣatai ulus was again disturbed by succession struggles. Khan Kebek (r. 1309-1310, 1318–1325) moved the capital to Qarši (today in southern Uzbekistan). Kebek was impressed by the administrative achievements of the Il-Khanate and was inclined to adopt Islam, and also introduced coins inscribed with his name. The first Muslim ruler was Tārmāšīrīn (r. 1331–1334). This step brought him into conflict with the more conservative Mongols in the northeastern parts of the khanate which followed the traditional ways established by Činggis Qaɣan. These internal conflicts only ended in 1347 with the division of the khanate into a southern and a northern part. Some rulers of the northeastern part belonged to the Ögödeïd line. This realm was later given the name Mogulistan. The most important ruler was Tuɣluɣ Temür (r. 1347-1363). In 1353, he converted to Islam and founded is capital seat in the city of Aksu in the Tarim Basin. His dynasty constantly fought with the local powerholders of Kashgar and vanished at the end of the 14th century under the assail of Timur Lenk (Tamerlane).
Table 4. Rulers of the Čaɣatai ulus (1235-1370)
Čaɣatai, son of Činggis Qaɣan)1226–1242
Qara Hülëgü1242–1246
Yesü Möngke1246-1252
Qara Hülëgü (again)1252
Orqina, widow of Qara-hülegü)1252-1260
Alghu bin Baidarmarried with Orqina)1260-1266
Mubārak Šhāh1266
Boraq / Ghiyas-ud-din Baraq1266-1271
Buqa Temür127?–1282
Esen Buqa1310–1318
Kebek (again)1318-1325
Duwa Temür1329–1330
Ala-ad-din Tarmashirin1331-1334
Yesün Temür1338-1342
Alī Sulţan1342
Muhammad I 1342-1343
Qazan Khan ibn Yasaur1343-1346
Bayan Qulï1348–1358
Shah Temur1358
Adil Sultan1363
Khabul Shah1364–1370
Soyurghatmïsh Khan1370–1384
Sultan Mahmud Khan1384–1402

The Il-Qaɣan ulus (Persia)

In 1251 the Mongols decided to conquer Persia and the Near East, an enterprise that was finished in 1260 with the conquest of Damascus. Hülegü, third son of Činggis Qaɣan's youngest scion Tolui (Tuolei 拖雷), controlled the territories in that region. He was as strong supporter of his brother Qubilai, who adopted the title of Great Khan in 1260. From that time on, Hülegü's line was emeny of the Golden Horde in the Qibčaq Steppe that had supported another pretenders to the throne, the youngest brother Ariɣ Buqa. Like the Golden Horde, the Mongols in Persia engaged in diplomatic relations with important states in the Levant and Europe. Religious matters were very important in that region of the world and began to destruct the general broad-mindedness of the Mongols towards religion.

Hülegü's domain reached from Anatolia to Afghanistan, and from the river Syr Darya to the Persian Gulf. It remained in the hands of his descendants, in spite of all attempts at taking Syria out the the hands of the Egyptian Mamluks and because the Golden Horde was unable to conquer the contested lands of the Caucasus Range.

The confrontation with the Mamluks began in 1260, when general Kitbuqa (d. 1260) ordered Egypt to submit. When the Mamluks killed the Mongol envoys, Kitbuqa launched a punitive campaign. His army was badly defeated in the battle of ʿAin Ǧālūt. This was the first time that the "invincible" Mongols were vanquished. From that time on the crusaders understood that the the Mongols would be their allies in the war against the "heathens", and the Mongols for their part sought support by the European powers. Hülegü, who patronized the spread of Buddhism, received in 1260 the Dominican friar David of Ashby, and promised to protect all Christians in his empire. The politics of the Khan was thus nolens volens embedded in long-term patterns of diplomacy in the Near East. Hülegü had his empire administered by viziers (vazīr) and nāʾibs, traditional functionaries of Oriental states. He sent diplomatic missions to Louis IX (1226-1270, at that time in Palestine) and the Pope, Urban IV (papacy 1261-1264). Christian chronicals were full of hope that Hülegü would be a kind of Mongolian Constantine.

The name of the khanate (in Chinese Yili hanguo" 伊利汗國) is derived from a Türkish word for "appeased, peaceful", or "subordinated" (to the Great Khan). The term disappeared around 1300, when the Il-Khans became factually independent from the Great Khan.

Yet Hülegü died in 1265 and was succeeded by his son Abaqa (r. 1265-1282), who was married to a daughter of the Byzantine Emperor. He continued his father's contacts with the Western powers, but did not support Christianity in great style. The alliance between the Mamluks and the Golden Horde threatened the Il-Khan Empire from two sides, the Caucasus, and Antioch, which was conquered by Egypt in 1268. In 1271, Abaqa concluded a commercial treaty with the state of Venice. A mission of several Mongols reached the Papal court in Lyons, and even proceeded to London. Yet the European states were never able to send subtantial military support to the east. The Mongols, this time commanded by the khan's brother Möngke Temür, were in 1281 once more defeated by the Mamluks.

Abaqa's successor Tegüder (Christian name Nicholas, 1282-1284), initiated a thoroughly new policy. He converted to Islam, adopted the name Aḥmad, and announced a conciliatory policy towards the Mamluks. But the latter only showed a lukewarm reaction to this new "fratral state". Supported by the Great Khan in Qanbaluq (today's Beijing) and encouraged by the Nestorian patriarch Yahballaha III (partiarchy 1281-1317), Mongolian conservatives joined Prince Arɣun and killed Aḥmad.

The Mongolian-conservative and anti-Islamic thrust under Arɣun (r. 1284-1291) deteriorated the performance of the empire's administration, but also retarded the birth of an Il-Khan nation. The most important diplomatic mission during his reign was the one in 1287 headed by the Nestorian priest Rabban Ṣāwmā (c. 1220–1294), who had come from the Great Khan's court, visited Rome and was received by the kings of France and England. Pope Nicholas (papacy 1288-1292) decided to send missionaries like Giovanni da Montecorvino (1246-1328) and Odorico da Pordenone (1286–1331) to the Far East. Arɣun also renewed the treaty with Venice and concluded one with Genova.

