Mongol power quickly extended beyond Mongolia, as the Mongols conquered the Tangut kingdom Xixia (modern Ningxia and Gansu provinces of China) by 1209.2 In 1211 Chinggis Khan invaded the Jin Empire (1125-1234) of Northern China. Although these campaigns began as raids, as their successes increased the Mongols retained the territory they plundered after resistance ceased. Although the Mongols won stunning victories and conquered most of the Jin Empire by 1216, the Jin opposition to the Mongols continued until 1234, seven years after the death of Chinggis Khan.3
Mongol expansion into Central Asia began in 1209, as the Mongols pursued tribal leaders who opposed Chinggis Khan's rise to power in Mongolia and thus constituted a threat to his authority there. With their victories, the Mongols gained new territory. Several smaller polities such as the Uighurs of the Tarim Basin also sought the protection of Chinggis Khan as vassals. Ultimately, the Mongols found themselves with a large empire, now bordering not only the Chinese states but also the Islamic world in Central Asia including the Khwarazmian Empire, which spanned over portions of Central Asia, Afghanistan, Iran, and part of modern Iraq.4
Initially, Chinggis Khan sought a peaceful commercial relationship with the Khwarazmian state. This abruptly came to an end with the massacre of a Mongol sponsored caravan by the governor of Otrar, a Khwarazmian border town. After diplomatic means failed to resolve the issue, Chinggis Khan left a token force in North China and marched against the Khwarazmians in 1218.5
After capturing Otrar, Chinggis Khan divided his army and struck the Khwarazmian Empire at several points. With his more numerous army spread across the empire in an attempt to defend its cities, Muhammad Khwarazmshah II could not compete with the more mobile Mongol army in the field. For the Muslim population, their defeat went beyond simple military conquest; it seemed that God had forsaken them. Indeed, the Mongols cultivated this idea. After capturing Bukhara, Chinggis Khan ascended the pulpit in the Friday mosque and announced:
O people, know that you have committed great sins, and that the great ones among you have committed these sins. If you ask me what proof I have for these words, I say it is because I am the punishment of God. If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you.6
Meanwhile, Muhammad II watched his cities fall one by one until he fled with a Mongol force in pursuit. He successfully eluded them and escaped to an island in the Caspian Sea, where he died shortly thereafter from dysentery. Although his son, Jalal al-Din (d. 1230) attempted to rally the empire in Afghanistan, Chinggis Khan defeated him near the Indus River in 1221, forcing Jalal al-Din to flee to India.Pre-Columbian Civilizations Cultures had been flourishing thousands of years before the Europeans arrived to the New World. Great empires such as the Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas inhabited the vast lands of Central and South America. These three major powers controlled the land before Columbus or Cortez were even born. Although the Pre-Columbian civilizations and the Europeans shared some similar ideas, life was very different in the New World compared with that of Middle Age Europe. In the New World were the three main Civilizations, The Aztecs, The Mayans, and the Incas...
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