The military campaigns of the Mongols were successful on a truly legendary level and led to the Mongols forming the largest contiguous empire in history. Despite their success, there were but 700,000 ethnic Mongols to rule over all of Asia, and in this text we investigate how the Ilkhanate was run and held with the use of conversion to the local religion of Islam. More
The military campaigns of the Mongols were fearsomely successful, almost entirely without defeat during the unification and existence of the Mongol Empire. A combination of highly effective psychological warfare, peerless discipline among their warriors, excellent equipment and tactical prowess, among other factors, allowed the Mongol expansion to be continued to such an extent as to have formed the largest empire the world has ever seen, nearly covering the entire land mass of Asia, and beyond. This massive expansion had brought a mere 700,000 Mongols to be the lords of Asia, spreading them thinly across a vast territory. How did so few people maintain control over such a vast and varied empire for hundreds of years? What was essential to the Mongol regime in foreign lands to overcome this issue? It appears unlikely that any part of the Mongol domain could possibly have been maintained without some cooperation on the part of the conquered society. Each Khanate had its own solutions to this problem; for Ghazan in the Ilkhanate this support was largely and consciously garnered from the deeply ingrained religious segment of Islam through his conversion and a number of pro-Islamic policies.
This text seeks to cover all the evidence of how Ghazan and the Mongolian Ilkhanate was able to maintain control over the advanced peoples of the Middle East, specifically how the use of Islam was employed to maintain control and cooperation by those under Mongol power in the region.