Il-Khan Gaiqatu (r. 1291-1295), who called himself with the Lamaist epithet Rinchen Dorji, followed the tolerant policy of his predecessor, but was badly incompetent. His Vesier Ṣadr ad-Dīn followed the paradigm of the Yuan empire and introduced paper currency, a monetary project which utterly failed because the money was accepted nowhere, and people fell back on barter trade.

Ġazan (r. 1295-1304), called Maḥmūd, began a new age in Persia. He did not wait for the confirmation of his enthronement by the Great Khan, and the inscriptions of his coins did not refer to the superior ruler of the Mongol realm. He also introduced a new tax system to increase the revenues of the central court, and made Islam the state religion of the Il-Khanate. In 1299 Ġazan launched a punitive campaign against the Mamluks. It was the last, and once more, vain attempt to conquer Syria and Palestine. The most famous documents of the Il-Khanate are perhaps the letter of Ġazan to Pope Boniface VIII (papacy 1294-1303), and that of Ölǰejtü (r. 1304-1316) to the French King Phillip IV the Fair (r. 1285-1314), both imprinted with seals sent from the Great Khan and inscribed Fuguo anmin zhi bao 輔國安民之寳.

The end of the Il-Khanate as a unified state came in 1356, when the ruler of the Golden Horde, Ǧānī Bēk (r. 1342-13579), invaded Persia and occupied the heartland of the Mongolian empire in Persia. The Il-Khanate disintegrated into several independent states.

Table 5. Rulers of the Il-Khanate (1256-1356)
Third son of Tolui, the youngest son of Činggis Qaɣan.
Abaqa 1265-1282
Tegüder (Aḥmad) 1282-1284
Arɣun 1284-1291
Gaiqatu (Rinchen Dorji) 1291-1295
Baidu 1295
Gazan Qaɣan (I) / Ġāzān Ḫān (Maḥmūd) 1295-1304
Ölǰejtü (Muḥammad Khodābandeh) 1304-1316
Busayid Baɣatur Qan / Abū Sa'īd Bahādur Ḫān 1317-1335
Arpa Ke'ün / Arpā Kā'ūn 1335-1336
Mūsā Ḫān 1336-1337
Muḥammad 1336-1338
Sātī Bēk Ḫatūn
Sister of Abū Sa'īd
Sulaymān 1339-1343
Ǧahān Tīmūr 1339-1340
Anūshīrvān Ḫān 1343–1356
Ġāzān II (?) 1356–1357

Mongol Khans and Rulers of Chahar
Yesüder (descendant of Ariγ Buqa)
Ĵoriγtu Qaγan
Engke Qaγan1391-1394
Nigülesügchi Qaγan
Gün Temür Qaγan1399-1402
Guilichi (decendant of Ögedei)
Örüg Temür Qaγan
Bunyashiri, Punyaśri
Öljei Temür Qaγan
Dalbag, Delbeg Qaγan1415
Oyiradai Qaγan1415-1425
Adai Qaγan (son of Orüg Temür)1425-1433
Toγtoγa Buqa (descendant of Qubilai)
Tayisung Qaγan
Esen Tayisi, khan of the Oyirad1453-1454
Markörgis (Ükegtü)1455-1465
Mulan Qaγan1465-1466
Manduγulun Qaγan1475-1479
Bayan Möngke
Bolqu Ĵinong
Batu Möngke
Dayan Qaγan
Barsbolad Ĵinong
Sayin Araγ Qaγan
Bodi Araγ Qaγan1524-1547
Gödeng Qaγan
Ĵasaγtu Qaγan
Sečen Qaγan
Qutuγtu Qaγan

The Mongols after the Yuan

With the death of the Great Khan Mönke, the fourth successor of Činggis Qaɣan (Genghis Khan), and the disintegration of the ulus states in the course of the 15th century, the Mongolian tribes were again scattered under different autonomous rulers fighting against each other. The only difference to the time before Činggis Qaɣan was that the latter had institutionalized the position of qaɣan (Great Khan). Each claimant to this position could hope that the steppe tribes would follow him. Yet the greatest problem was that the Mongols still did not think in a concept of state or nation, but only in terms of leadership, loyalty and subjects, and fell back on the ancient principle of threatening the Chinese borderlands to obtain grain, silk, and tea.

The Mongol tribes in the post-Möngke era are usually divided into Eastern tribes and Western tribes. The Eastern Mongols were ruled by descendants of Möngke. The Western Mongols consisted mainly of the four tribes of the Oyirads (Oirats, in Chinese Elute 厄魯特 or Elute 額魯特), namely Qošod (Heshuote 和碩特), Torgud (Tu'erhute 土爾扈特), J̌eyün Γar (Dzunghars, Zhunga'er 準噶爾), and Dörbed (Du'erbote 杜爾伯特), the latter also including Qoyid (Huite 輝特) and Čoros (Chuolosi 綽羅斯). As vassals of the Eastern Mongols, the Western Mongols supported Činggis Qaɣan's military campaigns.

The last emperor of the Yuan dynasty, Toɣon Temür (r. 1333–1370), and also the last claimant of the title of Great Khan over all Mongols, withdrew in 1368 to the home lands of the Mongols between the rivers Onon and Kerülün, supported by 60,000 men, where he continued Qubilai's dynasty as the so-called Northern Yuan dynasty 北元 (1368-1402). Yet he and his direct successors were never able to combine authority with power, and most fell victim to internal quarrels.

At the same time, the Western Mongols gained independence from their Eastern overlords, and began to challenge the leadership of the Činggisids (Borǰigid lineage). Around 1400 (1399 or 1401), Batula Čingsang (also called Maḥmūd, d. 1416?) from the tribe of the Čoros killed the fourth successor and grandson of Toɣon Temür, Elbeg (Nigülesügči Qaγan r. 1401-1402).

