NCERT Solutions for Class 11 History Chapter 3 - Nomadic Empires

81. Why was trade so significant to the Mongols?

Ans. The Mongols had limited resources in the steppes due to which they had to establish trade relationship with the Chinese. The main commodities that were imported from China were iron utensils and agricultural produce.
The Mongols exported horses and furs that were trapped from the steppes to China. This commerce, however, was not always smooth as there was constant competition for the prices and profits.

82. Why did Genghis Khan feel the need to fragment the Mongol tribes into new social and military groupings?

Ans. The Mongol people generally inhabited in tribes and there was absence of collectivism. Genghis Khan wanted these tribes to come in contact with each other.
The Mongol people were agile due to the terrain they lived in and were well versed in using the horses. Due to these reasons, Khan wanted to make an army with them.

83. How do later Mongol reflections on the yasa bring out the uneasy relationship they had with the memory of Genghis Khan?

Ans. At the 1206 Assembly of Mongol Chieftains (quriltai), Genghis Khan promulgated Yasa (the code of law). It has gone into detail about the complicated manner in which the Great Khan’s memory was shaped by his successors. The name was originally spelt as yasaq, which signified “law,” “decree,” or “order.” Yasa is concerned with administrative restrictions, such as hunting, the army, and the postal system.

84. ‘If history relies upon written records produced by city-based literati, nomadic societies will always receive a hostile representation.’ Would you agree with this statement? Does it explain the reason why Persian chronicles produced such inflated figures of casualties resulting from Mongol campaigns?

Ans. The city-based literati will represent the nomadic societies as barbarian and fireceful. There are several reasons to consider this as true. The nomadic people carried a bad image of intruders in the eyes of the city people. They consider them as people who only know plunder and destruction.

85. Keeping the nomadic element of the Mongol and Bedouin societies in mind, how, in your opinion, did their respective historical experiences differ? What explanations would you suggest account for these differences?

Ans. The Mongols were a tribe of the grasslands of Central Asia, a diverse group of people connected by linguistic similarities with the Tatars, Kitans, Manchus, and Turks in the west. Bedouins, an Arab tribe, migrated from arid areas to the green desert in search of food and feed their cattle. Some Mongols were nomads, while others were hunter-gatherers. Bedouins, on the other hand, were shepherds, peasants, and merchants because the central Islamic lands were surrounded by the sea on all sides. The steppes people did not produce any sort of literature so the knowledge about the nomadic societies is very limited and it is very different from the accounts given by the travellers like Marco Polo.

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