China eText - Chapter VI - Kublai And The Mongol Dynasty

Chapter VI - Kublai And The Mongol Dynasty

While Bayan was winning victories for his master and driving the Chinese armies from the field, Kublai was engaged at Pekin in the difficult and necessary task of consolidating his authority. In 1271 he gave his dynasty the name of Yuen or Original, and he took for himself the Chinese title of Chitsou, although it will never supersede his Mongol name of Kublai. Summoning to his court the most experienced Chinese ministers, and aided by many foreigners, he succeeded in founding a government which was imposing by reason of its many-sidedness as well as its inherent strength. It satisfied the Chinese and it was gratifying to the Mongols, because they formed the buttress of one of the most imposing administrations in the world. All this was the distinct work of Kublai, who had enjoyed the special favor of Genghis, who had predicted of him that "one day he will sit in my seat and bring you good fortune such as you have had in my time." He resolved to make his court the most splendid in the world. His capital Cambaluc or Khanbalig--"the city of the Khan"--stood on or near the present site of Pekin, and was made for the first time capital of China by the Mongols. There were, according to Marco Polo, twelve gates, at each of which was stationed a guard of 1,000 men, and the streets were so straight and wide that you could see from one end to the other, or from gate to gate. The extent given of the walls varies: according to the highest estimate they were twenty-seven miles round, according to the lowest eighteen. The khan's palace at Chandu or Kaipingfoo, north of Pekin, where he built a magnificent summer palace, kept his stud of horses, and carried out his love of the chase in the immense park and preserves attached, may be considered the Windsor of this Chinese monarch. The position of Pekin had, and still has, much to recommend it as the site of a capital. The Mings, after proclaiming Nankin the capital, made scarcely less use of it, and Chuntche, the first of the Manchus, adopted it as his. It has since remained the sole metropolis of the empire.

When Kublai permanently established himself at Pekin he drew up consistent lines of policy on all the great questions with which it was likely he would have to deal, and he always endeavored to act upon these set principles. In framing this system of government he was greatly assisted by his old friend and tutor Yaochu, as well as by other Chinese ministers. He was thus able to deal wisely and also vigorously with a society with which he was only imperfectly acquainted; and the impartiality and insight into human character, which were his main characteristics, greatly simplified the difficult task before him. His impartiality was shown most clearly in his attitude on the question of religion; but it partook very largely of a hard materialism which concealed itself under a nominal indifference. At first he treated with equal consideration Buddhism, Mohammedanism, Christianity, and even Judaism, and he said that he treated them all with equal consideration because he hoped that the greatest among them would help him in heaven. If some doubt may be felt as to the sincerity of this statement, there can be none as to Kublai's effort to turn all religions to a political use, and to make them serve his turn. Some persons have thought he showed a predilection for Christianity, but his measures in support of Buddhism, and of his friend the Pakba Lama, are a truer indication of his feelings. But none were admitted into his private confidence, and his acts evinced a politic tolerance toward all creeds. But his religious tolerance or indifference did not extend to personal matters. He insisted on the proper prayers being offered to himself and the extreme reverence of the kow-tow. Priests were appointed and specially enjoined to offer up prayers on his behalf before the people, who were required to attend these services and to join in the responses. Images of himself were also sent to all the provincial towns for reverence to be offered. He also followed the Chinese custom of erecting a temple to his ancestors, and the coins that passed current bore his effigy. Thus did Kublai more and more identify himself with his Chinese subjects, and as he found his measures crowned with success he became himself more wedded to Chinese views, less tolerant of adverse opinions, and more disposed to assert his sovereign majesty.

Having embellished his capital, it is not surprising to find that he drew up a strict court ceremonial, and that he proscribed gorgeous dresses for those who were to be allowed to approach him. His banquets were of the most sumptuous description. Strangers from foreign states were admitted to the presence, and dined at a table set apart for travelers, while the great king himself feasted in the full gaze of his people. His courtiers, guard, and ministers attended by a host of servitors, and protected from enemies by 20,000 guards, the flower of the Mongol army; the countless wealth seized in the capitals of numerous kingdoms; the brilliance of intellect among his chief adherents and supporters; the martial character of the race that lent itself almost as well to the pageantry of a court as to the stern reality of battle; and finally the majesty of the great king himself--all combined to make Kublai's court and capital the most splendid, at that time, in the world. Although Kublai's instincts were martial, he gave up all idea of accompanying his armies in the field after his war with Arikbuka. As he was only forty-four when he formed this decision, it must be assumed that he came to it mainly because he had so many other matters to attend to, and also, no doubt, because he felt that he possessed in Bayan a worthy substitute.