The Ming dynasty 明 (1368-1644) dealth with the Mongol tribes according to the ancient pattern of "using barbarians to fight against the barbarians" (yi yi zhi yi 以夷治夷, or similar), and supported one tribe against the other, thus provoking inter-tribal fights which diverting them from Chinese land. This does not mean that the Mongols were impotent in the 15th century. The Yongle Emperor 永樂 (r. 1402-1424) launched six campaigns against the Mongols. The first campaign, against Aruɣtai, in 1409, ended in a defeat for the Ming, but a year later, when the emperor himself took over command, Ölǰei Temür was thrown back to River Onon. Batula Čingsang, khan of the Oyirad, used his chance and killed Ölǰei Temür, replacing him with the late khan's son, a puppet khan named Delbeg. In 1414, the Yongle Emperor defeated the Oyirad at River Tula. The tide had turned, and Aruɣtai killed Batula Čingsang and his protégé Delbeg. During his last campaign against the Eastern Mongols, the Yongle Emperor died.

The Mongols were by then dominated by the Oyirad leader Toɣon, a son of Batula Čingsang. He made Toɣto Buqa (Dayisung Qaɣan), a cousin of Delbeg, Great Khan.

The power of the Oyirads grew, and in 1440, Esen took over the rulership. His "empire" reached from Hami 哈密 in the west to the grounds of the Jurchen in the east. The zenith of his power was reached in 1449, when Mongol troops approached Beijing and captured the Ming emperor Yingzong 明英宗 (r. 1435-1449, 1457-1464) in the battle of Tumu 土木. The subsequent siege of Beijing was ill-prepared and was soon relinquished. In 1450, after Esen had released his imperial hostage, Toɣto Buqa from the Eastern Mongols saw his chance and attacked Esen Qan, but he was betrayed by his own brother, Aɣbarǰi ǰinong, and was killed in 1452. According to legend, he died during the investiture ceremony before the ceremonial white tens of Činggis Qaɣan. According to another report, he was killed by his father-in-law.

Esen Qan thereupon adopted the title of Great Khan, but this step provoked resistance not just among the Eastern Mongols, which were Tögüs (Molon Qaɣan, a son of Toɣto Buqa), but also among the nobility of the Oyirad. Esen was killed in 1455 by a nobleman called Buqun from the Yüngsiyebü tribe. Molon Qaɣan, killed in 1454, was succeeded by his half-brother Mar-körgis (r. 1454-1463 or 1466), who fell also victim to bloody fights. As the latter two did not have sons, the title of Great Khan of the Eastern Mongols fell on Manduɣul (r. 1463-1467), a half-brother of Toɣto Buqa, and then to Batu Möngke (Dayan Qaɣan, r. 1470-1543, a great-grandson of Aɣbarǰi ǰinong), who successfully reunited the Eastern Mongolian tribes against China and the Oyirad. He was critically supported in his project by his wife, Manduqai Qatun (c. 1448-1492?) from the Tümed tribe.

Table XXX. The four tribes of the Oyirad (Elute 厄魯特)
Qošod Heshuote 和碩特
Torgud Tu'erhute 土爾扈特
J̌eyün Γar (Dzunghars) Zhunga'er 準噶爾
Dörbed Du'erbote 杜爾伯特

Dayan Qaɣan was the ancestor of the most important Mongol leaders of the Qing period. During the 1480s, he several times defeated the Oyirads, and advanced widely into the direction of Beijing in the years 1517 and 1523. The Ming troops were not match for the 15,000 elite cavalry of the Mongols (Veit 1986: 388). In 1532, he requested the status of a vassal of the Ming, a title which allowed him to bring tributes to the Chinese court and receive gifts and special rights, such as trade permissions.

The last years of Dayan Qaɣan's rule were overshadowed by disputes of rank. Dayan had divided the ten tümen ("legions" or "regiments" of 10,000 men) into two wings. The eastern (left) wing, including the Čaqar, Uriyangqan, and Qalqa, was directly subordinated to the Great Khan. The western (right) wing, including the Ordos, Tümed, Ulanǰab, Asud, Qaračin, and Yüngsiyebü, was to be commanded by a ǰinong (prince, from Chinese jinwang 晉王 or jiwang 濟農). Dayan wanted to appoint his son Ulus Bolud ǰinong of the western wing, but the Ordos killed him. Only with greatest force, Dayan subdued the western wing, and made the institution of ǰinong for it hereditary. At the time of his death, when his grandson Bodi Alaɣ (r. 1543-1547), the left wing encompassed the Čaqar tribes of the Abaɣa, Abaɣanar, Aoqan, Dörben Keüked, Kesigten, Muumingɣan, Naiman, Ongniɣud, Qaɣučid, Sünid, Üǰumüčin, and Urad, the banners of the Qalqa, including the Baɣarin, J̌arud, Qonggirad, Bayaɣud, and Učirad, and the Urigyangqan with the tribes of the Aru Qorčin, Dörbed, Γorlos, J̌alayid, and Qorčin. The right wing encompassed the Ordos, Tümed, Asud, Qaračin, and Yüngsiyebü.

Table xxx. Organization of the Mongols in the mid-16th century
Left (Eastern) Wing (led by the Great Khan) Right (Western) Wing (led by a ǰinong prince)
Čaqar tribes Ordos
Abaɣa, Abaɣanar, Aoqan, Dörben Keüked, Kesigten, Muumingɣan, Naiman, Ongniɣud, Qaɣučid, Sünid, Üǰumüčin, and Urad
Qalqa banners
Qalqa, incl. Baɣarin, J̌arud, Qonggirad, Bayaɣud, and Učirad
Aru Qorčin, Dörbed, Γorlos, J̌alayid, and Qorčin

The most powerful rulers of the steppe after Dayan Qaɣan's death were Altan Qan (a grandson of Dayan) from the Tümed, and the four khans of the Qalqa, XXX. Altan Qan founded the first Mongolian city, Köke Qota (Guihua 歸化, today's Hohhot in Inner Mongolia), promoted agriculture, and attracted Chinese craftsmen. His military expeditions led into Qinghai, Tibet, and Turfan. In 1552, he expelled the Oyirad from the ancient capital Qara Qorum, and thus opened the central lands of Mongolia to the Qalqa tribes. In 1547, when Darayisun was invested as Great Qan (qaɣan) over all Mongolian tribes, Altan Qan requested the title of protector over the Mongol empire. Altan Qan promoted the introduction of Tibetan Buddhism (Lamaism) in all Mongolian tribes. This religion proved relatively attractive for the Mongolian leaders, as it constituted the belief of an advanced civilization and seems to fit more to modern times than traditional shamanism. Yet monasteries and the clergy also supported tribes leaders in their claims for power.

