Genocide as a way of life? – a paper by Paul D. Buell

What follows is a paper by Paul D. Buell, author of The A to Z of the Mongol World Empire and Soup for the Qan: see these books on Goodreads. His A to Z I think is the best, most up-to-date introduction to the Mongols.

This paper is an unpublished draft from a few years ago, but sees the light of day on (“share research”), and I am happy to have permission to post it here, too.

Central Eurasia: Genocide as a way of life?
Paul D. Buell

Genocide, here where one culturally distinct group intentionally tries to destroy another, this can be directly (murder) or indirectly (enforced disease and starvation), [1] was comparatively rare in Central Eurasia down to the coming of modern tyrants. Stalin nearly brought it off against the Kazakhs in the name of forced collectivization [2] while the Mongols of the Mongolian People’s Republic (MPR), then a closely controlled Russian satellite, did his work for him against themselves during the same period. [3] On the fringes of Central Eurasia, Stalin also tried to destroy the Crimean Tatars. [4] By contrast, few were organized or powerful enough before his time to eradicate anyone in Central Eurasia, which is not to say that there was no massacre [5] there before modern times. Likewise, the actions of both nomadic and sedentary states often had unintended consequences tantamount to genocide. Early Mongolian history in particular is replete with examples, although our sources often distort the record of what actually took place. The supposed genocide of the 13th century Mongols against various groups has been the object of much modern reinterpretation and propaganda, principally by the modern successors of those such as the Russians and Iranians once on the receiving end. Likewise an area of reinterpretation has been the impact of the Chinese and Russians on the Mongols. Chinese sources, for example, stress the benign role of the Middle Kingdom in civilizing the “barbarians” even when civilizing meant mass death. This result could either be direct or due to the repression and slow decline that Chinese rule of virtually all of Mongolia entailed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and in much of Inner Mongolia since, for example. Likewise, recent scholarship in both Russia and China has sought to distort the realities of past ethnic relations to suit modern claims that the Soviet Union was a paradise of tolerance and intercultural relations and that the current China is a multi-ethnic and multi-national [6] paradise where all are equal and all are free to develop along their cultures along their own lines. Provided, of course, that you are not an Uighur or Tibetan “splitist,” as recent events have shown. The truth is somewhere in between, as always.

In the pages that follow, which concentrate on the Mongols as the key Eurasian culture, I will examine these issues by first reappraising the nature of Mongolian expansion and the forces driving it, including the economics and social realities of steppe life. This will be from a Mongolistic perspective. I will then look at the many problems of our source material. They have given rise to so much misunderstanding about the degree of Mongol destructiveness itself and the supposed nature of the Mongol empire as a purposely genocidal structure. This was not the case but the Mongols did live within the limits of the cultural environment that produced them and it is this environment that we must strive to understand if we are to understand the Mongols and evaluate their historical role and impact.

Finally, I will look at the more recent fate of the Mongols and some of their formerly steppe relatives, starting from the time when the sedentary states began a counterattack that culminated in their conquest and the subduing of most other independent Central Eurasian societies. The results, I will show in many ways have been more deadly for the groups involved than the Mongol conquest of the 13th century ever was for then Mongol enemies.

Above all, in the interactions between the steppe and the sedentary world over time, from pre-Mongol times down to the present, more telling than intentional slaughter have been the attendant damages resulting from collision between two ways of life, which each side has forced on the other. This was true of the Mongols and other steppe groups during the era of Mongol Empire, and more recently of Russians and Chinese during their period of ascendency.

Imperial Mongols and Their World

During the Mongol imperial age, a few Mongols, no more than a million, with help from Turkic and other allies, even some Chinese and Russians, created the world’s greatest empire. It stretched from north China and later Korea to Europe, from Siberia on south into Iran. And if the Mongols had stayed unified, this massive empire might have grown even larger.

Early Mongolian life, before empire, is the subject of the Secret History of the Mongols (SH), [7] which details the rise of the chieftain Temüjin, the later Cinggis-qan (r. 1206-1227). There is no question that this life was extremely harsh. Defeated enemies were often not treated well. It is also clear that the Mongols applied lessons learned in unifying Mongolia to the sedentary world as they expanded, often quite inappropriately. Massacre and mayhem were indeed often the result.

Two realities of early steppe life were paramount. One was that resources were limited and the struggle between competing groups was often a massive zero-sum game with the loser facing extinction. Thus after Temujin’s father, Yisügei-ba’adur, was poisoned by Tatar enemies, his own people abandoned his family on the open steppe to starve. The SH makes the whole incident seem like petty vengeance, but the facts of the matter are different. Yisugei was gone. His family had neither a protector nor an immediate source of most of the food and the other essentials that a family needed to survive on the steppe. The young family had to make do for itself, with what it able to obtain through its own efforts. These included wild plant foods, fish, and small animals (SH, 67-75). [8] These foods, although generally despised, as they were not the usual fermented milks and boiled meats consumed by better off Mongols, even became so important that Temujin killed his brother essentially due to disputes over small animal captures (SH, 76-77). To be sure, this brother was only a half-brother and there was interfamily rivalry, but the fact remains that it was a dispute over birds and fish that led to the murder.

A second reality of steppe life was that injuries were not forgotten or forgiven. Vengeance is, in fact, a major theme of the Secret History. It provides substantial detail of each injury suffered by Temüjin and what he did to avenge them. And not only individuals, but also peoples could take revenge, against hereditary enemies (öštü gü’ün). A connected reality of steppe life was that population growth rates were very high and that a heavily damaged group, left to nurse its wounds, could quickly recover its numbers and come back looking for its old enemies. The feature of steppe life is first noticed by Herodotus. The Skythians, he relates, went off fighting and left women and slaves behind. The latter interbred and when the Skythians came back years later they were met by an unexpected army, the offspring of the illicit unions. Once again, Herodotus (Histories, IV, 1f) [9] got it right and had a detailed understanding of his subject. Although Herodotus is perhaps embellishing a good story, the pattern of what he describes was certainly true of the steppe in historical times.