The most fortunate and successful monarch rarely escapes without some misfortune, and Kublai was not destined to be an exception to the rule. The successes of the Mongol navy undoubtedly led Kublai to believe that his arms might be carried beyond the sea, and he formed the definite plan of subjecting Japan to his power. The ruling family in that kingdom was of Chinese descent, tracing back its origin to Taipe, a fugitive Chinese prince of the twelfth century before our era. The Chinese in their usual way had asserted the superior position of a Suzerain, and the Japanese had as consistently refused to recognize the claim, and had maintained their independence. As a rule the Japanese abstained from all interference in the affairs of the continent, and the only occasion on which they departed from this rule was when they aided Corea against China. In 1266 Kublai sent two embassadors by way of Corea to Japan with a letter from himself complaining that the Japanese court had taken no notice of his accession to power, and treated him with indifference. The mission never had a chance of success, for the Coreans succeeded in frightening the Mongol envoys with the terrors of the sea, and by withholding their assistance prevented them reaching their destination. The envoys returned without having been able to deliver their letter. Kublai decided that the Japanese were hostile to him, and he resolved to humble them. He called upon the King of Corea to raise an auxiliary force, and that prince promised to supply 1,000 ships and 10,000 men. In 1274 he sent a small force of 300 ships and 15,000 men to begin operations in the direction of Japan; but the Japanese navy came out to meet it, and attacking it off the island of Tsiusima, inflicted a crushing defeat. As this expedition was largely composed of the Corean contingent Kublai easily persuaded himself that this defeat did not indicate what would happen when he employed his own Mongol troops. He also succeeded in sending several envoys to Japan after his first abortive attempt, and they brought back consistent reports as to the hostility and defiance of the Japanese, who at last, to leave no further doubt on the subject, executed his envoy in 1280. For this outrage the haughty monarch swore he would exact a terrible revenge, and in 1280-81, when the last of his campaigns with the Sungs had been brought to a triumphant conclusion, he collected all his forces in the eastern part of the kingdom, and prepared to attack Japan with all his power.

For the purposes of this war he raised an army of over 100,000 men, of whom about one-third were Mongols; and a fleet large enough to carry this host and its supplies was gathered together with great difficulty in the harbors of Chekiang and Fuhkien. It would have been wiser if the expedition had started from Corea, as the sea voyage would have been greatly reduced; but the difficulty of getting his army to that country, and the greater difficulty of feeding it when it got there, induced him to make his own maritime possessions the base of his operations. From the beginning misfortunes fell thick upon it, and the Japanese, not less than the English when assailed by the Spanish armada and Boulogne invasions, owed much to the alliance of the sea. Kublai had felt bound to appoint a Chinese generalissimo as well as a Mongol to this host, but it did not work well. One general fell ill and was superseded, another was lost in a storm, and there was a general want of harmony in the Mongol camp and fleet. Still the fleet set sail, but the elements declared themselves against Kublai. His shattered fleet was compelled to take refuge off the islets to the north of Japan, where it attempted to refit, but the Japanese granted no respite, and assailed them both by land and sea. After protracted but unequal fighting the Mongol commander had no choice left but to surrender. The conquerors spared the Chinese and Coreans among their prisoners, but they put every Mongol to the sword. Only a stray junk or two escaped to tell Kublai the tale of the greatest defeat the Mongols had ever experienced. Thirty thousand of their best troops were slaughtered, and their newly-created fleet, on which they were founding such great expectations, was annihilated, while 70,000 Chinese and Coreans remained as prisoners in the hands of the victor. Kublai executed two of his generals who escaped, but it is clear no one was to blame. The Mongols were vanquished because they undertook a task beyond their power, and one with which their military experience did not fit them to cope. The most formidable portion of their army was cavalry, and they had no knowledge of the sea. Nor could their Chinese auxiliaries supply this deficiency; for, strange as it may appear, the Chinese, although many of them are good fishermen and sailors, have never been a powerful nation at sea. On the other hand, the Japanese have always been a bold and capable race of mariners. They have frequently proved that the sea is their natural element, and all the power and resources of Kublai availed not against the skill and courage of these hardy islanders. Kublai was reluctant to acquiesce in his defeat, and he endeavored to form another expedition, but the Chinese sailors mutinied and refused to embark. They were supported by all the Chinese ministers at Pekin, and Kublai felt himself compelled to yield and abandon all designs of conquest beyond the sea.