The contradiction between the dream of a united empire and the tribal quest for independence was the crux of the matter which made the rise of a new Mongol empire impossible. This can best be seen in the attitude of the Mongols towards a newly emerging power in the eastern forest belts of Manchuria, where the Jurchen tribes (in Mongolian called J̌ürčen, plural J̌ürčed) were unified in the late 16th century and would eventually force the Mongols into submission.

The ruler of the Jianzhou Jurchen 建州女真, Nurhaci, adopted in XXX the title of khan (qan), and received envoys of various Mongolian tribes. Treaties between the parties ensured that merchants and travellers from both sides were legally protected. The growing military power of the Jurchen enabled them to exert power against Mongol tribes, paired with benevolence if the Mongols were willing to submit. This policy was paired with a complex marriage policy (see heqin 和親), in which Jurchen (from XXX on called Manchus) princesses married Mongol rulers, and Jurchen/Manchu princes and rulers took Mongol women in their "harem". The grandmother of the Kangxi Emperor 康熙 (r. 1661-1722), for instance, Grand Empress Dowager Xiaozhuangwen 孝莊文皇后 (1613-1688), hailed from the Qorčin tribe, and was a descendent of Činggis Qaɣan.

The Jurchen had not only cultural ties to the Mongols and adopted Mongolian as the written language (until 1599), but also a common enemy in the Ming empire. By making allies of the Mongols, the Manchus would have free their western flank for eventual attacks on China.

The last great pre-Qing unifier of the Mongols was Ligdan Qan (r. 1603–1634) of the Čaqar, a great-grandson of Dayan Qan. He was a patron of Buddhism in Mongolia and enforced the translation of Buddhist writings, mainly the Tibetan Kanjur, into Mongolian language. Yet his leadership was perceived by other tribes as a form of tyranny. In 1618, Ligdan declared war to the Ming empire, not just because of power politics, but also to increase the territory from which the Mongol tribes could be nourished with agricultural produce. Ligdan's expansionist policy was at odds with that of Nurhaci, the Jurchen khan, who pursued the same method of advancing the borders of his empire toward the Ming. A personal component in the rivalry between Ligdan and Nurhaci consisted of the fact that the Jurchens had destroyed the tribe of the Yehe, from which Ligdan's wife hailed.

In 1619, Ligdan conquered the border market of Guangning, and thus provoked action by Nurhaci, who announced to take Guangning for himself. In the following years, many Mongol tribes sided with Nurhaci in order to curtail the power of Ligdan. In 1628, he suffered a heavy defeat by the Qaračin, Tümed, Ordos, Abaɣa, and some Qalqa tribes. To make things more complex, some Mongol tribes supported the Ming in this case. In 1632, the Jurchen ruler Hong Taiji (r. 1626-1643) appealed to all Mongolian tribes to unite against Ligdan Qan. The latter travelled to the historical tents of Činggis Qaɣan, were he cought up on his investiture as Great Khan. He died in 1634 in exile in Qinghai (Köke Naɣur), and the rest of his supporters among the Qalqa tribes submitted to the Jurchen. At that occasion, the ancient imperial seal of the Yuan dynasty came into the hands of the Hong Taiji.

Table xxx. The House Borǰigid from Činggis Qaɣan to its end
Uqaγatu Qaγan (r. 1333–1370) 烏哈噶圖汗 (Yuan Huizong 元惠宗, Shundi 元順皇帝, Zhizheng Di 至正帝, Gengshen Di 庚申帝) Toγan Temür 妥懽貼睦爾
Biligtü Qaγan (r. 1370–1378) 必里克圖汗 (Yuan Zhaozong 元昭宗) Ayuširidara 愛猷識理達臘 (愛猷識里達臘)
Usaqal Qaγan (r. 1378–1388) 兀思哈勒可汗 or 烏薩哈爾汗 (Yuan Yizong 元益宗, Tianyuan Di 元天元帝) Tögüs Temür 脱古思帖木儿
Joriγtu Qaγan (r. 1388–1392) 卓里克圖可汗 Yesüder
Engke Qaγan (?–1392) 恩克可汗
Nigülesügči Qan (r. 1392–1399) 尼古埒蘇克齊汗 Elbeg 額勒伯克
Toγoγan Qaγan (r. 1400–1402) 脱古罕可汗 Gün Temür 坤帖木兒
Örüg Temür Khan (r. 1402–1408) 兀雷帖木兒汗 Guliči 鬼力赤 (Ugechi Khashikha)
Öljei Temür Qan (r. 1403–1412) 完者帖木儿汗 Bunyashiri 本雅失里
Delbeg 答里巴 (r. 1415)
斡亦剌歹 Oyiradai (r. 1415–1425)
Adai Khan (r. 1425–1438) 阿岱汗 or 阿台
Tayisung Qaγan (r. 1433–1452) 岱總汗 Toγto Buqa 脱脱不花
Agborjin 阿噶多多濟 (r. 1453)
Esen Taiši (r. 1453–1454) 也先太師 or 額森
Markörgis Khan (Ükegtü) Markos, Marku 马可古儿吉思, 麻儿可儿,尊号乌珂克图汗, 小王子 (r. 1454–1465)
Mulan Khan Molon 摩伦汗, 脱古思猛可 (r. 1465–1466)
Manduulun Khan (r. 1475–1478) 滿都鲁, 烏格克圖汗 Mandaghol 滿都古勒汗
Dayan Khan 达延汗 (r. 1478–1516), 小王子 Batu Möngke 巴图蒙克
Barsbolad Khan Bars Bolud Jinong (deputy) 巴尔斯博罗特, 巴儿速孛罗
Alagh Qan (r. 1516–1547) 阿剌克汗 Bodi 博迪
Gödeng Khan (r. 1547–1557) 库腾汗或库登汗 Darayisung 达赍逊或达赉孙
Jasaghtu Qan(r. 1557–1592) 扎萨克图汗 Tümen 圖們
Sechen Khan (r. 1592–1603) 彻辰汗 Buyan 布延
Ligdan Khutugtu Qan 林丹汗 丹巴圖爾台吉、靈丹、或旦 (r. 1604–1634)
Ejei Khan Ejei Khongghor (r. 1634–1635, d. 1661) 额哲
Abunai 阿布奈 (1661-1675)

