What would Western Europe look like if the Mongol Empire never existed?

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Closed
Dec 2015
219
NYC
#61
You admit that its achievements were real and that it was happening, that's a start. The Carolingian Empire WAS most of Western Europe, at least according to your own definition of the former parts of the Western Roman Empire. There was also Islamic Iberia which you claim for it to have had some achievements, so there's that. The Carolingian Renaissance was important, marking a period where there was some revival of Greco-Roman culture and it did have many achievements, see Carolingian Minuscule, new styles of architecture and art, centralisation of government, building of churches and schools etc. No known individuals? Paulinius of Acqueilla, Peter of Pisa, Theodulf of Orleans and more. As for nothing special coming out of Western Europe: This is evidently wrong, this paragraph partially shows why.
Yes, I admit the achievements of the Carolingian Renaissance were real and important, but still, it was more of a specific effort at educational reform and the “rebirth” of interest in classical culture, not to the revival of Europe in general in this era. There was no explosion of cultural, artistic, scholarity and educational advancements at a larger scale. The things that came out of Western Europe were miniscule and irrelevant compared to the achievements of the Italian Renaissance and later events such as the Scientific revolution and Industrial revolution. And what are the achievements of these individuals other than writing and poetry?
Islamic Iberia? Please. They weren't even politically part of Europe, they were part of the Islamic world at that time.


Let me repeat what people have already told you in this thread: ''Dark Ages'' as a period of constant stagnation and decline are a myth! Me and others have already mentioned the renaissances for one. On the Mongols and Asia I can't comment as it isn't my forte but it looks like other people are pointing out your mistakes there.
The Middle Ages were in fact in stagnation as a whole. The renaissance events mentioned are mostly efforts and didn't result in total revitalization and spread of Greco-Roman knowledge. There were no major scientific or technological advancements during those times (some, but only later on near the end of the Middle Ages). Urbanization was slowly declining, infrastructure crumbling, feudal economy. The Middle Ages may not have been a complete backwater with utterly no development, but you can't deny that there was slow progress compared to outside Western Europe.


When they win general European war after general European war in short spaces of time it has to count for something. The Vietnam part is effectively a non-comparison. What important influences? Besides the military advances they were somewhat ahead of their time after 1721 during the ''Age of Freedom'' I would say. People like Carl Bellman, Olof Rudbeck the Elder, Olof Rudbeck the Younger, Emmanuel Svedenborg, Karl Linneaus, Axel Oxestierna, Arvid Horn are some of their most well known cultural, scientific and political figures, they are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head. Your notion of development is presentism and disregards the actual historical reality. In the, let's say, 18th century Sweden was rather average and if not more advanced than some countries in regards to politics for example.
If you're referring to France winning many European wars in Continental Europe, it was because they were more economically and politically powerful and enough manpower on their sides, but eventually in the end, they got exhausted from the many wars they had. Was Sweden as powerful as the Western European powers, that is: Britain, France, Netherlands, Germany (i'll count them as Western European in this context). Did these Swedish individuals leave any ever-lasting impact?


While technically true, the Napoleonic part is again simplified and ignores much of the events and context of the age. For the stagnation: See above.
We are not going to derail this thread as it already is just to explain the long details of the course of the Napoleonic wars. In the end, it was a tough war which was eventually lost.


Austria was a major power that rivaled France and fought many wars with them. Let's consider their time as a great power to begin in 1440, when the first Habsburg Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire took control. Austria-Hungary lasted for 52 years (1867-1918.) while Austria's time as a great power lasted almost 500. Far from short lived. Let's consider Sweden's time as a great power to begin with the ascension of Gustavus Adolphus in 1611 and end in 1721, 110 years of great power status.
I was mainly referring to Austria-Hungary. Austria was indeed a major European power, but not a world power like Britain and France in the later centuries.


While smaller than the Carolingian renaissance it shows that the notion of them stagnating and not doing anything is untrue. As for Venice: Are you judging a nation that had hundreds of years of history and was formed in the late 7th century by just one event in a military campaign?
Again, these Renaissance events weren't anything as significant as the Italian Renaissance. It only shows some progress, but they didn't produce anything major and Europe as a whole was still chaotic mess.


That doesn't have much to do with anything else here, though.
Neither does the Carolingian and Ottonian Renaissance, nor is the fact that Mongols and Manchus were unrelated.

Western Europe as a whole still progressed much slower compared to the Islamic world, China and India at that time, and the fact that Mongols and Manchus were behind China not advancing.
 
