In the early 1200s, the Mongolian steppe was a place of constant warfare. Dozens of tribes vied for control of the grassy plains, and the only thing they could agree on was that no one tribe should have any more power than another. That all changed when a young man named Temujin united the tribes under his leadership and created the Mongol Empire. This is the story of how he did it.
How Genghis Rose to Power
The Mongols were a nomadic people who herded sheep and cows across the steppe. Every spring, they would move to new grazing grounds so that their animals could find fresh food. The different tribes rarely had anything to do with each other, since they were often competing for the same resources. That all changed when Temujin was born.
Temujin was the son of a chieftain, but his father was betrayed and killed when Temujin was just a teenager. This made Temujin determined to exact revenge on those who had harmed his family. Over the next few years, he slowly began to gain power among the Mongol tribes. He did this by marrying into powerful families, making alliances with other tribal leaders, and winning military victories against his enemies.
Marrying Borte and thus establishing himself in the Khongarid clan, he gained support through his determination and charisma.
His life-long friend Jamukha was pivotal in his rise to power as well because he helped him when his wife was stolen and captured. With the help of his friend Jamukha a well-known and feared warlord, he rescued his wife and destroyed the Mergid clan, further solidifying his rule over the central-east tribes.
Soon after, Jamukha and Temujin had a final battle for dominance over the steppes, and Temujin came out victorious.
In 1206, he was finally able to unite all of the Mongol tribes under his leadership.
Genghis After Uniting The Central Asian Tribes
Once he had control of the Mongolian steppe, Temujin began to expand his empire. He invaded China and conquered most of its territory. He also tried to invade Japan, but his forces were thwarted by bad weather and failed to take control of the island nation. In 1227, Temujin died of an illness. His sons continued to rule after his death and expanded the empire even further.
Genghis Khan is one of history’s most famous conquerors. He united the warring tribes of central Asia and created an empire that stretched from China to Europe. But how did he do it? By marrying into powerful families, making alliances with other tribal leaders, and winning military victories against his enemies, Genghis Khan slowly gained power until he controlled all of the Mongolian steppes. From there, he expanded his empire until it included most of Asia and parts of Europe. He is remembered as one of history’s most successful military commanders.