The Significance Of Mongol Expansion 

 The Mongols were led by Genghis Khan and his descendants and had a very significant impact on Eurasia and the world. This is because they conquered a vast amount of Europe, changed existing hierarchies so that they could be in charge and made laws for all of the conquered lands to follow, encouraged freedom of religious choice and established a tax system to support the people.

We can infer that the Mongols had a big impact on keeping religions alive and also changing social hierarchies. The Mongols after conquering new places would leave religions to continue and in fact, the Mongols would sometimes follow these religions like Buddhism, Islam, and Nestorianism which was an early form of Christianity. This suggests that the Mongols did not really have one fixed religion and they could choose freely if they wanted to follow a certain religion or multiple religions. Furthermore, the Mongols also changed a lot of places traditional hierarchies after conquering them. This is demonstrated by the fact that when the Mongols took over new countries they would establish themselves at the top of the hierarchy but then keep the existing leaders to run the normal daily activities. A specific example is when the Mongols took over China and completely changed their existing hierarchy. They gave themselves all the top roles and then made sure no Chinese were in any important roles. Mongol leaders generally liked drama and theatre and since they enjoyed it they changed the artist's status in the hierarchy to be higher and encouraged them to write plays and drama. The Mongols did not really care about the religions people followed but they did care about how important their and other people's status was.

Evidence translated by Petis de la Croix suggests that Genghis Khan wrote a book of laws called the Yassa. The Yassa was focused on three things: obedience to Genghis Khan, a binding together of the nomad clans and merciless punishment for the wrongdoing of laws. Every country that the Mongols conquered had to follow these laws. This meant that Genghis Khan was in complete rule and his people had to do what he said or else were punished severely. An example of a law that showed obedience to Genghis Khan was that officers or chieftains who fail in their duty or do not follow Genghis Khan's orders must be slain. A law which shows that there was merciless punishment for wrongdoing was that Adultery is punishable by death. Genghis Kahn introduced policies that encouraged trade and exchange because they valued goods from other lands. In addition to this, the Mongols used 45 different terms for taxes throughout their empire. The nomadic Mongols taxes were divided into two types, tribute, and levy. The levy tax was a tax on herds and flocks and paid to the ruler. Another of the taxes, later on, was called “Qubchur” which was a poll tax which was used in Persia and Asia. From this, we can see that the Mongols had special laws they had to obey and also made the places that they conquered pay taxes.

Historians like Ethan Johnston have pondered about all the things that the Mongols have left behind and why they are remembered today. The Mongols are still remembered today mainly because of Temujin, or better known as Genghis Khan, who led the Mongols to become one of the most feared groups of people ever. This is further shown by historian Diana Lary who says that the Mongols “spread terror and panic as news of the cities they had razed preceded them”. This success in war is demonstrated by the huge mass of land they conquered covering over 11 million square miles in 25 years and which was the second biggest empire in history. They also left behind the Silk Road with its strong history of encouraging trade, supporting artists and a history of religious freedom. All of these things made the Mongols remembered as an important part of Eurasian history.

The Mongol expansion was very important for the whole world since it brought such a huge area under one rule, established laws and taxes to keep the lands running peacefully and support the economy, changed how important people were in hierarchies but still allowed religious freedom and supported artists and trade.


  • Jack Weatherford. Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2004.
  • History. (2000). Mongol Empire and Religious Freedom - History. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Aug. 2019].
  • Lamb, H, 'Genghis Khan's Code of Laws.'. in, 1927, [accessed 9 August 2019].
  • Morgan, D, the Mongols. in, 2nd ed., Victoria, Blackwell, 1986, pp. 87-90.
  • ERIN BLAKEMORE, E, 'Who were the Mongols?.'. in, 2019, [accessed 13 August 2019].
  • Carboni, S, & Q Adamjee, 'The Legacy of Genghis Khan.'. in, 2003, [accessed 25 August 2019]. 
16 December 2021
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