Mongolian History

The Mongols have a long prehistory and a most remarkable history. The Huns, a people who lived in Central Asia from the 3rd to the 1st century BCE, may have been their ancestors. A united Mongolian state of nomadic tribes was formed in the early 13th century CE by Chinggis Khan, and his successors controlled a vast empire that included much of China, Russia, Central Asia, and the Middle East. The Mongol empire collapsed and split up, and from 1691 northern Mongolia was colonized by Qing (Manchu). With the collapse of Qing rule in Mongolia in 1911/12, the Bogd Gegeen (or Javzandamba), Mongolia’s religious leader, was proclaimed Bogd Khan, or head of state. He declared Mongolia’s independence, but only autonomy under China’s suzerainty was achieved. From 1919, nationalist revolutionaries, with Soviet assistance, drove out Chinese troops attempting to reoccupy Mongolia, and in 1921 they expelled the invading White Russian cavalry. July 11, 1921, then became celebrated as the anniversary of the revolution. The Mongolian People’s Republic was proclaimed in November 1924, and the Mongolian capital, centred on the main monastery of the Bogd Gegeen, was renamed Ulaanbaatar (“Red Hero”).

Mongolia was under a Soviet-dominated Communist regime for almost 70 years, from 1921 to 1990.  In the fall of 1989 and the spring  of 1990, new currents of political thought began  to emerge in Mongolia, inspired by the  glasnost and perestroika in the Soviet Union and the collapse  of the Communist regimes in Eastern Europe. In March 1990, a democratic revolution that started  with hunger strikes to overthrow the Government led to the  peaceful renouncement of communism. Mongolia’s renouncement of communism led to a multi-party system, a new constitution and a transition to a market economy.

Over the past two decades, Mongolia has transformed itself from a socialist country with a planned economy into a vibrant multi-party democracy with one of the world’s  fastest  growing economies.

Mongolia is  the world’s second largest landlocked country and occupies a territory of 1.56 million  square kilometers. Mongolia is located in Northern Asia, bordered by Russia in the north and China in the south, east and west. Mongolia  is the world’s least densely populated country, with a population  of more than 3.1 million people living in a vast area of 1.56 million square kilometers. Ulaanbaatar is Mongolia’s capital and largest city and home to approximately 45% of the country’s population.

Ethnic Mongols comprise approximately 94.9% of the population, Kazakh 5% and Turkic, Chinese  and Russians make up the remaining population.

Buddhism is major religion in Mongolia with a small number of  Muslims, Christians, and Shamans reside in Mongolia.

The official language is Mongolian and is spoken by 90% of the population. English is quickly  replacing Russian as the most popular language following Mongolian.  Many Mongolians also speak Korean, Japanese, Chinese, German and other western European languages.

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