The Mongols under the Qing

The designations "Inner" and "Outer" Mongolia (Nei Menggu 内蒙古, Wai Menggu 外蒙古, in Mongolian Dotuɣadu Mongol and Γadaɣadu Mongol, in Manchu Dorgi Monggo and Tulergi Monggo) are stemming from a political issue in the early 17th century, when part of the Mongol tribes—those living in the eastern and southern parts of the steppe—submitted to the Manchus, while the other part—roaming in the northern steppe zone—remained independent for half a century more.

Inner Mongolia

The oldest line of the Borǰigid expired in 1669 with Burni, a grandson of Ligdan Qan. Carefully planned marriage policy, along with certain cultural affinities, allowed the Manchus to gain dominance over the tribes of Inner Mongolia. Yet as early as 1635, the Manchus came into possession of the old seal of the Mongol Great Khans. This was the chance for Hong Taiji, khan of the Manchus (name change from Jurchen to Manchu in 1636), to adopt the title of emperor and of Great Khan. Fourty-nine dignitaries of Mongol tribes attended his enthronement. Their 24 tribes (ayimaɣ, in Chinese bu 部 or buluo 部落) were reorganized in six leagues (čiɣhulɣan, in Chinese meng 盟) and 49 banners (qosiɣun, Chinese qi 旗) which would eventually constitute the population of Inner Mongolia. In the beginning, the tribe leaders retained their power, but soon became seal-holding functionaries of the Qing government.

Table xxx. Organization of the "Inner Mongols" in leagues and banners in the mid-17th century
J̌erim League (Zhelimu Meng 哲里木盟)
Qorčin (6 banners) Ke'erqin 科爾沁
J̌alaid (1) Zhalaite 扎賚特
Dörbed (1) Du'erbote 杜爾伯特 (Borǰigid clan)
Gorlos (2) Guo'erluosi 郭爾羅斯
J̌osutu Leage (Zhuosutu Meng 卓索圖盟)
Qaracin (3) Kalaqin 喀喇沁
Tümed (2) Tumote 土默特
J̌oo Uda Leage (Zahowuda Meng 昭烏達盟)
Aoqan (1) Aohan 敖漢
Naiman (1) Naiman 奈曼
Baɣarin (2) Balin 巴林
J̌arud (2) Zhalute 扎魯特
Aru Qorčin (1) Alu Ke'erqin 阿嚕科爾沁
Ongniɣud (2) Wengniute 翁牛特
Kesigten (1) Keshiketeng 克什克騰
Left-Wing Qalqa (1) Ka'erka zuoyi 喀爾喀左翼
Silinggol League (Xilinguole Meng 錫林郭勒盟)
Üǰumüčin (2) Wuzhumuqin 烏珠穆沁
Qaɣučid (2) Haoqite 浩齊特
Sünid (2) Sunite 蘇尼特
Abaɣa (2) Abage 阿巴噶
Abaɣanar (2) Abahana'er 阿巴哈納爾
Ulanǰab League (Wulanchabu Meng 烏蘭察布盟)
Dörben Keüked (1) Sizi buluo 四子部落
Muumingɣan (1) Maoming'an 茂明安
Urad (3) Wulate 烏拉特
Left-Wing Qalqa (1) Ka'erka youyi 喀爾喀右翼
Yeke J̌oo League (Yikezhao Meng 伊克昭盟)
Ordos (7) E'erduosi 鄂爾多斯

Apart from the six leagues with forty-nine banners, the remaining Čaqar tribes, organized in eight banners, were directly subordinated to the Manchu rulers, as a punishment for their siding with Ligdan. These Banners (not to be confused with the Mongolian Banners inside the Eight Banner system) were designed in imitation of the Manchu Banners, with plain and bordered colours. There were also more Čaqar tribes in Inner Mongolia, residing over the four imperial pasturelands (muchang 牧場) Šangdu, Mingɣan, and the Left and Right Wing, the two banners of the Tümed from Köke Qota (Guihuacheng Tumote 歸化城土默特, dissilved in 1763), as well as the banner of the Alaša (Alashan 阿拉善) and that of the Edsine-Torgud (Ejina Tu'erhute 額濟納土爾扈特) - the last two were known as the two banners west of the Great River Bend (Taoxi er qi 套西二旗).

From 1638 on, Manchu-Mongol relations were regulated by the Court of Colonial Affairs (lifanyuan 理藩院)—some authors call it "Colonial Ministry". In the same year, the "Outer" Mongols established regular diplomatic relations with the Manchu empire. In 1688, the khan of the Western Mongols, Galdan (1632 or 1644-1697), invaded Outer Mongolia, and exerted so much pressure on the Mongols that the Lama "bishop" of Outer Mongolia, the Jebtsundamba Khutuktu (rJ̌e-bcun dam-pa Qutuqtu) Öndör Geɣen Dsanabadsar (1635-1723), suggested to request support from the Manchus, rather than from Russia. Three years later, the dignitaries of the Eastern Mongols were received by the Kangxi Emperor in Doluɣan Naɣur (Dolon Nor) and declared their submission under the Manchus. From then on, Outer Mongolia was a protectorate of the Qing empire.