Thus the need felt by many early Mongol groups to wipe out opposing groups, [10] at least ones obstinate in their resistance. This could be done in two ways. Groups could be physically destroyed, members killed off. No doubt this happened but rarely and such true genocide, involving a total destruction, is barely alluded to in our sources if at all. [11] Secondly, groups could be partly destroyed and partly broken up. The leaders would be killed, e.g., the leaders of the Tayyici’ut, the very people who had once abandoned Temüjin’s family on the steppe to die, but most of the subordinate people, who were usually of a different family than their elite rulers, were simply divided up between their conquerors and their conquerors allies (SH, 148). Thus the Tatar, despite claims of total extermination, of one group at least (SH,154) were divided up among the controllers of the tribal groupings of imperial times. So many of them were involved that the name even began to be applied to the Mongols themselves. While breaking up groups could be viewed as genocidal for the groups involved, this was rarely the case since the cultures of steppe groups were so similar and survivors easily assimilated to their conquerors, in the case of the Tatars, perhaps assimilating them. Such transfers were, in fact, fairly typical of steppe politics and group membership was never that rigid. Even former kinship identities were usually not lost, a fact witnessed by the survival of the lineages of pre-imperial times in a post-imperial context. [12] All in all, it was a question of new loyalties. Only a very few were singled out as unredeemed enemies and even some of those were welcomed when they surrendered.

While most defeated groups of hereditary enemies suffered their fate of destruction or dismemberment in Mongolia, some choose to flee, to get as far from the vengeful armies of the qan as possible, and perhaps start a new life elsewhere. They were pursued relentlessly, sometimes over many years. Such pursuits made an enormous impression on the locals. This was one reason why the Mongols came to be considered so relentless and brutal, at least in terms of their sworn enemies.

The classic case of just such a pursuit is provided by the history of the Merkit remnants of the steppe wars of the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. They were slowly forced to move farther and farther west, from a position in the Irtysh valley in 1205 until the last groups, by then far to the west, were finally overrun more than a decade later, just before the general Mongol invasion of the west starting in 1218. The pursuit was absolutely untiring and as it went on the Mongols racked up new grievances as they came into contact with those that they conceived of in some way harboring their enemies. Among them were the Uighurs, who were wise enough to submit in 1209, and Jalāl al-Dīn (r. 1221-1231), the son of the Khwārizm-shāh, who did not. In 1209 he fought a battle, the first collision between the Mongols and the principal power of western Turkistan. This was the event that, coupled with other Mongol advances, against other defeated enemies, gave rise to the distrust that erupted in the Otrar Incident of 1218. Merchants protected by the Mongols were suddenly massacred by the local Khwarizmian governor, a renewed cause for which vengeance had to be taken and an enemy not allowed to rest and become too powerful. [13]

The Secret History, convoluting events actually taking place over several years under a single year, describes the pursuit in characteristic terms. No less a general than Sübe’etei, who later masterminded the Mongolian invasion of Eastern Europe, was involved: [14]

That same ox year [1205], when Cinggis issued an edict, he sent Sübe’etei with iron [reinforced] carts to pursue the sons of Toqto’a headed by Qudu, Qal, and Cila’un. When he did that, Cinggis-qahan issued an edict to Sübe’etei, when he sent him with advice, [he said]: “the sons of Toqto’a headed by Qudu, Qal, and Cila’un, are going in fear, are turning back and exchanging shots [with their pursuers],

They have gone,
[like] lassoed wild horses,
[like] an ox [wounded] with an arrow.
If they take wings and fly,
if they go up into the sky,
you, Sübe’etei, becoming a falcon,
fly and will you not seize them?
If they become marmots,
if they enter the earth,
having dug with a claw,
[then you] having become a shovel,
boring into the ground,
will you not overtake them?
If they become fish,
If they enter into the ocean depths,
You, Sübe’etei, become a saddle cloth fish net,
fishing them in,
will you not catch them? (SH, 199)

Following, the qan gives specific instructions as to how to manage the pursuit, to make sure that it is untiring, well supported, and that there is no deviation from the ultimate goal, leaving the bones of enemies, and this could, in theory, involve all members of the fleeing group, on the steppe to bleach, a harsh outcome. [15]

Mongol expansion began in this way with Temujin’s armies advancing outside of Mongolia in pursuit of fleeing enemies, including the Merkit. To be sure, a little pillaging on the way was acceptable, but the retreating enemies were the real goal of forces led by Sube’edei and other famous figures and pillaging was never allowed to prevent that goal from being achieved. This remained true even in the 1240s when the invasion of Eastern Europe was essentially launched to pursue some Kipchaq Turks who had gone to hide in Hungary, the main focus of the invasion. [16]

Although expeditions against enemies outside the steppe began with vengeance, booty acquisition also became important, in order for the qan to reward a growing number of followers. Minor raids were mounted as early as 1205, the first against the Tangγut of Xixia. Major raids only began much later, in 1211, against Jin Dynasty (1125-1234) China, with the Mongols coming back each year until 1214, then again in 1215 and after this, in the west, beginning in1218-19. [17] Even at the time of the latter invasion, the largest Mongolian military operation to date, there is little evidence that the Mongols were interested in territorial aggrandizement, certainly not permanent conquests in the sedentary world. The Yeke Mongol Ulus, “Great Mongol Patrimony,” of the steppe was then adequate for the house of Cinggis-qan. But the Mongols did want ever increasing flows of booty, preferably voluntarily given up, as tribute, and to ensure that the sedentary world did not harbor enemies. And as they went about seeking booty, and making sure there were no enemies to recover and threaten the power of the qan, they treated sedentary people in accordance with their past experience on the steppe.

There, one was either a friend or an enemy, or controlled by a friend, or an enemy. Friends were to be rewarded and supported; enemies destroyed or forced to submit while those controlled by enemies changed hands when the enemies were subdued, the practice in the sedentary world as well. And there were enemies, those groups that supported the wrong coalition but had the sense to go over to the victor, and hereditary enemies, such as the Merkit. They had to be destroyed or broken up with no compromise possible. Which category a group fell into depended upon past history. Cinggis-qan, for example, never forgot that the Tatar had poisoned his father. Also important was how recalcitrant a group was in its resistance, especially if a group that had submitted went over to an enemy again and thus showed unwillingness to accord with the desires of heaven, i.e., the goals of Cinggis-qan and his house. And even when enemies submitted, they had to yield up booty, voluntarily or involuntarily, that is they were subject to pillage. And in this an important connection was whether a group was considered close relatives, in the words of the Secret History, “elder brothers and younger brothers” (aqa de’ü), or outsiders, ones with which one had no connection of kinship, even fictive. The bottom line was that outsiders were probably going to be treated more harshly than insiders. But such status was not usually permanent. Outsiders could give up their daughters and become relatives by marriage, or the reverse. In this connection, it is often not realized that the Secret History is an elaborate genealogy, from mythical founders down to the fictive world of the Mongol empire, where the tribes were, in theory, all relatives, even if the memberships of the tribes had no kinship connection with Cinggis-qan even remotely.