The old success of the Mongols did not desert them on land, and Kublai received some consolation for his rude repulse by the Japanese in the triumph of his arms in Burmah. The momentary submission of the King of Burmah, or Mien, as it was, and is still, called by the Chinese, had been followed by a fit of truculence and open hostility. This monarch had crossed over into Indian territory, and had assumed the title of King of Bengala in addition to his own. Emboldened by his success, he did not conceal his hostility to the Mongols, sent a defiant reply to all their representations, and even assumed the offensive with his frontier garrisons. He then declared open war. The Mongol general, Nasiuddin, collected all the forces he could, and when the Burmese ruler crossed the frontier at the head of an immense host of horse, foot, and elephants, he found the Mongol army drawn up on the plain of Yungchang. The Mongols numbered only 12,000 select troops, whereas the Burmese exceeded 80,000 men with a corps of elephants, estimated between 800 and 2,000, and an artillery force of sixteen guns. Notwithstanding this numerical disadvantage the Mongols were in no way dismayed by their opponents' manifest superiority; but seldom has the struggle between disciplined and brute force proved closer or more keenly contested. At first the charge of the Burmese cavalry, aided by the elephants and artillery, carried all before it. But Nasiuddin had provided for this contingency. He had dismounted all his cavalry, and had ordered them to fire their arrows exclusively against the elephant corps; and as the Mongols were then not only the best archers in the world, but used the strongest bows, the destruction they wrought was considerable, and soon threw the elephants into hopeless confusion. The crowd of elephants turned tail before this discharge of arrows, as did the elephants of Pyrrhus, and threw the whole Burmese army into confusion. The Mongols then mounting their horses, charged and completed the discomfiture of the Burmese, who were driven from the field with heavy loss and tarnished reputation. On this occasion the Mongols did not pursue the Burmese very far, and the King of Burmah lost little or no part of his dominions, but Nasiuddin reported to Pekin that it would be an easy matter to add the kingdom of Mien to the Mongol empire. Kublai did not act on this advice until six years later, when he sent his kinsman Singtur with a large force to subdue Burmah. The king took shelter in Pegu, leaving his capital Amien at the mercy of the conqueror. The Mongol conquests were thus brought down to the very border of Assam. In Tonquin and Annam the arms of Kublai were not so successful. Kublai's son Togan made an abortive campaign in these regions. Whenever an open force had to be overcome, the Mongol army was successful, but when the Mongols encountered the difficulties of a damp and inclement climate, of the absence of roads, and other disadvantages, they were disheartened, and suffered heavily in men and morale. With the loss of his two generals, and the main portion of his army, Togan was lucky in himself escaping to China. Kublai wished to make another effort to subdue these inhospitable regions and their savage inhabitants, but Chinese public opinion proved too strong, and he had to yield to the representations of his ministers.

Kublai was the more compelled to sacrifice his feelings on this point, because there were not wanting indications that if he did not do so he would find a Chinese rebellion on his hands. Notwithstanding his many successes, and his evident desire to stand well with his Chinese subjects, it was already clear that they bore their new leader little love. Several of the principal provinces were in a state of veiled rebellion, showing that the first opportunity would be taken to shake off the Mongol yoke, and that Kublai's authority really rested on a quicksand. The predictions of a fanatic were sufficient to shake the emperor on his throne, and such was Kublai's apprehension that he banished all the remaining Sung prisoners to Mongolia, and executed their last faithful minister, who went to the scaffold with a smile on his face, exclaiming, "I am content; my wishes are about to be realized." It must not be supposed from this that Kublai's authority had vanished or become effete. It was absolutely supreme over all declared enemies, but below the surface was seething an amount of popular hostility and discontent ominous to the longevity of the Mongol dynasty. The restless ambition of Kublai would not be satisfied with anything short of recognition, in some form or other, of his power by his neighbors, and he consequently sent envoys to ail the kingdoms of Southern Asia to obtain, by lavish presents or persuasive language, that recognition of his authority on which he had set his heart. In most cases he was gratified, for there was not a power in Eastern Asia to compare with that of the Mongol prince seated on the Dragon Throne of China, and all were flattered to be brought into connection with it on any terms.

