Notice: This is the official website of the All Empires History Community (Reg. 10 Feb 2002)

  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Register Register  Login Login

Steppe Empires and their relation with Ch

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
Author
Imperator Invictus View Drop Down
Caliph
Caliph
Avatar
Retired AE Administrator

Joined: 07-Aug-2004
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 3151
  Quote Imperator Invictus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Steppe Empires and their relation with Ch
    Posted: 20-Jul-2006 at 01:25
In a 1981 edition of the Journal of Asian Studies, Barfield made the argument that most steppe empires thrived on the relation with China, which "funded" the nomads with trade and gave the nomads a political agenda to keep themselves united:
  • "The imperial overnment (of the Xiong Nu) was at its most powerful and highly centralized when it conducted foreign affairs and organized military campaigns. It was least powerful and most decentralized at the local level where it ceded political power to the indigenous tribal leaders who were responsible for handling most domestic problems."
Of course, the most convenient "military campaign" would be south on the Chinese border. He also argued:
  • "The imperial level of government was financed by drawing on resources from outside the steppe, not by taxing the nomadic animal breeders from within the empire."
i.e. Drawing resources through trade and raiding. Generalizing the argument, he wrote:
  • "Nomadic conquerors who created empires along the lines of the Xiong nu and used them to exploit China produced powerful states that survived their founders. Those nomadic conquerors who failed to see that a nomadic state required the support of resources from outside the steppe had their empires collapsed or suffer a power vacuum at their deaths."
So essentially, the importance of China to the steppes empires, as argued, was that it provided the nomads with resources. For this reason, Barfield argued that nomads did not perfer to entirely conquer China, but maintain an aggressive relation in order to exact the resources. A long, drawn-out attempt of conquest would be too costly, and on the other extreme, an isolationist policy would not generate the economic activity to "fund" the steppe empire.

Since no nomadic power completely conquered China until the Mongols, this observation appears to hold true for at least 1000 years of history before the 13th century.

The centralized power of the nomadic state was derived from achieving the goals described above. An example, provided in the article is that:

  • The notable successes founded along Xiong nu lines were those of the Turks and Uighurs who dominated the steppe from the middle of the sixth century... Both successfully forced China to fund a complex state by extorting subsidies and controlling a vast quantity of silk.

    In 840, the Kirghiz successfully destroyed the Uighur state and occupied its heartland, but they proved incapable of recreating the complex relationship that the Uighurs had established with Tang China, which funded the Uighur state. AS a result, no Kirghiz state ever came into existence...nor attain any power over the rest of the steppes.
Back to Top
Seko View Drop Down
Emperor
Emperor
Avatar
Spammer

Joined: 01-Sep-2004
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 8596
  Quote Seko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jul-2006 at 09:50
No doubt the steppe imperialist powers had beneficial and necessary trade with her neighbors, especially China. Commerce was one of the methods nomad societies could hold sway over her own tribes. However, it is not the only way. Grazing grounds, tribal affinity, moments of opportunistic triumph, plus military defensive and offensive unity were also key reasons for steppe empires to form cohesive organizations. Part of conquering a neighbor involved partition of booty. Whether this was from a Khan's reserves or from the benfits of war still points to the same conclusive direction. That is to keep the tribes content and the rulers capable of providing necessary goods.
 
The case for Mongol breach into China does not prove the need for 'ripe pluckings' by holding a state like China at bay. The Mongols succeeded in the invasion and dominance over China due to a vision of world domination and China was at her back door.
Back to Top
Temujin View Drop Down
King
King
Avatar
Sirdar Bahadur

Joined: 02-Aug-2004
Location: Eurasia
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 5221
  Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jul-2006 at 15:50
completely agree with this view. many Steppe empires will also have realized this and looked how to get rid of thsi dependence or symbiotic relationship, so they attempted to conquer (at least partially) China, but the obvious failure of those conquests was the loss of Nomad tradition above all, including corruption through civilization, the loss of small but strong and disciplined nomad horse armies as opposed to huge Chinese peasant infantry militias. as a result, those sinified nomad empires were unable to retain control of the steppe and were unable to protect themselves from new emerging powers from the steppe.
Back to Top
Tobodai View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar
Avatar
Retired AE Moderator

Joined: 03-Aug-2004
Location: Antarctica
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 4310
  Quote Tobodai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jul-2006 at 18:10

As is pointed out, China was th emost important of these settled peoples to the nomad states.  The tribute system served as an easy way to extract resources without costly and possibly societally destabalizing occupations.  Nonetheless we should not forget the other civilizations that also had an apreciable impact who also had a steppe border.

