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M. facts & history in brief                 My Mongolia pages   
         Map of Mongolia

Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mongolia is a country in East-Central Asia.
The landlocked country borders Russia to the north and China to the south.
The capital and largest city is Ulan Bator.
Mongolia's political system is a parliamentary republic.

At 1,564,116 square kilometres, Mongolia is the nineteenth largest, and the least densely populated independent country in the world with a population of around 2.9 million people.
It is also the world's second-largest landlocked country after Kazakhstan.
The country contains very little arable land, as much of its area is covered by arid and unproductive steppes, with mountains to the north and west and the Gobi Desert to the south.
Approximately thirty percent of the country's 2.9 million people are nomadic or semi-nomadic.
The predominant religion in Mongolia is Tibetan Buddhism, and the majority of the state's citizens are of the Mongol ethnicity, though Kazakhs, Tuvans, and other minorities also live in the country, especially in the west.
About 38% of the population lives in Ulan Bator.

Capital (and largest city) Ulan Bator
Official languages Mongolian
Government Parliamentary republic
- National Foundation Day 1206
- Bogd Khanate of Mongolia December 29, 1911
- Mongolian People's Republic November 24, 1924
- Democratic Mongolia February 12, 1992
Area 1,564,116 km² 603,909 sq mi
- July 2007 estimate 2,951,786
- 2000 census 2,407,500
- Density 1.7/km²
Currency Tögrög (MNT)
Time zone (UTC+7 to +8
Internet TLD .mn
Calling code +976

One of the greatest advances in human culture is the nomadic pastoralism, the adaptation by nomadic people to survival on the world's grassland by raising livestock rather than crops which are unsuitable to the terrain.
Nomads currently surviving on the Tibetan Plateau and in the Himalayas are the remainders of nomadic practices once widespread in Asia and Africa.

The area of Mongolia was part of various steppe empires like those of the Hsiung-nu, Göktürks, Uighurs, and others.
Mongolia became the center of the Mongol Empire in the thirteenth century.
After the empire collapsed, Mongolia returned to the old patterns of internal strife, until the Khalkha nobles submitted to the Manchu in 1691.
The country was then part of the Qing empire until 1911, when an independent Mongolian government was formed under the Bogd Khan.
The Mongolian People's Republic was proclaimed in 1924, leading to the adoption of communist policies and a very close alignment to the Soviet Union.
After the fall of communism in Mongolia in 1990, Mongolia adopted a new constitution which was ratified in 1992.
This officially marked the transition of Mongolia to a multi-party political system.

Early history
Many ethnicities have inhabited Mongolia since prehistoric times.
Most of these people were nomads who, from time to time, formed great confederations that rose to prominence.
The first of these, the Xiongnu, were brought together to form a confederation by Modu Shanyu in 209 BC.
They defeated the Donghu, who had previously been the dominant power in eastern Mongolia.
The Xiongnu became the greatest threat to China for the following three centuries; the Great Wall of China was built partly as defence against the Xiongnu.
Marshal Meng Tian of the Qin Empire dispersed more than 300,000 soldiers along the Great Wall to prevent an expected invasion from the North.
It is believed that after their decisive defeat by the Chinese in AD 428-431, some of the Xiongnu migrated West to become the Huns.
After the Xiongnu migrated west, Rouran, a close relative of the Mongols, came to power before being defeated by the Göktürks, who then dominated Mongolia for centuries.

During the seventh and eighth centuries, Mongolia was controlled by the Göktürks, who were succeeded by the ancestors of today's Uyghur and then by the Khitan and Jurchen.
By the tenth century, the country was divided into numerous tribes linked through transient alliances.

Mongol Empire
In the late twelfth century, a chieftain named Temüjin united the Mongol tribes to the Naiman and Jurchen after a long struggle and took the name Genghis Khan.
Beginning in 1206, Genghis Khan and his successors consolidated and expanded the Mongol Empire into the largest contiguous land empire in world history, going as far northwest as Kievan Rus.
After Genghis Khan's death, the empire was divided into four kingdoms, or "Khanates".
One of these, the "Great Khanate," comprised the Mongol homeland and China, and its emperors were known as the Yuan Dynasty.
Its founder, Kublai Khan, set up his centre in present day Beijing.
After more than a century of power, the Yuan Dynasty was replaced by the Ming Dynasty in 1368, and the Mongol court fled north.
The Ming armies pursued and defeated them in Mongolia, but were not able to conquer Mongolia.
However, they were successful in sacking and destroying the Mongol capital Karakorum and other cities in 1380.
The Chinese wiped out the cultural progress of the Mongols achieved during the imperial period and Mongolia was thrown back to the primitive state until the renaissance of the 16th-17th centuries.