Dec 2015
219
NYC
#62
the Carolingian and 12th century Renaissances that you are talking about happened in the era of Charlemagne who died in 814, and his immediate successors, and in the 12th century, which lasted from 1101 to 1200. - happening in the 12th century is why it is called the 12th century Renaissance. Those were before The Italian Renaissance and also before the Mongol Invasions in the 13th century, and not after the Mongol Invasions as you claim. Some historians also mention an Ottonian Renaissance from about 950 to 1000 or so.
Again, accidently mixed up dates. The Italian Renaissance did occur before the end of the Mongol Empire, but near the end. The other Renaissance events were more specific effort at educational reform and a "rebirth" of classical knowledge, but it never really pulled Western Europe as a whole out of it's stagnation


You are replying to a statement that Russia LATER, AFTER the Mongol Invasions, and AFTER centuries of rule by the Mongols, rose to become a wealthy and powerful nation and has remained one for centuries up to the present time. The statement you are replying to pointed out that Russia eventually rose to become powerful despite having previously been devastated and conquered by the Mongols and having been oppressed by the Mongols for centuries. Thus the Mongol invasions did not prevent Russia from eventually becoming advanced, rich, and powerful, and so we can not be certain that it was the Mongol invasions that prevent various other countries in Asia from becoming advanced, rich, and powerful.
As far as I know, Russia wasn't being ruled by foreigners or religious sultanates who discouraged learning or technological innovation.
And most of Europe eventually became powerful as a result of not only colonization, but constant warfare and competition with each other.


Actually most parts of Europe, except for some former Roman provinces, were ALREADY much more advanced, wealthy, and populous in 1500 than they had been a thousand years earlier in 500, despite not yet getting much wealth from colonies. That probably equally goes for most parts of Africa and Asia,. Even regions that were less advanced, wealthy, and populous in 1500 than they had been in 1200 due to the ravages of the Mongols, the Black Death, and Tamerlane, would have been more advanced, wealthy and populous than they had been in 500, since the rather slow and steady growth of technology, wealth, and population over 700 years from 500 to 1200 was probably greater than the often abrupt loss in those factors during 300 years from 1200 to 1500.
Many parts of Asia were being held behind by oppressive rulers who hindered advancements in technology, science, politics, etc while Western Europe was booming in terms of technological innovations and economic, military and political power.

And most historians believe that wealth plundered from colonies was not the primary cause of European economic and technological expansion, but instead that European technological and economic growth made it possible for some European countries to colonize non European countries.
European economic and technological expansion from colonization made it possible to conquer non European countries and even they did not conquer, they managed to beat them in wars.
 
Mar 2012
4,404
#63
The Xinhai revolutionaires or the Taiping rebellion both showed that the Han were getting tired of the inefficiency of the Manchus. The queue was forced, and the Han simply had no choice. After the fall of the Qing, Chinese no longer began wearing the queue.
Except neither the Xinhai nor the Taiping had majority support. Zuo Zongtang crushed the later by portraying it as the enemy of Chinese civilization, and the Qing represented the proper Chinese world order. The former literally had to force the masses to cut off their queue after overthrowing the Qing as I've already demonstrated.

The Manchu assimilated to Han culture, so the Chinese considered the Manchus as one of them, but, while the Manchus held a lot of power, they not only introduced different ideas to the majority Han, the Manchu gained more continued-societal benefits then their Han counterparts (lax punishments for the same crime, more pay, etc.) which fostered a continued environment of distrust and disliking of the Manchus by many Hans, so much so that among the rallying cries of Chinese nationalists during and after the 1911 revolution was along the lines of “drive back the Manchu barbarian to the Changbai Mountains”. Manchus later in the years were included into the Chinese identity more out of convenience, having rights to former Qing territories, and the strategic importance of Manchuria historically for invading China rather than a genuine belief by those that just overthrew them that they were truly “Chinese”..
This has nothing to do with the fact that the Manchus are not the Mongols and that they did have popular support during their rule. Why you think the Xinhai revolutionaries represents all the Han people is beyond me, especially when I've already demonstrated that the masses had no enthusiasm for the revolution and didn't want to cut off their queue.

Where did I cite intellectuals? I was just responding to your comment on "Taiwanese intellectuals held a romantic", when one, it only talks of intellectuals, not the majority of Han Chinese, and two, it talks of Taiwanese, not Chinese as a whole.
You said the Han were getting tired of the Manchus and used Xinhai revolutionaries writing as proves. These very writings are written by intellectuals, not the masses. On the other hand much of the rural masses refused to cut off their queue, showing that they viewed the queue as part of their Chinese identity. In another words you selectively chose the perspectives of Xinhai revolutionary writings over Qing official writings, and also over the actions of the masses.
 
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Sep 2016
544
天下
#64
They were tribes who were never as advanced as the Han and only because so as they absorbed Han customs and technology.
So what? They weren't related to Mongols at all. You seem to love moving goal posts.


