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Part 1: Mongols Part 2: Aztecs

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1 Part 1: Mongols Part 2: Aztecs
Lesson 21

2 Part 1: Mongols Theme: Dealing with Conquered People
Lesson 21

3 ID & SIG Genghis Kahn, Genghis Kahn’s military advances, Mongols

4 Mongols The Mongols were nomadic people who lived on the high steppe lands of eastern central Asia Traditionally, their strong loyalties to kinship groups made it difficult for them to organize a stable society on a large scale In the early 13th Century, however, they would unify Karakorum Modern day Mongolia was the center of the 13th Century Mongol Empire. Karakorum (present day Har Horin) was the capital

5 Temujin Temujin was born about 1167 into a noble family
However, when he was about 10 years old his father was poisoned and Temujin grew up in a precarious and dangerous way In order to survive, he learned to master the art of “steppe diplomacy” which called for displays of personal courage in battle, intense loyalty to allies (as well as willingness to betray allies or superiors to improve one’s position), and the ability to entice previously unaffiliated tribes into cooperative relationships Mongolian steppe

6 Genghis (Chinggis) Kahn
Temujin gradually strengthened his position using all these tactics and eventually brought all the Mongol tribes into a single confederation In 1206, an assembly of Mongol leaders recognized Temujin’s supremacy by proclaiming him Genghis (Chinggis) Kahn (“universal ruler”) Modern mural depicting Genghis Kahn’s inauguration

7 Genghis Kahn’s Military Advances
Organization of the army Characteristics of the troops Breaking tribal connections Mobility Light cavalry Strategy and tactics Psychological warfare New technology

8 Organization of the Army
Genghis Kahn created a command structure that facilitated flexibility He organized the Mongol soldiers into groups of multiples of 10 with each group of soldiers having a leader who would report to the next higher level This allowed the Mongol army to attack en masse, divide into somewhat smaller groups to encircle and lead enemies into an ambush, or divide into small groups to track down and destroy a fleeing and broken army Mongol Army Organization Tumen: 10,000 man division, made up of ten minghans, led by a noyan appointed by the Khan. Minghan: 1,000 man regiment, made up of ten jaguns, led by a noyan appointed by the Khan. Jagun: 100 man squadron, made up of ten arbans. The arban leaders selected their own leader for the jagun. Arban: 10 man unit. The men in the arban selected their own leader.

9 Characteristics of the Troops
The Mongol army also was highly flexible due to the durability of its soldiers Mongol soldiers were extremely tough, disciplined, obedient, and tireless They could go on extended campaigns with only meager provisions Genghis Kahn’s army was relatively small (100,000 to 125,000 Mongols plus some allies), but his success was built on quality not quantity

10 Characteristics of the Troops
Mongol soldiers were used to living in the harsh steppe climate and required little in the way of comfort “And in case of great urgency they will ride ten days on end without lighting a fire or taking a meal. On such an occasion they will sustain themselves on the blood of their horses, opening a vein and letting the blood jet into their mouths, drinking till they have had enough, and then staunching it…” Marco Polo Marco Polo traveled the Silk Roads toward the end of the 13th Century

11 Breaking Tribal Connections
Genghis Kahn’s personal experience had made him distrustful of Mongol tribal organizations so when he organized his army he broke up the tribes When integrating new soldiers into the army, he put them in new military units with no tribal affiliations He chose high military and political officials not on basis of kinship or tribal status, but because of their talents or their loyalty to him

12 Mobility Mongol horsemen were among the most mobile forces of the pre-modern world, sometimes traveling more than 62 miles a day to surprise the enemy Superior mobility and excellent political and military organization, gave Genghis Kahn advantages in speed, surprise, and intelligence gathering

13 Light Cavalry The core of the Mongol army was its light cavalry
Mongols grew up riding horses and possessed outstanding equestrian skills which they honed by hunting and playing competitive games on horseback Mongol horsemen could shoot an arrow at full gallop Stirrups allowed the cavalrymen improved maneuver and the ability to stand while shooting

14 Light Cavalry Mongols didn’t favor close combat, instead preferring to fight from a distance with their excellent bow marksmanship from horses “They never let themselves get into a regular medley, but keep perpetually riding around and shooting into the enemy.” Marco Polo

15 Strategy and Tactics Before invading a territory, the Mongols would conduct extensive preparations at a meeting of the participating commanders called a quriltai Intelligence was a key planning consideration The Mongols would usually advance in three separate columns The flanking columns would spread terror, gather intelligence, and eliminate smaller opponent armies When the time was right, the columns would reunite to defeat the main opposition The technique of advancing in separate columns facilitated independence and the detailed planning facilitated concentration

16 Battle of Sajo Bridge, April 27, 1241
Strategy and Tactics A favorite Mongol tactic was to feign a withdraw only to lead the enemy into an ambush “And you perceive that it is just when the enemy sees them run, and imagines that he has gained the battle, that he has in reality lost it, for the Mongols wheel around in a moment when they judge the right time has come. And after this fashion they have won many a fight.” Marco Polo Battle of Sajo Bridge, April 27, 1241