In the first decades of the thirteenth century, the sedentary would was clearly regarded as different. It was comprised of the “people of permanent settlements and stamped-earth cities” (nunjhi nuntuqtan, nödüksen balaqasutan) etc., that is farmers, those of permanent settlements who did not nomadize. Nonetheless, to the extent that the Mongols wanted to take the trouble to control it, sedentary domains were subject to steppe rules. First of all, sedentary groups were objects of pillage. And as objects of pillage, they had to yield up. Secondly, those living outside the steppe [18] in the sedentary world were expected to show that they were not enemies and did not harbor enemies. They were expected to submit, like the Uighurs, at first request, turn out enemies, i.e., the Merkit, [19] and become involved in marriage alliances and help maintain the imperial system by providing booty. Similarly, if sedentary groups resisted too much, refused to submit or, worst of all, revolted again after submitting, they ran the risk not only of continuing to be considered outsiders, but of becoming hereditary enemies.

This attitude above all explains much of what happened in the sedentary world when the Mongols did more than pillage and ask for submission, but instead attempted to destroy sedentary groups, and their cities, to obliterate them, if we may believe the accounts of historians from the sedentary world. The problem for the sedentary locals was that unlike steppe groups, they could not simply flee, at least not as a complete group, and hope to get beyond the grip of the vengeful Mongols, although this was rarely possible even for more mobile groups. Bukhara could not simply move to Persia or Merv to Russia. Temüjin could go into the thick woods that were then found widely in Mongolia and hide when his enemies were too close after him. The citizens of Bukhara could only take refuge behind their walls and hope for the best. This best was usually much massacre and extermination, although the Mongols slowly learned that organized taxation could yield more “booty” than simple extraction of same on horseback. [20]

China provides the earliest examples both of the preferred pattern of sedentary submission and interaction with the Mongols, and of vengeful destruction. Starting in 1211, the armies of the qan went pillaging there. They would have preferred to take the Jin capital of Zhongdu but did not press the issue. Loaded with their ill gotten goods, the Mongols withdrew to the steppe almost to a man when it got hot. They left behind many local Chinese and other allies, some of whom became the progenitors of the great warlord families of Mongol China, families later carefully allied with the Mongol ruling house by marriage. Such groups even became guardians of an unintentional Mongol empire in China, preserving and conquering with little help from their masters. Mongol China, in the end, as an imperial province grew out of such relationships which, unlike the mobile steppe, were territorial, but this is to get ahead of the story. [21]

While there were some who became loyal Mongol allies, others did not or revolted at the first opportunity. Among them were the rulers of Xixia, in northwest China. The Tangγut of Xixia took advantage of Mongol absence elsewhere, namely the campaigns in the west, to turn their backs on their supposed masters. They now placed themselves in the ranks of hereditary enemies and when Cinggis-qan’s armies returned he destroyed the kingdom of Xixia. What had been a flourishing border culture with large cities and a productive agriculture was reduced largely to ruins and deserts almost overnight. The area, unlike other areas pillaged by the Mongols, never fully recovered. Tangγut culture rapidly declined, leaving behind masses of documents in a script that is only now being deciphered. [22] The descendents of the Tangγut of Xixia, even those serving the Mongols, had little choice but to become Sinified. [23] Only the last Jin holdouts were treated like the Tangγut in China, but not as harshly. The Mongols had become aware of the value of live peasants to pay taxes by 1234, when the last Jin emperor died and his final empire crumbled.

A better example of the Mongol pattern of dealing with outsiders is provided by Mongol relations with western Turkistan. Here a general war started, not particularly as a campaign for booty, but as a war against hereditary enemies. The Khwarizmians had slaughtered merchants under Mongol protection and killed envoys, a breach of the heavenly order as seen by Cinggis-qan and his supporters. The outcome was that the Khwarizmian Empire was utterly destroyed, except for prince Jalāl ad-Dīn, who led his mobile Turkish troops and escaped, to reign a bit longer. Within the empire its components were treated in the traditional Mongolian manner, much as had been the case when the Mongols went pillaging in north China. Cities and groups were invited to surrender and many did. Some did but then went back on their surrenders as soon as Mongol armies went elsewhere and true to Mongol tradition they now became hereditary enemies. Some resisted just too much and brought the same fate upon themselves. [24]

In any case, it is clear that many of the major centers of western Turkistan were destroyed, some more or less completely, by the Mongols. Arabic and Persian historians tell a vivid story, about massacres of millions, with bodies reversed upright every thousand so that a count could be kept, about the Mongols coming back to get the survivors of their first pass, even the dogs and cats. [25] Clearly horrible things did take place. But how horrible, how widespread and involving precisely what populations?

Here we come to one of the great controversies of the Mongol age growing out of the contradiction between the quick recoveries of many areas after a supposed total destruction. [26] Even Iran flourished, for example, under Mongol rule in one of the highpoints of its history. [27] Clearly many of the Arabic and Persian accounts are fantastic. How, for example, could a million or more be killed in an area known only to have had a population of several hundred thousand? Even allowing for refugees, the figures seem excessive. Also, some contemporary accounts contradict the massacre stories that became more elaborate as time passed. [28] Juvaynī (1226-1283), who wrote long after the events described, is the richest in hyperbole. He and his father served the Mongols, but how good was their information about events 50 years before?

Mongol China provides many examples of just how difficult it is to evaluate the real impact of Mongol invasion. Jin and Southern Song (1125-1279) China combined may have had a total population of 110 millions circa 1200. [29] Yuan China, by contrast, had substantially less, barely two-thirds of the supposed 1200 figure, as did Ming China, and these lower figures are claimed to show the losses occasioned by Mongol conquest. [30] In support of this assumption, some have cited supposedly early Mongol censuses taken by Shigiken Qutuqu at the orders of the Mongol ruler, censuses showing, even if we add them together, barely 11 million left in Mongol China, indicating, if these figures are taken at face value, a catastrophic loss of life.

But three facts work against such assumptions. The first is that the censuses of the times, so-called, were never that. Shigiken Qutuqu’s canvasses, for example, did not encompass the total population but only of those recently conquered and available for redistribution as booty, to the qan himself and supporters. They did not include any population already distributed or, apparently, those claimed by the Chinese warlord allies of the Mongols, who were often semi-independent. The post-Jin fall canvass, for example, just covered the new population acquired at the fall of Jin and possibly not all of it. [31] Thus they cannot be taken as evidence that 75 or 80% of China’s population had just simply vanished because of the comparatively low numbers listed; to the contrary. But this does not mean that there was no substantial loss of life with the Mongol conquest of China but other evidence than the Shigiken Qutuqu canvasses must be cited to prove it.