These successful and gratifying embassies had only one untoward result: they induced Kublai to revert to his idea of repairing the overthrow of his son Togan in Annam, and of finally subjugating that troublesome country. The intention was not wise, and it was rendered more imprudent by its execution being intrusted to Togan again. Another commander might have fared better, but great as was his initial success, he could not hope to permanently succeed. Togan began as he formerly commenced by carrying all before him. He won seventeen separate engagements, but the further he advanced into the country the more evident did it appear that he only controlled the ground on which he stood. The King of Annam was a fugitive; his capital was in the hands of the Mongols, and apparently nothing more remained to be done. Apachi, the most experienced of the Mongol commanders, then counseled a prompt retreat. Unfortunately the Mongol prince Togan would not take his advice, and the Annamites, gathering fresh forces on all sides, attacked the exhausted Mongols, and compelled them to beat a precipitate retreat from their country. All the fruits of early victory were lost, and Togan's disgrace was a poor consolation for the culminating discomfiture of Kublai's reign. The people of Annam then made good their independence, and they still enjoy it, so far as China is concerned; though Annam is now a dependency of the French republic.

We cannot doubt that the failure of the emperor's endeavor to popularize his rule was as largely due to the tyrannical acts and oppressive measures of some of his principal ministers as to unpopular and unsuccessful expeditions. Notwithstanding the popular dislike of the system, and Kublai's efforts to put it down, the Mongols resorted to the old plan of farming the revenue, and the extortion of those who purchased the right drove the Chinese to the verge of rebellion, and made the whole Mongol regime hateful. Several tax farmers were removed from their posts, and punished with death, but their successors carried on the same system. The declining years of Kublai's reign were therefore marred by the growing discontent of his Chinese subjects, and by his inability or unwillingness to put down official extortion and mismanagement. But he had to cope with a still greater danger in the hostility of some members of his own family. The rivalry between himself and his brother Arikbuka formed one incident of his earlier career, the hostility of his cousin Kaidu proved a more serious peril when Kublai was stricken in years, and approaching the end of his long reign.

Kaidu was one of the sons of Ogotai, and consequently first cousin to Kublai. He held some high post in Mongolia, and he represented a reactionary party among the Mongols, who wished the administration to be less Chinese, and who, perhaps, sighed for more worlds to conquer. But he hated Kublai, and was jealous of his pre-eminence, which was, perhaps, the only cause of his revolt. The hostility of Kaidu might have remained a personal grievance if he had not obtained the alliance of Nayan, a Mongol general of experience and ability, who had long been jealous of the superior reputation of Bayan. He was long engaged in raising an army, with which he might hope to make a bid for empire, but at last his preparations reached the ear of Kublai, who determined to crush him before his power had grown too great. Kublai marched against him at the head of 100,000 men, and all the troops Nayan could bring into the field were 40,000, while Kaidu, although hastily gathering his forces, was too far off to render any timely aid. Kublai commanded in person, and arranged his order of battle from a tower supported on the backs of four elephants chained together. Both armies showed great heroism and ferocity, but numbers carried the day, and Nayan's army was almost destroyed, while he himself fell into the hands of the victor. It was contrary to the practice of the Mongols to shed the blood of their own princes, so Kublai ordered Nayan to be sewn up in a sack, and then beaten to death. The war with Kaidu dragged on for many years, and there is no doubt that Kublai did not desire to push matters to an extremity with his cousin. Having restored the fortunes of the war by assuming the command in person, Kublai returned in a short time to Pekin, leaving his opponent, as he hoped, the proverbial golden bridge by which to retreat. But his lieutenant, Bayan, to whom he intrusted the conduct of the campaign, favored more vigorous action, and was anxious to bring the struggle to a speedy and decisive termination. He had gained one remarkable victory under considerable disadvantage, when Kublai, either listening to his detractors or desirous of restraining his activity, dismissed him from his military posts and, summoning him to Pekin, gave him the uncongenial office of a minister of State. This happened in 1293, and in the following year Kublai, who was nearly eighty, and who had occupied the throne of China for thirty-five years, sickened and died, leaving behind him a great reputation which has survived the criticism of six centuries in both Europe and China.

Kublai's long reign marked the climax of the Mongol triumph which he had all the personal satisfaction of extending to China. Where Genghis failed, or attained only partial success, he succeeded to the fullest extent, thus verifying the prophecy of his grandfather. But although he conquered their country, he never vanquished the prejudices of the Chinese, and the Mongols, unlike the Manchus, failed completely to propitiate the good will of the historiographers of the Hanlin. Of Kublai they take some recognition, as an enlightened and well-meaning prince, but for all the other emperors of the Yuen line they have nothing good to say. Even Kublai himself could not assure the stability of his throne, and when he died it was at once clear that the Mongols could not long retain the supreme position in China.

