Essay On Mongols In China

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Anonymous Person Mongol Essay Following the invasion of Mongols into Song China in 1260 CE, many aspects of traditional Chinese culture, such as the reordering of the social hierarchy and challenge to the Confucian way of thought, had been radically altered by the end of the Yuan Dynasty. The Mongol’s century-long interlude brought about many changes to China’s centuries-old social structure. Traditionally, artisans and merchants were looked down upon and placed at the bottom of the hierarchy simply because they conflicted with the Confucian way of thought with the aristocracy and the scholar-gentry resting at the top. When Kubilai Khan overtook the government, he promoted commerce and the arts, pushing the merchants and artisans to the top of the social structure, thus resulting in a loss of power for the scholar-gentry. His refusal, despite many Chinese officials’ futile efforts, to reinstate the examination system to administrative office, further weakened the scholars’ power by restraining their political involvement and keeping them below the Mongols in the social order. The Yuan renovated the social hierarchy, setting themselves at the top, along with their nomadic and Muslim allies directly below them. These two groups occupied the upper levels of the bureaucracy, consequently shifting the Chinese to a subordinate position. The Northern Chinese filled the level directly underneath the Muslims and subsequently were the Southern Chinese. These traditional Chinese bureaucrats could now only exercise power at the regional and local levels, and as advisors to the Mongols, further hindering their influence. The interference of Muslims into the social hierarchy further conflicted with traditional Chinese and Confucian values. Although not outright forbidden, the custom of foot binding did not comply with Mongol tastes and therefore, was not practiced. This
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