The Ming Emperor Yongle (1402-1424) mounted five military expeditions into Mongolia.
The beginning of the 15th century is characterised by struggle for the throne between the Genghisid taiji and non-Genghisid nobles called taishi.
The taishi were represented by the Oirad nobles whose success led to an ascendance of Esen Tayisi to power.
To end the Chinese economic blockade and open up a trade with Ming Dynasty, Esen Tayisi raided China in 1449 and captured the Ming emperor at the Battle of Tumu.
Shortly after death of Esen, the Genghisids dominated the power again.
In 1466 Queen Mandihai the Wise installed a young boy Batumonhe, a descendant of Genghis Khan, on the throne and then she defeated the Oirad.
Batumonhe Dayan Khan later eradicated the separatism of the taishi of Southern Mongolia.
During the 16th century, Mongolia was split between the descendants of Queen Manduhai into Khalkha, Chaharia, Tumet and other domains.
The ruler of Tumet proclaimed himself as Altan Khan beside the legitimate Mongolian khan. Raiding China, he besieged Beijing in 1550 and reached peace with the Ming Dynasty.
Altan Khan established the city of Hohhot in 1557.
Upon meeting the Supreme Lama of Tibet in his domain in 1577, Altan Khan first referred to him as the Dalai Lama ('Dalai' or 'Ocean' being a translation of the Tibetan 'Gyatso' in his name, Sonam Gyatso) and he became a convert to Tibetan Buddhism.
At the same time ruler of Khalkha Abtai rushed to Tumet to meet the Dalai Lama.
Thus, eventually most of the Mongolian rulers became Buddhists.
Abtai Khan established Erdene Zuu monastery in 1586 at the site of the former city Karakorum.

The second half of the 15th and the 16th centuries saw the revival and flourishing of the Mongolian culture.
Zanabazar (1635-1723), head of Buddhism in Khalkha, was a great master of the Buddhist art.
He created the famous sculptures of Sita-Tara and Siyama-Tara, inspired by lively images of Mongolian women.

Manchu domination
During the seventeenth century, the Manchu rose to prominence in the east.
They conquered Inner Mongolia in 1636.
The Khalkha submitted in 1691, bringing all but the west of today's Mongolia under the rule of the Qing Dynasty.
For the next two centuries, the Manchu maintained control of Mongolia with a series of alliances and intermarriages, as well as military and economic measures.

With the fall of the Qing Dynasty, Mongolia declared independence in 1911.
The new country's territory was approximately that of the former Outer Mongolia.
The 49 hoshuns of Inner Mongolia as well as the Mongolians of the Alashan and Qinghai regions expressed their willingness to join the young Mongol Khanate.
After the October Revolution in Russia, Chinese troops led by Xu Shuzheng occupied the capital in 1919.
The Chinese dominance did not last: notorious Russian adventurer "Bloody" Baron Ungern who had fought with the "Whites" (Ataman Semyonov) against the Red army in Siberia, led his troops into Mongolia and forced a showdown with the Chinese in Niislel Khüree.
Ungern's forces triumphed, and he briefly in effect ruled Mongolia under the blessing of religious leader Bogd Khan.
But Ungern's triumph was shortlived; he was chased out by the Red Army, and ensured its political alignment with the Russian Bolsheviks.
In 1924, after the death of the religious leader and king Bogd Khan, a Mongolian People's Republic was proclaimed with support from the Soviets.

Alignment with the Soviet Union
The Mongolian People's Republic was aligned closely with the Soviet Union.
During the 1920s and 1930s, several high-ranking politicians who demanded a more independent course, like Dogsomyn Bodoo or Khorloogiin Dandzan, fell victim to violent power struggles and were killed.
In 1928, Khorloogiin Choibalsan rose to power.
Under his administration, forced collectivisation of livestock was instituted, and the destruction of Buddhist monasteries and Stalinist purges beginning 1937 left more than 30,000 people dead.

During the Soviet-Japanese Border War of 1939, the USSR defended Mongolia against Japan.
Mongolian forces also took part in the Soviet offensive against Japanese forces in Inner Mongolia in August 1945 (Operation August Storm).
The threat of Mongolian forces seizing parts of Inner Mongolia induced the Republic of China to recognize Outer Mongolia's independence, provided that a referendum was held.
The referendum took place on October 20, 1945, with (according to official numbers) 100% of the electorate voting for independence.
After the establishment of the People's Republic of China, both countries re-recognized each other on October 6, 1949.
The communist rule also undertook the Mongolia's enemies of the people persecution resulting in the murder of monks and other people.