But Kublai's authority was sufficiently established for it to be transmitted, without popular disturbance or any insurrection on the part of the Chinese, to his legal heir, who was his grandson. Such risk as presented itself to the succession arose from the dissensions among the Mongol princes themselves, but the prompt measures of Bayan arrested any trouble, and Prince Timour was proclaimed emperor under the Chinese style of Chingtsong. A few months after this signal service to the ruling family, Bayan died, leaving behind him the reputation of being one of the most capable of all the Mongol commanders. Whether because he could find no general worthy to fill Bayan's place, or because his temperament was naturally pacific, Timour carried on no military operations, and the thirteen years of his reign were marked by almost unbroken peace. But peace did not bring prosperity in its train, for a considerable part of China suffered from the ravages of famine, and the cravings of hunger drove many to become brigands. Timour's anxiety to alleviate the public suffering gained him some small measure of popularity, and he also endeavored to limit the opportunities of the Mongol governors to be tyrannical by taking away from them the power of life and death. Timour was compelled by the sustained hostility of Kaidu to continue the struggle with that prince, but he confined himself to the defensive, and the death of Kaidu, in 1301, deprived the contest of its extreme bitterness although it still continued.

Timour was, however, unfortunate in the one foreign enterprise which he undertook. The ease with which Burmah had been vanquished and reduced to a tributary state emboldened some of his officers on the southern frontier to attempt the conquest of Papesifu--a state which may be identified with the modern Laos. The enterprise, commenced in a thoughtless and light- hearted manner, revealed unexpected peril and proved disastrous. A large part of the Mongol army perished from the heat, and the survivors were only rescued from their perilous position, surrounded by the numerous enemies they had irritated, by a supreme effort on the part of Koko, the viceroy of Yunnan, who was also Timour's uncle. The insurrectionary movement was not confined to the outlying districts of Annam and Burmah, but extended within the Chinese border, and several years elapsed before tranquillity was restored to the frontier provinces.

Timour died in 1306 without leaving a direct legitimate heir, and his two nephews Haichan and Aiyuli Palipata were held to possess an equal claim to the throne. Haichan was absent in Mongolia when his uncle died, and a faction put forward the pretensions of Honanta, prince of Gansi, who seems to have been Timour's natural son, but Aiyuli Palipata, acting with great energy, arrested the pretender and proclaimed Haichan as emperor. Haichan reigned five years, during which the chief reputation he gained was as a glutton. When he died, in 1311, his brother Palipata was proclaimed emperor, although Haichan left two sons. Palipata's reign of nine years was peaceful and uneventful, and his son Chutepala succeeded him. Chutepala was a young and inexperienced prince who owed such authority as he enjoyed to the courage of Baiju, a brave soldier, who was specially distinguished as the lineal descendant of the great general, Muhula. The plots and intrigues which compassed the ruin of the Yuen dynasty began during this reign, and both Chutepala and Baiju were murdered by conspirators. The next emperor, Yesun Timour, was fortunate in a peaceful reign, but on his death, in 1328, the troubles of the dynasty accumulated, and its end came clearly into view. In little more than a year, three emperors were proclaimed and died. Tou Timour, one of the sons of Haichan, who ruled before Palipata, was so far fortunate in reigning for a longer period, but the most interesting episode in his barren reign was the visit of the Grand Lama of Tibet to Pekin, where he was received with exceptional honor; but when Tou Timour attempted to compel his courtiers to pay the representative of Buddhism special obeisance he encountered the opposition of both Chinese and Mongols.

After Tou Timour's death the imperial title passed to Tohan Timour, who is best known by his Chinese title of Chunti. He found a champion in Bayan, a descendant of the general of that name, who successfully defended the palace against the attack of a band of conspirators. In 1337 the first distinct rebellion on the part of the Chinese took place in the neighborhood of Canton, and an order for the disarmament of the Chinese population aggravated the situation because it could not be effectually carried out. Bayan, after his defense of the palace, became the most powerful personage in the state, and to his arrogance was largely due the aggravation of the Mongol difficulties and the imbittering of Chinese opinion. He murdered an empress, tyrannized over the Chinese, and outshone the emperor in his apparel and equipages, as if he were a Wolsey or a Buckingham. For the last offense Chunti could not forgive him, and Bayan was deposed and disgraced. While these dissensions were in progress at Pekin the Chinese were growing more daring and confident in their efforts to liberate themselves from the foreign yoke. They had adopted red bonnets as the mark of their patriotic league, and on the sea the piratical confederacy of Fangkue Chin vanquished and destroyed such navy as the Mongols ever possessed. But in open and regular fighting on land the supremacy of the Mongols was still incontestable, and a minister, named Toto, restored the sinking fortunes of Chunti until he fell the victim of a court intrigue--being poisoned by a rival named Hamar. With Toto disappeared the last possible champion of the Mongols, and the only thing needed to insure their overthrow was the advent of a capable leader who could give coherence to the national cause, and such a leader was not long in making his appearance.