Unlike in earlier times, when boundaries between the tribes were not fixed, the Qing bureaucratized the administration of Inner Mongolia and did not allow the Mongolian tribes to trespass the boundaries of their assigned lands. The most important reason for this measure was to prevent the rise of one powerful leader who tried to gain dominance over other tribes and create a federation. Banners were subdivided according to the traditional socio-military system of the Mongols into "Arrows" (sumun) and regiments (ǰalan). Heads of Mongol Banners were Banner Princes (ǰasaɣ, Chinese transcription zhasake 扎薩克) who reported directly to the Qing emperor and submitted annual tributes. Princeship was interitable, but inheritance required confirmation by the Qing emperor. Other members of the traditional Mongol nobility were given ranks according to the nobility system of the Qing, with ten grades ranging from Qošoi čin vang to that of tayiǰi of the 4th grade. Noblemen other than the Banner Princes had no political functions. The Leagues, which only served administrative and judicial purposes, were administered by League Heads (čiɣulɣan-u daruɣa) selected from the respective League and appointed by the emperor. Disputes were settled during conferenced which were held every three years.

The Court of Colonial Affairs had six departments, three of which were responsible for Inner Mongolia, the first one (Qiji qinglisi 旗籍清吏司) with general administrative matters (borders, ennoblement, alliances, courier stations, military recruitment), the second (Wanghui qinglisi 王會清吏司) with the reception of visitors and tributes, salaries and gifts, and the third (Lixing qinglisi 理刑清吏司) with judicial matters.

The Lifanyuan also included schools for translation of Tibetan, Mongolian, and Russian. The Tibetan School (Töbed surɣaɣuli) was of great importance because Tibetan Buddhism (Lamaism) occupied a central role in the life of Mongols, also in a political sense. The Jebtsundamba Khutuktu, a "Mongolian Dalai Lama", who resided in Urɣa (Urga, Kulun), had great influence on political decisions. The Kangxi Emperor therefore summoned a high Lama, the Janggiya Qutuγtu (Changkya Khutukhtu, lCang-skya Ho-thog-thu, Zhang-jia hu-tu-ke-tu 章嘉呼圖克圖) Ngawang Losang Chöden (Ngag-dbang bLo-bzang Chos-ldan, A-ban Luo-sang Qu-dian 阿班羅桑曲殿, 1642-1714), to the court in Beijing and promoted him to a position only fourth to the Dalai Lama, the Panchen Lama and the Jebtsundamba. His successor, Changkya Rölpé Dorjé (1717-1786), was an eminent diplomat in the Qing relations with Mongolia, Qinghai (Kokonor) and Tibet. The summer residence of the Changkya Khutukhtu was in Dolon Nor (the winter residence was in Songzhu Monastery 嵩祝寺 in Beijing), and he therefore became the spiritual head of Inner Mongolia, as a counterpart to the Jebtsundamba Khutuktu in Outer Mongolia.

During the war against the Oyirad khan Galdan, Inner Mongolia was the centre of military activity, but in later campaigns against the Western Mongols, Inner Mongolia remained undisturbed, and therefore experienced a peaceful period in the 18th century.

Of particular importance was the visit of the 6th Panchen Lama Lobsang Palden Yeshe (1738–1780) in Beijing in 1780. He travelled across Inner Mongolia and so demonstrated the unity of worldly and secular rule as it was created between the Qing court and the Gelugpa school of the Lamaist tradition. Thereafter, the interest of the Qing rulers in keeping up these intensive cooperation with the Lamaist clergy diminished.

The 19th century was a period of social, cultural and economic deterioration of Inner Mongolia. While the Qing dynasty was occupied with the problems of diplomatic and economic relations with Western countries and with numerous rebellions in China proper, its grip on the colonies hardened.

The gap between the class of nobility and the clergy on the one hand and the common people on the other widened. The difference between commoners and bondservants of the nobility (qamǰilɣa) and those of the monasteries (šabi) blurred, and people who had formerly paid taxes to the Qing state, came under the spell of landowners and nobles who financed their luxurious lives and the construction of monasteries by exploiting the peasant population. The winners of this development were Chinese traders and craftsmen who profited from the marketing of Chinese goods and the construction work in the cities of Inner Mongolia. The one or other consumer financed his indulgence with transferring of the right of levies to Chinese merchants.

Quite a particular aspect in the social development of Inner Mongolia was the custom to spend at least part of the life in a monastery. Around 1900, there were more than 1,000 monasteries in Inner Mongolia, and between 30 and 65 per cent of the male population were monks (Kämpfe 1986: 427).

While it was in earlier times forbidden for Chinese to settle down in Inner Mongolia, the Qing did not longer care to enforce this regulation in the 19th century (as they did open Manchuria for Chinese settlement), so that more and more Chinese settlers arrived—a tendency wakening up a new, nationalist sentiment. Research has shown that it the social problem in Inner Mongolia in the 19th century was not class struggle between exploiters and exploited, but a hatred of the poor against the sinification of the nobility. Around 1900, an urban proletariat emerged in the cities of Kalgan (today's Zhangjiakou 張家口, Hebei) and Guihua (today's Huhehaote 呼和浩特, in modern Mongolian pronounced Hohhot). Impoverished peasants and nobles joined in rebellious societies like the "Circle" Movement (Duɣuyilang), and in 1861, a rebellion of nomads and Chinese settlers targeted at landowners and Chinese merchants. The 1911 Revolution in China made things even worse for Inner Mongolia.

Outer Mongolia

The tribes of Outer Mongolia (Qalqa, a term referring to both the region and the tribes) decided in 1691 to accept the suzerainty of the Qing empire. The reason for this decision was the threat by the Western Mongols under Galdan Khan. Yet his fate also shows that the loyalty of the Mongols was directed towards individual leaders, and not to a nation or the institution of khanate. For this reason the emergence and downfall of great leaders (Liɣdan, Esen) of the steppe rarely resulted in the creation of a long-lasting empire. The only ties uniting all Mongolian tribes was the common descent of the nobility from Činggis Qaɣan, and the religion of Lamaism.

