By Cindy Jenson-Elliott

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His son, Ögödei, campaigned against the Chinese at their northern border, pushing south down the Yellow River into Sichuan. The farther south they pushed, the more resistance the Mongols met among the Chinese. Throughout the thirteenth century, Chinese 46 military resistance, walls, and the wet terrain of the south hindered Mongol success. It was hard for a cavalry to fight in the swampy fields of rice farmers. The horsemen could not easily sweep across plains when confronted with miles of thick mud.

Under the Song Dynasty, exam answers were recopied by a government worker so no one could recognize the test taker’s handwriting. For centuries wealthy and well-connected families had managed to place their sons into positions of power, regardless of how they fared on the civil service exams. Whereas military service was a way of rising in social class in many dynasties, scholarship soon also became a means of improving oneself, even for those of lowly birth. Those who scored highest on state tests were to lead China.

Kublai Khan’s “First Beginning” From the very beginning of his rule, Kublai Khan looked to the Chinese for ways to build China into a strong power. In 1260 he moved his capital south to what is now Beijing to better oversee the region, and he began rebuilding the city that had been destroyed by his grandfather nearly forty years before. ” By 1279 Kublai Khan’s armies had finally overcome the last rebels from the previous dynasty. At last he could focus on ruling rather than fighting. But Kublai Khan recognized that the Mongols were inexperienced in running a bureaucracy and at living a sedentary, agricultural life.

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Ancient Chinese Dynasties by Cindy Jenson-Elliott


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