The deliverer of the Chinese from the Mongols was an individual named Choo Yuen Chang, who, being left an orphan, entered a monastery as the easiest way of gaining a livelihood. In the year 1345, when Chunti had been on the throne twelve years, Choo quitted his retreat and joined one of the bands of Chinese who had thrown off the authority of the Mongols. His physique and fine presence soon gained for him a place of authority, and when the chief of the band died he was chosen unanimously as his successor. He at once showed himself superior to the other popular leaders by his humanity, and by his wise efforts to convince the Chinese people that he had only their interests at heart. Other Chinese so-called patriots thought mainly of plunder, and they were not less terrible to peaceful citizens than the most exacting Mongol commander or governor. But Choo strictly forbade plundering, and any of his band caught robbing or ill-using the people met with prompt and summary punishment. By this conduct he gained the confidence of the Chinese, and his standard among all the national leaders became the most popular and attracted the largest number of recruits. In 1356 he captured the city of Nankin, which thereupon became the base of his operations, as it was subsequently the capital of his dynasty. He then issued a proclamation declaring that his sole object was to expel the foreigners and to restore the national form of government. In this document he said, "It is the birthright of the Chinese to govern foreign peoples and not of these latter to rule in China. It used to be said that the Yuen or Mongols, who came from the regions of the north, conquered our empire not so much by their courage and skill as by the aid of Heaven. And now it is sufficiently plain that Heaven itself wishes to deprive them of that empire, as some punishment for their crimes, and for not having acted according to the teaching of their forefathers. The time has now come to drive these foreigners out of China." While the Mongols were assailed in every province of the empire by insurgents, Choo headed what was the only organized movement for their expulsion, and his alliance with the pirate, Fangkue Chin, added the command of the sea to the control he had himself acquired over some of the wealthiest and most populous provinces of Central China. The disunion among the Mongols contributed to their overthrow as much as the valor of the Chinese. The Emperor Chunti had quite given himself up to pleasure, and his debaucheries were the scandal of the day. The two principal generals, Chahan Timour and Polo Timour, hated each other, and refused to co-operate. Another general, Alouhiya, raised the standard of revolt in Mongolia, and, while he declared that his object was to regenerate his race, he, undoubtedly, aggravated the embarrassment of Chunti.

In 1366, Choo, having carefully made all the necessary preparations for war on a large scale, dispatched from Fankin two large armies to conquer the provinces north of the Yangtsekiang, which were all that remained in the possession of the Mongols. A third army was intrusted with the task of subjecting the provinces dependent on Canton, and this task was accomplished with rapidity and without a check. Such Mongol garrisons as were stationed in this quarter were annihilated. The main Chinese army of 250,000 men was intrusted to the command of Suta, Choo's principal lieutenant and best general, and advanced direct upon Pekin. In 1367 Suta had overcome all resistance south of the Hoangho, which river he crossed in the autumn of that year. The Mongols appeared demoralized, and attempted little or no resistance. Chunti fled from Pekin to Mongolia, where he died in 1370, and Suta carried the capital by storm from the small Mongol garrison which remained to defend it. Choo hastened to Pekin to receive the congratulations of his army, and to prove to the whole Chinese nation that the Yuen dynasty had ceased to rule. The resistance offered by the Mongols proved surprisingly slight, and, considering the value of the prize for which they were fighting, quite unworthy of their ancient renown. The real cause of their overthrow was that the Mongols never succeeded in propitiating the good opinion and moral support of the Chinese, who regarded them to the end as barbarians, and it must also be admitted that the main force of the Mongols had drifted to Western Asia, where the great Timour revived some of the traditions of Genghis. At the end of his career that mighty conqueror prepared to invade China, but he died shortly after he had begun a march that boded ill to the peace and welfare of China. Thus, with the flight of Chunti, the Mongol or Yuen dynasty came to an end, and the Mongols only reappear in Chinese history as the humble allies of the Manchus, when they undertook the conquest of China in the seventeenth century.