The tribes of the Qalqa were organized in four khanates, led by Tüsiyetü Qan, Sayin Noyan Qan, Sečen Qan, and J̌asaɣtu Qan. Related to them by descent from the Borǰigid family was the religious head of Qalqa, the Jebtsundamba Khutuktu.

Table xxx. Outer Mongolian Tribes
The Four Qalqa Khanates
Sečen Qan (20-23 Banners) Residing in Kerülen Bars Qota Ka'erka Chechen Han bu 喀爾喀車臣汗部
Tüsiyetü Qan (20) Qan Aɣula Ka'erka Tuxietu Han bu 喀爾喀土謝圖汗部
Sayin Noyan Qan (24, incl. 2 Oyirad-Ögeled Banner) Čečerlig Ka'erka Saiyin Nuoyan bu 喀爾喀賽因諾顏部
J̌asaɣtu Qan (19, incl. 1 Oyirad-Qoyid Banner) Biidüri-e naɣur Ka'erka Zhasaketu Han bu 喀爾喀札薩克圖汗部 (+ Huite 輝特)
Tannu Uryangqai (9) Tangnu Wulianghai 唐努烏梁海
Altai Uryangqai (7) A'ertai Wulianghai 阿爾泰烏梁海
Altai Naɣur Uryangqai (2) A'ertai Nao'er Wulianghai 阿爾泰淖爾烏梁海
or A'ertai Nuo Wulianghai 阿爾泰諾烏梁海
Dörbed (14, and 2 Qoyid Banners) Du'erbote 杜爾伯特 (+ Huite 輝特)
J̌aqchin (2) Zhahaqin 札哈沁部
Oyirad from Kobdo (1) Kebuduo Elute 科布多額魯特部
Myanggat (1) Ming'ate 明阿特部
New Torɣut (2) Xin Tu'erhute 新土爾扈特部
New Qošod (1) Xin Heshuote 新和碩特部
Mongols in Xinjiang
Old Torɣut (10) Jiu Tu'erhute 舊土爾扈特部
Middle-Route Qošod (4) Zhonglu Heshuote 中路和碩特部
Ili (13) Yili 伊犁
Mongols in Qinghai (Kökö Naɣur)
Oyirad (29) Qinghai Elute 青海額魯特
Qošod (21) Qinghai Heshuote 青海和碩特部
Qoyid (1) Qinghai Huite 青海輝特部
Čoros (2) Qinghai Chuoluosi 青海綽羅斯部
Torgut (4) Qinghai Tu'erhute 青海土爾扈特部
Qalqa (1) Qinghai Ka'erka 青海喀爾喀部
Mongols in Manchuria
Oyirad (1) Heilongjiang Elute 黑龍江額魯特部
Dörbed (1) Heilongjiang Du'erbote 黑龍江杜爾伯特部

Outer Mongolia was threatened by two sides, first the Oyirads, whose ruler Batur Qung Tayiǰi (d. 1653 or 1665), a descendent of Esen, and his son Galdan (d. 1697), several times invaded Qalqa, and second, the Russian empire which pushed towards Central Asia and the Far East.

The trouble in outer Mongolia began with the murder of the J̌asaɣtu Qan in XXX. Continuing quarrels provoked the invasion of Galdan, head of the Dzungars, with 30,000 men in 1688. He annihilated the army of the Tüsiyetü Qan. The latter and the religious head of Outer Mongolia, the Jebtsundamba Khutuktu, fled to the Inner Mongolian tribe of the Sünid, and decided to ask the Qing emperor for protection. Religious and cultural ties suggested such a step, while an alliance with the Russians would not promise much help. Moreover, the Qing empire negotiated on border trade with Russia anyway—the eventual treaty of Nerchinsk form 1689.

The Qing offered the Qalqa refugees pastureland, but planned to liberate their homeland from Galdan in order to bring them back. When Galdan left his winter quarters in Kobdo in 1690, he was confronted with the rebellion of his nephew Tsewang Arabdan (1643-1727), but also had to continue his fight against remaining Qalqa tribes. The Kangxi Emperor launched an attack against him, and Galdan was defeated by Prince Fuciowan's (Fuquan 福全, 1853-1703) artillery in the battle of Ulan Butung (today's Chifeng 赤峰, Inner Mongolia). The Emperor received the Qalqa nobles and proclaimed the integration of Outer Mongolia into the Qing empire.

Galdan invaded Outer Mongolia once more in 1695. This time, the Kangxi Emperor decided to command the campaign in person. His army consisted of 100,000 troops and marched in three columns. In June 1696, the Emperor and Fiyanggū (Feiyanggu 費揚古, 1645-1701) reached the banks of River Kerülün and became aware that Galdan had fled to the west. Scarcity of supply prevented the Qing troops from further pursuing the enemy, barring a small contingent of elite troops, which met Galdan in battle at J̌uun Modun (close to present-day Ulan Bataar) a week later. Galdan escaped with 1,000 men, but refused to surrender. In Spring 1697 a third campaign was in preparation, but Galdan decided to commit suicide.

The relations between the Qalqa tribes and the Qing empire were first regulated in 1789 with the promulgation of the code Menggu lüli 蒙古律例, which was refined in 1817 by the Lifanyuan zeli 理蕃院則例. The Outer Mongolian Bureau (dianshu qinglisi 典屬清吏司) of the Lifanyuan organized internal borders, ennoblements (fengjue 封爵), internal alliances, courier stations (yidi 驛遞), military organization (junlü 軍旅), religious aspects (also of Tibet), the pasture rights (of the Čaqar), and internal and external trade. The Outer Mongolian Reception Bureau (rouyuan qingli si 柔遠清吏司) was responsible for visits and salaries of, and presents to the Qualqa Princes and nobles (ǰasaɣ vang gung 扎薩克王公), and judicial matters were regulated by the Judicial Bureau (Lixing qinglisi).

