Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States
MONGOLS. In ethnology, the Mongolians include those races of men after the Aryans, Semites and Hamites, numbering nearly half the human race. They are characterized by easily recognizable physical traits: the lateral projection of the check, and depression of the nasal, bones; broad and flat faces; imperfectly arched eyebrows and oblique eyes; tawny skin; and lank and thin hair, especially on the face; though in certain states of civilization these traits are modified or disappear. Under the general classification of Mongolians are included the variety of races included in the Chinese empire, Burmese, Siamese, Japanese, Turks, Magyars, Lapps, Finns, Esquimaux and Samoieds. In history they are known as the founders of the Median and early Chinese empires, as Scythians and Huns, and as Mongols, Tartars (Tatars) and Turks. The original home and place of departure of the Mongolians is central and eastern Asia. between the fortieth and fiftieth degrees of north latitude. More than any other division of mankind they are nomads, though in many instances they have forsaken their pastoral habits to found nations and empires.
—The history of the Mongols proper begins with Genghis Khan (1162-1227). who, as the leader of a small horde in the region southeast of Lake Baikal, speedily united many tribes, and then moved to the conquest of China. His sons and grandsons continued the work of conquest until, by 1250, the whole of central Asia and part of Europe, from the Pacific ocean to the frontiers of Germany, were united under one empire. Though this empire soon broke up, a second tide of Mongol invasion, under Tamerlane. in the fourteenth century, overflowed Persia, Turkistan, Hindostan, Asia Minor and Georgia. This new empire soon in turn disintegrated; but the Mogul empire in India was in the sixteenth century founded by a descendant of Tamerlane. Though the Mongol power in Europe was broken up, and most of the Mongol tribes driven out, yet the Turks, true to the spirit of their progenitors, maintained the energy of conquest for centuries, and then "camped out" in Europe, instead of settling on the soil to improve it. The Magyars are, perhaps, the only people of historic Asiatic origin who have been thus far converted to Christianity and become European in their tastes and habits. The Mongolian peoples of central-western Asia are being gradually subdued by the Russian arms and made subjects of the czar; these military movements being but the continuation of a policy begun four centuries ago. The Mongolians of Mongolia proper number about 2,000,000, and are governed by chieftains who claim descent from their great founder Genghis Khan. Though subjects of China, they are allowed great freedom. In religion the peoples of Mongol origin are followers of Confucius, Lao Tszê, Buddha, Mohammed and Christ. Their languages are now usually classified under the head of "Turanian." See Howorth's History of the Mongols, London, 1876-80.
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