There are, of course, later population surveys that do indicate a reduced population but Chinese population statistics are never that. [32] They are lists of taxpayers and not all of them, and total populations can only be estimated based upon arbitrary conversions to produce families from lists of tax payers. If average family sizes were more or less than those taken as typical considerable distortion is introduced. And there is, as in the case with the earlier Mongol canvasses, the problem of coverage. We do not know to what degree population held as part of princely appanages at the time, for example, is covered by Yuan lists of families. Probably population in appanages was not. Much of it had been permanently assigned to the appanage holders. Even if we attempt to use the supposedly better Ming figures there is a problem of coverage. The earliest Ming canvasses took place at a time when the Ming were still fighting the Mongols for China and included only parts of the country. Even some of the areas fully controlled by them may be undercounted. [33] All of the figures of the time must thus be taken with a grain of salt.

A second issue is that demographic growth during China’s early modern age was slow, with average annual growth in the tenths of a percent, or less, if times were bad. [34] Swings from virtually no one left, if we may believe Franz Schurmann (Economic Structure of the Yuan Dynasty, 67), to a much larger population in just the 45 years extending between the Mongol conquest of Jin and the conquest of Song are thus highly unlikely. If there were few left in 1236, then there were probably not all that many in 1267, when Qubilai-qan (r. 1260-1294) began his final campaign against Song. The facts of the matter, on the other hand, are that there is absolutely no evidence that the Mongol China of the 1260s and 1270s that conquered the more populous south was a depleted demographic backwater. The Mongols not only mobilized large Mongolian armies but they put large Chinese forces in to the field too. There must have been a demographic base to support this or Yuan China would never have been able to engage in the slugging match that finally led to their conquest of the south. There were too few Mongols to conquer Song China alone, massive numbers of Chinese were needed too. Chinese and allied forces even fought in Mongolia, in a major Central Asian civil war. The demographic base must have been large enough to support all this. [35]

In conclusion, in China at least, there is little evidence for mass genocide of Chinese as a target group [36] by Mongol agency or of any other ethnic group found in China and what evidence there is anecdotal at best. Much of it is based upon a total misunderstanding of how the Mongols went about organizing conquered north China, with a large part of its population, apparently not further appearing in the population figures of the time, given to appanage holders, the practice on the steppe as well. Certainly, in spite of Chinese traditions of Mongol intentions to kill all Chinese, as celebrated in the biography of the Khitan minister Yehlu Chucai (1189-1243), [37] there is not a shred of evidence that the Mongols intended genocide in China or in areas surrounding. They certainly did destroy certain cities, thirteenth century Hanoi, in Vietnam, for one example, [38] cities that resisted too much, but a consistent genocide of all Vietnamese, for example, there was not. Even the inhabitants of Hanoi were not all killed. Not even the majority of them. Our sources make it clear that most simply abandoned their capital as the Mongols advanced on it. [39]

Many of the same provisions apply to other parts of the Mongol world order although the evidence is much less. We have, for example, no comparable population figures for Iran or Turkistan, thus my dwelling on Mongol China, where information is much better. The essence of some of Juvaynī’s stories must be true, and there is corroborating evidence in Chinese sources for some of the sites supposedly destroyed, nonetheless, Transoxania and Iran seem to have witnessed golden ages under the Mongols, once the direct pillaging stopped, and it was in Mongol interests to do so. Iran is not a depleted backwater circa 1290, although we have no reliable means for estimating its actual population or real losses thanks to the Mongols. Some cities suffered, e.g., Baghdad, but it was in decline before the Mongols even appeared. Likewise, some Central Asian centers declined, but not all of them. The age of Tamerlane, the great Turkic age of conquest based upon western Turkistan after the late 14th century, was also not an era of demographic depletion, at least not in his core areas although outside his armies certainly did considerable damage, probably more so than the Mongols.

Even in Russia the trend within scholarship now is to see Russia as economically flourishing under the Mongols. Kiev was destroyed, yes, but other centers rose in its place. Again, this was not a demographic backwater in spite of nationalist traditions stressing the great Tatar Yoke. So for Russia too, there is no evidence of a conscious Mongol policy aimed at genocide, i.e., at a general extermination of Russians to extend the steppe. [40] Nor is there even much evidence that the Mongols tried to interfere in Russian life much at all, as long as the Russians paid their taxes and were obedient to Mongol orders.

The Mongols certainly applied steppe practices throughout their empire, this included destroying hereditary enemies, or those who made themselves hereditary enemies, but that was as far as it went. Even the hereditary enemies were mostly left alive, [41] the leadership of competing groups was the target, not the common herdsmen, provided the herdsmen captured cooperated with their new masters and once they did so there were few disadvantages from a once captive status. The wife of the second Mongol qan, for example, Töregene-qatun, came to him as a captive, from the defeated Naiman, an identity she enjoyed until the end of her life. From 1241-1246 she became the effective ruler of the entire Mongolian empire as regent for her son, Güyük (r. 1246-48). In the end, the only true mass death arising due to the Mongols was thanks to the Black Death, and over its spread they had no control.

After the Mongols

Although Mongol states, or rather Turkic states with Mongol progenitors held out in Russia into the 18th century, most were gone by the middle of the 14th century. The result was a new era of stalemate between steppe and sedentary broken only by the post-Mongol invasions of Tamerlane who briefly dominated Turkistan and much of the Middle East before his empire fragmented. But this situation changed after the 17th century due to technological advances favoring the sedentary world, including some occasioned by the cultural and other exchanges of the Mongol era itself. The Ming Dynasty fought many wars with the Mongols, they even took and burned Qaraqorum, the old capital of empire, but, in the end, the only real recourse, given their technology, was building the celebrated Great Wall. But Qing China (1644-1911) was entirely different. Not only did it possess a remarkable steppe sense, but the Qing mobilized an entirely new type of army against the Mongols. Qing rulers had, thanks to close relationships with the eastern Mongols, and their own Manchurian base, lots of horses, meaning lots of cavalry, and achieved a mastery of gunpowder weapons that was among the most advanced in the world. The Qing not only sent masses of musketeers into combat on horseback against the Mongols, but even mobile cannon. The Mongols responded in kind, but by this time industrial base as much as military technology was a key. The Mongols could have many of the same weapons as the Qing, but they could never produce them in numbers equal to those of their Qing enemies. Trading was mostly out of the question. On the one side came Russians, on the other the Qing, and neither was anxious to overly favor potential steppe enemies. It was now steppe peoples who could be exterminated. [42]

How this all played out is seen in the Qing wars with the West Mongolian Dzunghars and their aftermath. This was a Mongolia turned into a gigantic reservation, like those created for North American Indian groups, only much larger, and a near demographic collapse and auto-extermination of the Mongols as one group of Mongols exploited the other to the bitter end. Whether or not this was the intention of the Qing conquerors, the result was much the same.