Though here is a good question, is the primary east-west migration movement based on more power in the east due to chinese contacts, or an actual quality in the steppe? I remeber hearing that the steppe gets nicer as grazing an dliving lands the more west you go.
"the people are nothing but a great beast...
I have learned to hold popular opinion of no value."
-Alexander Hamilton
Back to Top
BigL View Drop Down
General
General


Joined: 30-May-2005
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 817
  Quote BigL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jul-2006 at 20:21

Ive also heard about western steppes being more fertile.It doenst explain why the eastern steppe armies seemed to have higher populations than the western ones. 

not sure how accurate these figures are.
1million mongols,100,000 warriors.
20,000 hun invaded carpathians (200,000 huns )
20,000 seljuks defeated Ghaznavids and invaded middle east
 
Perhaps trade for food and metal with chinese made them more powerful.
 
Or perhaps they were just Tougher soldiers from a harsher climate
 
Back to Top
Imperator Invictus View Drop Down
Caliph
Caliph
Avatar
Retired AE Administrator

Joined: 07-Aug-2004
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 3151
  Quote Imperator Invictus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jul-2006 at 22:21
Though here is a good question, is the primary east-west migration movement based on more power in the east due to chinese contacts, or an actual quality in the steppe? I remeber hearing that the steppe gets nicer as grazing an dliving lands the more west you go.


Definately more due to more power and competition in the east. Most of the migrations coincided with poltiical turmoil, and since you can't move east into the Pacific ocean, you can only move west. The other alternative was to move north, which was what some tribes (like the Xiong Nu) did when they were attacked by the Chinese, but the west was far better in land than the north (so that's where the geography might also come in).
Back to Top
Tobodai View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar
Avatar
Retired AE Moderator

Joined: 03-Aug-2004
Location: Antarctica
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 4310
  Quote Tobodai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Jul-2006 at 01:33
Aside from military campaigns, is there any instance where a people migrated west to east along the steppe?
"the people are nothing but a great beast...
I have learned to hold popular opinion of no value."
-Alexander Hamilton
Back to Top
cliveersknell View Drop Down
Pretorian
Pretorian


Joined: 16-Aug-2004
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 154
  Quote cliveersknell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Jul-2006 at 02:30
2 nomadic peoples truly united China and defined her present day borders with her capitol in Beijing
1. Mongols- built Beijing ; brought Xinjiang, Tibet, Heilongjiang, Yunnan into the empire
2. Manchus - Were a legacy of the Mongols, and ruled China with it's present boundaries with the addition of Mongolia and Buryat Mongolia.
r's
Clive
Back to Top
Jonon View Drop Down
Janissary
Janissary
Avatar

Joined: 09-Sep-2006
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 28
  Quote Jonon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2006 at 02:24
Manchus never reached to Buryat Mongol. Buryat Mongol came under Russia at that time.
Back to Top
barbar View Drop Down
General
General
Avatar
retired AE Moderator

Joined: 10-Aug-2005
Location: Italy
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 781
  Quote barbar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2006 at 06:04
Originally posted by Tobodai

Aside from military campaigns, is there any instance where a people migrated west to east along the steppe?

    
When they were deafeated, there were cases that they moved to the east, for examle, Donghu migration to the east after defeated by Huns. Someone also mentioned some Uyghur migration to the east to become part of Qitans. I have no doubt there were many other these type of cases.




