History of Mongolia
Mongolians came to the attention of the rest of the world in the 13th century when Genghis Khan, known as “Chinggis Khan” (meaning Universal Ruler), and his armies of Mongol horsemen swept out of their steppe homeland to conquer the largest land empire the world has ever known. At its height, his empire spanned 16% of the Earth’s total land area, and held sway over a population of 100 million. It stretched across Asia, from the Mediterranean to the Pacific. Within Mongolia, Genghis Khan is well known for uniting warring tribes into one.
By the late 17th century, the Mongolian Empire had disintegrated, and Mongolia became a vassal state of a resurgent China. In 1911, Mongolia regained independence. Following the example of the Soviet Union it became the world’s second communist-governed country in 1924. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the satellite Mongolian economy was devastated. Mongolia abandoned communism to join the global free market economy, becoming the first country to leave the Soviet Union. Mongolia held their first democratic elections in 1992.