The Dzunghars were one of the many Western Mongolian or Oyrat groups that came to be so important in the steppe after the collapse of the Mongol regime in China. The Oyrat were originally a Siberian people, hunter-gatherers more than pastoralists, who began to move into the depleted demographic vacuum of post-imperial Mongolia in numbers in the fourteenth century. By the early fifteenth century, they were even powerful enough to threaten China and take the Ming emperor captive. After that time, Oyrat power waned as the Eastern Mongols, that is, those groups directly connected with the old Mongolian regime in China and claiming to carry on the old imperial line, resumed their rule, after the sixteenth century. Nonetheless, the Oyrat did not disappear and began a new rise to power in the seventeenth century under Galdan Boshughtu Khan (1644-1697). [43]

Galdan was the fourth son of Batur Qung Taiji (r. 1634-1653), of the Choros lineage. He ruled over the Dörbet and Khoyit, two of the groups once making up the Dörben-Oyrat, “Four Oyrat,” a powerful steppe federation in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The other members were the Torgut, forced to move towards Russia where they founded the Kalmyk Qanate, and the Khoshod. The latter had moved to Tibet where they formed the secular arm of the authority of the Dalai Lamas.

Galdan, who as a younger son, was sent off to Tibet to study Tibetan Buddhism, returned to Mongolia when his older brother Senge (r. 1653-1671) was murdered by two of his brothers. He had stayed at home and ruled his father’s confederation. Galdan killed both brothers in 1676, avenged Senge, and became qan himself, his group subsequently becoming known as Dzunghars, those on the left.

By Galdan’s time, not only was the steppe disunited but two major enemies loomed on the horizon. These were Manchu China and Russia. The former had by that time become closely interconnected with the Eastern Mongols, through intermarriage, and were beginning to exert their influence deeper into the steppe, among the Khalkha of Mongolia proper. Russia was at the same time continuing to expand its power into Siberia, building one fort after the other, and setting up long distance trade networks. In their case consolidation had only just begun, although the first collisions with Manchu outposts had already taken place.

Into the midst of this potential for growing pressure from two sides Galdan moved, upsetting the balance and giving rise to the last great struggle between sedentary powers and a Central Asian enemy. Galdan’s realm extended from the Ili River to the deserts south of what is now Khobdo. Two directions of advance were open to him. One led westward towards the oasis cultures of Turkistan and its trade. A second line of advance was eastward, into central and eastern Mongolia, where he came face to face with an expanding Manchu China. Galdan moved west first, and then east but moved carefully to avoid angering the Manchu. He sent tribute missions to the Qing court and sought to resolve border issues. Nonetheless, in all his relations with the Manchus, Galdan was careful to assert the traditional rights of his own people and other Mongols.

Intervening in a Khalkha civil war in 1688, Galdan conquered virtually all Khalkha domains. The Dzunghar empire now extended to the borders of Manchu China (early 1690).

Faced with this new threat, the Kangxi Emperor (r. 1654-1722) prepared his armies for resistance. The Manchu, who were alarmed not only by Galdan’s pressure on Mongols protected by them, but by rumors of cooperation between Galdan and the advancing Russians, had no choice but to act. Nearly 70 years of war resulted. It went on from 1690 to 1757 and outlasting Galdan himself and his main enemy, the Kangxi emperor. [44]

Characteristic of this great war were its ferocity, its enormous scope, and the great application of firearms of every sort on both sides, particularly the Manchu who used both Chinese and Western-style cannon in abundance. Also a sign of the times was the nearly industrial mobilization of Qing China for war, a mobilization matched at a lower level by Galdan and later Dzhunghar rulers, who actually had cannon and other firearms manufactured on the steppe for them.

Despite an at times well led Dzunghar resistance, and new techniques of warfare on the part of their Mongol opponents, a Qing victory was inevitable as long as they kept at it. They did and all but destroyed their opponents. While the first great encounter between the armies of Galdan and the Qing, at Ulan-butong (3 September, 1690), was a draw, he suffered a second major defeat just south of what is now Ulaanbaatar, overwhelmed by Manchu firepower, and barely escaped with his life. Betrayed, he was surrounded by his enemies and committed suicide to avoid capture on May 3, 1697.

Tsewang Rabdan, of the old Dzunghar line, ruled after him (1697-1727) but the war continued, with breaks. The Dzunghars were increasingly on the defensive. By 1757, they had been entirely subdued by the Manchu. By that time many Dzunghar groups had been reduced to near starvation and many had died of disease or hunger. [45]

The Manchu, now in control of all Mongolia, pursued a divide and conquer strategy to prevent any potential opposition from ever arising there to their rule again. Mongolia itself was garrisoned by Manchu forces. The Qing enforced a system of secular and religious feudalism whereby Mongolia and the Mongols were divided up between princes united with the Manchu by marriage and Buddhist prelates. The latter were led by the Living Buddha of the city known to the Russians as Urga, which eventually settled on the site of modern Ulaanbaatar. The Mongols themselves had little or no freedom and had either to serve one set of “feudalists” or the other who reserved the best for themselves, whether this left commoner Mongols able to cope or not.

