Lamb, Rice, and Hegemonic Decline: The Mongol Empire in the Fourteenth Century

  • E. N. Anderson
Part of the The Evolutionary Processes in World Politics Series book series (EPWP)


After the spectacular conquest of China and most of the rest of the known world, the Mongols settled down to rule the empire they had won. In China, this was not an easy or rewarding endeavor. Fierce local resistance gave way to resignation, but full tranquility was difficult to win. Shaky administration, thanks in part to the excessive fondness of the Mongol elite for alcohol and feasting, led to inexorable decline in the mid-fourteenth century. By 1368, the strange, brilliant, and slightly mad Zhu Yuanzhang could unite China against the Mongols. Zhu founded the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). The Mongols moved back to the steppes with evident signs of relief. Their empire continued to flourish there, remaining a formidable threat to China for another century.


Ming Dynasty Fourteenth Century Large Cardamom Tall Tale Yangzi Delta 
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© Christopher Chase-Dunn and E. N. Anderson 2005

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  • E. N. Anderson

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