After Choibalsan died in Moscow on January 26, 1952, Yumjaagiin Tsedenbal took power.
In 1956 and again in 1962, Choibalsan's personality cult was condemned.
Mongolia continued to align itself closely with the Soviet Union, especially after the Sino-Soviet split of the late 1950s.
While Tsedenbal was visiting Moscow in August 1984, his severe illness prompted the parliament to announce his retirement and replace him with Jambyn Batmönkh.

1990 Democratic Revolution
The introduction of perestroika and glasnost in the USSR by Mikhail Gorbachev strongly influenced Mongolian politics even though Mongolia was a sovereign nation.
The decline of communism in the Soviet Union and its collapse in Eastern Europe, combined with these two policies, were enough to lead to the peaceful Democratic Revolution of 1990.
This, in turn, allowed Mongolia to begin engaging in economic and diplomatic relations with the Western world.
The nation finished its transition from a communist state to a multi-party capitalist democracy with the ratification of a new constitution in 1992.

Government and politics
Government of Mongolia is characterized as a parliamentary democracy, which is governed under the Constitution of Mongolia that guarantees full freedom of expression, rights, worship and others.
Mongolia has two main parties among many other parties.
Until June 27, 2004, the predominant party in Mongolia was the social democratic Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party or abbreviated as the MPRP, a former communist party during the socialist republics.
The main opposition party was the Democratic Party or DP, which controlled a governing coalition from 1996 to 2000.

From 2000 to 2004, the MPRP was back in power, but results of the 2004 elections required the establishing of the first ever coalition government in Mongolia between the MPRP and MDC (Motherland Democratic Coalition).
The coalition broke down in January 2006, the current government has been formed with the MPRP, some small parties and some DP defectors.

The State Great Khural
Mongolia uses a unicameral parliamentary system in which the president has a symbolic role and the government chosen by the legislature exercises executive power.
The legislative arm, the State Great Khural, has one chamber with 76 seats and is chaired by the speaker of the house.
It elects its members every four years by general elections.
The State Great Khural is powerful in the Mongolian government with the president being largely symbolic and the prime minister being confirmed from the parliament.

Prime Minister and the Cabinet
The Prime Minister of Mongolia is elected by the State Great Khural.
There are ministers of each department (finance, defense, labour, agriculture, etc.) and those offices constitute the prime minister's cabinet.

The cabinet is nominated by the prime minister in consultation with the president and confirmed by the State Great Khural.

Geography and climate
The southern portion of Mongolia is taken up by the Gobi Desert, while the northern and western portions are mountainous.

Mongolia is the world's nineteenth-largest country (after Iran).
It is significantly larger than the next-largest country, Peru.

The geography of Mongolia is varied with the Gobi desert to the south and with cold and mountainous regions to the north and west.
Mongolia consists of relatively flat steppes.
The highest point in Mongolia is the Khüiten Peak in the Tavan bogd massif in the far west at 4,374 m (14,350 feet).
The basin of the lake Uvs Nuur, shared with Tuva Republic in Russia, is a natural World Heritage Site.

Most of the country is hot in the summer and extremely cold in the winter, with January averages dropping as low as -30°C (-22°F).
The country is also subject to occasional harsh climatic conditions known as zud.
Ulan Bator has the coldest average temperature of any national capital in the world.
Mongolia is high, cold, and windy.
It has an extreme continental climate with long, cold winters and short summers, during which most of its annual precipitation falls.
The country averages 257 cloudless days a year, and it is usually at the center of a region of high atmospheric pressure.
Precipitation is highest in the north (average of 20 to 35 centimetres per year) and lowest in the south, which receives 10 to 20 centimetres annually.
The extreme south is the Gobi, some regions of which receive no precipitation at all in most years.

The name "Gobi" is a Mongol term for a desert steppe, which usually refers to a category of arid rangeland with insufficient vegetation to support marmots but with enough to support camels.
Mongols distinguish Gobi from desert proper, although the distinction is not always apparent to outsiders unfamiliar with the Mongolian landscape.
Gobi rangelands are fragile and are easily destroyed by overgrazing, which results in expansion of the true desert, a stony waste where even the Bactrian camels can't survive.

For a more information about Mongolia see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This page was retrieved and condensed from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongolia) see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, February 2008.
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).
About Wikipedia

This information was correct in February 2008. E. & O.E.

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