17 Psychological Warfare
If enemies surrendered without resistance, the Mongols usually spared their lives, and they provided generous treatment for artisans, craftsmen, and those with military skills In the event of resistance, however, the Mongols ruthlessly slaughtered whole populations, sparing only a few, who they sometimes drove before their armies as human shields or allowed to spread the word of Mongol power to intimidate future adversaries

18 New Technology The Mongols developed a composite bow, made out of horn and sinew, that gave them a significant advantage over their enemies The Mongol bow had a range of more than 350 yards The European crossbow was accurate only up to a range of 250 yards

19 New Technology The Mongols originally had no knowledge of siege warfare, but later became masters of it through careful acceptance of new technologies In some cases, the Mongols used trebuchets to hurl diseased corpses into the besieged city

20 Death of Genghis Kahn Genghis Kahn died in 1227
He had united the Mongols, established Mongol supremacy in central Asia, and extended Mongol control to northern China in the east and Persia in the west

21 Growth of the Mongol Empire Under Genghis Kahn
1204, before Genghis Kahn 1218 1227, when Genghis Kahn died

22 The Empire of Genghis Kahn
Genghis Kahn was a conqueror, not an administrator He ruled the Mongols themselves through his control over the army, but he did not establish a central government for the lands that he conquered Instead, he assigned Mongol overlords to supervise local administrators and to extract a generous tribute Contrast this technique with the other means of maintaining order and population control we discussed in Block 3

23 The Mongol Empire After Genghis Kahn
Genghis Kahn’s death touched off a struggle for power and his heirs divided his realm into four regional empires (Similar to what we talked about in Lesson 19 after Alexander the Great’s death) Khanate of the Great Kahn (China) Ended in 14th Century Khanate of Chagatai (central Asia) Ended in 18th Century Khanate of the Golden Horde (Russia) Ended in 16th Century Ilkanate of Persia

24 The Mongol Empire After Genghis Kahn


26 Genghis Kahn’s Place in the History of Warfare
The Mongol army transformed the scope of warfare Made it an intercontinental affair fought on multiple fronts stretching across thousands of miles. Sustained the campaign over years of constant fighting. Innovative fighting techniques made the heavily armored knights of medieval Europe obsolete, replacing them with disciplined cavalry moving in coordinated units. Speed, surprise, and effective siege techniques helped reduce the reliance on defensive fortifications and helped make walled cities obsolete. In twenty-five years, the Mongol army subjugated more lands and people than the Romans had conquered in four hundred years. Whether measured by the total number of people defeated, the sum of the countries annexed, or by the total area occupied, Genghis Khan conquered more than twice as much as any other man in history.

27 Part 2: Aztecs Theme: The Purpose of Warfare in Society
Lesson 21

28 ID & SIG Aztecs, Aztec warriors, Cortes, Huitzilopochtli, Mexica, Tenochtitlan, sacrificial bloodletting, tribute

29 The Mexica The Mexica are what the people we know as the Aztecs first called themselves They migrated to central Mexico from the northwest in the middle of the 13th Century They had a reputation for kidnapping women and seizing land cultivated by others

30 The Mexica For centuries they migrated around central Mexico
In about 1345 they settled on an island in a marshy region of Lake Texcoco and founded their capital city of Tenochtitlan The Spanish conquistadors later built Mexico City on top of Tenochtitlan

31 Tenochtitlan Living on the island had military advantages
The lake served as a natural defensive barrier Water protected Tenochtitlan on all sides Mexica warriors patrolled the three causeways that eventually linked the capital to the surrounding mainland

32 The Beginnings of Empire
By the early 15th Century, the Mexica were powerful enough to overcome their immediate neighbors and demand tribute from their new subjects Under the rule of “the Obsidian Serpent” Itzcoatl ( ) and Motecuzoma I (Montezuma) ( ) they conquered Oaxaca in southwest Mexico Itzcoatl, the Obsidian Serpent

33 The Triple Alliance The Mexica populated Oaxaca with colonists and used it as a bulwark for their emerging empire From Oaxaca, the Mexica turned to the Gulf Coast After that they conquered the cities between Tenochtitlan and the Gulf Coast In about the mid-15th Century, the Mexica joined forces with the neighboring cities of Texcoco and Tlacopan to form a triple alliance that guided the Aztec Empire The alliance imposed its rule on some 21 million people and most of Mesoamerica


35 Tribute The main objective of the triple alliance was to exact tribute from subject people The annual tribute owed by the state of Tochtepec on the Gulf coast included 9,600 cloaks 1,600 women’s garments 200 loads of cacao 16,000 rubber balls Tribute of precious stones in jade, serpentine, and turquoise paid by Tochtepec

36 Pendent in the shape of an Aztec warrior
The Aztec Army The Aztecs had no permanent, standing army and they did not maintain military garrisons throughout their empire They simply assembled forces as needed whenever they launched campaigns of expansion or punitive expeditions Pendent in the shape of an Aztec warrior

37 Maintenance of the Empire
The Aztec had no elaborate bureaucracy or administration They simply conquered their subjects and assessed tribute, leaving local governance and the collection of the tribute in the hands of the conquered people themselves The Aztecs reputation for military prowess was usually enough to keep subject people in line due to fear of reprisals Contrast this technique with the other means of maintaining order and population control we discussed in Block 3

38 War in Aztec Society War benefited all segments of Aztec society but the religious component was an especially important beneficiary because war produced victims for ritual sacrifice The Mexica believed their gods had set the world in motion through acts of individual sacrifice By letting their blood flow, the gods had given the earth the moisture it needed to bear maize and other crops

39 Aztec sacrificial knife
War in Aztec Society To propitiate the gods and ensure the continuation of the world, the Mexica honored their deities through sacrificial bloodletting Mexica priests regularly performed acts of self-sacrifice such as piercing their earlobes or penises with cactus spines in honor of the primeval acts of their gods Aztec sacrificial knife

40 War in Aztec Society Mexica warriors took Huitzilopochtli as their patron deity in the early 14th Century as they subjected neighboring peoples to their rule They felt that their military successes showed that Huitzilopochtli especially favored the Mexica and the priests of Huitzilopochtli’s cult demanded sacrificial victims to keep the war god appeased Huitzilopochtli

41 Tzompantli Altar decorated with 240 human skulls made of stone
War in Aztec Society Many of the people conquered by the Aztec warriors ended up becoming human sacrifices to Huitzilopochtli The Mexica honored Huitzilopochtli in a large temple in the center of Tenochtitlan When the Spanish conquistadors arrived they found racks holding the skulls of hundreds of thousands of sacrificial victims in temples dedicated to Huitzilopochtli throughout the Aztec empire Tzompantli Altar decorated with 240 human skulls made of stone

42 War in Aztec Society After an enemy was captured, he was incapacitated with a wooden collar and taken back to Tenochtitlan for formal presentation.

43 War in Aztec Society For the Aztecs, human sacrifice was not a gruesome form of entertainment, but a ritual essential for the world’s survival

44 Clay statue of an elite Aztec eagle warrior
Aztec Warriors All males were considered potential warriors and individuals of common birth could distinguish themselves in battle and therefore raise their social standing For the most part, though, military elites came from the Mexica aristocracy Men of noble birth received intensive training in military affairs Clay statue of an elite Aztec eagle warrior

45 Illustration depicting six different levels of military achievement
Aztec Warriors In the rigidly hierarchical Aztec social structure, most public honors and awards went to the military elite Accomplished warriors received extensive land grants as well as tributes from commoners for their support The most successful warriors formed a council whose members selected the ruler, discussed public issues, and filled government positions Illustration depicting six different levels of military achievement

46 Aztec Warriors Elite warriors ate the best foods Aztec society had to offer-- turkey, pheasant, duck, deer, boar, and rabbit-- and enjoyed luxuries such as vanilla and cacao Warriors were allowed to wear brightly colored cotton clothes while commoners had to wear coarse, burlap-like garments Aztec emperor personally awarding warriors with ritual dress and gifts taken in tribute from foreign states

47 Aztec Warfare The Aztecs mainly fought during the dry season between December and April Marching was easiest Post-harvest supplies were at their height Farm laborers were available for service The Aztecs marched about 12 miles a day with each army departing on separate days or traveling by parallel routes There was one human porter for every two soldiers and the Aztecs carried a total of eight days’ supply of food

48 Aztec Warfare Usually battles were fought in the open and began at dawn with a slingshot and arrow barrage at a range of about 60 yards Under this cover, soldiers armed with stone-bladed broadswords and spears advanced All soldiers carried shields and those who had earned it had cotton quilted armor

49 Aztec Warfare As the two sides closed, combat became hand to hand
In most cases, the Aztecs’ primary objective was the enemies’ submission, not their destruction, so tribute and sacrificial victims could be obtained The preferred Aztec weapon was the macuahuitl. The obsidian blades were razor sharp and intended to disable an enemy so he could be captured.

50 Aztecs Meet Their Match
In 1519, Hernan Cortes led about 450 soldiers to Mexico and Tenochtitlan After an initial repulse, Cortes built a small fleet of ships, placed Tenochtitlan under siege, and in 1521 starved the city into surrender We’ll talk more about this in Lesson 25 Hernan Cortes Montezuma II

51 Cortes’ Advantages Population density, Large animal domestication,
Agriculture, Resistance to diseases passed from animals and plants to humans, Technological inventiveness, Acceptance of change and improvement, Literacy, and Centralized government Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel

52 Next The Crusades

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