This result was what can be seen as a slow genocide by default, although it was never the stated intention of Qing to exterminate the Mongols. Nor was this true of their Chinese subjects, although the latter found the Mongols very much in the way of Han expansion, as today. By the late nineteenth century, Mongolia was a complete backwater with a rapidly declining population, far too much of it in Buddhist monasteries. Disease was rampant, especially smallpox and syphilis, but also many other contagious diseases. In addition, Mongolia had perhaps 100,000 resident Chinese by 1900, let in by the weakening Manchus. They plowed up Mongolia and literally purchased the Mongols. The Mongols were a dying people. Only the collapse of Qing China momentarily saved them, but threw the remaining Mongols into the hands of the Russians. Stalin nearly completed the destruction of the Mongols that the Qing had started. Only in the 1950s did Mongolia’s population begin to stabilize and even rise, although the forces of urbanization and participation in the modern world have now constrained Mongolian development, all but destroying the old pastoral life. Today, Mongolia is endangered by a cultural genocide (culturocide) that is self inflicted. Most Mongols today would rather live a highly limited life in crowded Ulaanbaatar than herd sheep on the sides of mountains and along river valleys. Other than language and clothing little remains now of the old life and this too will soon vanish. [46]

Mongolia’s experience has been shared by other formerly nomadic peoples. Starting in the 17th century, Russia began expanding into the Kazakh steppe and other formerly nomadic portions of Central Asia. In Kazakhstan, the Russians came to present themselves as an alternative to the Dzunghars, who reduced the Kazakhs to their lowest level of national existence. In response, the Russians slowly built their forts across the steppe and began controlling nomadic Kazakhs and Khighiz much in the same ways that the Qing controlled the Mongols. As with the Mongols, the final push came under Stalin who inflicted greater losses among the Kazakhs than almost any other group. Today, there are, fortunately, still Kazakhs but two and a half centuries of Russian rule has left them changed. The old way of life is largely gone and up until recently, more “Kazakhs” spoke Russian than their native language. [47] Again, apart from attacks on specific groups that were the exceptions rather than the rule, there was no stated goal of genocide but the results have been the same. The Kazakhs and Khirghiz of today, even if they survive as an ethnic group, have very little in common with their ancestors roaming the steppe during the eighteen and nineteenth centuries.


As I suggest above, relations between steppe peoples and the sedentary world, although often bloody, have rarely involved an intentional genocide on either side although efforts with respect to certain individual groups and cities have come close to that. But there never was anything akin to Von Trotha’s efforts in West Africa or Hitler and the Jews and Romanies. Instead both the steppe and the sedentary world have attempted to impose their own social values and assumptions on each other with often devastating results. Cinggis-qan treated much of Turkistan as he treated steppe groups opposing them: he plundered some, most, forced others to submission, although the true era of asking for submission came somewhat later, and destroyed those utterly whose actions had placed them in the category of hereditary enemy, an enemy too dangerous to leave alone to possibly grow in power and thus increase an existing threat. Turkistanian cities in this category included Otrar, and Merv, which revolted just too often. And revolt many of the sedentary cities did. This was natural for them, with the assumption that they could surrender again if the going got too tough, but this Cinggis-qan did not allow. Once an enemy had gone too far, had resisted the will of Heaven itself, as it were, there was no place for them, either on the steppe or within sedentary domains as an extension of the steppe, although even some hereditary enemies were not destroyed totally, demographically extinguished. Destruction on the steppe often meant the end of a people as a name and a lineage, the killing off of its elite, and the redistribution of subject and primary populations to create new steppe groups, groups with new elites and a mix of peoples, gathered and found here and there. The sedentary world was no different, witness the careful selection of artisans and other valued persons before any sedentary city was destroyed and even when it was destroyed the Mongols were allowed to carry off whom they wanted. As on the steppe, the result was not a genocidal intention but a rearrangement of population, less offending leaders.

The sedentary world also went into the steppe with its own assumptions, e.g., that settled life was better than wandering about, that people had to be closely controlled and taxed, not left free, that they had to eat certain kinds of food and live in certain kinds of houses, etc. And this they went about imposing on the steppe peoples as they came to control them, to be sure to their political convenience, but also, like Cinggis-qan in his time, out of a god-imposed mission. And while sedentary states were probably satisfied that their steppe competitors ended by being rendered completely non-threatening, like reservation Indians in the United States, in most cases this was impractical, but the result was much the same nationally. No one held a gun to the heads of Mongols in 1900 with plans for instant genocide, but the destruction of steppe life that sedentary control entailed had the same effect. By 1900, the Mongols were slowing declining and vanishing as a people, much like the Sioux and Blackfoot or Nez Perce half a world away. No matter how well meaning sedentary efforts at control were, and they were seldom well meaning, the result was a kind of genocide. They did not shoot Mongols, at least not yet. Instead they killed them off through syphilis, small pox and other diseases and poor nutrition.

Whereas the sedentary world was able to survive and prosper under the Mongol empire, once making a few adjustments, the steppe world, in making the adjustments it needs to make to survive, has today simply traded demographic decline for culturocide. The bloated capital of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, soon to house 40% of Mongolia’s population under miserable conditions, and the slow destruction of Mongolia’s pastoral way of life, and thereby its ability to even feed itself from its own resources, is little more than that, culturocide. [48] The Mongols may survive, but they will not be Mongols any more whereas under the Mongol empire and even with invasions of steppe people, Transoxiania and Iran were still Transoxiania and Iran, and the sedentary worlds of China and Turkistan not only recovered but flourished.

The conflict between steppe and sown, between sedentary powers and pastoral empires, while unique to Central Eurasia in recent millennia, is also indicative of wider struggles that are still on-going. Today, in the name of globalization, a buzz word in Mongolia too, and closely connected with its fate, a First World neocolonialism is sweeping all before it and using cash flows, the WTO, and the IMF to keep the Third World down. This is one more example of the imposition of a God-given assumed order by one society on the other. Tragic, in this connection, is the fact that the Mongolian empire was one of the things setting in motion today’s neocolonialism and its destruction of so much diversity in the name of economic progress. In any case, in the end, genocide, as I have shown above, is a subtle thing and difficult to gauge. It is not always so obvious, although the results are.

