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Did Genghis Khan Create the Greatest Empire in History?

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Debate Issue: "Did Genghis Khan Create the Greatest Empire in History?"

I. Affirmative Position

A. Opening:

1. We the affirmative believe that Genghis Khan did create the Greatest Empire in History because an Empire comprises a set of regions locally ruled by governors, viceroys or client kings in the name of an emperor. By extension, one could classify as an empire any large, multi-ethnic state ruled from a single center. Like other states, an empire maintains its political structure at least partly by coercion.


2. He was the founder and Great Khan (Emperor) of the Mongol Empire, the largest contiguous empire ever, from 1206 until his death in Autumn 1227. (

3. In modern Mongolia, Genghis Khan is regarded as the father of the nation for his role in uniting the Mongol confederations and therefore providing a common identity to what had previously been a territory of nomadic tribes sharing only a language and culture. Equally well regarded are his contributions in directing the effort to create a writing system for the Mongolian language, which had not previously had one, based on existing Uighur script. (

B. Rebuttal:

1. Genghis Khan's subjects saw themselves at the center of the universe, the greatest of people and favored by the gods. They justified Genghis Khan's success in warfare by claiming that he was the rightful master not only over the "peoples of the felt tent" but the entire world. (

2. Many scholars now emphasize his religious tolerance, tax policies, and the unparalleled "free-trade zone" his conquests created. (

3. During his lifetime, he conquered more territory than any other conqueror, and his successors established the largest contiguous empire in history. Even today his legacy continues in Asia, for without Genghis Khan there would not be a Mongolia. (

C. Counter-Rebuttal:

1. When forced to fight, Khan's forces methodically slaughtered everyone in their path.



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