In what ways did Mongol control make contact between the East and the West much easier, bringing new ideas, goods, people and disease to other regions of the world?
The Mongol domination brought a period of peace and prosperity to Europe that is known as the Pax Mongolica by historians. The Mongol rule of Europe had a stabilizing effect on the continent for over a century. Because of the authoritarian leadership of Mongol leaders, local groups that otherwise would have quarrelled were forced to bury their grievances. This re-opened the Silk Road for the exchange of goods, ideas, and wealth between China and Europe.
In addition to the renewed trade that opened along the Silk Road, scholars, monks, and missionaries made the journey east to exchange ideas and to learn more about Asia. The Italian explorer Marco Polo would make his famous journey to China along the road. Another profound effect was that westerners were introduced to guns and gunpowder which were invented by the Chinese. This resulted in an arms race of sorts in Europe which changed international policy and warfare forever.
An unfortunate item that the Mongols brought with them to Europe was the Bubonic Plague. The plague would decimate the population of Europe, killing approximately one-third of the population. The spread of the plague across the continent is also viewed by historians as one of the reasons for the end of the Dark Ages.