Select Bibliography

Bawden, Charles R., The Modern History of Mongolia (London: Kegan Paul International, 1989)

Buell, Paul D., “Indochina, Vietnamese Nationalism, and the Mongols,” in Volker Rybatzki, Alessandra Pozzi, Peter W. Geier and John R. Krueger, Tümen tümen nasulatuγai. The Early Mongols: Language, Culture and History Studies in Honour of Igor de Rachewiltz On the Occasion of His 80th Birthday, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, forthcoming

_______, Historical Dictionary of the Mongol World Empire (Lanham, Maryland, and Oxford, The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2003)14

_______, “Early Mongol Expansion in Western Siberia and Turkestan (1207-1219): a Reconstruction,” Central Asiatic Journal, XXXVI (1992), 1-2, 1-32

_______, “Sino-Mongolian Administration in Mongol Bukhara,” Journal of Asian History, XIII, 2 (1979), 121-151.

_______, “The Role of the Sino-Mongolian Frontier Zone in the Rise of Cinggis-qan,” in Henry G. Schwarz, editor, Studies on Mongolia, Proceedings of the First North American Conference on Mongolian Studies, Bellingham, Washington, 1979, 63-76

_______ Ngan Le, “Globalization in Mongolia: Blessing or Curse,” in H. G. Schwarz, Mongolian Culture and Society in the Age of Globalization (Bellingham: Center for East Asian Studies, 2006), 27-66

Lane, George, Early Mongol Rule in Thirteenth Century Iran, A Persian Renaissance (London and New York, RoutledgeCurzon, 2003)

Li Zhian, Yuandai fenfeng zhidu yanjiu (Tianjin, Tianjin guji chupansha, 1996)

Olcott Martha Brill, The Kazakhs, second edition, (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1995)

Perdue, Peter C., China Marches West, the Qing Conquest of Central Eurasia (Cambridge, MA, and London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University, 2005.


1 For other definitions see the introduction to this volume.

2 Martha Brill Olcott, The Kazakhs, second edition, (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1995).

3 See Charles R. Bawden, The Modern History of Mongolia (London: Kegan Paul International, 1989), and George Gregory S. Murphy, Soviet Mongolia, A Study of the Oldest Political Satellite (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966). The experiences of the Khalkha and other groups resident in the MPR were scarcely less devastating than those of the Kazakhs with the added injuries coming from the violent Soviet suppression of Lamaism, which played such a Major role there.

4 Greta Lynn Uehling, Beyond Memory: The Crimean Tatars’ Deportation and Return (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2004).

5 For some students of genocide, massacre only counts as such if it is against civilians. This distinction is irrelevant for much of the past history of Central Eurasia since nearly everyone in pastoral groups, excepting very small children, was mobilized to fight. The base camps, a’uruq, for example, that followed behind the main military forces in the invasion of China and Turkistan often did more military damage than the main military forces themselves although most of those resident in them were old people, women, and children. There were even armies of women, the one led by Alaqa-beki, daughter of Cinggis-qan in China for example. See Zhao Hong, Mengda Beilu , in Wang Guowei, Menggu shiliao si zhong (Taibei: Zhengzhong shuju, 1962), 438.

6 I am referring to the official nationalities such as the Mongols who continue to enjoy a special status nationally, vis-à-vis local minorities having autonomy, if at all only locally

7 The earliest version of the Secret History was completed in 1228 with major additions after 1241. Revision went on into the 14th century. The present version has been reconstructed from a text in Chinese transcription although parts do survive copied out in a 17th century chronicle in old script Mongolian.

8 Text in Louis Ligeti, Histoire Secrète des Mongols (Budapest, Akadémiai Kiadó, 1971). On foods see Paul D. Buell, “Steppe Foodways and History,” Asian Medicine, Tradition and Modernity, 2.2 (2006): 171-203

9 Carolus Hude, editor, Herodoti Historiae, Editio Tertia, Two volumes (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1927)

10 Sometimes these groups were quite small, comprised of a few score or a hundred herdsmen and their dependents at most, the bölök iregen, “troop of people” of the SH (28). Later, as the struggle for dominance went on, steppe units grew larger, eventually yielding the mingan, “thousand,” the mature tribal unit of empire. In theory, each mingan was a social unit capable of raising a thousand warriors, but sizes varied in practice considerably. Kinship supposedly bound the members of each tribal group to its leadership but most mingan were comprised of unrelated members. Before empire, membership in large kinship units determined access to pastures, although kinship units rarely herded together. After empire, pastures were assigned by the fiat of the qan, who also subordinated mingan to larger, regional structures, tümen, “myriachies, sometimes part of garrison forces in conquered areas, tanma.

11 See SH, 154, where enemy Tatars are exterminated, at least those tall enough to reach the linchpin of a cart, i.e., any not small children. Measuring defeated survivors against the linchpin of a cart is a common reference in the SH indicating that the idea of complete extermination did exist. Nonetheless, much of this is literary hyperbole, in SH 266-268, for example, where a total destruction of all of the Tangγut is spoken of although in the last line of the chapter a major assignment of Tangγut to queen Yisüi is spoken of. If they were all killed, where did this assignment come from?

12 It should be stressed that kinship was viewed very loosely by the Mongols and systems could be arranged and re-arranged to meet new needs with links invented if they did not exist physically (fictive kinship). In this regard, the Mongols had very little understanding for the more permanent links of sedentary societies which, like steppe peoples under their control, they reorganized with gay abandon, in so doing have a permanent impact upon all the cultures they came into contact with in some cases (the Kazakhs) providing the impetus to national emergence.

13 Paul D. Buell, “Early Mongol Expansion in Western Siberia and Turkestan (1207-1219): a Reconstruction,” Central Asiatic Journal, XXXVI (1992), 1-2, 1-32.

14 See Paul D. Buell, “Sübötei-ba’atur,” in Igor de Rachewiltz, Chan Hok-lam, Hsiao Ch’i-ch’ing and Peter W. Geier, editors, In the Service of the Khan, Eminent Personalities of the Early Mongol-Yuan Period (1200-1300), (Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1993), 13-26.

15 In this case, probably not all were killed. In SH 221, Sübe’etei is ordered to form a mingan, thousand, from those he had “captured and assembled.” They probably included some of those enemies he had been ordered to pursue and exterminate.

16 Timothy May, The Mongol Art of War (Yardley, PA: Westholme, 2007), 107.

17 See Paul D. Buell, Historical Dictionary of the Mongol World Empire (Lanham, Maryland, and Oxford, The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2003), 17-52.

18 One source of conflict was that the boundary between steppe and sown was not always clearly delineated and the pastoral and sedentary worlds pressed in on one another, agriculturalists trying to farm the steppe, where they could, for example, and pastoralists expanding up to environmental limitations, far into Turkistan and north China, right up to the hinterlands of some of the larger cities. On this see Paul D. Buell, “The Role of the Sino-Mongolian Frontier Zone in the Rise of Cinggis-qan,” in Henry G. Schwarz, editor, Studies on Mongolia, Proceedings of the First North American Conference on Mongolian Studies, Bellingham, Washington, 1979, 63-76.

19 Buell, “Early Mongol Expansion in Western Siberia and Turkestan (1207-1219): a Reconstruction.” 16

20 On Bukhara see Paul D. Buell, “Sino-Mongolian Administration in Mongol Bukhara,” Journal of Asian History, XIII, 2 (1979), 121-151.