Either make a history or become a history.
Back to Top
barbar View Drop Down
General
General
Avatar
retired AE Moderator

Joined: 10-Aug-2005
Location: Italy
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 781
  Quote barbar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2006 at 06:06
Originally posted by cliveersknell

2 nomadic peoples truly united China and defined her present day borders with her capitol in Beijing
1. Mongols- built Beijing ; brought Xinjiang, Tibet, Heilongjiang, Yunnan into the empire
2. Manchus - Were a legacy of the Mongols, and ruled China with it's present boundaries with the addition of Mongolia and Buryat Mongolia.
r's
Clive


It was Manchu who annexed Xinjiang. Yuan, if considered to be a Chinese dynasty, didn't brought Xinjiang to her land. Chaghatai were ruling this region.


    
Either make a history or become a history.
Back to Top
tadamson View Drop Down
Baron
Baron


Joined: 25-Jul-2005
Location: Scotland
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 451
  Quote tadamson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Oct-2006 at 08:30
Originally posted by barbar

Originally posted by Tobodai

Aside from military campaigns, is there any instance where a people migrated west to east along the steppe?

    
When they were deafeated, there were cases that they moved to the east, for examle, Donghu migration to the east after defeated by Huns. Someone also mentioned some Uyghur migration to the east to become part of Qitans. I have no doubt there were many other these type of cases.






Not that I acn think of..

We have a sequence of peoples emerging from the forests of Northern Manchuria and fanning out onto the Liao-Xia steppe and the Mongolian plateau and we have others coming out of the Russian forests onto the Volga steppe.  There are also people moving North from Tibet.

There is a European perception of Barbarians from the East because of incursions from the Volga and Pontic steppes.  The quivelant Chinese perception is of the Barbarians sweeping down from the North.
rgds.

      Tom..
Back to Top
yan. View Drop Down
Consul
Consul


Joined: 15-Apr-2005
Location: Germany
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 352
  Quote yan. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Oct-2006 at 09:17
What about the migration of the Torgut from the Volga to Xinjiang in 1771(?)
Back to Top
Toluy View Drop Down
Housecarl
Housecarl


Joined: 12-Aug-2006
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 31
  Quote Toluy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Oct-2006 at 12:59
Originally posted by cliveersknell

2 nomadic peoples truly united China and defined her present day borders with her capitol in Beijing
1. Mongols- built Beijing ; brought Xinjiang, Tibet, Heilongjiang, Yunnan into the empire
2. Manchus - Were a legacy of the Mongols, and ruled China with it's present boundaries with the addition of Mongolia and Buryat Mongolia.
r's
Clive
 
The forbidden city of Beijing was built by Zhudi, the second emperor of Ming dynasty. What the Mongols built is Yuan Dadu(the capital of Yuan), which is near with forbidden city, but they are two different cities in ancient and both them lies in Beijing nowadays. As far as I know, the earlier city which lies in Beijing is Nan Jing of Liao dynasty(founded by Khitan/Qidan). Nan Jing means the southern captial, for this city is the southest capital of Liao dynasty, whcih had five capitals in its heyday. So I think Nan Jing of Liao dynasty is the earliest capital lied in Beijing. Also as Barbar said Xiangjiang was annexed by Manchus, and I think so is Tibet, for it is not dominated by Yuan emperor directly but a vassa of Yuan dynasty.
Furthermore, Manchus are not a legacy of Mongols but N鼁hens/Nuchens indeed, who were the foes of Genghiskhan Mongols. Because the Jin dynasty founded by Nuchens killed forefathers of Genghiskhan's and imposed crueling oppression on other tribes of the northen steppe including Genghiskhan's. After the defeat from Mongols, Nuchens retreated to Manchuria(present Heilongjiang) and became strong again until Ming dynasty, hundreds years later, and at last developed into Manchus.


