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8: Central Asia

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    • 8.1: Conclusion
      Three forces combined to shape the course of Central Asian history: the Turkic migrations, expansion of Islam, and the Mongol conquest.
    • 8.2: Chronology
    • 8.3: Introduction
      Central Asia displayed a remarkable ability to embrace foreign influences, such as the Turkic migrations, expansion of Islam, and Mongol conquest, internalizing them and making them its own. Situated at the crossroads of many empires, Central Asia was tucked in between the Chinese, Europeans, Arabs, and Indians. There, just along the Great Silk Road, the region connected the Orient to the Occident and shaped the course of its history.
    • 8.4: Geography of Central Asia
      Unlike many other regions of the world, Central Asia lacks the distinct topographical features necessary to delineate boundaries. However, there are several broad geographical zones.
    • 8.5: Turkic Migrations
      Nomadic migration was the first major external influence that would be integrated into the culture of the region. Beginning with the Xiongnu (209 BCE – 93 CE), a long-term exodus of steppe peoples spread out of Mongolia and into Central Asia.  Over time, they slowly Turkified the area, endowing it with a more nomadic character.
    • 8.6: Islam
      Islam was not the first foreign religion to arrive in Central Asia. In fact, the region had already been exposed to many foreign systems of belief prior to the coming of Islam in the seventh century. Local merchants conducting long-distance trade along the Silk Road came into contact with many different religious doctrines; the trade route served as a conveyor of not only goods but also concepts.
    • 8.7: The Mongol Era
      During the 13th Century, the Mongols reunited with the Turkic groups who had been expelled from the Orkhon Steppe over the course of a millennia. The Mongols created the largest empire in history. Perhaps the greatest obstacle was their own divisiveness. Inter-tribal strife was commonplace. But once they united, the Mongols expanded deep into Russia, China, India, and the Middle East.
    • 8.8: The Khanate of Chagatai
      Chagatai (1226 – 1241) was the second son of Genghis and his wife Börte. In 1227, he claimed his patrimonial territory designated as between the Caspian Sea and the Tarim Basin. The origins of the Chagatai Khanate shaped its political and demographic character. Chagatai obtained the core of Central Asia, pastureland located along the Kazakh steppe, as well as settled lands to the south in modern-day Uzbekistan. Instead of personal ambition for the position of great khan; he helped his brother Ög
    • 8.9: The Khanate of the Ilkhans (1265-1335)
      Hülegü Khan (1256 – 1265) was the grandson of Genghis Khan and son of Tolui. He served his brother Khan Möngke (1251 – 1259), and campaigned through the Middle East. While there, he whipped out the Assassins, a secret order of Shia entrenched in the mountains of Gilan province. He also destroyed the Abbasid capital of Baghdad in 1258, putting an end to the Caliphate. By 1260, Hülegü controlled parts of Armenia, Iraq, Anatolia, all of Azerbaijan, and all of Iran. Kublai Khan (1250 – 1294) had awa
    • 8.10: Timur
      Under Timur (1370 – 1405), Central Asia moved to the fore of world events. He developed a political arrangement that could harness the best attributes of each society, without the dangerous side effect of communal violence. The new political and military system was deeply ingrained in the political background of the Chagatai Khanate, and eliminated the Inju practice. Timur provided a framework for both societies to live in harmony.

    Expansion of the Mongol Empire 1206–1294 superimposed on a modern political map of Eurasia. (CC BY-SA 2.5 Generic; Astrokey44 and Sting via Wikipedia).

    This page titled 8: Central Asia is shared under a CC BY-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Brian Parkinson (University System of Georgia via GALILEO Open Learning Materials) .

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