The Great Ruler, Kublai Khan English I, Louise S. McGehee School 2005 (Dowling)
Mongol Empire Empire was first divided into four different sections called khanates. Each was ruled by a single khan, and all were overruled by a “Great Khan.” Ghengis Khan was elected the first “Great Khan” in 1206 (Hooker). (“Arts”) (1865)
Ghengis Khan Grandfather of Kublai Kahn First to unify the divided Mongol tribes Built a small, very structured army that was able to defeat huge armies (Hooker) Army was known for great horsemen Elected “Great Khan” in 1206 Died in 1277 (“Ghengis”) (“Ghengis”) Ghengis Khan
Physical Descriptions- Kublai Khan Wore long elaborate robes Had keen Mongolian features Had a long beard (Dowling)
Kublai Khan Takes Over—The Beginning of a Dynasty In 1260, Kublai Khan became the “Great Khan.” In 1264 he moved the capital from Mongolia to Cambuluc, present day Beijing (Hooker). (Dowling) (“China”) Map of China
Yuan Dynasty In 1271 Kublai Khan named his dynasty the Yuan Dynasty. A few years after he named the dynasty, he captured all of China. He gradually adopted Chinese political ideas and built a strong central government. He eventually became an absolute ruler (Hooker). (“Arts”)
Xanadu Kublai Khan created a summer capital in Shangdu, commonly referred to as Xanadu. He built a magnificent summer home for himself there called Xanadu (Hooker). In 1275, Marco Polo visited this palace and created many reports about it. These reports made Europeans more interested in the east. This palace was inspiration for a famous poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (Dowling). (Dowling) Marco Polo
Samuel Taylor Coleridge 1772-1834 Englishman As he was reading about the palace in Xanadu, he took two grains of opium and fell asleep. When he woke up, he wrote the poem about the dream he had (Xanadu). (“Samuel”)
“Kubla Khan” In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree: Where Alph, the sacred river, ran Through caverns measureless to man Down to a sunless sea (“Xanadu” 1-5). Written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1798 Published in 1816 (“Xanadu”)
Modern Links- Mysteries Still today historians are trying to find out if the writings of Marco Polo are true, and they will probably never know. It is a big mystery where Kublai and his grandfather, Genghis Khan, are buried. ?
Kublai Khan tried to get Japan to pay tribute to him many times, and he sent armies to invade Japan twice. Both times the troops were repelled, not by Japanese troops, but mysterious storms that killed many of Kublai’s soldiers and destroyed his boats. The Japanese called these storms kamikaze which means divine wind (“How”). The Myth of the Kamikaze
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