Yes, they surpressed advancements in technology.
Source please.


The Western Xia, Song and Liao Dynasties fell due to Mongol invasions. The Shang and Zhou Dynasties fell due to a military campaigns. The Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties fell due to the inefficiencies of the governments and the Yuan and Qing Dynasties oppressing the Han majority[/QUOUTE]
Liao fell due to internal rebellion of Jurchen, well over a century before the rise of Mongols. Shang and Zhou again disintegrated from inside, destroyed by their own vassals. The only example of a dynasty being conquered from outside is Song really. The agrarian rebellions were either a direct cause of the fall of government (Yuan, Ming), or weakened the government to the point warlords took the real power (Qin, Han, Tang, Qing). If Yuan, Ming, and Qing had ineffective governments, then obviously so did other dynasties.
 
Jun 2012
7,367
Malaysia
#65
I accidentally mixed up dates. But the Renaissance happened at the time when the Mongol empire was about to end.
LOL. Now you have mixed your dates up even more & even worse. The Mongol invasions only started in later 13th century. The Renaissance occurred around mid 12th century, i. e. more than 100 years earlier.

Dude. You are losing the plot all over the place & all around you now.:cool:
 
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Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
34,479
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#66
I accidentally mixed up dates. But the Renaissance happened at the time when the Mongol empire was about to end.
Let's try this again.

12th century renaissance - 1100-1199.

Gengis Khan - 1162-1227
Battle of Ain Jalut - 1260
Establishment of the Yuan Dynasty - 1271-1368
Mongol invasions of Japan - 1274 and 1281

Mongol invasion of Europe - Wikipedia
The first sentence of the article says:
"The Mongol invasion of Europe in the 13th century "

Now, in normal people's understanding, the 13th century comes after the 12th century. So explain to me how the 12th centuty renaissance came after the Mongol empire came to an end?
 
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Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,572
#67
The whole concept of the "Renaissance" is a bit of a mess, it's an anachronistic label, and the aspects covered by the concept do not quite line up anyway.

There was an initial Medieval Renaissance begging in the 11th c. with the massive new availability of the corpus of Greek philosophy, medicine, history etc. in Latin translation.

In the arts, in Italy in particular, the first forms of picking up ancient Roman themes and style began already in the 13th c. Same wit certain aspects of literature – vernacular poetry begins to be written at about the same time, in southern France and southern Italy.

It all builds to a recognised "high" Renaissance literature in 13--14th c. Italy with names like Dante, Petrarca and Bocaccio.

And only then does it all in land in the kind of Renaissance art everyone tends to think of, with Leonardo and Michelangelo, in the early 16th c. Which would be contemporary with the established literary and scholarly movement of "Renaissance Humanism".

Pretty much ALL the high Middle ages beginning in the 11th c. can be said to fall in the "Renaissance" as a continuous development. The Renaissance Humanists and the likes of Vasari and his "Lives of the Artists" at the end of the entire process caused considerable historiographic mess by coining "Medieval" as pejorative label to create a divide between themselves and things they liked, and various other aspects of the same development, and monopolozing "Renaissance" for their own preferences.

One of the things it did was rubbish things like the exraordinary Gothic architecture and downright denying the pioneering art of Flanders and northern Europe – the ITALIAN 16th c. Renaissance was pretty clearly anti-Germanic just generally, anything happening north of the Alps could be relied on not even being acknowledged as existing. It was just sometimes some of the stuff north the Alps was so breathtakingly extraordinary not even Vasari could quite deny it, but had to grudgingly acknowledge it. Like Dürer:
1565527193890.png
 
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Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
34,479
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#68
The whole concept of the "Renaissance" is a bit of a mess, it's an anachronistic label, and the aspects covered by the concept do not quite line up anyway.

There was an initial Medieval Renaissance begging in the 11th c. with the massive new availability of the corpus of Greek philosophy, medicine, history etc. in Latin translation.

In the arts, in Italy in particular, the first forms of picking up ancient Roman themes and style began already in the 13th c. Same wit certain aspects of literature – vernacular poetry begins to be written at about the same time, in southern France and southern Italy.

It all builds to a recognised "high" Renaissance literature in 13--14th c. Italy with names like Dante, Petrarca and Bocaccio.

And only then does it all in land in the kind of Renaissance art everyone tends to think of, with Leonardo and Michelangelo, in the early 16th c. Which would be contemporary with the established literary and scholarly movement of "Renaissance Humanism".

Pretty much ALL the high Middle ages beginning in the 11th c. can be said to fall in the "Renaissance" as a continuous development. The Renaissance Humanists and the likes of Vasari and his "Lives of the Artists" at the end of the entire process caused considerable historiographic mess by coining "Medieval" as pejorative label to create a divide between themselves and things they liked, and various other aspects of the same development, and monopolozing "Renaissance" for their own preferences.

