Genghis Khan; The Rise to Power


The Mongolian Empire in the thirteenth century was a result of Genghis Khan\'s strict military discipline, tribal dispute, and primitive politics. His brutal and bold mind set enabled him to lead his tribe to great fear. was brought up to be nothing less than great. Born with a strong will, and a goal to succeed, war was in his blood and was fated for him since birth. Before this young boy had been brought into the world, his family\'s life had revolved around conflict. At birth, he had been received clutching a blood clot the size of a knucklebone. This young boy was given the name Temujin (Ratchnevsky, 16). He was named after a leader whom his father had killed during battle. Temujin was also taught to take what he wanted. Anything he or his brothers wanted they took. They felt that they had a right to everything. Growing up in this manner led the brothers to become more instinctive then their father and uncles. While Temujin seemed to be able to take what he wanted, his parents had some say in his choices. It had been a tradition that much of a boyís younger life was laid out by his parents. It had also been a custom that a boy who had been betrothed was often left with his future in‑laws, to be brought up by them until it was time for him to marry and come back to the clan (Lister, 25). This was so in Temujin\'s case. His father, Yesugei, asked his good friend Dai Sechen for the hand of his daughter Berta for his son Temujin. Berta was beautiful but in later years Temujin came to prefer the lady Hula. Dai Sechen accepted this proposal and Temujin was left there in his hands. After Yesugei dropped Temujin off, he went home. During the journey home he was poisoned by the Tartars. By time he reached home, he had become seriously ill and was becoming worried. Yesugei had not yet told anyone that he had betrothed Temujin to Dai Sechen. If he died before anybody had known about Temujin, there may have never been a Genghis Khan. Thinking on his feet, he told Munglik to go and retrieve him. Unfortunately, by the time he had left camp Yesugei was dead. Munglik was off to fetch Temujin still from Dai Sechen. But when he arrived at his home he was hesitant to let Temujin leave. Munglik had not told him that Yesugei had died; he had lied and told him that his father just wished deeply to see him (Lister, 27). Temujin was brought back to camp and it was agreed that he would be under the care of his mother Hoelun. A hard life went on for her camp. Hoelun\'s children grew up lean and hard and hungry. It is one way to make a strong ruler: to take a boy of suitable character and send him out to the steppe to fend for himself for a few years, but he would be one hard ruler (Lister, 41). By the time Temujin was 14 he was a man. He was tall and broad. He had catís eyes and a fierce face, full of authority (Lister, 54). Although Temujin seemed to be full of authority, he was beginning to encounter problems that started at home. There was no harmony in Hoelunís family. Her sons were divided from their half‑brothers by rivalry and envy. [Their] relationship took a dramatic turn for the worse when Bekhter and Belgutei, (Temujinís half‑brothers), refused to share hunting spoils with Temujin and Kasar (Ratchnevsky, 23). This early separation would contribute to other rising conflicts through out his journey to power.


In the back of his mind, Temujin always sought power. He was like the man who mysteriously becomes rich when other men mysteriously do not; because whatever that man is doing, some part of his mind is always thinking about money. So some part oh his mind was always thinking about power (Lister 87). Temujin was deeply affected by the disorganization of the society in which he lived. He despaired over the senseless slaughter caused by war itself, but because it all seemed to lead nowhere. The