21 See Paul D. Buell, “Tribe, Qan and Ulus in Early Mongol China: Some Prolegomena to Yüan History,” unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Washington, 1977. See also Paul D. Buell, “The Role of the Sino-Mongolian Frontier Zone in the Rise of Cinggis-qan,” in Henry G. Schwarz, Studies on Mongolia, Proceedings of the First North American Conference on Mongolian Studies (Bellingham, WA, 1979), 63-76, and biographies in de Rachewiltz, et al, In the Service of the Khan.

22 I. E. Kychanov, Ocherki Istorii Tangutskogo Gosudarstva (Moscow, Nauka, 1968). But see also note 7.

23 On Tangγut and others serving in Mongol China see Ch’en Yüan, Western and Central Asians in China under the Mongols, translated from the Chinese by Ch’ien Hsing-hai and L. Carrington Goodrich (Los Angeles: Monumenta Serica, 1966).

24 See Buell, “Sino-Mongolian Administration in Mongol Bukhara.”

25 See accounts in Juvaynī, J. A. Boyle, translator, The History of the World-Conqueror, two volumes (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1958), I, 81ff. An example of Mongol harshness is the slaughter of Merv, with each soldier being responsible for killing 300-400, according to the Persian historian, and the dead making a mountain. It supposedly later took 13 days to count the dead, resulting in a total of 1.3 million, leaving aside ‘those that had been killed in holes and cavities and in the villages and deserts” (History of the World-Conqueror, I, 161). And this was not the end of it, thanks to a rebellion; the Mongols visited Merv again (I, 163-67). On the dogs and cats (in Nishapur) also see Juvaynī (I, 177), Likewise full of horror stories is the work of Ibn al-Athīr (1160-1233), closer in time to the events described, although physically remote.

26 Juvaynī himself makes this point, speaking of Turkistan in his time (I, 96).

27 See George Lane, Early Mongol Rule in Thirteenth Century Iran, A Persian Renaissance (London and New York, RoutledgeCurzon, 2003). On Baghdad, whose massacre supposed marked the end of Muslim civilization, see pages 28-37

28 On Bukhara see Buell, “Sino-Mongolian Administration in Mongol Bukhara.”

29 Ho Ping-ti, “An Estimate of the Total Population of Sung-Chin China,” in F. Aubin, editor, Études Song in memoriam Étienne Balazs, Series I, 1, 33-53.

30 Franz Schurmann, Economic Structure of the Yuan Dynasty (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1956), 67.

31 Shigiken Qutuqu, an adopted brother to Cinggis-qan, held the post of yeke jarquci, and was charged, according to the SH (203), with apportioning the conquered populations, between the qan, his establishment, and others, and with settling disputes (jarqu), usually connected with apportionment. His first canvass in China yielded about 1,100,000 households, the second added nearly another 900,000. The usual conversion rate was about 5.5 members for each household but the actually figure may have been much higher given the realities of conquest at the time. On the canvasses Otagi Matsuo, “Mōkojin seikenji shito no kanchi ni okeru hanseiki no mondai,” Asiatic Studies in Honour of Torū Haneda, 1960, 383-429. On the appanages see Iwamura Shinobu, Mongoru shakai keizei shi no kenkyū (Kyōto: kyodai jinbun kagaku kenkyūjo, 1968) and Li Zhian, Yuandai fenfeng zhidu yanjiu (Tianjin, Tianjin guji chupansha, 1996).

32 On Song, Jin and Yuan population see Dwight Perkins, Agricultural Development in China, 1368-1968 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1969), 195. On Ming and post-Ming  Chinese population see Ho Ping-ti, Studies on the Population of China, 1368-1953 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1959).

33 See Perkins, Agricultural Development in China, 194ff.

34 Ho, Studies on the Population of China, 62-64, 270, 277-78. According to Ho, China’s population, under favorable conditions, took two hundred years to double between 1400 and 1600.

35 On these wars see Buell, Historical Dictionary of the Mongol World Empire, 53 ff. See also Morris Rossabi, Khubilai Khan, His Life and Times (Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 1988).

36 This is not to say that individual cities and other communities were not destroyed, just that no efforts were made to exterminate Chinese as a linguistic and cultural group.

37 Su Tianjue, Yuan wenlei, (Taibei, Shijie shuju, 1962), 57, 9b-24a.

38 Paul D. Buell, “Indochina, Vietnamese Nationalism and the Mongols,” in Volker Rybatzki, Alessandra Pozzi, Peter W. Geier and John R. Krueger, Tümen tümen nasulatuγai. The Early Mongols: Language, Culture and History Studies in Honour of Igor de Rachewiltz On the Occasion of His 80th Birthday, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, forthcoming.

39 See my Buell, “Indochina, Vietnamese Nationalism, and the Mongols.”

40 See Donald Ostrowski, Muscovy and the Mongols: Cross Cultural Influences on the Steppe Frontier, 1304-1589 (New York; Cambridge University Press, 1998).

41 The goal was that the uruq or patrilineal descent line associated with a competiting group was to be destroyed, not the group per se. See, for example, SH 112-113.

42 The standard work is Peter C. Perdue, China Marches West, the Qing Conquest of Central Eurasia (Cambridge, MA, and London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University, 2005).

43 See Paul D. Buell, “Dzunghars,” and “Galdan Boshughtu Khan,” in George N. Rhyne, The Supplement to the Modern Encyclopedia of Russian, Soviet, and Eurasian History (Gulf Breeze, Fla.: Academic International Press), forthcoming.

44 Buell, “Dzhungars,” and “Galdan Boshughtu Khan.” See also Perdue, China Marches West.

45 See Perdue, China Marches West, 256ff.

46 For an eyewitness account see Aleksei M. Pozdneyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, two volumes. (Bloomington: Indiana University, 1971-77. See also George A. Cheney, The Pre-Revolutionary Culture of Outer Mongolia (Bloomington, Indiana: The Mongolia society, 1969), Bawden, The Modern History of Mongolia, Murphy, Soviet Mongolia, and Paul D. Buell and Ngan Le, “Globalization in Mongolia: Blessing or Curse,” in H. G. Schwarz, editor, Mongolian Culture and Society in the Age of Globalization (Bellingham: Center for East Asian Studies, 2006), 27-66.

47 See Olcott,The Kazakhs.

48 See Buell and Le, “Globalization in Mongolia: Blessing or Curse.”

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