According to Guns, Germs, and Steel, what was the Mongols' political structure?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Diamond mentions two different political structures that the Mongols had.  These structures changed over time.  At first, the Mongols' society was a chiefdom.  Later, as the Mongols were able to conquer an empire, their society turned into a state.

At the end of Chapter 13, Diamond states that the Mongols who conquered China were a chiefdom.  At this time, they did have a centralized government, but it was less organized.  It was not the sort of government that the Mongols later had when they had conquered China.  At that point, they had a highly bureaucratized government wtih laws and judges, not a more informal system where issues of justice were decided more arbitrarily. 

So, the Mongols had a chiefdom but then developed a state as they increased the size of their empire.