By 1260 these and other internal struggles over succession
and leadership had led to a gradual breakdown of the Mongol
Because the basic organizing social unit for the Mongols
was the tribe, it was very difficult to perceive a loyalty
that went beyond the tribe. The result was fragmentation and
division. And added to this was yet another problem: As the
Mongols expanded into the sedentary world, some were influenced
by sedentary cultural values and realized that, if the Mongols
were to rule the territories that they had subjugated, they
would need to adopt some of the institutions and practices
of the sedentary groups. But other Mongols, traditionalists,
opposed such concessions to the sedentary world and wanted
to maintain traditional Mongolian pastoral-nomadic values.
the pastoral-nomadic life]
The result of these difficulties was that by 1260, the Mongol
domains had been split into four
One, ruled by Khubilai Khan, was composed of China, Mongolia,
Korea, and Tibet [more on The
Mongols in China]. The second segment was Central Asia.
And from 1269 on, there would be conflict between these two
parts of the Mongol domains.
The third segment in West Asia was known as the Ilkhanids.
The Ilkhanids had been created as a result of the military
exploits of Khubilai Khan's brother Hulegu, who had finally
destroyed the Abbasid Dynasty in West Asia by occupying the
city of Baghdad, the capital city of the Abbasids, in 1258.
And the fourth segment was the "Golden Horde" in
Russia, which would oppose the Ilkhanids of Persia/West Asia
in a conflict concerning trade routes and grazing rights in
the area of contemporary Azerbaijan.
Still, despite all these fissures within the Mongol empire
and the various sections of its domains, the reign of the
Mongols would still help to usher in the beginnings of what
could be called a "global" history.
"The Mongols: Ecological and Social Perspectives,"
by Joseph Fletcher, in Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 46/1 (June 1986): 11-50.