Mongols vs. Latin West

Essay by kseaHigh School, 10th grade March 2009

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Politically, the Mongols and Latin West were basically opposites. The Latin West built their empire during the Renaissance. During this time, in the mid-fourteenth century, there was a rebirth of art and literature. Most of the people were farmers, unlike the Mongols who farmed little. Since the Mongols were nomadic, it meant that they stayed on the move, and they never settled down to farm very much. They were self-sufficient with hands on ruling. Also, during the Latin WestRenaissance period, kings were very weak and had little power. They depended on the nobles who had acquired more power during this period. However, as knights and vassals started to decrease in importance, with the introduction of the standing army and new military technologies, the Latin West kings slowly started gaining back their power. The Mongols, on the other hand, had regions ruled by different descendents of Genghis Khan. The Mongols built their empire to the one of the largest in the world by conquests of brutality, fear, and devastation that also brought unity to many of these regions.

Socially, the Mongols and Latin West were fairly similar. Both groups were greatly affected by the phenomenon of the Black Death. Because of great amounts of trade in both empires, the flea-infested rats could easily travel and spread the plague. It started in southwestern China before the Mongol army was incapacitated in Kaffa, where it spread from there to the Italians. It affected the Latin West more so than the Mongols, killing off 2/3 of some cities. Though this tragedy killed many people, and put others in widespread panic, it did eventually overall help the Latin West. Both Mongols and the Latin West also elevated their merchants to high status and roles. The Latin West had many other important parts of their social class that the Mongols did not include. They had people such as bankers and humanists during this important time of art and literature.

Economically, the Latin West and Mongols were both very prosperous during most times. They both had very important trade routes that influenced many other regions during this time. The Mongols had trade flow freely with protection, where they traded silk and porcelain as two of their most valuable goods. The Latin West had many new innovations produced during the Renaissance as a time of increased interest in learning. They had the three-field system, mining, watermills, windmills, printing press, and many military technologies, such as the crossbow and firearms. Because of all the new innovations, both regions taxed a lot to the people. The Latin West taxed merchants, church, and nobility after the Hundred Year War to pay off all of their standing army and military technologies. The Latin West, of course, had more agricultural innovations compared to the Mongols because the Mongols did not farm like the people in the Latin West.

Work Cited:Glencoe World History