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Research on the History of the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty and the Construction of Its Historical Narrative

Social Sciences in China Review

No.3, 2018

 

Research on the History of the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty and the Construction of Its Historical NarrativeAbstract

 

Shen Weirong

 

In recent years, corresponding to the heated discussion of the “New Qing History,” a new historical narrative of the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty has formed under the influence of global history and is increasingly attracting attention. This historical narrative regards Mongolia’s conquest of the world as the beginning of a new world order in modern times. Instead of being regarded as a part in the traditional historical framework of successive dynasties in imperial China, Mongolian Yuan Dynasty is considered as a great empire covering Eurasia and connecting the Eastern and Western world. It is argued that the rise of the Mongol Empire completely changed the old world pattern of the East and West and created a “Mongolian Era” for world history, an era during which the world was no longer separated into the West centered on Europe and the East centered on China, but integrated into a whole centered on the Mongol Empire. It is believed that the impact of the Mongolian Era was so tremendous on the change of world order that it is still lingering on in the world we live today. Although our historical research cannot be steered by the positions and viewpoints of others, Chinese scholars of the history of the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty should not confine themselves only in the Yuan Dynasty without heeding the construction of its historical narrative, because the purpose of historical research is not only to reveal the truth of history, but also to interpret its meaning.