One of the things it did was rubbish things like the exraordinary Gothic architecture and downright denying the pioneering art of Flanders and northern Europe – the ITALIAN 16th c. Renaissance was pretty clearly anti-Germanic just generally, anything happening north of the Alps could be relied on not even being acknowledged as existing. It was just sometimes some of the stuff north the Alps was so breathtakingly extraordinary not even Vasari could quite deny it, but had to grudgingly acknowledge it. Like Dürer:
View attachment 22190
All of which totally refutes the idea of a "dark ages" in Europe, especially one caused by Mongols.
 
Feb 2019
686
Serbia
#69
Yes, I admit the achievements of the Carolingian Renaissance were real and important, but still, it was more of a specific effort at educational reform and the “rebirth” of interest in classical culture, not to the revival of Europe in general in this era. There was no explosion of cultural, artistic, scholarity and educational advancements at a larger scale. The things that came out of Western Europe were miniscule and irrelevant compared to the achievements of the Italian Renaissance and later events such as the Scientific revolution and Industrial revolution. And what are the achievements of these individuals other than writing and poetry?
Islamic Iberia? Please. They weren't even politically part of Europe, they were part of the Islamic world at that time.
What is a ''larger scale'' according to you? To me this somewhat looks like a No True Scotsman, first you claimed that
while Western Europe was stuck in the dark ages basically in major stagnation. But then the Mongol invasion came and caused a long period of stagnation within these areas.
This has been refuted repeatably in this thread but you seem to ignore it. Now that you have been pointed to the renaissances and the developments of the High Middle Ages you claim that ''Yes, they were real and important but.... there was no explosion of cultural, artistic, scholarly and educational advancements. The things that came out of Western Europe were minuscule compared to... '' This is the No True Scotsman part, just because these ages don't meet your imaginary standard of progress (Or maybe they do and you're just shifting definitions.) doesn't mean that Europe was in stagnation or that nothing came out of it. You asked for important individuals of the Carolingian renaissance, I provided you with 3 writers and scholars, are you now going to discredit literature as a whole as unimportant just because it goes against your narrative of nothing important happening? As for Islamic Iberia: Last time I looked at a map it was a part of South-Western Europe, should we disregard basic geography now?

The Middle Ages were in fact in stagnation as a whole. The renaissance events mentioned are mostly efforts and didn't result in total revitalization and spread of Greco-Roman knowledge. There were no major scientific or technological advancements during those times (some, but only later on near the end of the Middle Ages). Urbanization was slowly declining, infrastructure crumbling, feudal economy. The Middle Ages may not have been a complete backwater with utterly no development, but you can't deny that there was slow progress compared to outside Western Europe.
Re-read the rest of this thread.

If you're referring to France winning many European wars in Continental Europe, it was because they were more economically and politically powerful and enough manpower on their sides, but eventually in the end, they got exhausted from the many wars they had. Was Sweden as powerful as the Western European powers, that is: Britain, France, Netherlands, Germany (i'll count them as Western European in this context). Did these Swedish individuals leave any ever-lasting impact?
I'm referring to Sweden, the whole paragraph was about Sweden so I don't know why you thought of France. If you knew who those individuals I mentioned are you wouldn't ask me such a question.

I was mainly referring to Austria-Hungary. Austria was indeed a major European power, but not a world power like Britain and France in the later centuries.
I was referring to the Habsburg Monarchy as a whole, not just Austria-Hungary. Out of their nigh-500 years of great power status you only look at the ''later years'' (I.E. 1860s onwards.) and disregard the rest of their great power period, is it because it goes against your narrative yet again?

Again, these Renaissance events weren't anything as significant as the Italian Renaissance. It only shows some progress, but they didn't produce anything major and Europe as a whole was still chaotic mess.
No True Scotsman again, just because they ''weren't anything as significant'' according to your strange standards doesn't mean that they ''didn't produce anything major''.

Neither does the Carolingian and Ottonian Renaissance, nor is the fact that Mongols and Manchus were unrelated.

Western Europe as a whole still progressed much slower compared to the Islamic world, China and India at that time, and the fact that Mongols and Manchus were behind China not advancing.
It very much does. You brought up the Dark Ages and stagnation in the OP, people have argued this and refuted it. Not to mention that you have got your chronology wrong and claimed that the 12th century and the Carolingian renaissances were centuries after the Mongol invasions.
 
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Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
34,479
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#70
I doubt he knew about either of these renaissances until they were brought up in the thread. Otherwise, he would not have clung on to the fallacy of the "dark ages" or medieval stagnation.
 
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