Edited by Toluy - 11-Oct-2006 at 13:00
Back to Top
cliveersknell View Drop Down
Pretorian
Pretorian


Joined: 16-Aug-2004
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 154
  Quote cliveersknell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2006 at 00:05
Hi Tolui
Thanks for your enlightening reply about Beijing. Khubilai's palace was actually in Beihai park, and one of the white dagoba's is a living relic of the Dadu.
Regarding the Manchus, true, Nurhaci proclaimed the revival of the Jin state .
However, Hongtaiji, changed all that and proclaimed the
"Qing" dynasty, he not only included Nuzhens but also
Mongols ( Horcins, Kharachins, Khalkhas, etc.. primarily
eastern mongols), Koreans, and Hans.
Hongtaiji also married Buumbutai, or Xiaozhuang, who was a
Horcin princess, and a descendant of CK. Hongtaiji's son
and succeeding Manchu emperors carried down the seed of
CK.
After the defeat of Galdan, and the return of the Torguts
all Mongols from east to west recognized the Qing emperor
as their Khakhan.
The Manchu language itself was a derivate of the mongol
script and was completely different than the old Nuzhen
script. The Manchu peoples themselves may not be totally
Nuzhen, remember, when Ck destroyed the Jin empire, he
reinstated the Liao kingdom in Liaoning, henceforth many
Qidans resettled in their ancestral homeland. The Nuzhens
on the other hand were scattered to the 4 winds. From this
I would logically guess that the Manchu people had more
Qidan in them than Nuzhen. Henceforth this makes them even
closer to the Mongols.
r's
CLive
Back to Top
shinai View Drop Down
Shogun
Shogun
Avatar

Joined: 13-Oct-2006
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 219
  Quote shinai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Oct-2006 at 15:45
It does not mean they were special race , they were staying at  their steps and waiting for a right time to attack, for example all their attacks to Iran failed during the Persian and Sasanian empires, but they found a right time when the country was in trouble and their organized army took the lands, and exactly after sfavies took the power no namd were able to enter to Iran.
This is the case of Huns and Roman empire, during the pick day of roman empire none of nomads would dare to enetr to roman lands.
The nomad used to say that they are like the wolves and wolves only attack to old and sick animals
Back to Top
cliveersknell View Drop Down
Pretorian
Pretorian


Joined: 16-Aug-2004
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 154
  Quote cliveersknell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Oct-2006 at 17:26
The facts speak for themselves, the mongols and manchus
1. united China
2. Defined the borders of present day PRC, which is a subset of their
respective empires
3. Made Beijing the capitol .
4. Mandarin or putonghua was developed later in the Qing dynasty, this language is till today the official language of the PRC.
Despite their nomadic backgrounds, without them China as we know it today would never exist.
Back to Top
cliveersknell View Drop Down
Pretorian
Pretorian


Joined: 16-Aug-2004
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 154
  Quote cliveersknell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Oct-2006 at 17:28

Shinai

Let me remind you that Ck and his successors forged a war machine the likes of which were never seen before. They would have overrun any dynasty or empire, including the roman empire.
r's
Clive
Back to Top
BigL View Drop Down
General
General


Joined: 30-May-2005
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 817
  Quote BigL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Oct-2006 at 19:58
Originally posted by cliveersknell

The facts speak for themselves, the mongols and manchus
1. united China
2. Defined the borders of present day PRC, which is a subset of their
respective empires
3. Made Beijing the capitol .
4. Mandarin or putonghua was developed later in the Qing dynasty, this language is till today the official language of the PRC.
Despite their nomadic backgrounds, without them China as we know it today would never exist.
 
Zhou,Qin,Wei,Sui,Yuan,Qing empires all united chinaWink only two are non han ethnicity.
 
Back to Top
barbar View Drop Down
General
General
Avatar
retired AE Moderator

Joined: 10-Aug-2005
Location: Italy
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 781
  Quote barbar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Oct-2006 at 08:43
To my best knowledge, none of them were Han ethnicity.

Zhou: Western barbarians
Qin: ChiDi (Red di)
Wei: Tuoba Xianpei
Sui: Tuoba Xianpei
Yuan: Mongol
Ching: Manchu

    

Edited by barbar - 22-Oct-2006 at 08:43
Either make a history or become a history.
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Bulletin Board Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 9.56a [Free Express Edition]
Copyright ©2001-2009 Web Wiz

This page was generated in 0.141 seconds.