National Geographic History Magazine March/April 2020

National Geographic History Magazine March/April 2020

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1215 Kublai Khan is born, the son of a Christian princess. His father, Tolui, is the fourth son of the Mongol Empire’s leader, Genghis Khan. 1251 Möngke, Kublai’s brother, becomes the great khan. While focusing on western expansion, he entrusts rule of northern China to Kublai. 1260 Following Möngke’s death in 1259, Kublai proclaims himself the great khan. He must defeat another brother, Arigböge, for the title. 1271 Intensifying the war to unite the whole of China under his rule, Kublai styles himself as the head of a new Chinese dynasty, the Yuan.

1279 The Song dynasty of southern China falls to Kublai. His rule takes on a distinctly Chinese flavor, creating tensions with Mongol nobles. 1281 Kublai undertakes a second, failed attempt to invade Japan. Despite other lackluster military ventures, the empire is prosperous. 1294 Kublai dies at 79, succeeded by his…


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