Births and Deaths – Part 1/2

August 12, 2011

If we study history, it does not take long to discover that all empires have births and deaths.

To name a few, the Persian Empire survived from 550 – 330 BC then fell to Alexander the Great as he built his vast but brief empire that survived from 346 to 323 BC.

After Alexander, there was the Roman Empire (27 BC – 476 AD in the West and 1453 AD in the East) and China’s Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) followed by other great dynasties such as the Tang, Sung, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasty until it collapsed in 1911.

There was also the Mongol Empire (1206 – 1368 AD) followed by the British (1583 – 1997, when the British returned Hong Kong to China).

The concept of an American Empire was born in 1898, after the Spanish-American War and the annexation of the Philippines to the US.


You cannot run an empire without money.

However, some historians claim the process of expansion and empire for America dates to the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, which doubled the size of the US.

Bill Bonner writes of America’s Imperial Suicide and offers compelling evidence that the sunset of another empire has arrived.

Bonner mentions that the end started under President Richard Nixon in 1971 when the US stopped backing the dollar with gold and replaced it with paper and the good intentions of a government that is now burdened by a National Debt well beyond $14 trillion.

Since the Chinese appear poised to become the next world empire, will they accept the crown or follow in the footsteps of Han Dynasty, which transformed itself into the Tang, Sung, Yuan, Ming then Qing Dynasties by not attempting to swallow or control a vast global empire with constant expansion and intimidation of others on a scale equal to the Romans, the British Empire and the United States.

Are the Chinese wise enough to avoid the mistakes made by the others that have blazed this trail of empire before them?

Continued on July 13, 2011 in Births and Deaths – Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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The Mongol Empire & Yuan Dynasty (1279 – 1368 AD) – Part 5/5

October 22, 2010

Most of the kingdoms of Asia paid tribute to Kublai Khan. They knew there was nothing to gain to fight the massive Mongol empire and army.

However, Kublai did not control one country — Japan.  He sent emissaries to ask Japan to accept him as their emperor.

Every offer was met with the execution of his envoys.

He enlisted Koreans to crew the Song navy to carry his army to an island off Japan’s coast where the Japanese forced stationed there were defeated.

However, a storm destroyed Kublai’s fleet.

This did not stop Kublai and in 1281, a second invasion was launched.

This time the Japanese were better prepared and for two months the armies fought. Then another storm hit and destroyed the second fleet.

The Japanese armies soon overwhelmed what was left of the Mongol army.

Kublai Khan wanted to ready another invasion force, but his advisors talked him out of it.

Kublai then abandoned his military campaigns and turned to court life.

A few years later, his most loved wife died then his son and heir. This broke his heart and he became depressed.

All of his trusted advisors died and were replaced with corrupt officials while Kublai Khan becomes more isolated from the public and his government.

He died alone in his palace at 80.

Soon after he was gone, rebellions broke out and the Ming Dynasty replaced the Mongols.

Return to The Yuan Dynasty – Part 4 or start with Part 1

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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The Mongol Empire & Yuan Dynasty (1279 – 1368 AD) – Part 3/5

October 20, 2010

While Mongol nobles gathered in the capital of Karakorum to decide who the next great khan would be, Kublai decided to stay and conquer the Song Dynasty before going north.

Messengers started to arrive from his mother urging him to return north. Kublai had two rivals who wanted to be the great khan.

A secret council was held in Karakorum, a rebellion was plotted, and his rival’s army marched on Shang-Tu and Chung-Tu, both important cities in Kublai’s area of northern China.

With no choice, Kublai broke off the war with the Song Dynasty and led his army north to Shang-Tu. where he gathered supporters and was elected the great khan of the Mongols.

He was forty-four years old.

However, his younger brother, one of the rivals, did not give up his claim to be the great khan. In 1261, the two armies met in battle on the Chinese border.

Kublai Khan won and his younger brother surrendered.

Deciding he wanted a new capital, construction was started in 1266 on the site where Beijing stands today.

It would take 30,000 men five years to complete the new city.

Kublai Khan was now ready to conquer the Song Dynasty. At first, he tried diplomacy but the Song Dynasty refused to surrender. The Song Dynasty held about 50 million people and the terrain was rugged and humid.

To fight the Song Dynasty, Kublai Khan knew they had to learn naval warfare and build a navy. The Mongols had never been a sea faring race but this did not stop him.

Continue to Part 4 or return to The Yuan Dynasty – Part 2

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

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The Mongol Empire & Yuan Dynasty (1279 – 1368 AD) – Part 2/5

October 20, 2010

Kublai Khan’s mother took the time to educate her younger son in the teachings of Confucius. Without renouncing the violent ways of the Mongols, she encouraged the two sides of his nature that would be the key to his success.

In 1236, at the age of twenty-one, Kublai was granted his own land to rule in northern China by his uncle, who was the great khan.

At the time, the bureaucrats and officials heavily taxed the people and the people were often forced to work for the state like road building.

Encouraged by his mother, Kublai Khan decided to change this and brought about reforms.  The peasants of northern China appreciated what he did for them.

However, traditional Mongol ruling families distrusted what he was doing in China.

When his brother Mongke became the great khan in 1251 after his uncle’s death, Kublai Khan was given more land to rule in northeastern China.

It was now time to prove that he was a warrior. To the Mongols, military success was a sign of a strong leader.

His chance came when his older brother decided to go to war with the powerful Southern Sung Dynasty.

Kublai Khan made the first move in 1252. When he was victorious in his first battle, he returned to Northern China and built a new city to rival his brother’s capital.

This led to a family rift that threatened to tear the empire apart, but his strong relationship with Mongke solved the problem.

On the next campaign to conquer the Southern Song Dynasty, Kublai Khan’s older brother became sick and died. The armies were recalled to decide who the next great khan would be.

Continue to Part 3 or return to The Yuan Dynasty – Part 1

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

About iLook China