The Qing retained the organization of the Qalqa into four Leagues and 86 Banners, which were controlled by Banner Princes. The latter were supervised by a League Leader XXX selected and appointed by the emperor, and were from 1781 on hereditary, even if each succession requested the confirmation by the Qing court. The Banner Princes were obtaining a salary paid by the Qing, and were thus more or less officials of the Qing empire. In comparison with Inner Mongolia, Outer Mongolia retained a much higher grade of autonomy, and did not experience problems with Chinese merchants or settlers. On the other hand, the Qalqa had much to contribute to the Qing wars, while the nobility of Inner Mongolia had the chance to rise to high offices in the central administration of the Qing empire. /Military governor of Uliyasutai/

The Qalqa were responsible for the more than 70 courier stations in their territory, the protection of the border to Russia and the western border in the Altai Range, the supervision of imperial pastures and the flocks grazing on them, and of the fields around Kobdo on which military supply was cultivated. The postal stations alone required an amount of 3 million horses a year (Veit 1986b: 499). The Qalqa army consisted of 169 cavalry squadrons with 150 troops each (ibid.). Young men served in turn, and were ordered to use the traditional weapon bow and arrow, and not the musket. Qalqa troops participated in the long-lasting war against the Dzungars from 1718 to 1739, and in the second war, which included campaigns against the turmoils in Eastern Turkestan, from 1754 to 1759. The first Dzungar war required four million horses and about ten thousand troops per League (Veit 1986b: 453).

After the death of Galdan, his nephew Tsewang Arabdan took over command, and then his son Galdan Čering (d. 1745). In 1718, a cousin of Tsewang Arabdan, Čeringdondub Senior, occupied Lhasa. Two years later, Tibet was liberated. The Qing troops were commanded by the oldest son of the Kangxi Emperor, Prince Injy (Yinti 胤禔, 1672-1735, or after 1722 called Yūnjy, in Chinese Yunti 允禔), and the generals Funinggan (d. 1728), Furdan (1683-1753), Siboo (d. 1742), and Yanxin (XXX). In the following decade, only minor clashes occurred. The foremost Mongolian commander of this period was Čering, a brother-in-law of the Yongzheng Emperor 雍正 (r. 1722-1735). His sons Čenggünjab and Čebdenjab hold important and high posts in the military administration of Outer Mongolia. In 1731 and 1732 he repelled Dzungar invasions under Čeringdondub Senior and Junior. Between 1734 and 1739, the Qing negotiated with the Dzunghars and fixed the border in the Altai Range.

The next war broke out as an internal conflict between the leader of the Dzungars, Dawači (d. 1759), and the khan of the Qoyid, Amursana (1723-1757). The latter asked in 1754 to become a subject of the Qing, his tribe received grazing grounds in Outer Mongolia, and he was made a military commander during the short war against Dawači. This last Oyirad khan of the Dzunghars was detained in Beijing, where he died. Amursana thereupon desired to become great khan of the Dzunghars, and tried to conspire with some of the Qalqa leaders, like Činggünjab from the J̌asaɣtu Qan League who warned Amursana to flee before he would be arrested.

The following campaigns against Amursana were commanded by Bandi 班第 (1664-1755), Hadaha (), and Jaohūi (Zhaohui 兆惠, 1708-1764) over the imperial troopos, and Sangjayidorji and Čebdenjab over the Mongolian contingents. In 1756 Amursana was defeated and escaped to the Kazakhs who lived on Russian territory. At the same time, Činggünjab rebelled against the Qing regime. A year later Amursana died from smallpox, and Činggünjab's rebellion failed, and he was executed. The Qianlong Emperor 乾隆 (r. 1735-1796)appointed loyal Mongol leaders for the administration of Outer Mongolia, among others, Čenggünjab as military governor of Uliyasutai, and convoked the Qalqa nobles to confess their treason and swear loyalty to the Qing.

The Qing carried out an ethnical cleansing in Dzungharia, scattered the surviving families into the four winds, and resettled other tribes in the northwest, for instance, Čaqar families. The Qianlong Emperor also saw to it that future reincarnations of the "national" figure of Outer Mongolia, the Jebtsundamba Khutuktu, were only Tibetan person without ties to the Mongol nobility. In this way, a possible leader for future rebellions would not emerge.

The 19th century was in Outer Mongolia characterized by economic and political stagnation. In 1860 the first Russian consulate was opened in Urga, as one requirement of the Treaty of Aigun (Aihun tiaoyue 璦琿條約) from 1858. Like Inner Mongolia, Qalqa was also visited by Chinese merchants who directly bought local products and shipped them to China. In earlier ages, the Mongols had brought their products to Chinese border markets. Chinese merchants also sold Chinese products in Outer Mongolia, often enough by giving credit to their customers. In many cases, whole Banners became economically dependent from Chinese merchant houses. The Qing government tried to impose strict regulations on Chinese merchants, for instance, the prohibition to purchase real estate, or to marry Mongol girls, but to no avail. The social outcome was similar to that in Inner Mongolia, with impoverishment, increasing banditry, and the emergence of an urban proletariat in the few cities. Some of the bandits, like Toroi Bandi (d. 1904) or Toɣtaqu Tayiǰi (d. 1922), became popular heroes.

Yet not all nobles were corrupt or profligate. Among the positive examples is Hetsu Vang Toɣtaqutörü (1797-1887, also called To Wang), who was highly educated, wrote books on administration and economic policy, promoted industries, founded schools, and stimulated the arts. He also recognized that the clergy profited immensely from tax-exemption, and brought forward measures to re-organize and "purify" cleric life.

In mid-1911, a delegation from Outer Mongolia arrived in Sankt Petersburg, asked for Russian support of more autonomy inside the Qing empire, but the Revolution changed all options, and Russia voted for Mongol autonomy. On December 30, 1911, the Republic of Mongolia was founded.

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