The Yuan Dynasty
folk religion, Tengriism,
The Yuan Dynasty
Paper Currency (Chao),
Today part of:
Burma, China, India, North
Korea, South Korea, Laos
Mongolia, Russia, Hong
Kong, Macao, Vietnam
Mongol Conquest of China
Tiemuzhen/Genghis Khan (1162-1227)
Founder and emperor of the
Placed in the imperial records as the
official founder of Yuan Dynasty by his
grandson, Kublai Khan.
Assigned Ögedei Khan as his successor.
Split his empire into khanates.
Conquered many lands across
Asia and Europe:
North China in the East.
Turkey in the West.
Russia in the North.
Europe was saved from the Mongol invasion when
Genghis Khan died after defeating the Western Xia in
Founding of Yuan Dynasty
Kublai Khan (1260-1294)
Known as the Great Khan.
True founder and emperor of the
First Mongol (non-Chinese) emperor
Genghis Khan's grandson.
Defeated his younger brother Ariq Böke
in a succession war.
Invasions of Japan, in 1274 and 1281,
Invasion of Java in 1293 was also a failure.
Transferred the Mongol capital from Karakorum to Peking.
Under the Rule of
Introduced the Mongol customs in China and
at the same time the Mongols assimilated
themselves to the Chinese culture.
Established a government with institutions
resembling the ones in earlier Chinese
dynasties and made reforms to maintain his
Centralized the government of China and
made himself an absolute monarch.
Made Dadu, which is present-day Beijing, the
capital of Yuan.
Made Shangdu the summer capital.
Improved the agriculture of China, extending
the Grand Canal, highways, and public
granaries. The agricultural techniques used
were superior to those of the previous
dynasties and food output increased.
Linked China to the east and west which
brought in further influx of various religious and
Supported the Silk Road trade network, allowing
the contacts between Chinese technologies
and the western ones.
Promoted science and restored the schools,
invited scholars, scientists, and artists to his
Promoted religion and tolerated all foreign
religions and welcomed their missionaries.
Carried on diplomatic relations with the
Vatican and the Western nations.
Issued paper banknotes (made from mulberry
bark paper) known as Chao. The use of paper
currency stimulated the development of
Marco Polo described his rule as benevolent:
relieving the populace of taxes in times of
hardships; building hospitals and orphanages;
distributing food among the abjectly poor.
A Venetian traveler.
A good friend of Kublai Khan.
Worked as an envoy for Kublai Khan.
Messenger to the Western world.
Told the story of his travels in a book
entitled The Travels of Marco Polo.
Catapulted the historical epoch called
the "Age of Discovery and Exploration".
Arrival of Marco Polo and his
and uncle at the court of Kublai
Khan at Peking.
Contributions to China &
to the World
Blue & white porcelain
Four Great Painters: