Reply to classmates
The primary weakness that the Mongols have is their economic and administrative abilities. Even thought they have created the largest empire they were not doing okay in regards with economic and administrative abilities because of the following, “The adviser reacted calmly but argued that taxing the cities and villages would bring greater wealth. The Great Khan agreed, but he imposed an oppressive tax-farming system instead of the fixed-rate method traditional to China” (p. 332). Do to the false response and agreement that they had it made China to suffer because of the tax-farming system. The difficulties that the Mongols had were, “The agricultural base, damage by war, overtaxation, and the passage of armies, could not satisfy the financial needs of the Mongol aristocracy. Following earlier precedent, the imperial government made up the shortfall with paper money” (p. 334). This shows that they were not doing well with handling with economic and administrative abilities that they even have to make fake money in order to show that they were doing okay with handling with their economy. With all of this problems things started to change and that change was that, “families moved from their traditional homes in the countryside to engage in urban commerce. Specialized shops selling clothing, grape wine, furniture, and religiously butchered meats became common” (p. 334). Which shows that people had to go back to their old way of selling things because the Mongols were not successful with economic and administrative abilities.
2. I believe that the primary weakness of the Mongols was their economic and administrative abilities rather than their violence. Therefore, I also agree with the statement that “the weaknesses of the Mongols lay more in their economic administration than in their violence or rapacity.” There was a lot of international trade going on from the Mongols to other places like China and other middle eastern and europe territories. However, the transfer of these goods also led to the transfer of diseases like the bubonic plague (Bulliet et al., pg 325, 2019). This plague “incapacitated” the Mongol army during and assault in Kaffa. This plague also resulted in the destruction of “dams, irrigation channels, farmland, and crops” (Pg 326). This destruction impacted the economy of the Mongols as it decreased their food production and trade. Tax farming was something used with goods and crops and extracted wealth from subjects. It essentially lowered administrative costs, however, it also caused landowners to go into debt. Due to the lack of crops and other goods being grown and produced, a lot of these farmers struggled and could not supply the army (Pg. 327). With the crippling diseases and lack of food, the army surely struggled and endured a lot of weakness. Although they were tough and brutal fighters, I believe that it was their economic and administrative abilities that was their primary weakness.